Every Thursday, Ask Svveat tackles your most pressing fitness questions—this week, Svveat founder Johanna Robles Tam answers top inquiries about the company itself and provides a sneak peek into the exciting developments on the horizon.
I’ve been frequenting Svveat since it launched in January and love how easy it is to use. Lately I’ve been wondering, are you planning on making an app or expanding your workouts into the non-free variety? I’m also dying to know: How is your team making money from all the great work you’re doing when everything is free?
— Intrigued Svveat Seeker
Dear Svveat Seeker,
I want to start off by saying thank you for your support! To say the past two months have been incredible would be an understatement. Tens of thousands of users like you have visited our website, we’ve amassed 3,000+ engaged followers across our social channels and, best of all, we have helped fill up classes for all of our featured instructors and hosts. On top of that, I’ve met new friends at workouts across the city; reconnected with old pals; put together a talented team, including Darren Tam, Lindsay MacAdam and Upasna Sharma; and created a community platform to showcase the dedicated organizations, leaders and athletes that inspire us every day to continue the Svveat journey.
These are great questions and ones I get from users on a weekly basis. Creating an app for Svveat has always been part of the bigger plan and we hope to release one this year or early next. In the meantime, you can save the website right onto your smartphone’s home screen.
Free will always be a focus for Svveat—it’s what makes our value proposition and our website so unique. You come to us because we’ve advertised free fitness and that’s exactly what you get. I’m excited to tell you that we will be expanding our focus in the upcoming months to include charity donation-based workouts, as that aligns with our community objectives. I can also let you know we’re working on some pretty fantastic partnerships that will bring more top-notch programming into Toronto and the GTA. And we’re just getting started!
Last but not least, to answer your money question, I’m glad you asked and thanks for putting it so nicely. It doesn’t always roll off everyone’s tongue the same way. Just a couple weeks ago, in fact, someone reviewed my business plan with raised eyebrows and said: “Miss, do you want to make millions of dollars or just run a cute lifestyle business?”
It was unexpected, it was mean and it came off as extremely sexist. I stayed calm despite wanting to use my newly perfected jab move that I learned at Jeff’s Boxing 101 class, and I explained this: As much as Svveat is a social enterprise for everyday athletes, we also provide value as a B2B company and will continue to focus our revenue strategies that way. In layman’s terms: Svveat will never charge you for a free or donation-only workout—it makes no sense. Call me naive, but I’ve been so focused on ensuring users feel the value-add of Svveat that I just figured money would come eventually. And believe me, it is.
That’s it for now, Seeker. I hope I’ve cured your curiosity and you continue to get out there, meet new people, and find time to conquer your life and fitness goals. Know that our entire team is behind you 100%.
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