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Start-up Story: Why Weight Ireland

Why Weight Ireland is a unique and award winning online weight loss & fitness business. Each member receives access to Ireland’s only online food & exercise diary which is personalised to each individual, access to full online video workouts, personal and tailored fitness plans and full email support 7-days a week.

Using a food diary has been the most recommended way to lose weight and is recommended by governments, nutritionists, dieticians and athletes across the world. Using Why Weight Ireland makes keeping track of your food & exercise all that much easier. As part of the diary you get access to over 500 various recipes as well as the option to create your own. You also get full tips, advise, food swap ideas, food trigger reports as well as full weigh-in charts. Why Weight Ireland has been so successful that 98% of those who join end up renewing because they know IT WORKS. AS I always tell people, “it’s not just a diet, it’s a new way of life”.

After the initial success of the business, I decided to launch the first Why Weight Ireland Studio in Tinahely, Co. Wicklow where we offer various fitness classes for adults & children as well as free private weigh-ins, consultations and more recently I began a Why Weight Running Club in the studio which is free to join and run and has been a huge success for the community of Tinahely and the surrounding villages.

Why did we start it

I began Why Weight Ireland in 2012 after successfully losing almost eight stone in weight. I had been made redundant from my job so I decided to retrain in nutrition and fitness.

After losing my weight, my successful weight loss story was in the local and national newspapers as well as on Morning Ireland TV3. I was inundated with questions on how I lost my weight. Like most people with weight issues, I had tried everything available but most ended up with me putting on more weight instead of losing it! I decided enough was enough and began to keep track of the food I was eating. I also introduced exercise into my daily routine for the first time in my life. With the combination of me tracking what I ate as well as exercising, my weight began to fall and continued to do so.

I began running and ended up being quite good at it and after a few months of beginning running I competed my first marathon in a time of 3:33. Within a year and a half of starting to run I became the Wicklow Road Race Champion as well as winning the Novice and Intermediate Wicklow Cross Country Championships. I have gone on to continue running and am currently the Athletics Ireland Fit4Life Ambassador and columnist for the Irish Runner Magazine.

I started Why Weight Ireland because I wanted to help other people overcome their weight issues and offer them a way to do it that works. There are too many fad diets available and not enough real knowledge on how to lose weight and this is what make Why Weight Ireland different to anyone else. While offering more services than any other weight loss business, we also keep our memberships lower than anyone else.

Where do we see it going

I see Why Weight Ireland becoming a household name and the leading weight loss and fitness business in Ireland. Already we have members from various countries including Cayman Islands, France, Switzerland, Greece, USA, Australia, UK and of course Ireland.

I hope to launch more Why Weight Ireland Studios across the country offering people affordable fitness classes, free weigh-ins and knowledge to help people lose weight.

When it comes to weight loss, as a nation we have been affected by bad advice, incorrect information, bad habits and taken in by companies charging outrages prices for information we should all know already. Why Weight Ireland over time will change how people see weight loss – no more fad diets, no magic pills and no gimmicks.

What needs to happen for it to grow

Why Weight Ireland has grown since Day 1. We have not done any paid marketing since Why Weight Ireland was launched. Our success has been through the best marketing tool – through word-of-mouth. I have also worked heavily with social media, with our Facebook Followers hitting over 10,000 followers already.

This year I launched the ‘Why Weight Ireland’ free App for Android & Apple devices which consists of a members only optimised diary version, as well as free exercise videos, noise fitness plans and lots more.

Why Weight Ireland recently won the Best Innovation award at the Wicklow Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, which was a huge accomplishment for me, especially as the business is in its infancy and was up against businesses which have ben operating in the county for a long time.

With over 500 members and growing daily, what I need to do now is get the Why Weight Ireland name out nationally on a grander scale. As I run all aspects of the business myself, this is something that I am learning about and each day brings something new to learn that helps me further grow the business successfully.

What we have learned

What have I learnt? I learnt that its not as easy as I thought!

  • I learnt that everyone customer is different – this is one of the reasons why Why Weight Ireland has been so successful – because we offer something for everyone.
  • I learnt to take advice when i get it.
  • I learnt that it is okay to ask for help and to speak up.
  • I learnt that success does not occur over night and one of the best pieces of advice I received was, “to be an over night success takes ten years hard work”.
  • I learnt that there is a niche for my business and that it will be a success but it does take HARD WORK, long hours and sacrifices.
  • With being a wife and mother to two children, running a business can be difficult but it is important to make time for yourself and your family.

Tips for other businesspeople starting out

Don’t rush into it. Make sure your product is tested and ready because if there is an issue, your customers will find it!

Plan, plan, plan…Sit down and plan out where you see your business over the coming week, months and year and even have a long term plan.

Don’t think you know it all – don’t be afraid to take advice from people and hold your hand up and ask questions if and when you need to.In the case of my business, it is always important to stay on top of what is going on in the world of health, food, fitness – so what ever your industry is, always read up and stay on top.

Don’t be afraid to get it wrong sometimes – learn from your mistakes and they won’t happen again.

Listen to your customers – they know what they want!

Written by Hannah Nolan. For more information visit http://www.whyweightireland.ie/.

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