How WellnessLiving made being healthy easier June 27, 2018 RIC Centre Do you enjoy yoga or fitness? From yoga to dance, spas to salons, massages to fitness classes, more and more people are seeking health and wellness services. As demand surges, business owners are relying on the best CRM (customer relationship management) software to connect consumers with their practices. CRM is any technology that improves interactions with clients. Over the last 15 years, MindBody has been the CRM of choice for health and wellness owners. It’s a publicly-traded company with 1,500 employees, and customers that span 100 countries. But MindBody isn’t all peaches and cream. Alongside high monthly costs, MindBody outsources their app functions to different software companies. Imagine you own a yoga studio and want to add an appointment calendar to your company’s mobile app. To do this, you’d have to call up MindBody, get contacts to a partner company, call the partner company, tell them what you want, pay the additional fees, design the appointment calendar and, finally, take care of your migraine. In 2010, Sasha Davids and Len Fridman were two fitness lovers that understood the struggles of using MindBody. The duo ran popular boot camp sessions in parks across Toronto and used the CRM to grow their customer base over a few years until Fridman got an idea… “People always want to try new things, especially in fitness. So why not create a universal pass for all these different places and exercises?” So, they created the MetaBody Yoga and Fitness Pass. Ten months later, Davids and Fridman were gaining 60,000 new registrants each month, located in 74 cities across North America. The CFO and VPs of MindBody caught wind of Davids’ and Fridman’s success and began charging new fees to profit off the duo. And if they didn’t pay them? MindBody threatened to shut down their MindBody account. “Our backs were against the wall,” admits Davids. So the duo quit MindBody and started their own CRM company. That’s when WellnessLiving was born… well, not immediately. Davids and Fridman had a business platform but no software. So, the two friends put together a small development team and set out to make sure MindBody wouldn’t treat any other businesses the way they were treated. Finding people wasn’t the hard part, it was finding the right people. “We needed to find people who actually cared… people who loved what they did and cared about the lives of others…” says Fridman. With the team that truly cared in place, Davids and Fridman created WellnessLiving, a software that answered the needs of health and wellness owners. What is WellnessLiving? WellnessLiving provides a cloud-based management software to health and wellness businesses, enabling them with real-time booking, appointment and class scheduling, point of sale with credit card processing, email and SMS marketing, online store, employee payroll, customer review management, rewards program, robust reporting, custom branded apps, and many other features. WellnessLiving helps health and wellness owners engage their clients. The CRM offers four different memberships plans —Starter, Standard, Professional, and Enterprise—each tailored to suit different startup needs. There are multiple plans, but no matter what plan you chose, WellnessLiving is all in one. That means one low-cost monthly membership for all services. WellnessLiving is somewhat of a swiss army knife which also offers hardware for point of sale. How does WellnessLiving Work? Say you own a fitness studio or a massage business. You want to keep track of all your clients and ensure they enjoy your services. 1) The first step is a quick call with a WellnessLiving Account Manager. Here, you’ll talk a little about your business and receive answers to ensure their team has everything you need in a business management software. 2) Next, you can request a free demo of WellnessLiving. With this, one of their senior product specialists will walk you through the platform and show you how you’d actually use it every day. Then you’d get approved for discounted credit processing, saving you 10-30% in monthly processing fees. 3) The last step is having a dedicated Onboarding Specialist assigned to your account. They’ll help you every step of the way to migrate all your vital historical data and future bookings to your new account. This includes client profiles, membership, appointments history, and encrypted credit card information. And that’s it! Now you’ve got a unique mobile app that advertises your services and rewards your customers for their engagement. Seeing Rapid Expansion Bootstrapping a startup has its challenges especially the financial constraints. Davids and Fridman invested all they had into their idea in the hopes that it’d help the lives of wellness owners and consumers. Their devotion has reaped the rewards. What was once two childhood friends is now a thriving team spread out across 15 departments. By the end of 2018, WellnessLiving expects to launch SEO-optimized custom-branded websites to help their customers increase their online visibility. Today, WellnessLiving services over 3,000 health and wellness businesses, reaching 4.7 million users. WellnessLiving operates in hundreds of cities in the US and Canada, as well as cities in Europe, Africa, and Australia. Also, WellnessLiving is one of four fitness software providers in the world that is a Reserve with Google partner. This provides their customers with more exposure on Google and makes the booking process far easier for new prospects as they can book a service right form their Google business listing! For the Future The WellnessLiving team continues to rely on their customers for new feature requests. They regularly conduct surveys throughout the year — uncovering new requirements. “And if the demand is great enough, our team of software developers will work to create it,” says Davids. WellnessLiving is also in partnership talks with some of the largest health and wellness chains in the US. The company also seeks to partner with QuickBooks by year’s end. It only makes sense for the all-in-one mantra of the company. In the end, Fridman admits that MindBody taught his team a valuable lesson. “We learned what not to do… We were once bootstrapped entrepreneurs that needed a system to support us and understand our best interests. So that’s what we bring and will continue to offer to the market—services that help companies succeed and make clients happy.” As wellness participation soars each year, companies need easier ways to engage their clients. With WellnessLiving, health and wellness owners can finally grow their business and breathe easy knowing their software is managed. — WellnessLiving Meets the RIC Centre In 2015, Davids and Fridman brought WellnessLiving to the RIC Centre. There, they spoke about their business model with Entrepreneur-in-Residence Geoff Simonett. Simonett, alongside the RIC’s network of over 100 advisors, helped Davids and Fridman gain marketing strategies, funding partners, and investor connections — putting WellnessLiving in the right lane for its remarkable growth.