Personal training app set to put the boot into slackers

SETS HIS OWN PACE: Personal trainer Alex Asher relaxes on the run.
SETS HIS OWN PACE: Personal trainer Alex Asher relaxes on the run.

Fitness freaks are going to find it harder to skive off between training sessions thanks to new personal training app Top Trainer.

Alex Asher, 29, launched the personal training software after he discovered his clients were working hard at his bootcamp but not doing much in between sessions.

The Top Trainer iPhone app would be up and running this week and the Android app is not far behind.

The Aucklander says he hopes to have about 200 of New Zealand's 2500 personal trainers signed up by the end of the year.

But New Zealand is just a stepping stone. Asher's ultimate plan is to launch in Australia at some point this year.

Why did you start your own business?

I really enjoy being creative and solving problems. When you start a business, it's like starting with a blank canvas, throwing everything you've got at it and seeing what sticks.

What have been the biggest obstacles in starting up your business?

I've found incredibly talented people to work with but have not come across a co-founder who is at the same stage of life, with the same goals and ambition.

Name one thing you've learnt in your business journey so far and from who.

My business philosophy was inspired by [Icebreaker's] Jeremy Moon. "To get what you want in business, you need to give others what they want," Moon said. That has been important throughout my journey and impacts who you work with, how you approach your clients and how you build a product people can't do without.

What are your business and personal goals?

To make a measurable, positive impact on people and our natural environment.

Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

Stop planning, start doing and enjoy the journey. While I've had my fair share of down days, if you expect them, are prepared for them and enjoy the journey anyway, it's easier to keep going.

What have you sacrificed to be an entrepreneur?

The hardest thing is I'm on the move a lot. I have no fixed income and it's hard to plan more than a few months ahead. Of course, that's also what makes it exciting.

Are you prepared for failure?

This isn't my first startup but I am not looking for failure. If the idea just isn't right then I'm prepared to drop it, get up, dust myself off and start again.

Who is your "business guru", or who do you admire, and why?

My mentor is Smartebusiness owner Mark Hammersley. He cuts straight to the heart of a problem while offering clever, creative solutions.

If you were an employee rather than running your own business, which company would you want to work for?

Google or Evernote.

Where is your favourite place to relax?

On a forest trail, on my surfboard or in the garden.

What is one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?

In 2010 I ran and swam from Cape Reinga to Cook Strait, 2300km down the East Coast to raise money for Sustainable Coastlines, and Forest & Bird.

The Dominion Post