Sukhjot, Julia, and Drew met each other in BUS 201 during the summer online semester at the University of the Fraser Valley. They quickly learned that they shared a passion for all things fitness! Being housebound (along with much of the rest of the world) during the COVID-19 pandemic, they realized that there was the potential to start a new business offering online fitness and health classes.
They decided to start a Web site that would offer a vast array of courses using minimal equipment. The idea was that users could come to the Web site to find and then take a course in one of several ways. Some courses could be completed interactively or ‘live’ on the Web via the site; others were in a form that was downloadable directly to the user’s computer; others could be ordered and delivered to customers’ homes on a flash drive (for those customers who don’t have reliable internet access). After much debate, they called their new business CoronaPersona and their mission was “to provide fitness-related learning when, where, and how you need it.”
Based on their research, they knew the market for fitness was booming. At the same time, many gyms were unable to operate due to the pandemic, or going out of business altogether. After spending hours looking to order weights online, Sukhjot also knew that many popular items were in short supply and so clients would likely appreciate workouts that didn’t require a lot of equipment. Sukhjot, Julia, and Drew understandably thought they were in the right place at the right time. And perhaps they were.
Julia’s father had some unused loft space in Abbotsford that they thought could be used for an office eventually, when people are allowed to return to work. They pooled their savings and had about $45,000 to start with: CoronaPersona was in business! They retained the services of an independent programmer (Xiangyu) and hired two people – a Web designer to create the graphics for the site (Clarence) and a content manager whose job was to enter information onto the site as it came in from content providers (Mehtab). Their initial plan was for Sukhjot to run most of the fitness classes, either pre-recorded or live, but they realized that eventually they would likely have to hire or contract additional fitness instructors to provide content.
They were also actively seeking to raise more capital funds to build the business. Their funding, according to the business plan, was to go toward accomplishing four main goals: (1) designing and expanding the Web site; (2) hiring about seven more employees; (3) designing and implementing a personal information manager (PIM) calendar application (users and content providers could use the calendar to interactively keep track of their personal and business schedules); and, last but definitely not least, (4) driving up sales. CoronaPersona was off and running!!
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