During his five years in the fitness industry, David Zeff saw firsthand how much trainers were struggling and witnessed several good friends’ fitness businesses crash and burn.
OneFitStop was born when Jarron Aizen, an experienced online retailer who was running a successful online fitness store, approached Zeff looking to strike a wholesale deal where Zeff would sell Aizen’s fitness products to his clients.
The duo started developing a website to facilitate wholesale product sales for trainers.
Once that was done, they started looking into how else they could help trainers.
They realised there was a lack of software support in the market for trainers. This is when they decided to make OneFitStop a complete online solution for fitness professionals.
OneFitStop officially launched in April at this year’s Filex Health Expo in Melbourne attracting 2,000 visitors. Around 150 personal training businesses now operate on the site.
What problem is OneFitStop solving?
The Australian fitness industry is booming. There is no shortage of demand.
A study by Fitness Australia shows there are currently 3.3 million active users of fitness services and this number is anticipated to jump beyond 5 million by 2020.
There are around 30,000 fitness businesses operating in Australia this year alone.
However, the industry has one of the highest dropout rates of any in Australia.
The study by Fitness Australia found that nearly 50 per cent of graduates drop out in their first year and 4,500 trainers are anticipated to leave the industry this year alone.
Furthermore, a survey conducted by OneFitStop of 1,245 personal trainers around Australia showed that 56.5 per cent were earning less than $45,000 per annum.
“Personal training is a fantastic job. It’s rewarding, personal and affective,” Zeff remarked.
“However, many personal trainers simply don’t have the knowledge or tools to grow or manage effective businesses and after forking out $3,000 to $5,000 for a qualification, they fail miserably,” he pointed out.
“This is where OneFitStop comes in; we are about supporting trainers and assisting them to grow, scale and manage their businesses.”
How exactly is OneFitStop helping trainers?
OneFitStop aims to avail trainers with the tools to run their businesses more effectively.
“I often tell personal trainers to think of us like fitness gear. Yes, you can work out in your ordinary clothes, but you train much more effectively when equipped properly,” Zeff said.
For new trainers, there are various tools to enable them promote their services to new clients via the trainer directory, personalised webpages, social media connectivity, media uploads, targeted ads and the unique ability to showcase their expertise by sharing articles with the OneFitStop audience.
Trainers are also able to manage their current clients with calendar booking, feedback generation, client communication tools, payment collection tools, invoice creation, program and goal creation, wholesale product purchasing, client performance tracking and business performance tracking tools.
Zeff disclosed that they are now developing an app and are looking into wearable tech.
What has David Zeff learned from running OneFitStop?
Running a start-up has been known to be a great learning experience. Below are the lessons Zeff shared with Anthill from his journey so far with his.
First of all, nothing happens overnight so don’t force it.
You need to be persistent, careful and take each step one at a time. You have to be patient and listen to the business, the market and the customers.
Secondly, negative feedback is the best thing for your business.
There was a stage in our early life where I spent a month on the phone, cold calling personal trainers. I struggled to get the majority to understand our service and to accept it.
At one point, I stopped saying “Okay, thank you for your time” in response to their “No, thank you” and instead asked “May I ask why this does not appeal to you?”
In that time, I learnt to listen to the noes much more intently than the yeses and as a result I was able to work with Jarron and our team to create a superior product.
Lastly, you have to love what you do and believe in your business.
As is often quoted, nine out of ten start-ups fail. I think a big part of this is that people approach a start-up as they do a career.
What I mean is this: when you are working for someone else, you sometimes have off days. Your cheque will still come in the mail even if you are not employee of the month.
However, when it’s your business, you can only have ‘on’ days. If you aren’t putting in the time, if you aren’t driving it forwards, it is not going to be where you want it to be.