Kevin_K scores some publicity
OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Kevin_K scores some publicity
| By chris_d on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 06:05 pm:|
I look in the business page today and who do I see in the ANG papers, but our very own kevin_k, a longtime OAFC poster. Congrats, Kev.
Article Last Updated:
Monday, April 15, 2002 - 8:04:22 AM MST
ron lewis/staff 4.5.02 san mateo county times
Trainer brings fitness to Internet
By Francine Brevetti - Business Writer,
ANDY SIMONE said he wants to get rid of the "sympathetic" weight he's gained during his wife's pregnancy. Fitness training seemed to be the remedy, but his time is tight.
A financial analyst, he is also studying for his MBA. And money is a concern since the Simones have just bought a house in the city of Orange.
So he went online to find a training program he could do at his convenience with the elements he desired: a diet and exercise program he could live with; affordability; and regular communication with the trainer.
Meanwhile, at the other end of California, Kevin Koskella had been running a successful business as a personal fitness trainer for individuals and corporations since 1989. His network of six in-home trainers work throughout the Bay Area especially in the East Bay.
Last year, Koskella said he wanted to expand his business and income opportunities, and online personal training seemed one way to achieve that.
"A lot of people are looking for personal training advice but are not willing to spend $75 an hour to hire a personal trainer to come to them," he said.
He said he reckoned that an online program "is not the same, but you do get professional advice and motivational tips through e-mail."
Koskella said that as soon as he was confident this was the way to proceed, he had a couple of challenges ahead of him: how to design a Web site to compete with the countless number of fitness sites that already exist, and how to keep the personal touch even though he would now be dispensing his services remotely.
"I found a lot of individual personal trainers online who obviously threw something together," he said. "A lot (of Web sites) aren't really automated ... they're just purely advertising. Some of the larger ones are purely automated and have no personalization. I thought i could do it better."
He tried on his own. He put $200 into developing his own Web site through a local design firm. He wasn't happy. Fortunately, a partner to support his goals appeared out of the blue.
He got a call from Chris Beacom, chief of a Web design and hosting firm in Phoenix called Viewers Choice. One of his company's products is Nutrition and Fitness World (www.nutritionandfitnessworld.com), an online purveyor of exercise and nutrition programs, and motivational coaching. This site appeals not only to clients but also to professionals such as Koskella who want to use its supply of products and expertise for their own customers.
Beacom pointed Koskella to Genesant Technologies, the 800-pound gorilla of online fitness trainers. Its stock and trade is to automate fitness and nutrition programs for these professionals to sell to their flabby clients.
The system Genesant designed for Koskella allows the trainer to monitor the customer's progress and modify his workout as required by his progress.
Through Nutrition and Fitness, Koskella gained interactivity to his site so he can keep tabs on client progress. Koskella now has access to Nutrition's health products and will take 60 percent of any profits on sales to his customers.
His company, Designer Fitness, is now operating at www.designerfitnessnet.com, charging $55 for three months of fitness training support.
"The obstacle was finding a system giving enough detail so someone could log in and get workouts that made sense to them and to their individual needs, not a generic program. Everybody is so different," he said.
Another hurdle to attack was recidivism -- people slack off, even fall off their programs completely. How will he keep clients motivated if he's not present? Koskella knows this is a difficult area.
"I will e-mail them to make sure they stay on track. But it doesn't work for everybody. Some people just need somebody right there. ... But the greater percentage of people will adhere to the program," he said.
The third difficulty to confront was getting his site seen. For this he relied on Beacom's knowledge of search engines to place Designer Fitness well. Beacom noted that the trainer's site has an important keyword in it -- fitness -- which can give it prominence to search engine technology. But Koskella also has to pay for hits to certain search engines.
Recently, Simone of Orange found Koskella's Web site on Yahoo. He said he found Designer Fitness affordable at $55 for three months and well-designed compared to others he saw. He hopes to lose that extra flab before his wife has the baby.
In the meantime, the trainer is not giving up his face-to-face business and will retain his network of trainers.
Francine Brevetti can be reached at (510) 208-6416 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
| By kevink on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 06:12 pm:|
Thanks again Chris for the free pub!
That's great Kevin. I wish you all the best and continued success!
I love to see a fellow Rickey fan do well in life