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EXECUTION Should I keep trying to push, or move on?

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JohnBuffet

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Hello all,

I've been back and forth with some very HELPFUL forum members (@GrayCode), and I am grateful to have learned a lot from them. One of them suggested I post in here as I am struggling to figure out what to do next. I've been trying new ideas for years. Trying, failing, re-formulating, and learning. It's part of the process, I know.

Long Story Short.
I work as a teacher as my full time job. I was struggling to find a business to create (after a few failed business attempts prior). One day I saw a teacher working out in her classroom. I said to myself "is this a need? Do teachers want to workout, but they don't have the time or resources to do so? Maybe I could make a business with the niche of 'teacher fitness.'" I started www.flexipreme.com, on ig @flexipreme . My business/product/service offers informational e-books that teach teachers (and anyone) how to workout in their classrooms (or anywhere really) using minimal equipment. All they need is a set of resistance bands (which I sell as well as a drop shipped product). The books provide a variety of exercises, sample workout routines and templates as well as information on how to create your own training routines.

I started off with a physical product of a home gym that I bought from China wholesale. But, I ended up with a house full of unsold (large) merchandise.

I'm not sure if I should keep the business going and put more sweat, marketing and effort into it, or cut my losses and move on to something else. I haven't made many sales at all. My concerns are the following:
1- Fitness is saturated and one school of thought is that in order for this to work I have to become a "teacher fitness guru/influencer" on instagram- now i'm not sure how I feel about that. And, there are a bunch of other teachers on instagram who do similar things and post their workouts, and regimes, etc.
2- There are many regular fitness pages/products/services that teachers could follow. Is just marketing directly to this niche market (teachers) enough when they could easily just follow all the other hundreds and thousands of fitness pages out there.
3- Is my product/service really unique enough, as in there are lots of books on training/fitness, and lots of ways to buy resistance bands.
4- PRO- There are SOME hugely successful pages on ig (hundreds and thousands of followers) and they just post workout videos and similar content than mine, so maybe there is room to grow?
5- I HAVE been posting, and although my marketing and content creation has potential to improve I feel I rarely gain new followers unless I do the follow/unfollow method which I'm not a fan of (I have around 1200 followers now). I've had the Instagram up since February last year, and products for sale since this July. Is the market telling me "this aint it?"

At this point I feel I could do 1 of 2 things. I could keep the business going and try everything I can to get it off the ground. I could keep putting money and time into it and really believe it will take off. Or, I could say this isn't it, and I'm wasting the limited resources and time I have when I could be utilizing these resources for another project/business. The other issue is (which is a HUGE issue), I really have no idea what other business to start. And after years of thinking about it without making much/ANY progress my only other idea would be to keep looking on flippa.com for a starter business that I see potential with. If anyone could chime in and provide some insight/advice I'd appreciate it.

I'm at a crossroads, and I'm not sure which way to go.

Thanks in advance!
 

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BellaPippin

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Heyo!

I checked the website, here goes my feedback.

I like your logo. As for the rest, if I had to say what it is that isn’t working is that nothing on your website says the word teacher except for the “wine and workout” tshirt which is a cliche “Suburban mom of instagram” I hate on its own but that’s another story.

You are advertising workout anywhere in short time but I can’t see the niche anywhere.

You aren’t selling medicine balls for teachers to replace at their desks, or those pedals for under the desk, posture correctors because they stand all day, easy meal plans and meal prep sets, snack bars so they don’t go to the vending machine, sketchers type shoes that look more stylish, Instead you have that thing I doubt any teacher will carry with them. Even your resistance bands say “home workout ready!” So then how is this for teachers?It’s for anyone. You know what I mean? This isn’t any different from any other workout at home program :shrug:

As for the Instagram, I think the same. Your posts don’t target teachers or teacher experiences like “eat my snack while you’re grading papers so you don’t eat crap” you could even make some memes to get followers a-la #teacherproblems. I gained a lot of followers on my FB when I made #aupairproblem related memes that people would share.

I think the niche has potential but I’d revisit how you’re serving it and with what kind of products, maybe? Food for thought, hope it helps :)
 

Bhanu

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Hi John why are you focusing just on Teachers ? If your product can be used anywhere and exercises provided are simple (make use of very less equipment) why not market it to common people .(It is a much bigger market).
-Secondly you can do tie up with schools and do seminars on your product. You can give a cut of total sells to schools. This way they will allow you to do the seminars.Also it will look good for schools too as they care for their teachers health.
- Give your 80% energy in marketing your product . IMO and experience initially your product can be just ok but your marketing should be top notch (does not mean it needs to be expensive) .Once you have the money you can make your product better .For any business just starting out focus should be on marketing (after of course a decent product has been made) .This way you will know what the customers are looking for ,they will also give you feedback to better product . You will also have sells which will keep your business afloat.
-If you are feeling stuck and not able to decide I suggest you to go to :HelpMyDecision.com - Get Help Making Tough Decisions
It will help you decide better .(It is created by M J and uses the same method he gave in his book TMF)
 
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JohnBuffet

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Heyo!

I checked the website, here goes my feedback.

I like your logo. As for the rest, if I had to say what it is that isn’t working is that nothing on your website says the word teacher except for the “wine and workout” tshirt which is a cliche “Suburban mom of instagram” I hate on its own but that’s another story.

You are advertising workout anywhere in short time but I can’t see the niche anywhere.

You aren’t selling medicine balls for teachers to replace at their desks, or those pedals for under the desk, posture correctors because they stand all day, easy meal plans and meal prep sets, snack bars so they don’t go to the vending machine, sketchers type shoes that look more stylish, Instead you have that thing I doubt any teacher will carry with them. Even your resistance bands say “home workout ready!” So then how is this for teachers?It’s for anyone. You know what I mean? This isn’t any different from any other workout at home program :shrug:

As for the Instagram, I think the same. Your posts don’t target teachers or teacher experiences like “eat my snack while you’re grading papers so you don’t eat crap” you could even make some memes to get followers a-la #teacherproblems. I gained a lot of followers on my FB when I made #aupairproblem related memes that people would share.

I think the niche has potential but I’d revisit how you’re serving it and with what kind of products, maybe? Food for thought, hope it helps :)
Very interesting and good points, thank you. My idea was to keep the website more generic as I figure I could expand from teacher niche to everyone once the business got more successful- but you make a lot of sense. Thanks a lot.
 
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JohnBuffet

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Hi John why are you focusing just on Teachers ? If your product can be used anywhere and exercises provided are simple (make use of very less equipment) why not market it to common people .(It is a much bigger market).
-Secondly you can do tie up with schools and do seminars on your product. You can give a cut of total sells to schools. This way they will allow you to do the seminars.Also it will look good for schools too as they care for their teachers health.
- Give your 80% energy in marketing your product . IMO and experience initially your product can be just ok but your marketing should be top notch (does not mean it needs to be expensive) .Once you have the money you can make your product better .For any business just starting out focus should be on marketing (after of course a decent product has been made) .This way you will know what the customers are looking for ,they will also give you feedback to better product . You will also have sells which will keep your business afloat.
-If you are feeling stuck and not able to decide I suggest you to go to :HelpMyDecision.com - Get Help Making Tough Decisions
It will help you decide better .(It is created by M J and uses the same method he gave in his book TMF)
Thanks. I actually thought about 1 of your points- giving a total cut of sales to schools to give back. Problem is I have no sales at the moment lol.
 

GrayCode

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@JohnBuffet I agree with everything @BellaPippin said. She honestly hit the nail right on the head.

That combined with these few questions:

1) Do you want to be in this niche, is there money in it?
2) How long have you been at it with no sales?
3) What have you tried in order to get sales from teachers?
 

Bhanu

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Thanks. I actually thought about 1 of your points- giving a total cut of sales to schools to give back. Problem is I have no sales at the moment lol.
Exactly ,focus on making sells . Marketing in the key here. 80% focus should be given to marketing only I think .
 
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JohnBuffet

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@JohnBuffet I agree with everything @BellaPippin said. She honestly hit the nail right on the head.

That combined with these few questions:

1) Do you want to be in this niche, is there money in it?
2) How long have you been at it with no sales?
3) What have you tried in order to get sales from teachers?
1) Yes, I don't mind being in the niche. Is there money in it? I'm not sure. I know teachers generally don't make a lot, but they seem to have no problem spending on things such as silly and comical teacher tee shirts.
2) No sales since I launched the site in July. So roughly 5 months.

3) I have tried to mainly focus on getting sales via instagram marketing, and direct messaging.
 

Kak

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After reading this over, I agree with a lot of the other folks here... Teachers are a really narrow market.

Alluding to what @BellaPippin said, this is more of a work out program for people with limited space and time. What about people with super small apartments in Manhattan? What about people that travel for work and want to get a quick work out in? Employees that are at the office 80 hours a week that want to get some blood pumping on break? Private jet owners?

There are A LOT more people out there than just teachers that could use something like this. Widen the horizons! The teacher bit is a good part of the story... Now expand on that to others with similar constraints.

To answer the headline question, keep pushing. Your marketing has been wrong.

Quitting at this point would be like deciding to quit golf when you inadverntaly had a bag full of hockey sticks.
 
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Kak

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What about coming up with a corporate health initiative for big companies and selling them a set of everything for all of their employees?

A lot of companies are headed that way. It saves insurance money.
 
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JohnBuffet

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After reading this over, I agree with a lot of the other folks here... Teachers are a really narrow market.

Alluding to what @BellaPippin said, this is more of a work out program for people with limited space and time. What about people with super small apartments in Manhattan? What about people that travel for work and want to get a quick work out in? Employees that are at the office 80 hours a week that want to get some blood pumping on break? Private jet owners?

There are A LOT more people out there than just teachers that could use something like this. Widen the horizons! The teacher bit is a good part of the story... Now expand on that to others with similar constraints.

To answer the headline question, keep pushing. Your marketing has been wrong.

Quitting at this point would be like deciding to quit golf when all you have hit with are hockey sticks.
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I really do. The whole point of starting with teachers was to cater to a small niche/market, and then expand into other markets such as the one's you mentioned (people in small appartments, people that travel for work, office workers etc) later on.

Are you suggesting to ditch the 'teacher' angle all together as it is such a small market and go for the target market of people who are limited in time and space (and knowledge) and focus on that wider market instead?
 

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Kak

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Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I really do. The whole point of starting with teachers was to cater to a small niche/market, and then expand into other markets such as the one's you mentioned (people in small appartments, people that travel for work, office workers etc) later on.

Are you suggesting to ditch the 'teacher' angle all together as it is such a small market and go for the target market of people who are limited in time and space (and knowledge) and focus on that wider market instead?
Yes. Teachers just become one of the applicable fits for this program and the origination story.
 
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JohnBuffet

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Yes. Teachers just become one of the applicable fits for this program and the origination story.
Hm, so maybe branch it off to a wider audience (not solely teachers), and perhaps do what @BellaPippin suggested and offer other products such as foot petals, posture correcting devices, or other products that people can use who have limited space. And as @Bhanu suggested truly focus on the marketing..

I like also the idea you said @Kak about possibly creating a corporate package, perhaps with the e-books, resistance bands and whatever else and selling it as a package deal, thats smart..
 

Smivs

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I second the above advice.

My two cents worth:

If you're targeting teachers then the teachers thay visit your site need to self identify that they're in the right place.

If it's a general site you'll likely get a lot of bounce.

Think about what sites teachers visit and what publications they read then get your message in front of them thay way.

Laser in on your audience and focus your website and IG account toward teachers.

It sounds like the 'I'm not making any sales' is a symptom of an underlying problem rather than the problem itself if that makes sense?

Get clear on your audience and tailor your efforts accordingly.

Hope that helps?
 

VincentVega24

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Hi John why are you focusing just on Teachers ? If your product can be used anywhere and exercises provided are simple (make use of very less equipment) why not market it to common people .(It is a much bigger market).
I agree with this, I'd not limit doing business just on teachers here, I'd imagine everyone would like to get fit with a handy gadget if they're stuck at/with work.

Another thing is, in my opinion your site does not look exactly trustworthy enough, try adding some trust symbols and make the site look more appealing.
 
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JohnBuffet

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I agree with this, I'd not limit doing business just on teachers here, I'd imagine everyone would like to get fit with a handy gadget if they're stuck at/with work.

Another thing is, in my opinion your site does not look exactly trustworthy enough, try adding some trust symbols and make the site look more appealing.
Thanks
 

GrayCode

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I agree with @Kak but with a caveat. Because the first inclination will be...

'ok i'm diving into this, I need a new logo, website, cards, etc, etc, ad nauseam'

If I were you, I'd give yourself 3-months with a corrected course of action. THATS IT. 3 Months. Set a sales goal, and if you don't hit it or even get remotely close to it, maybe think about moving on.

I agree with @Kak and the others, but regardless it's still a saturated market. There are instagram fitness influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers already. They're occupying this market, and you'll still have to compete with them. Also...

Let's be honest, if you don't look like an absolute cover model with your shirt off. Might not be the best market for you to be playing in.
 
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JohnBuffet

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I agree with @Kak but with a caveat. Because the first inclination will be...

'ok i'm diving into this, I need a new logo, website, cards, etc, etc, ad nauseam'

If I were you, I'd give yourself 3-months with a corrected course of action. THATS IT. 3 Months. Set a sales goal, and if you don't hit it or even get remotely close to it, maybe think about moving on.

I agree with @Kak and the others, but regardless it's still a saturated market. There are instagram fitness influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers already. They're occupying this market, and you'll still have to compete with them. Also...

Let's be honest, if you don't look like an absolute cover model with your shirt off. Might not be the best market for you to be playing in.
At your last point- that's the one thing I was thinking about. I mean, I am in shape, i'm muscular, decent body fat level, but I can't compete with the fitness models who are heavy steroid users. Most of big time fitness influencers are in incredible shape, and unless I plan on using steroids I will not look like that (I hope this doesn't turn into a debate about steroids vs natural or whatever- because if you know what you're talking about there's no comparison between the two).

But, with that said, and going back to @Kak 's points - I wouldn't just be posting myself, although most of the future posts would most likely be of me, I will also try to feature other people (some models, some not). I also feel I don't need to be the most jacked or ripped because I could always hire others as who are mot fit than me. Plus I'm not just pushing this is an influencer/model/personal trainer page, I'm pushing this as a BUSINESS page. I'm pushing this is a business that will get you into shape in half the time, with half the space and with a tenth of the equipment. It's also not tailored to the people who want to get into the 1% elite shape. It's tailored to the people who don't have much time, knowledge or resources to get into shape. So, with all those things said I think I might be able to make it worked as @Kak suggested,..
 
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JohnBuffet

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I agree with @Kak but with a caveat. Because the first inclination will be...

'ok i'm diving into this, I need a new logo, website, cards, etc, etc, ad nauseam'
I also don't need a new logo, website, cards etc because nothing on those things is just tailored to teachers, only instagram. I just could do some minor tweeks to make it more geared more towards what we discussed.
 

elusive97

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It sounds like you want to move on but don't know what to do. I wish I had more advice to give you, instead I just wish you luck and hope you figure things out. You can do it :bicep:
 

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JohnBuffet

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It sounds like you want to move on but don't know what to do. I wish I had more advice to give you, instead I just wish you luck and hope you figure things out. You can do it :bicep:
Well yes and no. @Kak inspired me to make it work and keep it going.. but thanks
 

Kak

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Well yes and no. @Kak inspired me to make it work and keep it going.. but thanks
Go try to get a 5 figure corporate sale. That will inspire you more. My point on this is don't let me be your inspiration. Let the business do the talking.

To do this I would call the popular insurers and ask about what they do for health initiative discounts. I would sell to employers armed with that information. There's a good chance they have insurance from one of the popular insurers.

I would also look at tweaking your reading material to apply to the broader audience. That is part of the professionalism here.

Of course business more often than not requires changing course a little. That is OK.
 
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JohnBuffet

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Go try to get a 5 figure corporate sale. That will inspire you more. My point on this is don't let me be your inspiration. Let the business do the talking.

To do this I would call the popular insurers and ask about what they do for health initiative discounts. I would sell to employers armed with that information. There's a good chance they have insurance from one of the popular insurers.

I would also look at tweaking your reading material to apply to the broader audience. That is part of the professionalism here.

Of course business more often than not requires changing course a little. That is OK.
Excellent, thank you!
 

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