My existing business has grown tenfold

Billy Siziba | Bullyz Fitness

“My existing business has grown tenfold.”

Fitness and healthy living have always been my biggest passion. Growing up, I was always intrigued by my cousins who played sport. They were always stronger and fitter than me. That’s when I developed my interest in fitness and exercise and how I came to start my company, Bullyz Fitness. The name Bullyz stands for Breaking Up Limits, Living Your Dream(Z). It started out as a clothing brand in 2014, then I branched into fitness and began selling locally designed and branded fitness clothing, smoothies and supplements. I also offered nutritional and fitness guides to my clients.

I really want to educate people and rectify the misconception that fitness is only for the purpose of body building. Africans really aren’t clued up about health and fitness. Being health-conscious should be a way of life. I love this lifestyle so I find it easy to sell my philosophy and personal brand.

I entered the Port Elizabeth leg of the 2016 Engen Pitch & Polish competition and workshop with the goal of equipping myself with the knowledge to become a better businessperson. I was really excited to be chosen out of hundreds of other contestants to present my idea for a fitness app to the panel of judges. I managed to get through to the finals which were held in Johannesburg where I competed against other equally business-hungry contestants who’d also won in their regions. Even though I came third, I found the whole experience extremely exciting and really benefitted from the workshop.

The competition was life changing. It opened up my perspective on entrepreneurship and lit a new fire in me. I learned the importance of financial management in all aspects of my business, how to make a simple idea more financially viable, and how to approach different kinds of investment opportunities. The idea that I pitched in 2016 has yet to become a reality, but my existing business has grown tenfold. Using what I learned from the workshop, I made the business more profitable in just eight months and created jobs for four people.

We opened up our first flagship store in Port Elizabeth in February 2017 and, since starting operations, have turned over R70 000 which is way more than what I was able to do when working alone in previous years.

Never let someone tell you your idea is impossible. Go out and find out for yourself!