2020: A Letter From Our Team
To our incredible partners & friends,
What. A. Year.
Like many, I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week reflecting on what a whirlwind 2020 was.
My year started off in a tough place personally because of an unexpected layoff that ejected me from an industry I had worked in for over 7 years. I’m sure many of you can relate to receiving that hard news as studios and gyms unexpectedly closed their doors, some permanently.
It was turning to fitness as my escape during that hard time that opened my eyes to the amazing silver lining that was happening in the industry - many instructors were seizing the opportunity to chase their dream of building their own business.
Whether it was EDM rave bootcamps in public parks, yoga in art galleries and coffee shops, outdoor bootcamps in single digit weather, or a flow while singing along to Hamilton - it has been a sincere pleasure to follow the amazing experiences that you all created this year. You have brought light into a challenging year and your contribution to fostering health and community has touched many lives, including mine.
However, I know that this year has not been easy. Our journey to build IndiFit has only increased our understanding of just how much goes into building a successful fitness business. I often refer to entrepreneurship as an “iceberg” because there is way more below the surface than meets the eye. Gaining a deeper appreciation for this has only fueled our passion to help make that load a little lighter for you.
One thing that I have valued this year is the congruence between our journey and yours. Just as we were getting our start as a company, many of you were also getting yours. As we were celebrating early wins and growth, so were you. As we were working through challenges and releasing frustration, so were you. It’s been a pleasure to share the good and the bad and to relate to one another in such an authentic way.
Because of that congruence, I’ve also realized that many of the biggest lessons that we learned this year may also apply to your business, so we decided to take some time to share them:
The most important thing we learned this year is that nobody can be everything to everybody.
Over the last six months, as IndiFit figured out what it wanted to be when it grew up, we attempted to help solve a list of problems that was simply way too big. One specific example was connecting partners to physical spaces where they could teach. While this was a worthy problem to pursue, it ended up a mess. We just couldn’t gain traction with the idea. Looking back, I believe that single initiative could be an entire business of its own. Ultimately it distracted us and took up time that could have been used in ways that were more impactful for you.
I wish I could say that this example was the only time we had to be honest with ourselves about the fact that something wasn’t working and let it go, but it was far from an isolated example. It wasn’t always easy, but over the course of the year we eventually found focus - zeroing in on a short list of things we could do that would be most impactful for our current and future partners.
Among that list are world-class business management tools built specifically for independent fitness instructors, client retention & marketing tools, and access to helpful resources. Our goal is to add value to your business by doing less, but doing it better every single day.
To my earlier point about how big the “iceberg” is that sits below every fitness business, I suspect focus can also be a challenge when it feels like you are wearing 100 hats in your business. We would love to hear what you are focused on this year - and how we can help!
2. EMBRACE YOUR SUPERPOWERS
The fitness industry has evolved wildly this year; and that means more competition for all of us. From the explosion of connected hardware like Peloton to the sheer amount of fitness content that is now circulating throughout the internet, there are no shortage of ways for clients to build a fitness routine. Similarly, we know that IndiFit is not the only option out there when it comes to managing your business - and sometimes, to be candid, that can be scary.
To put this in a positive light, however, more fitness content means that more people are prioritizing movement and living healthier lives. More platforms catering to the needs of fitness entrepreneurs means that more fitness professionals are achieving their personal and professional goals. Now that we can get behind.
Increased competition has also helped us to think deeply about what “superpowers" make us stand out.
As a young company with a small team, we’re still working out a few kinks, but we have realized that being small is also what makes us special. We can be more human, more supportive, and more accessible than big companies. So, we’ve focused hard on that.
Being “human” is, similarly, a big part of the way that independent instructors can stand out in a sea of fitness apps, videos, and devices. YOU are what makes your business special.
Maybe you’re a hilarious instructor who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, so your superpower is leaving your clients slap happy. Maybe you have an inspiring weight loss story that resonates with clients facing the same challenge. Maybe your training in mindfulness and focus on aligning mental and physical health is just what a client suffering from anxiety needs.
We know that every one of you has a superpower because we’ve seen them in action. Don’t forget about those powers that you possess; and keep fearlessly sharing them with the world.
3. PRIORITIZE LOYALTY
Another big learning for IndiFit came when we noticed something surprising early in our journey: 80% of the bookings happening on our platform came from only 20% of our partners. This revelation led us to spend a lot of time getting to know the 20%. Talking to them gave us major insight and clarity on our business - what was working, what wasn’t, and more. Frankly, we would have missed those lessons had we just obsessed over onboarding new partners.
It’s easy for all of us to get caught up on the “must find new clients” hamster wheel, but it’s also critically important to measure and prioritize loyalty. That age old saying “it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer” exists for a reason.
Do you know who your top 20% is? Do you know what they love about you and your classes that keeps them coming back? Do you know how else they want to receive value from you?
This line of thinking sparked a big brainstorm at IndiFit about how we can help you with this - from selling class packs and memberships to client list segmentation and lifecycle marketing triggers. We’ve got many exciting things in store this year that we can’t wait to share with you.
We are so excited about what is to come in 2021. We are kicking off plans to increase the size of our team, give our platform a design facelift, launch impactful features faster, and so much more. The thing that we’re most excited about, however, is continuing to learn from you and be a part of your journey. Thank you for everything you do on a daily basis in service of others.
Cheers to a healthy and prosperous 2021!
Founder & CEO
Have something you want to catch up with us on as we kick the new year off? We love to chat!