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Future of Fitness

Jul 1, 2020

Hewitt Tomlin is one of the Partners of TeamBuildr, a company that specializes in simplifying the program building and training regimes for coaches. He started his business in college with his roommates, and it was not an overnight success. They came across a problem that strength coaches had, and this was the fact that they were using Excel to train hundreds of athletes across the country, which was time-consuming for coaches. They eventually built a platform which made this process easier through their platform. 

Tell us about your product and what makes TeamBuildr unique? 

  • In the beginning, Tomlin thought that the key to his business would be to build an app that focuses on building good experiences for athletes electronically. 
  • Soon they came to the realization that it is better to target their app to coaches who actually sit down and write these training programs, trying to ensure that coaches could save a couple of hours on writing training programs. 
  • Tomlin placed an emphasis on building a platform that would make manual technical processes easier. 
  • TeamBuildr will strive to always be a platform that is up to date and continuously improving their features. 

What are your thoughts on the current status of things? How did the pandemic affect your business? 

  • The current pandemic has accelerated business in a few sectors and remote training tools such as ours, it is beneficial for tools that facilitate some sort of remote transaction. 
  • This means that your competition will increase. 
  • You are solving a piece of the equation by being a remote tool, but there are several aspects that are involved. Tomlin likes to use the example that the highest quality platform may not always be the best selling, it is all in how it is marketed. 
  • If your marketing is not formatted for today's situation, you cannot acquire customers remotely. 
  • Tomlins business is not just about talking about their platform, but it's about helping coaches holistically with their pain points. 

What are some features that you find more relevant now than maybe six months ago that you are focusing on? 

  • A social media platform is important. 
  • We have been working on a Team Feed which allows you to share your videos and images. This is important for coaches, they want to be notified of uploads.

How do you see yourself fitting into the market? What makes TeamBuildr different? 

  • TeamBuildr has decided to stay true toward what they call the Strength and Conditioning professional. 
  • This means that the programs that you are writing and the feedback that is given has to do with strength training. 
  • They cater towards the market interested in the principle of progressive overload. 

How big are the Strength and Conditioning professional market? How does TeamBuildr estimate? 

  • The market can very easily be estimated as it relates to Team Space, which includes high schools, colleges, professional teams, recreational teams, and so on - which is a market that is growing very nicely. 
  • Strength and Conditioning have been growing in High Schools spaces due to the job stability it provides.
  • CrossFit also affected the way Strength and Conditioning were seen, and it popularized it more. 
  • This has been a big part of TeamBuildrs business, and it is getting bigger. 

What has been one of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur? 

  • When it came to building their business, Tomlin said they were unaware that they were building a software as a service. 
  • A lot of the advice given to Tomlin was not as relevant as it would have been if a business was being built 20 years ago, which meant that they had to seek direction on their own. 
  • Tomlin and his partner discovered that they could be self-sufficient and could make progress for their business, and Tomlin did not understand the concept of taking money to see if it would win or lose within a couple of years. 

Have you taken on investors? Are you still bootstrapping? 

  • Tomlin says they never took on any investors, and never took out a loan. 
  • They resorted to selling subscriptions and sold about 10 the first year. Tomlin and his partner were working full-time jobs and would reinvest into the business until the company snowballed. 
  • They have been bootstrap the whole time. 

What year did you officially found the company? 

  • Tomlin says they made their first sale in 2012, with a division 3 school in Lynchburg, Virginia. 
  • Tomlin spent his time cold calling coaches and using staff directories to try and get clients. 

What are some gems you got from the cold calling experience? 

  • Tomlin explains that when he was cold calling, he knew that this industry required time and trust was a big deal. 
  • The Strength and Conditioning community is very tightly knit and he knew it would take time for it to snowball. 
  • Cold calling is worth it for anyone evaluating when they start on a sales development enterprise. 

What is your goal with this company? Do you have an exit strategy? What would you consider to be a success? 

  • Tomlin says that they are pretty transparent about how they look at long term goals for a company. 
  • He enjoys what he does and loves his customers, and says that he would not do anything that puts his business at risk. 
  • They want to build a company that is attractive to people who are interested in buying the Country Club, so to speak. 
  • If customers want to be involved, they would have to invest into the company, and they will inform them of future developments and growth. 
  • They are taking the course that is a balanced approach, which is reinvesting in the company while making it a balanced approach. 

Explain your thoughts on the decentralization of the fitness industry, where do they come from? 

  • Tomlin explains that when he talks about decentralization, what he envisions is these really high-quality trainers who go out and learn how to market and acquire customers. 
  • He supports small businesses and thinks a coach building up a business and 50 clients giving them very personal high touch training programs in nutrition advice, life and stress management coaching is a good model. 
  • Tomlin thinks the only thing holding people back from doing this is the marketing and the concept of acquiring customers effectively. 

When we look at the current state of your business at Team Builder, what is the biggest need that you guys have right now? What is your biggest challenge? 

  • Similar to other Tech companies, finding good engineers and developers are important, TeamBuildr is considered a product-first company. 
  • TeamBuildr is all about bringing a good product that is sustainable and scalable, and that requires talented and committed people. 
  • TeamBuildr exists to ensure that employees are taken care of as well as customers, and then the economics are to be worried about. 

Is your whole team located in DC? Do you have a remote team? How big is your team?

  • TeamBuildr has 7 employees that are in office, but they are currently working remotely due to the epidemic. 
  • The reason behind this was the desire to found a culture for the company, this means they want to bring in people face to face and have decided to be an in-person company. 

What are some new products that Team Builder is putting out there? 

  • TeamBuildrs first and foremost product is built for a coach to write their own training programs. 
  • TeamBuildr  also offers resources in the form of templates and training templates. 
  • The company got started on writing new templates for competitive athletes, speed, power and agility which would allow coaches to quickly be able to incorporate these into their training. 
  • TeamBuildr built three to four at home templates that coaches could have access to and use within training their team, that it was of high quality and trustworthy. 


Facebook: Hewitt Tomlin

LinkedIn: Hewitt Tomlin

Website: TeamBuildr