Wednesday, December 27, 2017

From Spreadsheets to Software

Oh, 2017 has been a YEAR. With the way it started, I wasn’t sure I’d actually make it out alive and in one piece. But, I took life day-by-day and managed to survive the roller-coaster ride of running – not one – but two start-up companies with my usual full-time job on the side.

Prior to the start of 2017, Kerrie and I had about 30 nutrition clients between the two of us (over the course of 6 months). We used spreadsheets with all sorts of handy calculations and shortcuts to make our meal plans, but it still took us more than an hour per client per week. At this pace, we knew we couldn’t keep up with the demand for meal plans, so we went to a local development company and took a leap and had custom software built for us.

JANUARY

Our software was suppose to be finished prior to January 1st, but, as we now know, software deadlines are very rarely accurate, so we didn’t have it in our hands until mid-January. With a slew of customers waiting to begin their meal plans just after the New Year, it was a very stressful time for us. Eventually, our software was up and running (woohoo!), BUT Kerrie and I had about 25 additional clients each and all at once. We were drowning in meal plans.

PLENTY of wine followed.

Kerrie and I need help and FAST. Thankfully, Ashley (a CNC reader) reached out about DTFN. We met Ashley and INSTANTLY loved her. She was our very first employee and hit the ground running. We can’t say enough wonderful things about Ashley. She really saved our butts!

In addition to making meal plans and coaching clients, Ashley helped us with all sorts of lectures, video tutorials, social media, and more!

Our first nutrition lecture at Fit Factory was a huge success, and we got a bunch of new clients!

FEBRUARY

In February, we partnered with our local Whole Foods for another lecture.

MARCH

By March, things were still jamming at DTFN and we needed MORE help. Thankfully, lots of RDs and nutrition coaches reached out to us, so we started to interview. We hired 3 coaches and trained them right up!

During this time, we also made a bunch of enhancements to our software to make it even better. Basically, our software “wish list” became a reality!

Kerrie and I also attended the Fitness Business Summit in San Diego and came away with lots of ideas, motivation, and words of wisdom!

March also kicked off our Best Shitty Choice series!

APRIL

The Capital One Cafe aka “the unofficial DTFN office” opens, and Kerrie and I spend A LOT of time there!

We basically lived at “the Cap” during this time.

We also hired more coaches!

Virtual staff meeting! 🙂

MAY

We head back to our old stomping grounds for the grand re-opening at CrossFit 781 (where Kerrie and I met nearly 7 years ago).

In May, we also did our first podcast with the Fit Bottomed Girls!

And we filmed more videos – including a new category “silo” called “The Best Fit.”

JUNE

Six months after launching our software and hiring a team of 7 (+ an inbox FULL of prospective RDs and nutrition coaches), we realized that we had something really special going on. We had some seriously awesome software and an industry of nutrition professionals, who would most definitely benefit from it, so we decided turn DTFN’s platform into a SaaS (software as a service) model. We already had another “wish list” of enhancements that we wanted to add to our software, so back to the development company we went.

Phase 3 —> SaaS

(This was a very scary, but good day!)

Shortly after that, Nutrition House Software was born and back to the grind (not that we ever left) we went!

We finished out the month with another software meeting to finalize the details and timeline of phase 3 (more enhancements), which would immediately roll into becoming Nutrition House Software (SaaS).

JULY

Over July 4th weekend, we realized we had NO IDEA how to run (or sell) a software business, so we hired Dan Martell as our business mentor and joined his SaaS Academy.

The rest of the summer was a big blur. There was SO MUCH TO DO!!

SEPTEMBER

September kicked off with a trip to San Francisco for Dan Martell’s “sales intensive” meeting.

We learned all about selling SaaS, made some great connections, and even had made some time to explore San Francisco!

When we got back from San Francisco, we recorded a video podcast with Mobius Media Solutions.

And filmed a bunch of videos to promote our first ever Sugar Detox Challenge.

OCTOBER

In October, we entered the world of webinars to help promote Nutrition House Software. The actual webinar technology was the hardest part! Haha!

We hosted two webinars and recruited a group of 10 “early adopters” to test out the software when it was released in early November.

NOVEMBER

In early November, some of the enhancements started to roll out (photos on our recipes!) as well as the beta version of Nutrition House Software.

Once it was ready to go, we trained all of our early adopters on the software and then let them loose to try it out and provide feedback on bugs, issues, etc.

Around this time, Kerrie and I realized we needed help outside meal planning. A number of our coaches expressed interested in becoming more involved with both businesses (DTFN and NHS), so we started to give them larger roles.

… which meant meeting everyone (except one!) in person!

And then putting them to work! 🙂

DECEMBER

Our affiliate program is really rolling now – just about every time I login to the system, I see new ones! Related: If you’re a blogger and want to get involved with DTFN, please reach out! 🙂

And we signed our very first (big) gym!

Kerrie is taking KFIT to the next level with a HUGE new space, which is going to include an office for DTFN. I’m so proud of her and can’t wait to see the final product in early 2018!

As you can see, 2017 was quite a year with many highs and many lows. I feel like if we could survive the insanity of two start-ups while simultaneously running two businesses of our own (CNC and KFIT), we can survive just about anything that life throws at us. Now that 2018 is upon us, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Designed to Fit and Nutrition House. As always, thank you for supporting me here at CNC as I navigate through these next life adventures. It’s definitely not something I ever saw for myself, especially 10 years ago when I started this blog, but I’m so grateful that I’m part of something so amazing.

Happy 2018, everyone! I hope the new year brings you lots of health, happiness, and love!

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