Quidditch Monday, Ashtanga Thursday: book it with GoSweat
When asked to pin down GoSweat’s typical customer, co-founder Alex Hind’s answer is simple: humans. As he puts it ‘we all sweat’.
It’s a refreshing, accessible take on an industry dominated by big brands and even bigger advertising budgets. And appropriate, given that Alex and co-founder Stephanie Newport-Booth cut their teeth on Aldi’s infamous graduate scheme, not as gym bunny advocates for Virgin Active, Fitness First or other giants in the business of sweating.
In 2016, Alex and Stephanie were both area managers with Aldi, handling teams of over 100 people and oversaw a combined revenue of £1 million. No mean feat for grad scheme alumni still in their early twenties. But by September of that year, they’d quit Aldi, moved to London and founded GoSweat.
It’s a story of determination, passion and above all, sweating the small stuff.
By integrating Google search, focusing on a single aim and differentiating themselves, here’s how they did it.
Changing the way you sweat
GoSweat are all about reinventing how people experience sport. What makes them special is their focus on the beginning of that story. They’re interested in how you search for your fitness needs and answers, how you find what you’re looking for from a local class, club, team or gym and how likely you are to recommend your find to someone looking for a similar thing.
At the heart of the business is a singular aim, to make sport and movement more accessible.
There’s nothing like a failed Google search for your local CrossFit to put you off getting on with a workout, and that’s where GoSweat are making waves.
They made sure to make the best of Google search, and their platform will let you discover, book and review all your favourite ways to sweat, cutting out the clunky research legwork.
The next big aggregator
Treatwell have done it with beauty and Just Eat with food delivery. TripAdvisor are commanding over $300 million in revenue. There’s a nice gap for someone to redefine the online search experience for fitness, and especially one that, like GoSweat, covers not just gyms, but everything from ashtanga yoga to netball, silent disco boot camps and quidditch. Yes, even quidditch.
GoSweat’s point is that people looking for fitness facilities (or ‘sweat seekers’) are basing their choice on a mash up of Google search, word of mouth, their own research and manual, conflicting online comparisons. And even then, you might pick a dud class, or find out it’s been moved to another postcode.
It’s this outdated solution GoSweat are set to manipulate, with a simple marketplace that delivers quick, specific options.
A domain with scope
So what tools have helped the duo get to where they are today? According to Alex, it’s been ‘research, research and a little more research’. It’s meant talking to a lot of different people, from providers to users and building a scalable plan based on their challenges, likes and dislikes. It’s put demand right at the heart of their product from the get-go.
And with the site due to launch this summer, it’s been barely a year since the foundations for GoSweat were launched. Having the right technology in place has helped things move quickly, including the registration of four or five different domains with GoDaddy. Alex says,
Identity covered, GoSweat also make use of Office 365 Email, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and WordPress ahead of launching their custom-built site. Bits and pieces may change, but they plan to hold on to GoDaddy for hosting, ‘as it’s so easy to use and such great value’.
One step ahead
There’s a Channel 4 documentary in the works, focusing on GoSweat’s startup journey (catch it early next year). And the brand plan to expand internationally by 2022. But perhaps the most pertinent objective in GoSweat’s well-stashed bank is its home front focus, starting with the NHS and how, through positively targeting obesity, the brand and platform will make sport and movement instantly accessible.
The brands mentioned above demonstrate that accessibility breeds demand, with Just Eat seeing order numbers rising by a quarter to £39 million. The UK is officially having a wellness moment (or decade), and there’s good money on FitTech broadening out of digital arm wear and into the kind of sophisticated, disruptive platform development we’ve seen with finance, insurance and dining. GoSweat are already well-placed in the wings, with a launch that’ll include game-changing options (yes, quidditch), handy class reminders, referral and reward schemes and lots more.
It’s a product that lends itself to rich personalisation and diverse promotion tactics, with two experienced commercial brains at its core.
Never ignore ‘the smalls’
One final thing, a word to ‘the smalls’. To a seasoned Ins/Fin/DineTech hawk, possibly the real disruptive gene in GoSweat’s embryo is its nurturing of relations with smaller, stand-alone, independent fitness studios and classes.
Offering more personalised services for lower prices, these outlets tend to fall off the typical Google search radar.
With the competition largely ignoring the smalls, mainly due to their ‘messy’ rota structure, GoSweat are providing more targeted, bespoke options with every snitch they add to their back end.
It’s set to be enviable scalability. Sign up now to get early news on GoSweat’s launch.
Image by: Bruno Nascimento, UnSplash.