GHOGY: David Hogan
Experienced personal trainer David Hogan now runs his own online fitness subscription service
Tell us what your business does:
GHOGY is an online food and fitness subscription plan that helps people become the happiest and healthiest version of themselves.
Our company was created to show people how easy and affordable it can be to get into shape and feel great. We have a specialist team that creates meal and workout plans catered to our clients. It is accessible, personal and customisable to your lifestyle needs and preferences.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I’ve been a personal trainer for 11 years, and my business partner and I were discussing the longevity of my career and how we could use my knowledge and skill set within the online space. We then came up with the concept of providing personalised fitness plans that our clients could follow on a mobile or tablet.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We researched the market and saw that other businesses were doing this but in the form of PDF plans. We noticed there was a gap in the market for a fitness app that provides a higher level of interaction. Not something that just provides an ‘off the shelf plan' but a personalised plan for each customer.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before starting up I was a personal trainer, so it's great that I've been able to use my knowledge and experience and still do what I love for GHOGY.
How did you raise the money?
We managed to secure a start-up loan. I put together an in-depth business plan and then pitched the business idea to a finance manager.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and have always wanted to run my own business. I started off working in gyms, but felt I wanted more control. I would always have to run things by the manager, even though I knew what was the right way to go about doing something.
I think it took me so long to finally take the leap because you are a product of your environment, you naturally follow in your family and friends’ footsteps.
It wasn’t until I took a step back and thought ‘I no longer want to work for anyone else’ that I decided to take the risk.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
The business model is subscription based. A customer pays £14.99 per month to access their personalised fitness plan. We keep customers by changing their exercise plan every 4 weeks, constantly adding new recipes to our database and providing our clients with exclusive challenges and competitions.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
There are so many areas involved in starting and running a business which is incredibly scary at first. I had no idea about some of the processes and at the beginning. I didn’t know what to do, but I researched constantly, asked questions, and networked with people who could give me advice and help. I just made sure I was continually learning and I still am today.
What was your first big breakthrough?
I managed to secure investment from the co-founder of Zoopla Simon Kain
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Never give up. It took my team and I two and half years to get this business live and there were points where I just thought this is never going to work, but you have to believe in both yourself and your business and be willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
In five years’ time I want GHOGY to have over 10,000 monthly subscribers. I also want to have built an online community, a fitness family if you will. A place where our subscribers can go to help each other achieve their goals and make them feel better about themselves