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Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to 5 Million Plus: Nick Shaw, CEO of Renaissance Periodization (Part 3)

Posted on Saturday, Nov 10th 2018

Sramana Mitra: What did you learn about how many clients could each coach service?

Nick Shaw: A lot of it depends on the coach. All of our coaches were either in school or professors. Currently, we have over 25 coaches – 20 of them have Ph.D.’s, seven are registered dieticians and one is a family physician. This isn’t necessarily their full-time job. How many clients they can take on varies a little bit. Some may want to keep it relatively small. A good rough number to cap it at is probably a hundred at any given time. That would be an outlier. The average is 40 to 50.

Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else that is strategic in how you have scaled this business besides figuring out a reliable way to pair the customers with coaches who can then customize their training routine for this $100 to $150 per month price point?

 Is there anything else that you did that was different or strategic that is worth discussing?

Nick Shaw: The coaching is a small piece of the puzzle of what we do. In 2014, we had another aha moment. We came out with our first ebook. Instead of having a few hundred clients at a time, this ebook was sold and distributed immediately to several thousand people. That was this aha moment where even online or remote coaching is a little bit hard to scale because any one coach can have 50 to 100 clients.

These digital products can be distributed to as many people as possible. This was one of those big aha moments. Our flagship product is something called a diet template. This is the biggest aha idea that led to our growth. We took the idea of one-on-one diet coaching. We packaged that into what we call a diet template. These are all customized to the individual based on a user’s bodyweight, their gender, and goals.

It’s a product that comes packed with a bunch of different options. It’s like having a one-on-one coach, but instead of paying $500 or $600 for three months, you essentially have a product that only costs about $100. You get similar information in it. This allowed us to scale infinitely. The diet templates are able to reach the masses. We’ve sold hundreds of thousands of them, which is fantastic. That is what opened up the scalability and led to the growth.

Let’s say we have 5 or 10 coaches and we have 500 clients, these diet templates were able to sell to thousands of people. These diet templates are do-it-yourself programs. You do not have access to a coach, but we have a lot of other resources available, one of them being a free Facebook group. Now the group has 85,000 members. It’s pretty crazy. There’re free resources to do it yourself. But this allowed us to go from having a hundred clients to having tens of thousands of clients.

Get people results, do a good job, and have a good program. When people get those results, they talk about it on social media and all of a sudden, you have 10 clients doing this. It snowballs. We weren’t constrained by the number of clients a coach could have. This was a program that was scalable to the masses.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to 5 Million Plus: Nick Shaw, CEO of Renaissance Periodization
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