James Hesling is building a community of people who want to improve their health and fitness. Steeped in entrepreneurialism from an early age, he explains why he chose this path.
What is it the company does?
AllShapeUp is an online community, built for individuals to help them become fitter, healthier and more confident through exclusive workout programs and original recipes.
Founded in 2016, AllShapeUp makes exercise and a healthy lifestyle accessible to hundreds of people across the globe.
The workout programmes can be completed anywhere, 24 hours a day and they range from beginner to advanced, covering everything from Yoga, HIIT, Body Sculpt, Kettlebells and Dumbbells.
The platform also provides members with access to hundreds of healthy family recipes, including everything from smoothies and salads, to dinners and desserts. All of which are quick and easy to follow with a simple ingredients and method list.
What inspired you to start-up?
I was surrounded by entrepreneurs from a young age. I started working for my parents’ business from ten years old. Watching them build something successful from scratch is ultimately what inspired me to set up on my own.
I’m always on the lookout for my next challenge and I’ve always had a passion for fitness; this is what drove me to set up AllShapeUp. I have loved working on my business and watching it turn into something fantastic, that has helped many people across the globe to live healthier lifestyles.
How did you go about starting up, did you apply for funding or did you self-fund the project? If so, where did you secure funding from?
AllShapeUp is self-funded.
In 2017, we were successful in securing a place on the world’s largest free business growth accelerator programme, Entrepreneurial Spark.
Where do you get advice/support/help?
Entrepreneurial Spark has been fantastic for supporting me with business mentoring opportunities. Working alongside other entrepreneurs in the hub has also proved useful; sharing knowledge and experience has been invaluable.
I love to read and one particular book that has been inspiring to me is Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaccson. It is fascinating and I continue to read it every year.
My mum has also been a great source of support and advice, having run her own business selling promotional gifts, she's been incredibly inspiring. Seeing how hard she has worked on a daily basis is something that has pushed me to chase my own dreams of setting up a business.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Finance has been the number one challenge since setting up.
Also, finding the right people to help me on my entrepreneurial journey.
What is your next big target?
AllShapeUp plans to have 4000 members by the end of 2018.
We’re also launching a pre-and post-natal exercise and recipe guide this year after listening to the feedback from our AllShapeUp community.
What is the best and worst thing about being a start-up?
The best thing is being responsible for setting up a business that has genuinely helped people. Both in terms of helping AllShapeUp’s members to reach their fitness goals and also by providing jobs for people in the industry.
The worst thing is the financial pressures that come with running a business.
What makes this idea different?
AllShapeUp provides members with a bespoke workout plan. It is affordable and recognises that there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting fit. Our vision is to make exercise personal and accessible to all.
Who would be your dream customer?
Oprah Winfrey! She is our ideal target market.
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