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“When we created Find Your Trainer, we tried to take every friction point related to finding, scheduling and paying for a personal trainer and use each of them as an opportunity to delight the customer.”

David Hung is the CEO and co-founder of Find Your Trainer.  FYT – Find Your Trainer – is a New York-based start-up that makes finding and booking your own personal trainer as easy as reserving a table or buying a plane ticket online. Find Your Trainer has partnered with top gyms and private training studios in New York to allow users to schedule individual training sessions at getfyt.com for up to 50% off regular prices even without a membership. Find Your Trainer launched in July with David Barton Gym and has added a dozen gyms in the past month, with more joining every week. Find Your Trainer plans to work with leading gym chains to expand nationwide.

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BusinessInterviews.com: How has your experience and background helped shape the vision and direction of Find Your Trainer?

David: My own personal experience with personal training and my experience working at some of the best companies in tech and retail including McKinsey, Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works) and Quidsi (parent company of Diapers.com, Soap.com and Wag.com, acquired by Amazon in 2011 for $545M) have played a huge role in shaping the vision for Find Your Trainer.

The single most important thing I learned from my prior jobs is the importance of putting the customer first. At Limited Brands, the number one core value is “the Customer Rules” and Quidsi is known for having the best customer service in all of e-commerce. From my own experience with personal training, I know that while a trainer is invaluable to my overall fitness, the process for finding a good one is incredibly painful.

So when we created Find Your Trainer, we tried to take every friction point related to finding, scheduling and paying for a personal trainer and use each of them as an opportunity to delight the customer. My hope is that by making the experience completely seamless and effortless, every gym and trainer in America will be on our platform and anybody who is considering a trainer will come to getfyt.com to find one.

BusinessInterviews.com: How does Find Your Trainer work?

David: Find Your Trainer is pretty much Open Table meets Uber for personal training. Users come to our site, getfyt.com, to search for trainers based on whatever criteria they want, like location, specialties, certifications, gender and price. Every trainer has a detailed profile, including pictures and bio, so the user knows exactly who they are going to train with. Once they pick a trainer, the user picks a time and pays and that’s it!

People love Open Table because they can browse and make reservations at hundreds of restaurants without picking up the phone. Find Your Trainer is similar in that users can pick a trainer and book a session whenever they want without having to talk to a single person at the gym. And a big reason people love Uber is that they don’t have to worry about paying or tipping their driver at the end of their ride. Find Your Trainer is similar – since users pay when they book, all they have to do is show up to the gym and work out. If they liked their trainer, rebooking is easy. If they want to try a different trainer, this is easy too.

We have been fortunate enough to partner with some of the best gyms and personal training studios in New York to make their trainers available at getfyt.com. Two huge benefits of booking through Find Your Trainer are that users can train at these gyms without a membership and they are able to save up to 40% off regular prices without having to buy a big package.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked really well for you so far?

David: The most effective strategy so far has been working with the gym to email their non-training members. On average, only about 5% of a gym’s members use a trainer, but many more have considered it or have trained in the past. By giving members the freedom to choose their trainer and schedule sessions without having to speak to a sales person or committing to a big multi-session package, gyms have significantly increased their training revenues. Outside of the gym, we have a lot of success with Facebook marketing.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the process of partnering with the top gyms and how easy it was to gain their trust and interest in Find Your Trainer in the early stages?

David: This is a great question and probably our biggest lesson since we started the company. I began working on Find Your Trainer in January. Back then, I only had a pitch deck with some mock-ups, but I was able to get meetings with some of the biggest and most well-known health club chains in the country. Pretty much every meeting we had was very similar. There was overwhelming consensus that personal training was a huge opportunity for a variety of reasons: it’s the biggest source of revenues after membership fees, members who train are happier and less likely to cancel, trainer attrition due to insufficient clients is a big issue, clubs don’t have an effective way to sell personal training after a member joins and increasing personal training usage generates completely incremental profit. So all of the clubs saw a lot of value in Find Your Trainer, but nobody wanted to be the guinea pig.

We were extremely fortunate that David Barton Gym was willing to take a chance on us. Barton is one of the premier clubs in the country with clubs in New York, LA, Vegas, Miami, Chicago and Seattle and they are known for their top quality trainers. They had a new CEO join this year, and he has very aggressive growth plans. Barton views working with innovative companies like Find Your Trainer as an opportunity to distinguish itself in a very competitive industry. They have been a great partner to work with.

Now that Find Your Trainer is live and we can demo the site, the sales process is much easier. As soon as gyms see how easy the platform is for consumers, gym staff and trainers to use, they’re immediately sold because they understand how much incremental training revenue Find Your Trainer has the potential to deliver.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends in the fitness industry that you’re excited about?

David: The fitness industry is a very exciting space right now because there’s so much going on. In New York, the growing popularity of group exercise and classes among women is probably the number one trend. Among men, cross-fit and obstacle courses are exploding. On the tech front, everybody is well aware of what’s going on with the Quantified Self and wearables like the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and Fitbit One. There are also a lot of cool apps out there – virtual training apps like FitStar and Gain, fitness trackers like MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper and apps like Fitocracy that make working out more social and gamified. The reason I view all of these trends as exciting, instead of a threat, for Find Your Trainer is that there’s a lot of value to having a real live personal trainer in every instance. In the case of classes and cross-fit, adding one-on-one instruction can help improve technique and prevent injury. And in the case of the virtual training apps, getting in-person feedback on your form or instruction on how to do a particular exercise is an important supplement to working out on your own. We think there is a huge opportunity for gyms to view these trends as an opportunity to embrace and make the most of, and we’re excited to work with them to do so.

BusinessInterviews.com: What do your plans for expansion look like so far?

David: Our near term focus is on generating awareness of Find Your Trainer and usage in New York City. We have a great selection of gyms and trainers on the site already and we’re adding more every week. We are also far along in discussions with a very well-known national chain about rolling Find Your Trainer out to their New York clubs. We are excited to partner with as many national chains as we can to prove the value of Find Your Trainer in New York and then working together to expand nationwide as quickly as possible.

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