Playing to your strength: how Michael Ramsey built an international fitness brand

Written on the 14 February 2018 by David Simmons

Playing to your strength: how Michael Ramsey built an international fitness brand

Uninspired by a career in the oil & gas industry, Michael Ramsey decided to pursue his dreams.

Having previously worked as a personal trainer, the fitness industry fit Ramsey like a boxing glove. With his mind made up, Ramsey resigned from his career as a marketing manager, opened his first F45 Studio, and hasn't looked back.

After realising success with his first location, Ramsey's appetite to expand F45 Studio became insatiable.

Ramsey now operates six F45 studios in Victoria. He is also the founder of a collective of fitness companies called The Functional Group.


Ranging from yoga studios to fitness and wellness products, Ramsey has quickly become a name synonymous with fitness in Victoria. In addition to the six F45 Training Studios, Ramsey operates Remedy Yoga, Journey Retreats, and Salt Laboratory.

However, his endeavours haven't stopped in Victoria. The Functional Group has well and truly gone international. His retreats invite punters to travel to Bali and participate in a series of mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, and physical training sessions.

Ramsey says the company has also purchased a license to operate a retreat just outside of Auckland, which means those wanting the Journey Retreats experience but don't want to sweat it out in the tropics have some options.

The e-commerce space is another area where Ramsey has moved into as a part of his Salt Lab business venture. Salt Lab sells high grade magnesium salt spray, which, when absorbed through the skin, enhances recovery, relieves sore muscles and joints, and lowers inflammation.

Ramsey says his success in this space comes down to how each of his businesses mesh together.

"It's really quite complex, but we've got our fingers in a whole lot of different pies in the space. Everything is relative. Everything complements each other," says Ramsey.

Business News Australia spoke to Ramsey about how he manages to run such a huge operation, his tips for success, and how he ensures his brand stands out from the competition.

You're clearly a bit of a serial entrepreneur - how do you manage to run all these operations at once?

I have an amazing team of people. We employ over 50 people now I'd say. It really is employing the right people that helped me get to where I am. On top of that, training keeps me sane - I'm a bit of a fitness nut myself. If you find me in the office really stressed out it's probably because I haven't trained for two or three days.

How do your programs differ from your competition's?

I think it's the community we've built in our studios is what differentiates us. Also my marketing background definitely helps, and having a background in fitness means it goes hand in hand. We're also big with our work with charities which is all relative to helping give back to the community.

What's your #1 tip for budding entrepreneurs?

Make mistakes. Continually make mistakes. But don't stop! Everything is a learning curve. All the experience I've had so far has just come from putting myself out there and trying new things and making mistakes. Something have worked really well and some things haven't but we've refined the process over and over.

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Business News Australia

Author: David Simmons





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