FIT FCK: Jamie Wykes-Hobday
With strict training routines, gym-goers can often find they miss out on making friends or finding romance. This new app helps them come together
Tell us what your business does:
FIT FCK is an app launched to help the fitness community connect with each other, either to find dates, training partners or even for fitness based networking.
Based on location accuracy, the app allows people to match with others of the same fitness level as them or at a level they aspire to be at.
We cater for all fitness levels ranging from your everyday gym goer all the way to professional athletes.
Within the first few months of launch, we have achieved over 50,000 downloads and have plans to expand abroad in late October 2017; starting with the US and parts of Europe.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Fitness is everything I have ever known and because of this, I understand how isolating it can be.
With strict training routines and dietary requirements, a lot of the time it means you can’t socialise as you normally would – you can’t head out to a bar to get a drink because alcohol and late nights just aren’t part of the deal.
As a result, you don’t meet people.
This doesn’t stand for just romance, but it also means you don’t meet friends who train the same as you, or new trainers who can help you improve your regime, all of these things are incredibly important when fitness is at the epicenter of your livelihood.
I kept thinking there had to be a better way to make connections through fitness because I knew I wasn’t the only one having these thoughts. Then, FIT FCK; Fitness Connections Kingdom was born.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Throughout my career, I have come across people I haven’t had the chance to wholly connect with but I have met in passing.
Many of them led a socially isolating lifestyle and the same issues kept cropping up – they couldn’t meet people, they don’t go on that many dates anymore, or they had been dumped because of their commitment to fitness. I wanted to fix that.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before starting up FIT FCK, I was a full time personal trainer and fitness blogger. After qualifying from the European Institute of Fitness as a level 3 personal trainer at the age of 19, I was training clients at 5am whilst at university whilst my flatmates were coming home after nights out.
I don’t regret it, it’s all been a part of my journey and I’ve never been happier with the road I am on right now.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Absolutely – I never had the nine-to-five mindset. Even when training clients, there was something I loved about created my own schedule, saying yes when I could and deciding when no was best.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Currently, the business is not driving off a revenue model. We are in the crucial phase of building up our community of fitness fanatics (currently at 50,000) and later in the year, we are looking to expand our user base overseas.
Generating money is not our concern; creating the best possible user experience and fitness community is.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
There is an unfortunate stigma surrounding the fitness community which we are trying to combat.
We commissioned some research to tap into the needs of our demographic and found that 57% of those asked admitted they felt stereotyped as being ‘boring’ or ‘one dimensional’, purely because of their commitment to the fitness lifestyle.
Our challenge then, has been to create a genuine “Fitness Connection Kingdom” which is what our brand stands for and it’s safe to say we have achieved that through social media engagement.
As a result, the FIT FCK Instagram page has over 26,000 followers and the app, over 50,000 users. It has been spectacular to watch and I am excited for our future plans.
What was your first big breakthrough?
For me personally, our big breakthrough was our YouTube collaboration with Rob Lipsett and Gracefituk. This to me spoke volumes about the power of video messaging and how influential people within their niche industry can be.
Rob and Grace did a FIT FCK sponsored Q&A where they spoke all things fitness, dating and training partners; essentially what our app encompasses.
Thanks to their gripping personas, quirky banter and large followings, the video went viral. This was the first genuine large spike of downloads we witnessed within a 48-hour time period.
Now, as a result; we ensure that every quarter we have some form of YouTube activity happening.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Consistency is the absolute key and mantra for not only my business but anything I try to do.
Consistency is what will separate you from everyone else; being an entrepreneur, unfortunately you won’t have many days off in the year.
Meaning that the job is a 24/7, 365 gig. However, if you live and breathe your business and you genuinely enjoy it, this should be a pleasure and not a chore.
Essentially; do what you love, love what you do and do it day in day out!
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
We have successfully become the fastest growing fitness community in the UK, but in five years, we want to take this idea global.
Looking to the near future, we want to launch in the USA/Europe in October 2017, with South Africa and Australia as the following next two targets.