How ZADI weathered the COVID storm and kept their investors

It’s not news that the world has been hit hard by a global health pandemic and those of us lucky enough to be in the fitness industry have been greatly affected.

Imagine working day and night to get your vision off the ground for the past 3 years, securing investment weeks before lockdowns, planning world domination and then Bam! Doors must close.

I went from the high on speaking at all of these big events in LA, to flying back into Sydney, having to isolate for 14 days and panicking that my investors were going to pull out. It was no fun times, but having been through it, managing to keep my investors on board and my clients happy have shown me just how resilient I can be. I think resilience is a huge asset.

So how did we weather the storm? We did a few things:

Relationships: The first thing is that you need to keep your clients happy and engaged. If they are not getting an amazing experience and are not coming back, it will both defeat the purpose of what we are trying to achieve for the clients and scare off the investors.

Despite the obvious financial pressure, we invested in videographers immediately and got to work recording workouts for our clients to keep them active from home. It also proved to be a great way to engage and talk to them which has also helped up refine our offering for them. Win, win.

Watch your surroundings: It is also important to change/ pivot as we see consumer behaviours change, with a lot of us opting for online workouts etc. In NSW, we were fortunate enough to be able to re-open our doors after lockdown, and we were happy to see our members returning as usual, and more excited than ever. However, if we didn’t have an online offering for them while they were stuck at home, there is a chance we could have lost them.

Staying optimistic: This is so important during these times as you not only don’t want to let yourself down, but you have to be there to support your staff and show the investors what you have got. If you don’t believe in yourself, then why would anyone else believe in you?

We have changed a lot of our franchise strategies, offering potential franchisees, a COVID package, where we help the franchisees throughout the entire process, such as, site selection and negotiating with landlords to help them secure the best deal possible. Staying in contact, and full transparency, is also very important when keeping investors involved in the business. It’s a daunting time for all of us, so communication is key.

Investors: The key is communication. I only secured my investors weeks before lockdown happened. It was touch and go, but in the end, they liked what they saw and they stayed on. It was not easy, but it is something I am very proud of.


About ZADI

The ZADI concept was born due to Adala spotting a gap in the market to build a strong female focused fitness brand that was results and technology driven but also created a unique badass experience for female clients. They call it ‘exercise science made sexy’.


Studios are designed with ‘The girl gang on a night out experience’ in mind, set in a nightclub fitout, loud empowering music and a great of like-minded boss babes community vibes.

The ZADI workouts are all developed by Exercise Scientist Damien Kelly so they are extremely accurate, results driven and female specific. ZADI have also partnered with TechnoGym to create bespoke technology to help in a consistent member experience which will support the roll out of more studios and a way for clients to track their results and stay connected.

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