Jessica Redman explains why she ditched life in the corporate world to launch her very own online personal training brand.
What is your business all about?
Work That is an online wellness platform offering personal training, fitness classes, nutrition and counselling. It was founded in February 2020 after I left my role in SEO for a corporate travel company. I graduated with a degree in media and comms and worked both agency and in-house in marketing and SEO roles, before qualifying as a personal trainer.
At Work That I am head coach, so I train clients and create programmes. I also head up the marketing aspect of the business, SEO and manage the day-to-day admin.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I originally co-founded a physical studio but realised that face to face PT was too expensive for lots of people. Online was an opportunity to be more financially accessible and flexible for people who don’t like gyms.
What is your point of difference?
We are anti-fad diets. We never talk about body image as a goal and we actively critique the industry’s focus on aesthetics.
How do you spread the word about your business?
We use Facebook groups, Instagram, PR, flyering, paid social (sometimes) and encourage word of mouth with refer a friend schemes.
How has business been during the Covid-19 pandemic?
It’s been good with gyms closing! I’ve been really happy with the take up.
What’s the hardest thing about running a business?
Keeping current customers happy whilst also trying to drive more take up. It’s multitasking to the next level.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Spreading the word. There’s so much noise out there that it’s hard to really penetrate the market. Paid advertising is pretty ineffective unless you’ve got a huge budget, so we rely heavily on word of mouth.
What’s the best decision you’ve made so far?
Quitting my first business and starting this one. I was afraid of letting my co-founders down but it was a decision that I’m really happy I was brave enough to make.
I had to sever emotional ties and make a decision with my head – I read a book at the time that said “if you’re going to fail, fail quickly” and a lightbulb switched on. I could see it wasn’t working for me and I had no time to dwell because every day was a day I could be working on something more fruitful.
Mixing friendship with business. I will choose very carefully who I decide to make that step with in the future. Business changes the dynamic of your relationship and you can end up seeing a side to a friend you don’t like and it can change things.
What is one thing that would make running your business a lot easier?
Help! Honestly, it’s not even necessarily more money (although I wouldn’t say no), it’s just having enough hands on deck to get all the ideas in action.
Although, more money would mean more hires, so yes, money!
What’s next for your business?
We’re going to expand with specialised Work That personal trainers who do our specialised course once they’re qualified.
This will be about the language we use to motivate, moving away from aesthetics, and also training people in an effective and safe way. Too many gyms injure people and we want to make exercise pain free!
Made in Britain: Online personal training brand, Work That