Today’s post on launching a business in the pandemic is based on an interview I recently did with Shaun Herr, the co-founder of Nutri IQ. It’s broken out into 3 main parts. A bit about Shaun and his background (plus a few gym rats having a chat about supplements). Then we discuss the realities of starting a brand new business and some of the choices and adjustments to develop and launch an app. Then we close out on what Nutri IQ offers and why their approach is unique.
An Introduction to Shaun and Nutri IQ
Shaun is an author, entrepreneur, and nutrition & wellness coach. He is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing and Development at Nutri-iQ, an upcoming nutrition app that helps to clear the confusion up around food and to get results, your way. They understand that there’s no one-size fits all approach to reaching your goals. Which is why every SMART plan is tailored to each individual. He also hosts their podcast and can be found on YouTube.
Shaun studied Physics at the University of Manchester and now runs his own wellness business.
Nutrition and Wellness as a Passion
Shaun started in the field when he first went away to university, using part of his student loan to get a gym membership. That one year prepaid commitment led to him finding his passion. Shortly after that he became to go to guy for his friends in terms of health, fitness, and nutrition.
His first book “Finding Your Balance” was published in 2018 and did very well on Amazon in its category. It was written in “Evernote” while using an extra battery on his cell phone while on a bus as he toured in America.
As an avid reader, he always aspired to write a book himself. Using his 5 years of experience as a personal trainer, he applied the nutritional approach he had been using with clients.
The Traffic Light Approach
Using the red, yellow and green foods as a guide he applied his techniques that he used with his own clientele.
Green Foods – very nutritious and you will look and feel better if you have a lot of them,
Red Foods – the exact opposite of green. The more you have the worse you feel.
Yellow/Amber Foods – have some but not too much.
The key is knowing how much to have and when is too much.
Launching a Business by Building an App
Originally he was not a fan of online training and felt it lacked a personal touch and instruction. He saw a gap in the programs others were using and thought they lacked personalization. The one size fits all approach didn’t work and left so many people frustrated. That was the genesis of the idea. Build a program that not only worked for some people but was literally tailored to each and every individual on it.
People were buying highly complicated exercise programs for 20 dollars/Quid. He believed people deserved a better program. “No One Size Fits All” – both in terms of training based on what you enjoy, and in how you eat.
A keeping it simple diet is about food, calories in and calories out. It comes down to eating more nutritious foods that fill you up more. Giving his customers who have tried different programs, or watched their friends get results. They believe they can strip it down to calories in and out but supported with a customized recipe book.
Choice is a Key to their Success.
Understanding that different people have different tastes. It doesn’t matter if you are vegan, keto, gluten free or simply don’t like a certain type of food; the SMART plan is tailored to each and every person.
Recipes are suggested to meet lifestyle and calorie needs. They are then portion sized in the recipe book for your individual goals. The adaptability of the plan gives a daily total so that you can move and shift how much you eat in every meal.
Launching a Business Start with a Solid Foundation
With a launch date of May 20, 2020 with their target customers in mind and their mission clear, it came down to deciding what could and couldn’t be included in the initial offering. Decisions have to be made in every business about what to offer when, as well as to provide a goal of what to add and augment later in the process.
In their case of launching during a pandemic, they faced different challenges. Office space they had access to couldn’t be used. Promotional approaches, including their podcast, had to be altered from in-person jointly hosted to be remotely recorded. The sign of a great entrepreneur is that they were able to move quickly and learned to focus on what was important and adjusted course.
Things to keep in mind as a new business owner
Starting with a solid foundation, Shaun didn’t let building “the best mousetrap ever” stop him from driving forward. By focusing on things that worked and benefited their customers, such as; customized plans, recipes, and a calorie/portion programs for each meal offered they already had a solid fundamentals to begin with.
So often businesses never get off the ground because they try to do everything out of the gate, rather than going Live and having a solid offering and finding customers. Enhancements and additional features can and will be added as the business grows.
Creating a Community
It is amazing how social media and the web has changed what it takes to start a business, reach an audience, and build a following. Part of that is that you build a sense of community. While some people sneer at the concept, it’s powerful and something Nutri IQ figured out with their Facebook group. A place where others on the same journey can connect, share, and support each other.
Looking through a traditional lens it’s like building a trade association, civic org, or “users” group. Instead of print newsletters and a few annual events it’s Live real time and there for you. If you think through it, it’s perfect. And yet my marketing friends will tell me that a 3rd party platform can work against you at times and having your own list is important. That said it’s a good middle ground and a good way to keep folks engaged rather than driving them solely to your app and website until there is enough scale to support that.