The pandemic is finally fading from the rear-view mirror, but while lockdowns may be behind us, it seems likely that some changes are going to remain in this slightly more sanitised world.
A new online training platform certainly hopes that is true – and that we will prefer to work out, chill out and upskill ourselves in the comfort of our own home, rather than brave the company of potentially sweaty classmates.
LiveHive is an online coaching studio with a difference. It features hand-picked coaches from countries as diverse as Brazil, India and the Philippines – all offering world class coaching to students across the UK at what LiveHive claims are the most affordable prices possible.
Dave Nicholson, previously co-founder of Zopa and Yoyo Wallet, and his co-founder Winnie Man explain how their business model works.
“We asked hundreds of people across the UK about their learning habits,” explains Nicholson, “they told us they wanted to learn more, but it was either too expensive, or they couldn’t find something at the right time.”
“We realised there was an opportunity here,” continues Man, “we could recruit great coaches from lower income countries, pay them a decent wage, and still offer classes to students for a really low price. With the cost of living rising rapidly, it’s the perfect solution for anyone looking to continue their wellness or fitness lessons and spend less.”
The interactive education portal has developed its own bespoke tech platform to match coaches and students, run the live video session, send messages and provide recordings to watch on demand. It all sounds very slick, but why is this a better solution than coaches setting up on their own using Zoom?
“When we talked to coaches who were trying to make a business online, their number one pain point was finding students,” Nicholson explains, “that’s something we can help them with with our experienced marketing team. We also give coaches a share of student revenue once their classes get to a certain size – so we’ve aligned their interests with ours”
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It’s certainly a competitive space, from established wellness services like Glo, to relative newcomers in the broader education space such as MasterClass, who feature both former US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hilary on their roster – but LiveHive have some tricks up their sleeve that set them apart.
“We knew that just being price led wasn’t enough, we needed to make sure that students could always find a class that worked for their schedule,” Man continues, “so that’s why we developed a unique feature to all students to request a class on their terms – and it’s down to us to make sure we meet them.”
To fulfill this customer promise, LiveHive ask their broad roster of coaches to be on call when they’re not running scheduled sessions, and then pay them extra to run additional classes “by request.” LiveHive then add these new classes to their schedule, and market them to additional students – hopefully making this a win-win for all concerned.
The team’s first objective is to prove the concept in the yoga and pilates space, but they have big ambitions.
“There’s almost no limit to the variety of subjects we could teach in this way,” Nicholson claims, “think of almost anything you’d like to learn and there will be a great teacher out there we can connect you with.”
A bold claim no doubt, but with LiveHive’s user survey suggesting 4 out of 5 UK adults want to learn more than they currently are, the potential pool of students certainly looks deep enough to swim in for some time…although aquatic lessons might be a step too far even for LiveHive!