A pair of fitness entrepreneurs have invested in new technology in a bid to boost their business internationally.
FITSTREAM, which was set up by Kris Kennedy and Paul Cranston, hope a new app and website – www.fitstream.com – will lead to growth in customer nationally and internationally.
Since its launch the App has been downloaded by more than 1,400 people, and FITSTREAM’s website, with e-commerce capabilities, is currently attracting more than 35,000 unique users each month.
The company was supported in developing its new app and website by the North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF), an ERDF initiative that provides 40 per cent funding - up to £1400 - towards a project worth up to £3,500. The business hopes that with a new website, app and with increased marketing activity planned, it will see significant growth over the coming months.
Kennedy said: “The business was born out of a passion for health and fitness, and though it is a competitive market, we’ve developed a site and application that we believe is intuitive, user friendly and that can really help take the business forward.
“Between us, Paul and I have good technical skills, but we needed additional support with the design elements of the project and having access to funding to offset the cost was really helpful and is something we are sure will be hugely beneficial to us.”
The Washington-based company, which was set up in 2009, has been run as a side-line by Kris and Paul, who initially developed an affiliate site operating predominantly in the US market. The pair then took the business a step further, honing in on their interest in fitness and developing e-commerce functionality to allow them to recommend and retail products.
FITSTREAM sell a range of products including strength and conditioning equipment, clothing and gym accessories.
The business applied for support from the NEBSF, which provided them with £1,200 towards the cost of the design of the site and app. Part of the funding was used towards creating a more responsive website which will adapt to a user’s device, as more than 40 per cent of the business’ website traffic is from mobile or tablet visitors.
Lynne Burns, North East Business Support Manager, said: “For businesses of all sizes, NEBSF can really help to take projects forward. What might otherwise not be financially viable for a company can be made possible by accessing the fund and ultimately, the return can be significant.
“I’m delighted that FITSTREAM have been able to use the funding to really take their business forward, and I am sure they will reap the rewards.
“We help businesses with a range of projects, from marketing and web design to financial or human resources planning. The fund has already assisted more than 1,000 businesses. It is incredibly easy to access support and there is funding still available for businesses looking to put a project in place.”
The North East Business Support Fund project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013, which is managed by The Department for Communities and Local Government.