Meet the boss: Flip Out’s Brent Grundy

Brent Grundy’s trampolining franchise began its now successful operations in a car park. Brent Grundy’s trampolining franchise began its now successful operations in a car park.

Brent Grundy’s trampolining franchise began its now successful operations in a car park.

Brent Grundy’s trampolining franchise began its now successful operations in a car park.

Every entrepreneur hopes for that moment when inspiration strikes out of the blue. But for Brent Grundy it actually happened. Sitting at a play centre while his three-year-old son joined a birthday party, Grundy watched the birthday boy’s older sister being told she was too tall to play on the equipment.

“She had to sit it out, crying; it put a bad vibe over the whole thing. I was thinking, ‘there has to be something every likes and that everyone can play on’.

“I realised, everyone smiles at the word ‘trampoline’,” he says.

Within 12 months, Grundy had the beginnings of Flip Out, a trampolining franchise which – despite starting in a car park out the back of the Penrith Panthers club – turned over $32 million in its first year of operations.

“In the first 10 weeks we turned over $271,000. Kids were coming from Newcastle and Orange – the locals put together a shuttle bus. I gave them an extra hour for free because they’d come so far,” he says.

Today, just two years in, the business is in 35 locations across the globe and boasts 700 staff. While it’s been a fast trajectory, Grundy says that without what he feels is excessive red tape from local councils Flip Out would be growing even faster. But he notes it’s also been an emotional journey for many of his staff.

“We do a lot of stuff for kids who have special needs or just lack confidence. We teach them tricks and flips; not every kid wants to do a sport where their parent asks afterwards if they scored a goal,” he says.

Grundy says he wasn’t originally going to franchise Flip Out, but changed his mind when people kept approaching him asking how to get involved.

“We look for people who can run a business, but we want people who aren’t just about making cash. They need to be about making a good community [space] for everyone, and employing kids that need to be taught, not just the ones that [already are confident],” he says.

Grundy also wants Flip Out to become known as a “go to” company for charities looking for support, an approach which he says creates goodwill for a business, but is about much more.

“We also employ some special needs kids; they might only clean tables, but they own that job. If you’re making good money, there’s no reason why you can’t spend a bit of time to put some back,” he says.

For others preparing to hit their own entrepreneurial button, Grundy says his main advice is not to adopt other people’s insecurities: “When someone is trying to stop you taking a risk, it’s usually about them. If they couldn’t do it themselves, they’ll always turn around and tell you not to do it either. Don’t ask people who aren’t qualified to give you advice,” he says.


Name: Brett Grundy

Current position: Chief executive and founder of Flip Out.

Responsibilities: Managing Flip Out, Australia, and growing the company internationally.

Education: Year 10 school certificate.

Additional training/courses: Certificate IV Workplace training assessment; Certificate IV in personal training; background in workplace safety.

Professional associations: Company is a member of the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA)

Strength: “I’m ballsy. I get in and do things when people sit around and just talk about it. I’m a bit aggressive – I check what the risks are but I back myself. A conservative person won’t. There are too many people that sit on the fence – I’d rather try and have a good story to tell.”

Weakness: “Being a bit too nice at stages where I can be taken advantage of.”

Management style and tips: I do like to give people a lot of responsibility. I might say: “This is the task, let’s talk at the start of the week and at the end of the week, but you run your own race in between.”

Work motto: I have one for me and my franchisees: “You’re either on the bus or under the bus cause we’re not stopping. Work out which you want to be.”

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