Strictly Business follows the fortunes of six small Irish businesses as they endeavour to make it big or even bigger on the local and ultimately global stage. They won’t be alone in their quests. Fashion designer and entrepreneur Sonya Lennon will use her commercial know-how, her experience as a business mentor and her enviable contacts book to point these companies in the right direction.
COMPANY – THE ACADEMY BY KAREN DALY
Karen and Frank Daly are a go-getting, pretty fit, pretty attractive married couple and mum and dad to two boys. They’re also co-owners of The Academy (for short) a ‘café club’ weight loss and fitness venue in Dundalk.
Karen worked in recruitment for 12 years and Frank in sales but after Karen had her second son, she realised that she’d gained four stone and set about losing the weight – which she did, in eight months. This lit a fire in Karen and inspired her to take a Master’s Degree in Weight Loss and Management. The couple opened their business three years ago and offer six week programmes in life classes, cooking demos and fitness. Karen is the star of the show, Frank the financial head (but he also offers a boot camp in the upstairs gym having retrained himself).
They want to franchise. They want to become as prolific as O’Brien’s, as Starbucks (possibly not the best comparisons there but you get the gist) but they need help.
Sonya is happy to step in and immediately impressed by Karen, Frank and what they do. She’s not thoroughly au fait with the mechanics of franchising but she knows a man who is. Enter, Brian Lee, co-owner of the highly successful healthy eating chain Chopped.
However, sometimes plans need to be reformed. Sometimes plans need to be completely rewritten and Brian and Sonya will recommend that this couple change direction but will they be happy to go along with the plan?