BA (Hons) Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship alumnus, Phil Carr, was an obvious choice when seeking candidates for the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence roles. By recognising a huge gap in the personal training market, and through careful business moves and hard work, Phil has created a product that is now in demand from some of the largest industry brands.
We caught up with Phil to discover more about the rapid growth of his company, My PT Hub, and why he decided to accept the Entrepreneur-in-Residence position.
What are you most excited about in your role as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence?
As a Portsmouth Business School alumnus, it’s great to be working with the next generation of business innovators. I’m really looking forward to working with students to help make their business ideas become a reality.
Can you tell us about where the idea of My PT Hub came from?
I originally set up My PT Hub, in my Grandmother’s spare bedroom. The idea had come to me after seeing personal trainers walking around the gym with clients. Both trainer and client having their phones out trying to organise their next session. Also they had several bits of paper; trying meticulously manage their schedules, book new appointments and achieve results for their clients. The gap in the market seemed almost surreal and I was in disbelief that with digital technology and smartphones, that this hadn’t already been capitalised upon.
I wanted to create something that would benefit both personal trainers and their clients. Just 5 months later, My PT Hub launched, where Personal Trainers could create workouts and nutrition plans for their clients, whilst being able to manage their schedule and payments all-in-one app.
How has My PT Hub developed from those early start-up days?
Since the launch, we’ve gone from strength to strength, and in just three years we have grown from a team of three to over 20. We are about to move into our third office in order to cope with the growth in demand and to support our continued recruitment. We are now the number one software for personal trainers, acquiring a new user every two minutes.
What do you enjoy most about running your company?
I am passionate about inspiring young people who are interested in tech, business and new product development. I was recently invited back to the secondary school where I studied to give a talk to Year 9 and Year 10 business students.
What top three pieces of advice would you give to alumni who are looking to start their own venture?
Keep the idea simple – it’s very easy to over complicate products and services. In the web industry, a website or app is never finished. In fact, not releasing all of your awesome and amazing ideas straight away is really important. Keep some in your utility belt. Reid Hoffman, an American entrepreneur once said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”.
Surround yourself with talented people – not being the best at everything is perfectly normal. We’re all human, we have our strengths and weaknesses. Highlighting early on what your strengths are, means you can hire the best talent to fill your weaknesses. That’s not me saying you shouldn’t improve or take an interest in those weaker areas, but it’s important you recognise them. After all, if you have a very talented team around, by proxy you benefit.
Product, product, product – it’s all about the product. Make your product amazing. Give your customers the wow factor. Force marketing a new type of website or app idea will only get you so far. But making an amazing product will separate you from the rest and build a healthier, longer lasting business.
You can discover more about Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Lynda Harding, Mark Smith and Heather Barrie in our upcoming podcast series, launching in 2019.