Vyta App: Joshua Ashley

Realising how hard it was for clients to fit in training sessions thanks to the 'London lifestyle', this personal trainer built his own on-demand fitness app

Name: Joshua Ashley
Company name: Vyta App
Location: London
Date Launched: November 2017
Twitter handle: @vytaapp
Website: www.vytaapp.com

Tell us what your business does:

Vyta is an on-demand fitness app that allows you to book experienced and fully qualified personal trainers, yoga instructors and boxing coaches to come to you at a time and place to suit you, from as little as one hour’s notice.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

After moving to London, I found it increasingly difficult to fit training into my ‘London lifestyle’ and I couldn’t predict my diary from one week to the next.

I also knew that I wasn’t alone in facing this problem, as I was working in a gym at the same time, and noticed that clients in the gym were also struggling to commit to their training sessions.

This got me thinking that the existing model of clients having to travel to the trainer and fit into their schedule was not working and that a better way around would be to let the client dictate where and when they would like to train and if they are to be able to commit to it and achieve their goals….and Vyta was born.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I did my market research, and although I knew that there was existing competition, I was fully confident that Vyta could offer a slightly different and improved level of service.

The health and fitness industry has been booming for several years and because people are using more and more on-demand app services, I knew there was a gap for Vyta.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was working in a gym, building up my experience in the health and fitness industry and I achieved this by working in a number of different roles at the gym.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, but I always knew I would have to really believe in the product for it to work, if I didn’t, then I knew I wasn’t going to be motivated enough.

How did you raise the money?

We have raised money privately.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We pay our trainers generously because we are wholly committed to providing a quality service to our clients, and this means attracting the best PT’s.

The client pays Vyta for their training session and the split is divided to the PT, the head trainer, who manages the PT, and the app.

Vyta connects with professionals who are looking to do something sporty, either before or during their working hours.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Finding the best trainers. So many PT’s get a qualification and only work in a gym. Home and outdoor sessions requires a different skillset that a lot of trainers don’t have.

What was your first big breakthrough?

The first clients came through from Groupon and Wowcher, and since then we have heavily promoted promo codes and there’s been a steady growth of sessions booked.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Be open to change. If a direction is not working for you, leave it behind and try new things.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

We see ourselves in five years being a service that is acting on a national scale. We will have spanned out into other areas of health and fitness to be able to meet the demands of more clients, such as pilates and martial arts.

We would like to be the recognised name for a wide range of on-demand health and fitness services, whilst not compromising on our strong principle of offering the very best in quality.

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