Gymshark owner Ben Francis speaks out about failure

Young entrepreneur shares his journey in becoming a billion pound business owner in Unilad minutes episode.

Founder of Gymshark Ben Francis has revealed how he first experienced a series of business failures before going viral with the launch of the website and went from earning £300 to £30,000 in the space of half an hour back in 2012.

Although Gymshark is one of the fastest growing brands in the world, Ben discusses how his initial failures are what have made the company what it is today. He said “It’s so easy to look at Gymshark in isolation at this thing that blew up and did incredibly well, but people forget about the seven websites and the four apps that were produced beforehand which failed miserably. And the reason Gymshark can exist and has done what it has done today is because of those prior failures”.

On giving advice to young entrepreneurs, Ben goes on to say “failures will allow you to succeed so I think people need to reframe what they think about failures and just give it a go. Go all in on something and see what happens. If it doesn’t go well, you can always try something new”.

During the new episode of UNILAD’s Minutes With series, Ben also praises his former job working at Pizza Hut whilst he was still at the early stages of building the company as it gave him an appreciation of hard work, allowed him to be flexible and work on Gymshark in between doing shift deliveries and invest money into the buisness. He quit Pizza Hut when Gymshark hit 250,000 in revenue and hasn’t looked back since.

Ben admits to UNILAD that as a young entrepreneur, it’s not been easy learning to trust people to help grow the business. He was determined to carry through with own unique vision for Gymshark, despite people leading him in different directions including working with retailors – he remembered how he said ‘no’ to a lot of people. He added, “I had to grab the business by the scruff of the neck and drag it to where I thought was right regardless of what anyone would say”.

Now, Ben surrounds himself with the people he needs and listens to those who can help him grow the business in ways he doesn’t have the time or knowledge to. This calendar year, Gymshark is on the way to making half a billion dollars’ worth of product through the website alone and the company is now valued at over a billion.

UNILAD’s Minutes with series shines a light on people with interesting stories to tell. A new episode is released weekly at 8pm on UNILAD’s channels and has so far featured episodes with notable names including Emily Atack on sexual harassment, Rishi Sunak on becoming Chancellor and KSI on becoming an international YouTube star.

The full episode can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uNI24lNGAQ

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Zara Farraj

Communications Manager

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