For Melbourne-based Magic Barclay, finding a niche in a crowded market was crucial to her success
What’s the name of your company, and what do you do?
My company is called The MAGIC System, and we teach people (mainly women aged 35-60), how to love themselves and unveil the person they want to be without carrying the excess weight that has been haunting them for some time. The outcome of my programs and workshops is to empower people to see them selves as valuable individuals (separate to their weight or health status). By breaking down the social and emotional barriers that excess weight can cause, my clients allow themselves to live with passion and purpose instead of fear and self loathing.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been running this business for a little over two years now. For the three years prior to that, I owned my own gym.
What were you doing before you started this business?
I spent years battling my own weight demons, and working towards figuring out what the best way for people, just like me, would be to deal with those and get fit, healthy and lead better lives. I opened my own gym, and continued to work on the MAGIC system – and now that it’s ready, and working, I’ve started this business to help other people achieve their goals.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Seeing people who had been referred to me by their doctors and specialists, gave me an insight into the gap in the weight loss market. The bulk of the weight loss coaches or programs available, are or are based on people who have never truly experienced the pain, torment and desperation that obesity can cause. I have lived it (and still fight on), I teach my clients with understanding and a clarity that can only come from walking a mile in their shoes. Losing 76 kilos and keeping it off naturally was the toughest lesson of my life. I didn’t just walk a mile in their shoes, I trekked through the weight loss wilderness and instead of following a set path, created my own.
What has been the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Integrating my business with my family has been the biggest challenge. Being a single parent to two autistic teenagers (one of whom I home-school) has been challenging but rewarding. Finding a work/home balance has been an eye opening journey (but I wouldn’t have it any other way). Second to that would be my battle with my own health in the past 12 months. Having battled cancer has actually built my resilience and has given me a clearer understanding of my own personal limitations.
What has been the most effective form of advertising for your business?
Facebook. Many of my clients spend time there. The smart phone has made 24 hour access to people a reality. Posting and engaging with them has been a vital component of my business.
How important is social media to you business?
Extremely important. Clients and their communities want to know that you see them, hear them and understand them. Having access to you in closed groups and on business pages gives you an identity that they can relate to.
What do you think the Federal or State Government could do to help make it easier for small business?
I would like to see more incentive for small business to flourish. Small business festivals are on the rise but they serve ‘business to business’. I believe that more access to communities is the key ( as we are all pat of communities). Funding for expos and community based media is vital and needs to increase desperately.
What are your plans to expand the business?
I would like to have a team of consultants and be offering my workshops and programs nationwide in the near future. Health and weight loss have always been growth markets and I would like to see my brand resonate with the consumers as one of integrity and relevance. By becoming a larger organisation, we can remain relevant and help reverse the trend of weight related illnesses that cost our nation dearly
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m really excited to share my philosophy on weight loss with Australia. My book is based on my own ethos and supports those who read it with practical tips and guidelines. It blows away myths and opens up debate on the topical subject of weight loss.