Les Mills
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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People profile: Kira Mahal

Founder, Motivate PT

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 10
Mahal: ‘Many people contact us to work with their parents or grandparents’
Mahal: ‘Many people contact us to work with their parents or grandparents’
We don’t sell the transformational dream: our core message to people is the importance of creating a new lifestyle and being fit for life

When and why did you launch MotivatePT?
My husband and I set it up in 2015, after spotting a niche for a London-wide PT company offering a large team of fully vetted, trustworthy PTs. We were both working in banking, which involved long hours in a stressful environment, with little chance to exercise or a social life. I was looking for a PT who would come to my home, but found it difficult, as contacting a PT I found online, with no recommendations, seemed risky.

Our customers like the fact that they have a company to lean on and that our PTs are vetted and well qualified. There isn’t the hassle of handing over cash at the end of a session, or the risk of paying for a block of 10 and the PT disappearing, or being left in the lurch because their PT decides to go away for four weeks. We work hard to match the clients with the PTs and always give them a telephone consultation first to find that match.

How does the service work?
Our team of 50 PTs covers the length and breath of London. We don’t have a facility, but instead we travel to our customers and either do the work out in their home or go outside.
We pride ourselves on being a really professional service: we expect our PTs to get back to clients in a timely manner if there’s a query, to book up their sessions in advance, never to cancel at the last minute and to really look after their clients.

Once we’ve matched a client with their PT, they go to the online portal to fill in health questionnaires, see the profiles and headshots of their PTs and book and pay for sessions. There’s also a shared calendar so they can easily view upcoming sessions.

In the upcoming few months, we’ll also be rolling out a food diary, so clients will be able to input what they’ve eaten and receive feedback from their trainers.

Who are your customers?
Eighty five per cent are individuals and 15 per cent are corporate clients.

The vast majority have previously tried a gym but have failed to get results, usually because they didn’t have enough direction, so they want someone who’ll help them with this by personalising their workouts and activities.

Around 75 per cent of our individual clients are female and, of these, around 40 per cent are pre- or post-natal.

We also have a lot of seniors: many people contact us to work with their parents or grandparents, either to get them more active, or to help them get through some kind of health problem.

One of our goals is to educate our customers and empower them to have the confidence to train independently in between their personal training sessions.

We don’t do before and after shots or sell the ‘transformational dream’: our core message to people is the importance of creating a new lifestyle and being fit for life.

Are you noticing any exciting trends?
It’s great to see that a growing number of people are becoming interested in their wellness and are now prepared to invest in themselves. In the time we’ve been operating we’ve noticed a change in the prioritising of fitness spend and people attaching a higher value to fitness. It’s also great that there’s more of a conversation about mental health and people are realising how good exercise is for the mind.

What are your plans for the future?
Immediate plans include going after the corporate market more aggressively.

This was something we planned to do at the outset, but was shelved as we grew rapidly in other areas.

However, since I come from a corporate background and know there’s a need to bring activity into these stressful, sedentary environments, we’re intending to grow this area. Also, we’re looking to expand the service beyond London and into the Home Counties.

PTs visit people at home or take them outdoors for a workout
PTs visit people at home or take them outdoors for a workout
PTs visit people at home or take them outdoors for a workout
PTs visit people at home or take them outdoors for a workout
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The CEO of Motivate PT is planning to expand beyond London
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