Occupi Digital

From burpees to boardroom

Press Release   •   Aug 24, 2015 16:06 BST

Looking to start a fitness business? Take inspiration from 35-year old James Hardy, a fitness

coach who has transformed his small personal training agency into an innovative business

platform for personal trainers across the UK.

James Hardy, an ex-rugby player, started his personal training career when graduating from the

University of Birmingham in 2002. A ‘Psychology & Sports Science’ BSc degree helped lay the

foundations to launch his fitness career; working for small local gyms, university gyms and big

chain gyms. A few years later, after going freelance and working either side of the coin as an

agency trainer and owner, it came to James’ attention that the agency business model didn’t work

for the trainer, the agency or the client. “Neither trainer or agency were happy with their money,

which means the client is unknowingly being under-served by unhappy trainers and stressed

customer service agents - an agency wedged in the middle of the natural trainer-client

relationship”, said Hardy.

James launched his first fitness company in 2009, with LiveFit as a side concept for group

personal training. LiveFit converted to the main brand name in 2011 as the company grew into a

strong agency for freelance trainers all across London. These were the years that formed an idea

for a business model that made the transaction between agencies, trainers and clients work

better for all. A concept based on fairness within the world of personal training, to ensure as an

industry we can serve both clients and trainers better. “The agency doesn’t have to bottleneck the

control of clients and makes genuinely facilitating a healthy trainer-client relationship their main


James added: “It is a wake-up call when starting to work for a big gym. Personal training isn’t just

about training, it’s a business based on health; customer service, sales, networking and (ideally)

client results. What wasn’t available in the industry was an opportunity for trainers to affordably

start their own business, with the more altruistic backing of business professionals that genuinely

had trainers’ best interests at the core of their model.”

Like with any business there were endless to-dos and James, still training clients, worked 80

hours a week for 2 years out of his home in Fulham to develop the project. Like with any start-up

business, money was tight and every stage of the process was a learning curve, often resulting in

James working on projects he had no experience of at all. Over time the business model

developed, and plans to transform LiveFit from a training agency to an innovative business

platform, to back up the new model had advanced. Like any business, the software would need

funding, it was now an opportunity for James to pitch to a handpicked set of investors to help fund

the fitness business.

“At this stage, it wasn’t just about being confident in a decision, it was an opportunity to be

involved in the growth of the fitness industry. LiveFit is pooling the resources of the industry to

empower trainers of all levels to run better businesses. It is about standing apart from your

competition and delivering a new level of customer service. We were looking for people that

shared our enthusiasm for a good system and the positive mental attitude we work with.”

With a successful pitch and business overview received by the investors, investment was secured

and it was time for Hardy to transform LiveFit into a ‘friendly franchise’ opportunity. “LiveFit is now

an example of fairness, with tangible client results placed at the core of every trainers goals. A

platform for trainers to improve their business making smart choices, to be successful for

themselves without having to be completely on their own.”

With plans to launch a fitness app (launching September 2015) - the next stage was to build and

manage a small team that could help develop the company. James, has developed the company

from 1 person sat in his living room to 8 people with different business backgrounds including a

recruiter, project manager, designers, programmers, marketing and PR experts. “We want to

motivate people to enjoy fitness and be active in the right way. After all personal trainers help the

world lead more productive, happier lives, so we’re helping them do the same.”

If you’d like to ask James any questions, please tweet LiveFit on Twitter (@LiveFit).


Looking for a new way to keep fit everyday? LiveFit was created with you in mind. We’re reshaping the world of personal training, connecting you to thousands of fitness experts at the click of a button, so you can train anytime, anywhere.

Living fit is all about balance. It’s about making small adjustments that add up to big changes over time. Your dedicated LiveFit coach will help you find a balance that fits your lifestyle, keeping you motivated and inspired to be the best that you can be. It’s time to #LiveForIt.

For more information and to find a LiveFit team near you, visit www.livefit.co.uk

Find us on: https://twitter.com/LiveFit