MindBody simplifies the business of wellness

Kelly Dawson
December 5, 2017
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When it comes to your workout, you want options.

It wasn’t too long ago that most people only had a handful of options for consistent exercise: a gym membership at a national chain, an open corner in their home, a park and its surrounding sidewalks, or the mom-and-pop spot with all the standard machines. But these days, it seems like those who want to keep a workout routine no longer have to stay within the confines of these choices.

Small businesses around yoga, spinning, and the like are increasingly popular alternatives to these usual suspects, and their ubiquity has seemingly grown faster than the average bicep after a steady regimen of curls.That’s good news for anyone looking to get or stay healthy.

But what about those entrepreneurs who are providing all of these opportunities? If the everyday exerciser has numerous open classes at his fingertips, then the owners of those classes must also be tasked with keeping them in shape. And if you really want to break a sweat, then just consider those logistics. That’s where MindBody throws in a (helpful) towel.

This California company provides cloud-based management software for small fitness brands, giving owners the tools they need to focus, organize, and expand their plans.

As the wellness category continues to grow, MindBody ensures that those neighborhood outposts (including those in the ClassPass network) are doing all that they can to attract, schedule, and retain customers.

Because when it comes to exercise, everybody wants results — even the owners behind the scenes.


Set halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo was the picturesque setting for a straightforward idea: to launch a company that helps boutique fitness businesses stay on top of their game. That was in 2001, long before “wellness” was a popular synonym for health, and yet the idea made perfect sense. But let’s back up a little.

Three years before MindBody Software was launched in an SLO garage, CEO Rick Stollmeyer’s high school friend Blake Beltram created HardBody Software as a management system for exercise studios in the area. Stollmeyer and Beltram knew what all entrepreneurs know, that customers have to be a prime concern, but they were also receptive to how that focus could be bolstered by the one thing missing from this particularly healthy table: technology. The two men decided to start a business around the software, and became the first company in the industry to offer desktop-installed products that could be coordinated across multiple internet locations.

If that sounds like the stereotypical “garage phase” origin story of a successful tech company, that’s because it is. In the ensuing years, MindBody expanded internationally while continuing to develop its reach — from a subscription model and entering the spa market, to focus on innovative mobile apps and educational services like a three-day conference — and became a publicly traded company in 2015. Plus, it fostered a reputation at its headquarters as a great place to work, and has even won awards for it.

Now with multiple satellite offices, the backing of about 50,000 small businesses, and the loyalty of 28 million active customers throughout the globe, MindBody has shown itself as a groundbreaking piece in the puzzle between technological advances and the rising regard for wellness.

Jump on It

So, let’s say that you’re the one in charge at a small business focused on wellness (congrats, by the way). MindBody’s library now covers head-to-toe care in everything from gyms, salons, spas, yoga studios, personal training, wellness centers, and more, and it can help you do anything you need to interact professionally and effectively with a customer.

Is a customer looking for a business like yours in her area? You’re spotted. Does she want to book an appointment or a class? It’s locked in. Does your staff know its schedule? It’s right in front of your team. Do you know where your money is going? Down to every last cent. And do you want to forecast how to grow in the future? This will help you get to work.

As technology has expanded alongside the wellness market — moving from broadband in the company’s beginning to smartphones in the palms of every potential customer’s hands now — MindBody has transitioned, too. The company has anticipated what customers and owners need to work seamlessly, from the small detail of “favoriting” studios for future use to the bigger requirement of implementing advanced security protocols, and those updates help to make the company dependable and cutting-edge.

These days, it’s the leading provider in its industry and it has allowed for smaller businesses to have the robust agency they need to succeed. This is stellar for two reasons: smaller businesses can bring their A-game against bigger names in their area, and customers can make up their own minds for what’s available to them in this market. It’s a win-win for both, and when we’re talking about making health lucrative and accessible, then that’s worth a victory lap.

“Our vision was always that we could do much more than be a business-management software platform,” Stollmeyer told Inc. when MindBody was named on its Founders 40 list this year. “We can help small businesses reach a broader audience, and that vision is emerging right now.”

MindBody is a holding in our Healthy Living portfolio. 

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