GetMeFit duo launch fitness class platform to match instructors with public
GetMeFit, a “booking system and discovery platform” for fitness instructors and their customers, was started in the first lockdown by Jane Hart and George Northen.
The system matches trainers and clients for either – or both – in-person and virtual classes.
The focus is on ensuring developing a community in which the trainers get fairly paid.
The website went live in September and there are now 500 clients on the database, along with 15 trainers.
Jane and George (short for Georgina) met seven years ago. Their children went to the same nursery school in Barley, where they both live with their families.
Jane has a marketing background but “three years ago had a career change to do physical training”.
Her husband’s business partner, Mark, a CEO and fitness instructor, “built a prototype” and she went on a Cambridge Social Ventures incubator.
In 2020 came lockdown, which accelerated their plans.
“When lockdown first happened all the gym instructors lost their incomes,” Jane says.
“Many of them are not technical and lost their client base so Mark, who developed this idea, said ‘I can help’ and now we’re setting up as a social venture.”
“The web acts as a marketplace which brings together different physical trainers and exercise instructors,” adds George, “with a booking system and a discovery platform.
“At the moment it’s not for geographical coverage, it’s for virtual classes, though there are some in-person classes.”
GetMeFit runs on a small commission-only basis. Jane’s experience of the sector – “George is the fitness nut, I’m the instructor” – made her realise that instructors were at the thin edge of the wedge between corporates and clients.
“We help instructors build their client base and we take a low commission and invest it back in classes,” Jane says.
George, who has been finance director at Pinkster’s Gin for six years, is focused on the commercial side.
“We also include corporate classes,” she says, “but it’s all in support of making sure the individual instructors make a decent living. We need 1,000 instructors – we’re building it up.”
Even though gyms are reopening, the duo say the market has changed forever in the last 15 months, which is why GetMeFit is a long-term solution.
“You can’t recreate the gym at home but what you can recreate is group exercise,” George says.
“It’s going to be a long time before gyms are sustainable again, before we’re Covid-free – if we’re ever Covid-free.”
Jane adds: “People are saying ‘yes’ to going to the gym once a week but they will also enrol in two virtual classes because they don’t have to worry about childcare, or driving somewhere – as a working parent it’s a game-changer.”
The GetMeFit platform also includes tips and information on dieting, wellbeing and yoga.
“We do kids’ classes,” notes Jane, “and talks about the impact of the menopause, we’re very keen to do that side.”
It took three months to build the website – and an app is on the way.
“The prototype is up and running and transactional,” concludes Jane, “and we’re raising funding for the next stage of development.”