In this week’s episode of Industry Change Richard speaks to CEO and Co-founder of global wellness platform MINDBODY, Rick Stollmeyer. From humble beginnings Rick started this company in the late 90’s, which aimed to provide fitness businesses’ with software to create change for their clients. Now, in 2019, MINDBODY is the largest platform in the industry that brings fitness businesses and clients together, reaching almost 300 000 businesses and 35 million consumers worldwide striving to connect wellness with the world.
Rick had the big idea to create a health and wellness portal, where people could find the information they needed to live healthier and happier lives. From this idea he connected to the boutique fitness industry which was developing in the 1990’s in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Within these hubs he began developing software for spin, yoga and pilates studios. However whilst doing this he discovered that the most important thing he could do was help these businesses run more effectively. This was a big learning curve that led to the launch of the business management software in 2001 that is still the crux of MINDBODY today.
As a leader he found there were three key fundamental that led to his success:
1. Knowing your customer
You can think you know them but to actually know them is so important! Whilst starting out Rick spent a lot of time in fitness studios and learnt how they operated. This allowed him to get into the mindset of these small business owners to understand their point of view. This was key to developing a product that mattered and customers actually found useful.
2. Crafting a differentiated product that people will pay for
Once you understand who your target market is and how they think, you need to develop a unique selling point that will entice customers! Rick recalled that the first time people would pay for the software in the late 90’s was thrilling because this meant he had an audience that connected with his business and proved that this was a product that met their needs.
3. Scaling it
Once the first two fundamentals are established it is important to scale your business according to the needs within the market. Rick found that there was a need for MindBody worldwide, and from the beginning had to ensure the platform was accessible for international businesses as this is what allowed it to grow into what it is now!
Ricks journey with MINDBODY in the fitness and wellness industry is an inspirational one he credits to passion, determination and tenacity. In order to stand out in the fitness industry Rick emphasised it is important to have the following:
You must be passionate about the business idea itself. Naturally this is what motivates entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a reality. It is not just about money – you should be doing it because you truly care about what your practice does for the customer!
How are you going to differentiate yourself in your local market? There will be dozens of other competitive businesses in your neighbourhood so you need to find what it is that will make you stand out! The way to do that is to understand your target market. When you understand your specific audience you are able to understand them and find your unique selling point from that!
To find out more about MindBody and get your business connected you can visit their website: https://www.mindbodyonline.com/