If you want to start a business, what are you waiting for? My advice would be to start now,” says former Bath Mechanical Engineering student and Train Eat Gain co-founder Rob Birkhead.
Train Eat Gain offers online training and nutrition programmes for those wanting to get in shape but what’s unique is that they tailor the plan to suit your specific requirements.
“What really frustrated us, is that there are tons of people who go to the gym, yet most of them are seeing no results! We could see exactly what they were doing wrong,” Rob explains. “So we looked at the products that were already out there and thought, ‘we can do better!’”
The co-founders, Rob Birkhead and Ben Hughes, started Train Eat Gain in 2013 whilst in their penultimate year at University, although it didn’t start as a business venture.
“Train Eat Gain started out as a blog,” says Rob. “It was a bit of fun really. We thought we’d post our workouts online, but our first real breakthrough was when we posted a simple picture-only recipe. We were shocked to see it get over 3000 shares!”
“We continued trying out different types of content before setting up our website TrainEatGain.com,” he adds. “We thought we’d put advertisements on our website, build up our audience and then rake in the cash. Six months later we had made just £30!”
But a year on, Rob is running Train Eat Gain full time, and they have plans for Ben to join him in the near future. So what transformed this bit of fun into an eligible business venture?
“After the online advertising fiasco, the realisation hit us that we needed to make a product – something good enough to sell to consumers,” says Rob. “Our first product was a recipe pack, which we initially gave away for free. We launched it from the University of Bath library late on a Sunday night and had over 1000 downloads in the first 24 hours!”
“However, when we put a price on it of just £5, no one bought it,” he continues. “It dawned on us that with tens of thousands of free recipes online, why would you pay for this? We needed to make something that people are willing to invest their hard-earned cash in.”
It was their next move that was the big breakthrough. “We realised that people were desperate to look good, but they had no idea where to start as there’s so much conflicting advice out there. If we could prove that we could get the results people wanted, people would be willing to pay for them.”
The co-founders made their first successful products whilst in their final year of University (Rob and Ben achieved first-class and upper second-class honours respectively). How, one wonders, did they manage to turn their business around whilst tackling a mammoth final year workload?
“When you’re passionate about something, it isn’t a hardship,” says Rob. “We gladly spent every bit of free time working on the business because it was fun.”
“The one piece of advice I would give to students wanting to start a business, is to do something you love. It sounds like a cliché, but if your goal is purely to make money, there’s no way you’ll be willing to work countless sleepless nights when your bank balance is stuck at zero.”
Train Eat Gain now offers a range of online training and nutrition plans and has over 1000 clients around the world. If you want to try their plans, you can download a free trial on their website http://www.traineatgain.com/