Recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year and Excellence in Small Business award by the East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce
Three years ago Greg Moulton decided to start his own business—quite literally—overnight. On a Sunday, the kinesiologist and personal trainer was told that the gym he’d been working at for eight years was closing its doors. The next morning, he picked up the phone and invited his former gym clients to train out of his home-based workout studio in Holland Landing.
“When I found out I’d lost my job, my stress levels shot through the roof,” says Moulton. “My wife was pregnant at the time, four weeks away from giving birth to our first child.” He’d always wanted to run his own business, but hadn’t expected to launch Matrix of Motion Fitness Studios so suddenly.
About a third of his gym clients opted to train at Matrix of Motion. It was a great start, but not enough. “I had no business knowledge,” says Moulton. “I knew that if I were going to grow my business, I’d need some sort of coaching.”
He was about to hire a coach but then he heard about “Starter Company,” a program that the York Small Business Enterprise Centre administers through funding from the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. The program provides professional mentoring, grants and other assistance to 18-to-29-year-old Ontario residents who want to start or expand a business in the province.
Moulton applied to the program, which involved writing a business plan. “Up to that point, I’d been so focused on supporting my family and not what I’d be doing in five or 10 years from now,” he says. “The process forced me to start thinking differently, which was a really good first step.”
He was soon accepted into the six-month program and paired with a business coach, whom he met with once a month. “The coach helped me set up an email ‘funnel,’ so I could generate leads from email marketing,” says Moulton. “My email list is growing.”
Moulton also received $5,000 in financial assistance through the Starter Company program. He spent some of it on gym equipment such as plyometric boxes, resistance bands and mats, but most of it went towards boosting his marketing efforts.
“Marketing was one of my weaknesses,” says Moulton, so he bought a camcorder to create online video content. He also purchased the services of a small business marketing specialist.
“It’s a full-time job just dealing with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” says Moulton. “The marketing specialist helped me streamline my social media posts. She knew what I needed before I knew what I needed!” He also hired a part-time assistant to handle the scheduling and writing of social media posts, as well as bookkeeping tasks.
As well, Moulton has taken on a part-time personal trainer so he can spend more time with his growing family (he now has two daughters) and on his growing business (he plans to move Matrix of Motion to a commercial space eventually). In 2015, the year in which Moulton participated in the Starter Company program, Matrix of Motion’s revenue jumped by 30 percent over 2014, with three of those months being “the best three months I’d ever had in business,” says Moulton.
This spring, Moulton and Matrix of Motion were honoured by the East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce with its Excellence in Small Business award and its Entrepreneur of the Year award.
You can learn more about Matrix of Motion Fitness Studios and continue following this local York Region success story at matrixofmotion.com.