Beta.MN/ Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions and published in collaboration with Beta.MN for the early-stage founders between idea and execution.
What is the name of the company and/or product?
The company is OfferingTree, SBC.
What distinct problem does this solve for who and how does this create value for them?
After more than 40 in-depth user interviews, we uncovered a core pain point: wellness professionals are trained to teach / coach, but they’re not trained to be entrepreneurs. Marketing, business administration, and technology are huge headaches for wellness professionals and they want an integrated, easy-to-use (i.e., no technical skills required), and mobile-friendly solution to simplify the business-side of wellness.
That’s where OfferingTree comes in. OfferingTree provides an online business management platform for independent wellness professionals who offer group classes or one-on-one sessions. The platform includes a free website, schedule management, payment processing and basic analytical tools to track attendance, revenue and website visits.
How did you come up with the idea / what was your motivation for starting?
We identified, after doing a lot of market research, an underserved group in the fitness and wellness markets – individual personal trainers, yoga teachers, mindfulness instructors and coaches who were working outside a formal gym, studio or organizational setting. These independent wellness professionals are passionate about the services they offer to their clients but tend to be less interested (and at times less successful) in the administrative and promotional aspects of running a business. We see a market opportunity to support independent professionals and increase communities’ access to wellness at the same time.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
We added payment processing in April which completes the MVP version of OfferingTree. Our development roadmap includes several feature enhancements and we will releasing new features based on user feedback later this year.
Who is on the team?
Alec Gorjestani; co-founder: developer
Alex Haley; co-founder: business operations
Arvind Menon; co-founder: developer
Eddie Arpin; co-founder: developer
Katy Sullivan; co-founder: business operations
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
Ruby on Rails
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
Our target customers are independent wellness professionals including yoga teachers, personal trainers, mindfulness instructors, coaches and group fitness instructors. But we have received interest from others including small boutiques who host classes and even an auto mechanic looking for another way to schedule appointments.
MVP revenue model: During the MVP phase, transaction fees provide revenue. Instructor users have the option to pass along fees to clients or absorb them in the listed class price.
Future state revenue model: As we add features, we will offer a subscription plan for premium services that will charge a monthly fee and reduced transaction fees and we will maintain the free + transaction fees model that is the current state.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
There are more than 60,000 registered yoga teachers and more than 267,000 personal trainers in the U.S. The numbers of mindfulness instructors and certified coaches are growing rapidly. We are focused on growing in the Twin Cities because of our natural network here, but already have users from around the U.S.
What is your greatest strength?
Everyone on the team has previous experience running businesses. We have complementary business and technology skills which means there are only a few things we need to outsource.
What is your biggest weakness?
The wellness industry is evolving. The way students and clients interact with teachers, gyms and studios is changing. OfferingTree looks to support teachers in building a business that works for them even as the industry matures.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
More customer data on user experience and features to refine market fit
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Tell your friends who are in the wellness industry – yoga teachers, personal trainers, mindfulness instructors, coaches and more – about OfferingTree.