How We Got Started

This story starts in 2007 when Bary El-Yacoubi was a personal trainer at one of those large “big box” gyms in the Washington DC metro area. Within the first two months, he sold the 2nd most amount of personal training programs out of all of the company’s east coast locations.

But oftentimes clients cancelled their personal training sessions at the last minute. The reasons varied from “I was stuck at work” to “traffic was just too bad” and everything in between. Bary knew these were people serious about becoming healthy and losing weight, but getting to their appointments on a regular basis proved difficult with their busy schedules.

Bary offered to come to them and suddenly everything fell into place. The convenience of in-home personal training allowed them to be consistent and ultimately achieve their results sooner.

At about this time, Muhssin El-Yacoubi was completing his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with a specialization in entrepreneurship. Seeing the momentum that Bary was having with in-home training, Muhssin decided to work on a business plan as part of a class project.

At that point in 2007, the first version of our business was born, called Bounce Fitness.

 

What We Accomplished

Over the course of a decade, Bounce Fitness became the leading provider of in-home personal training in the Washington D.C. Metro area offering clients the convenience of working out from their home, apartment gym, work gym and even outside parks. We established a large network of trainers and completed over 100,000 in-home personal training sessions and group fitness classes. We also established a location halfway across the world in Doha, Qatar and became the leading provider of in-home training there too.

In addition to offering in-home personal training and group fitness classes, we also offered corporate wellness programs, fitness staffing, and worked with apartment buildings and HOA’s to offer onsite fitness services.

We worked with some of the leading residential communities and companies including Buzzuto, Avalon, Equity Residential, Accenture, and many more.

After such great success, it was clear to us that the in-home personal training industry was a promising market and we knew it was time to scale the business even further.

However, as our business grew, the operations became more complicated with many different moving parts. We were spending a lot of time matching clients with our trainers and doing payroll. We knew that to really scale this properly, we would need the right technology that would streamline the business operations for our clients, trainers, and ourselves.

And that's when the next chapter in our story starts with our transformation to a technology company.

Transformation to a Technology Company

With all the feedback that we had collected from clients and trainers over the course of a decade, along with our in-depth operational experience running the business, we knew exactly what we needed to build to allow us to scale the business efficiently. We had it all mapped out in our minds and now it was time to build it.

We began to immerse ourselves in the tech world and attended and pitched at major conferences such as TechCrunch, Collision, Silicon Valley Open Doors, and Startup Weeks all over the country. We participated in mentorship and accelerator programs with Google Launchpad in Silicon Valley. We seized any opportunity we could to immerse ourselves in the tech world. We knew this immersion was necessary for us to have a full grasp of our technology.

We spent our days working with designers and software developers building wireframes, prototypes and iterating. We participated in sprint planning and daily SCRUM meetings. We adopted collaboration tools such as trello, slack, and github. We even moved our office into a WeWork space so we can be around like-minded people and have more opportunities to collaborate.

It came to a point where we looked around ourselves and came to the realization that we were no longer a fitness company, we were now a technology company building software products for the fitness industry.

Launching Send Me a Trainer

Once we were ready to launch the beta of our new technology product, we wanted to ensure we had the right branding and name. When we would tell our personal training clients “Bounce Fitness”, we would always hear the question “oh, where is your gym located?” We would constantly reply with, “we are not a gym”. We felt that with the launch of our mobile apps, it was an appropriate time to adopt a more impactful brand that represented what we actually did, and Send Me a Trainer was born.

We beta launched Send Me a Trainer in the Washington DC metro area and the response was fantastic. We now had a mobile app driven customer and trainer experience, plus all the automation to run the nitty gritty operational tasks that used to slow us down. Talk about a GAME CHANGER.

We started to get lots of press coverage in both local and national publications which led to many people asking us if we were in other cities outside of DC, to which our standard reply was “coming soon”. We then started to get numerous inquiries of people saying, “what if we franchised you here”? We had not initially thought about franchising, as our plan was to continue to operate the business and grow it ourselves just like other on-demand tech companies and ride sharing companies were doing. How do you even franchise an on-demand tech business?

Well, that's when we thought about it more and the next chapter in our story was in the making...

BECOMING THE FRANCHISE FROM THE FUTURE

What we discovered more about our business model, is that it's a personal service where the relationship between our clients and trainers is warm. Unlike that of a ride sharing service, where the driver and passenger don't really interact.

Having a local franchise owner to build a strong relationship with a group of trainers and clients really helps to ensure quality and maintain a personal touch. Also, a local franchise owner can be more effective at local grassroots marketing than we would ever be able to do remotely.

This resonated well with us and having a local franchise owner in each area would suit us well at scale and we decided to pivot and launch our franchise model.

As we started to launch our franchise model and promote it, we did a ton of research on franchise concepts and the industry. What we discovered was that the franchising world and concepts were very archaic and not up to date with what the new modern tech savvy business owner would want. The industry is full of concepts that are brick and mortar that include fitness clubs, restaurants and many van based businesses. While these concepts were exciting to the earlier generations, it certainly was not attractive to the new wave of tech savvy entrepreneurs that we had been interacting with.

When we launched our franchise model, we quickly found out that we were a breath of fresh air and were redefining how people think of what a franchise is. We disrupted the franchising industry by bringing technology and Silicon Valley to the franchising world. You can now franchise a technology driven on-demand business. That's how we became the Franchise From the Future!

As a franchisor, you do not need to invest in any physical location, expensive equipment and you can work from anywhere. Our proprietary technology runs the day to day operations for you.

This is the lifestyle that the modern business owner is looking for.

10
Years of experience
10,000
Fitness and wellness professionals
100,000
Sessions and classes completed

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