Not many gymnasiums offer 180-degree, picture-perfect water views to patrons working up a sweat.

With this in mind, Dave Westaway jumped at the chance to purchase Riverside Health Studio, on the banks of the Richmond River in Ballina, just over a year ago.

Since that time Dave has set about steadily transforming the business into an integrated health and fitness studio that is a part of the community, genuinely reflecting Ballina’s diverse demographic and sociographic needs.

Needing a little help along the way, Dave turned to Aub Eardley, the BEC’s Business Advisor for the Byron Bay and Ballina regions.

Despite living in Byron Bay Aub had been a long-term patron of the gym when Dave read about Aub and the BEC’s free business consulting services.

Recognising the energetic gym member, Dave bailed him up and Aub was more than happy to lend a hand.

Aub provided Dave with the latest benchmarking information on gymnasiums which covered wages, rents and numerous other factors.

Dave is comparing his figures with these, after which they will together analyse the results.

Aub has analysed Dave’s clients by age, his monthly figures and dollar sales and the importance of casual versus members who join for 12 months.

Together they have assessed the needs of seniors in the community and set up a senior-specific training program.

This groundbreaking program enables seniors to understand exactly where training is needed – body fat, flexibility, strength etc.
“Aub has been really helpful in teaching me how I should be looking at the business’’ said Dave.

“He’s helped me with analysis and planning. His experience is invaluable.”

Aub cannot speak highly enough of the health studio.

 “It’s the best gym I’ve ever been in and I throw city gyms in with that” said Aub. 

“The gym enjoys good attendance and that’s not just young people, it’s good for older people as well. We have a group called the Toffs, the over 55s.

“When you’re on the walking machines or the bicycles, you face the river. It’s the most beautiful view so I don’t mind the exercise so much”.

The Northern Rivers BEC’s free business consulting services are available for all businesses, great and small. Aub can be contacted through the BEC on 1300 650 058 or or visit

The BEC is partially funded by both state and federal government.