Ready Steady Mums
Virtual Personal Training for Mothers
- Melbourn, United Kingdom
Categories: Travel, Leisure & Sport Mixed Digital/Non-Digital B2C
Ready Steady Mums is an established start up delivering exercise, fitness and health services to the lucrative new and existing mothers market. We have already build a technology platform – called the Virtual Personal Trainer (VPT) that automatically tailors fitness programmes for individual mums. This has been tested and is live in use with thousands of mothers in the UK Market. This platform lets us scale the business rapidly with negligible incremental operational costs for each additional customer.
The entry-level service is free, so we can bring all prospective mothers with Internet access into our community. We monetise this base through:
• Up-selling to paid-for services and products direct to consumers (including phone coaching and merchandising through our online shop)
• Selling advertising to this premium targeted audience
We require more marketing spend to accelerate our customer acquisition strategy, and drive further operating leverage through our existing channels.
Ready Steady Mums helps new mothers to be fit, healthy and happy at a time in life when many feel vulnerable. Ready Steady Mums members build self-confidence, get in shape and set a great example to their children.
"Exercise got me out of some dark places in the early days of motherhood. It literally changed my life. " - Catriona, Cameron's Mum.
Our approach is proven. We’ve built community groups with thousands of new mothers using the Ready Steady Mums programmes, 28 groups are currently live. We have received some amazing feedback from both our own customers but also the press and the medical establishment.
What we need now is an injection of funds to take us to the next level, let us increase our presence in the market to drive customer acquisition (at the moment it is mainly word of mouth only) – and to operationalise the business and drive it much faster.
Substantial accomplishments to date
1. The Virtual Personal Trainer is built, endorsed by experts, and in regular use. Our innovation is both the technology platform itself, and the extensive set of specialist pre and post natal exercises, with video demonstrations and descriptions built into it. This has been tested and is in use live with thousands of mothers in the UK Market including 28 volunteer-led community groups.
2. We have established commercial partnerships and working collaborations, including with:
• Mothercare for joint retail events and promotions
• The National Literacy Trust for community based awareness
• The Women’s Committee at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to generate insight and expertise (Katy is a member)
• Sport England to recruit Ready Steady Mums volunteers into our business - critical for our growth
• Wellbeing of Women (a women’s health research charity) which formally endorses our exercise content
3. We have built an established (albeit currently niche) brand - enjoying substantial recent press coverage, including the Sunday Times, ITV News and BBC Breakfast TV.
Lastly, we have built an outstanding team to drive the growth of Ready Steady Mums.
Katy, our Managing Director is a Cambridge grad and McKinsey alum. She is listed in Management Today’s 35 under 35 list and Winner of the Women of the Future Award. She is a qualified fitness instructor with knowledge based on extensive medical research. She has designed the programmes working with medical experts, in obstetrics, gynaecology, physiotherapy, and midwifery.
Co-Founder Hugo Hudson is an expert java programmer, formerly at Google. He has built the platform to tailor the content to each user, according to specific needs of mums e.g. type of birth, health, fitness, lifestyle and personal preferences.
Katy has brought together a team of passionate and well-connected experts, including an Advisory Board of seasoned commercial leaders. We have a deep understanding of the market, experience developing products and services for mums, technical, commercial and business skills.
New mothers are one of the highest spend socio-economic categories. We have already established a trusted brand by delivering real life-changing services to our existing customer base. We also have an existing product catalogue (of pre- and post-natal content), merchandising and commercial partnerships. Our primary commercial growth after this investment round comes from three areas:
1. Driving our customer acquisition through more direct marketing – to sell our existing products and services catalogue.
2. Further monetising our base through targeted third party advertising
3.Building out our product catalogue for higher margin value added services (we have new products in development now including our VPT Boost service).
Our key assets are in place – the VPT is built, endorsed by experts and in use. To monetise more effectively we need to spend on marketing. The business model depends on us growing our core community and reaching a critical scale to maximise revenue.
The longer-term value of the business is the trust-based relationship with an important consumer group. Many organisations are looking to enhance community credentials and relate in a meaningful way to mothers. We have already found them willing to partner with us. We will offer more opportunities for brands to speak with our audience (whilst protecting the integrity of the community) and our exit strategy is to sell the business to a partner.
Use of proceeds
Investment would allow us to grow our audience and generate revenue from our existing assets.
We will invest in:
• Success-based, KPI-driven marketing activity to drive sales, awareness and loyalty.
• Extending the technology platform and website to increase customer touch points and allow us to sell premium content more effectively.
• Servicing key partnerships (in retail/commercial, healthcare and maternity services) – that will drive growth and help generate revenue.
Pinky Lilani, BBC Women's Hour Power Lister, OBE and Ready Steady Mums Advisory Board member, is known as one of the most inspirational and connected entrepreneurs in the country.
Pinky Lilani will host the first Ready Steady Mums Major Shareholders Dinner at her Surrey home.
Shareholders investing £1000 or more to support the growth of Ready Steady Mums in 2014 and beyond, will be invited to join inspirational leaders from diverse backgrounds for a reception and dinner on 28th Feb 2014 with Pinky.
We intend to continue to focus on the UK market for the next year.
Ready Steady Mums is designed for women who are pregnant and in the first year of motherhood, although many continue to participate thereafter.
Being fit and healthy is important to mothers across all demographics, and none are immune to the confidence and health challenges common in the early postnatal period.
Our VPT can become a standard part of a safe and full recovery from birth – a view also expressed by various deliverers of health and children’s services e.g. Children’s Centres, Midwives and Health Visitors. Our community scheme, DVDs, and other products and services enhance the appeal we have for pregnant women and new mothers.
Our target consumers are currently using a combination of services and products that show the demand for our offer. These includes pre and postnatal in-person fitness instructors and class leaders and membership of community/social groups such as NCT. Mums also form a key customer segment driving the 11.2% growth of fitness DVD sales over the 5 years to 2012 and 9.8% forecast growth in the next 5 years.
Characteristics of target market
1. Consumers of fitness services, including mothers, are increasingly turning to technology-based fitness services as an alternative to paying traditional personal trainers and class instructors.
2. Furthermore, mums in particular are becoming more price-sensitive.
3. They are also looking for community (on-line and in person) support for motivation to exercise.
Ready Steady Mums hits the mark. Our entry-level services are free, flexible, and based on a technology innovation that incurs very low cost per incremental user. And we have refined a volunteer-led community scheme that furthers our reach and that various partners are helping us to grow.
"My baby is calm and happy now I'm calm and confident as a mum. Ready Steady Mums helps to motivate me, encouraging me to set and stick to my goals." - Amy, Sophia's mum.
"I was definitely not an exercise person before I found Ready Steady Mums but now I love it, I have lost 4 stone" - Elizabeth, Sophie & Alice's mum.
Mums have shown willingness to pay for various add-on services and products from Ready Steady Mums. We segment our customers in order to target promotions and tailor marketing messages, and our systems have been designed to ensure we continually develop consumer insight.
Most of the investment we are raising through Seedrs will be used for marketing, so that we drive customer acquisition. Specifically, we will spend on:
• Social media to drive acquisition and engagement of our customer base
• Social media with partners and collaborators including health visitors and midwives to promote the brand
• Promotions for acquisition and loyalty e.g. the execution of discount codes
• Promotional materials to distribute through our existing and new partners
• Marketing events to increase brand awareness and sell merchandise e.g. Baby and Mother event
• Google Ad words and SEO to drive acquisition
• Advertising in print and on-line publications e.g. Families magazine and Gurgle
• Product launches e.g. Licensed Instructors Scheme, new premium content – including seeding, blogging and advertising campaigns
All this will build on our “free marketing” which we are already putting in place. For example: valuable partners and collaborators are already supporting our work; we are enjoying substantial press coverage; and our members are excellent ambassadors, driving growth through word-of-mouth and engaging local press e.g. in Northampton, Brighton, Cambridge, Shropshire and various parts of London.
This is our overview of the competition: