less admin, more smiles

By combining his passion for enhancing wellness and quality of life with his understanding of technology, Rob Lander created a tool that automates the things personal trainers don’t enjoy, freeing up their time to focus on training clients.

I qualified as a fitness professional in 1992, when I was 17. My new role enabled me to work out, meet great people and improve lives – I loved everything about it. Everything except the admin.

By the early 2000s I had a great client base and times were good. I was maxing my time each week from 7am until 9:30pm, Monday to Friday, and packing another 10 clients in at the weekend. While it was great being this busy, it meant that I didn’t have time to spend on the tasks necessary for running a business. I really didn’t enjoy doing my accounts and asking clients for money – and I particularly wanted to avoid confrontation with clients who had failed to show up for a session but still owed payment. I needed to find a solution that helped me automate the things I didn’t enjoy so that I could focus on doing what I loved.

At this time the internet was developing quickly, and new technologies were emerging – but everything was just so expensive. You could have software that took care of lots of elements of business, but you also needed additional software that took care of client-facing elements, plus a calendar with a separate reminder service. There was simply no one-stop-shop where I could get everything I needed in one place.

I decided that the only solution was to build my own client management tool. So I did. The first version had a few fundamental requirements:

  1. It should have an online calendar that made appointments visible to both me and my clients.
  2. It should remind my clients when they had a session, relieving me of this task and limiting potentially awkward confrontations caused by no-shows.
  3. It should allow me to log when my clients paid me so that I could keep track of my finances.
  4. It should allow my clients to keep an online food diary.
  5. It should have a communication platform so that I could SMS or email my clients and send documents to them.

My thinking was that if I could manage my finances, know who owed me money and remind people to show up, it would free up time to focus on training my clients and growing my business. Fortunately, it turned out that this was exactly what lots of other trainers and health clubs also wanted. And so, Fisikal was born.

Over the years the Fisikal team has built more and more functionality into the tool based on requests from clubs, trainers, clients and members. And because technology never stands still, Fisikal is constantly evolving. We are always innovating and finding new ways to help trainers support their clients more efficiently.

For personal trainers, the client’s experience is of utmost importance. A poor experience will lead to a lost client. Ensuring you have happy clients who show up for every session by subconsciously making them accountable to you is the key to success, both for your clients and for your business.

When it comes to clubs, customer service is often a problem. It can be great up to the point at which someone joins, but then many members find themselves on their own until renewal time.

Fisikal looked at lots of systems used by clubs. They generally followed the same pattern:

  • Management requirements
  • Operations requirements
  • Maybe something for the member (a website with a class timetable posted on it).

This model = crippling attrition and a business focused on sales and generating new business.

Fisikal believe it should be as follows:

  • Member requirements
  • Trainer requirements (so they can help members achieve goals)
  • Operations requirements (so they can help training staff and members)
  • Management requirements (so they can see what is going on in the business).

Fisikal model = happy customer = busy, happy trainer = high retention = successful business.

We believe that happy customers help create successful businesses. By creating technologically innovative tools, both for trainers and for clubs, Fisikal is helping improve outcomes for trainers, clubs and clients alike.

If you are interested in learning more about Fisikal PRO or Fisikal TEAM products, visit www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/fisikal

Rob Lander
With over 15 years in the fitness industry, Rob’s experience of establishing a successful personal training business at the age of 25 led him to create Fisikal, an IT services company that creates innovative products for health and fitness professionals.