Introduce Yourself and tell us about GloFox?
My name is Conor O’Loughlin, CEO and Co-Founder of GloFox. We provide business management software for both boutique fitness studios and the world’s largest fitness franchises. Glofox began in 2014. From starting off in a small consultancy in Dublin, we now have offices in LA, Sydney, and Dublin offering 24-hour customer support to our customers in 45 countries. We’re backed by tier-1 VCs and recently closed our $10M Series A investment led by Octopus Ventures.
What led to your interest in starting GloFox?
I started up a consultancy agency for web and app development with my business partners Anthony Kelly and Finn Hegarty. In the beginning, we worked with businesses across a range of different industries, before a particular project changed the direction of the company and our lives.
We developed an app for a high-intensity fitness studio that allowed its members to book into classes. We all realized this was a particularly underserviced area and decided to refocus the business on solely providing business management software and apps for fitness studios and gyms.
What is your startups unique selling point?
We focus on delivering the best member experience for the gyms and fitness studios that work with us. The rise of premium/boutique fitness is a trend that has caused every gym and fitness business owner to focus on how they engage and retain their customers. The largest gym chains in the world are not retooling their businesses to focus on member experience and that is the unique selling point that we provide.
What sacrifices have you made to become a successful entrepreneur?
Every entrepreneur has to make sacrifices to get where they want to be with their business. I am no different. The big thing that suffers is time with your family and friends. There is no getting around that. However, I do feel it’s really important to make time in your life for those people that are most important to you – having a good support system is key to succeeding in this game.
How are you marketing your business?
As our market is pretty well defined, we use a combination of paid and organic (content) marketing to generate leads for our small business sales team and close them at a pretty high velocity. For the larger customers that we target, we use targeted account-based marketing tactics to penetrate deep into these organizations.
That said, our business would not be thriving without a healthy number of referrals and warm introductions from existing customers.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
There are two things that I would advise.
The first would be that even if you have an end goal, there will always be something else on the horizon that you want to achieve. A good example is fundraising. You put in so much work to secure a certain round of funding that it feels like the be-all and end-all. And once you get it, you realize that you need to start all over again to get the next round a year or two down the line. The same with securing your first major client. With every success you have raised the bar and expectations of your next big milestone.
The other piece of advice is, that as you grow, it’s vital to fill leadership roles with those who have done it before. Through trial and error, we realized the best leadership hires are those who have previously been involved with building a successful start-up from the ground up. They have been in the trenches before and have the experience to make the right calls.
What is your favourite business book?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz really sums up the challenges of being an entrepreneur and gave me the confidence to continue to work on the business, especially when things got tough.
What do you like best about being an entrepreneur?
The day-to-day of continually growing something that you started from nothing never gets old. An entrepreneur starts a business because they have a vision that they can provide something no one else in the market can. And as you slowly grow it’s brilliant to grow the team and see everyone else buy into the vision and come along the journey with you.
What have been your most satisfying moments in business?
As I have said, seeing the team grow is particularly satisfying. Apart from that, I would say that our recent Series A funding. It has been game-changing for the business and is the result of so much hard work from everyone across the team. It allows us to take Glofox to places we could only have dreamed about a few years ago and that in itself is not only satisfying but very exciting.
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