Name of business:
EvoTrain | Evolving Fitness to Fit Your Life – Our mission is to bring world-class personal training into the homes of individuals all over the world through the use of technology. We currently offer high quality in-home personal training through the use of Skype™ Video Calls, making our service one of the most convenient and affordable options in the industry.
Name and contact info:
Co-Founder & EvoTrainer
Babson MBA 2010
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
Launched: August 2010
We are online at www.evotrain.com.
Founder’s Past Life/Business:
After majoring in Accounting & Finance at the University of Maryland, I spent over 4 years as a CPA at Ernst & Young advising companies on their financial statements. During this time I saw the positive impact that fitness had on my health, mental state, energy, and life. I also realized that staying fit while working a full-time job, keeping up with family and friends, and maintaining a high quality of life was not an easy task. I applied to the Babson College MBA program in January 2009 in hopes of using my time in the program to learn about entrepreneurship, study the fitness industry, and create a Company that offered a viable solution to the challenges faced by so many to stay fit and healthy.
How The Idea Began:
As I studied the fitness industry, including working as a Personal Trainer in a Studio in Weston, MA, I realized that (1) Location is currently the #1 reason why people choose a gym or personal trainer, (2) 90% of people’s fitness goals can be accomplished without any gym equipment, using functional body weight exercises, and household items, and (3) most individuals require face time with a personal trainer to hold them accountable and to create a customized solution enabling them to reach their fitness and health goals.
Additionally, I noticed more and more people using video conferencing technologies in their every day life. I saw this as a viable option to offer personal training, creating a more convenient and affordable solution for users with savings realized from decreased overhead costs. After discussing the idea with a long-time high school and college friend Matt Barker who had experience in both fitness and high tech industries, we decided there was significant potential for this idea, and together developed EvoTrain LLC.
Favorite Thing about the Business:
The most rewarding part of this venture has been seeing people achieve their fitness and health goals! I set a one-month challenge with one of my clients to break 240 lbs (averaging 1.5 – 2 lbs of weight loss per week). I remember waking up the Saturday morning of his one-month weigh-in being more excited about finding out his weight than anything else going on during the weekend. I waited until 10 AM and called him, and he told me he weighed-in at 239.7 lbs! I was thrilled, and with our growing team of EvoTrainers, I get to hear these stories all the time so it keeps me highly motivated.
Worst Thing About the Business:
One of the benefits for our clients and trainers is the ability to train from their own homes, but it also makes EvoTrain almost impossible for me to turn-off. As long as I have internet access, I can be training a client, promoting, blogging, etc. I had a client postpone a workout from 8 PM until 10 PM one night, and as I was planning on being at my apartment hanging out at 10 PM, I had no reason to say no! So while it’s convenient, it can also be a bit much at times.
Getting people to try the service! In an industry that hasn’t quite evolved with current technologies, people are a bit hesitant to try EvoTraining. We have found with all of our clients that after 2 – 3 sessions, they start to become comfortable with training over video calls and realize that it’s just like having a highly qualified personal trainer in their own home. Currently our customer acquisition cost is a bit high, but we believe that with more success stories, further promotions, and some added services (i.e. small-group training, and nutrition are coming soon!) we will get a higher acceptance rate and thus lower our customer acquisition cost.