This week, Small Business editor Caitlin Sykes talks to business owners about video.

Simone Rank is the founder of YummyMummy Fitness, which offers online-based fitness and weight loss programmes, as well as group and virtual fitness classes, and personal training services targeted at mums.

How do you use video in your business?

We use video in a few ways. Most of our physical classes can also be done online, so anyone anywhere can book in to do them virtually. For that we use a videoconferencing app called Zoom. So if I'm taking a class, for example, I'll have a screen where I can see all the people doing the class virtually and check on their technique and keep pushing them as I would in the actual class. Then once we've done a class it also gets added to our video database, which our members can access. So if they can't make it to a class that's at 6am, they can go into the database and do it at a time that suits.

The other thing we use video for is fitness testing. Because we have members living in all kinds of places it's not necessarily convenient for them to physically get to us, or for us to get to them. So we've put together a short video that takes them through a fitness testing process that we then use to help put together their programme.


And we also have a video database of all the exercises we use in our programmes. Because everyone is different, we do lots of variations on certain exercises and the videos are a way of showing people the right techniques to use once they get their training programmes.

When did you start doing the virtual classes and why?

The business is three-and-a-half years old and we started using video at the beginning of this year. I live in the country and I don't have time to drive half an hour to do every class I want to do and then drive half an hour back. So I wanted to come up with a way I could do classes myself without having to travel for an hour. I thought if I could use Skype then I could just log in and do a class with a trainer, so we started offering virtual classes that way. But with Skype we were limited in the number of people we could have logging in at any one time, so we started looking at other apps. Zoom, which we use now, allows us to connect up to 50 people by video at any one time.

What impact has using video this way had on your business?

The idea of virtual classes isn't something people are familiar with, so it's not something you can easily sell to them. So for us using video this way has been more about providing greater value to our existing clients than pulling in new clients.

So has that been the major challenge on your journey with using video in the business so far?

Absolutely. The challenge has been getting people to see the value in something they don't quite understand. People think 'I'm not that good with technology' so they just don't go there, whereas the concept is actually about removing the barriers people often have with exercise around not having enough time. We've just had to find different ways to talk to people about the concept - and keep talking about it.

Do you produce your content yourself?

We do. Our trainers provide the raw video footage, and one of our staff in Queenstown does all the editing, voiceovers and graphics. We didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on video before we'd figured out what our clients wanted from it and how they wanted it. People have been so willing to give us feedback on an ongoing basis and if we'd gone out and spent lots on a professional production at the beginning we wouldn't be using that content now because we've changed how we do things so much.

I think your approach also depends on your target market. Our market enjoys the content being fun, entertaining and authentic.