Customer Stories

Growing to 1,000+ Fitness Professionals with FlexWerk

Learn how Steve from FlexWerk brought over 1,000 members into their app in just 6 months
FlexWerk Coworking Fitness Member

FlexWerk

Franchise
Flex
FlexWerk is on a mission to empower fitness professionals to be their own boss. With a unique approach to technology, a commitment to the user experience, and a strong vision for future growth, Steve Pirt, CEO and co-founder of FlexWerk, is significantly disrupting the fitness industry one FlexWerk location at a time.

Walk into the doors of FlexWerk in Carmel, Indiana and you’ll see why it’s not like other fitness facilities. 

The space is made up of several private training spaces equipped with premium, world-class fitness equipment. Here, fitness professionals can train clients, film content, and ultimately feel empowered to become their own boss.

Steve Pirt is the CEO and co-founder of FlexWerk. After working in the fitness industry for 20 years, he saw an opportunity to improve the experience of fitness professionals by creating what he calls, “the first coworking space for fitness professionals”. 

This new kind of coworking space is driving fitness professionals to feel more confident and improve the health of their broader communities.

With a unique approach to technology, a commitment to the user experience, and a strong vision for future growth, Steve is significantly disrupting the fitness industry one FlexWerk location at a time. Learn how he’s achieving his vision with Optix.

“Our vision is to open, build, and drive an international franchise network of over 3,000 locations in the next ten years. This allows hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fitness professionals, influencers, and anyone in the health and wellness space who has a client, to have the space, the technology, and the business support services to be their own boss.”
FlexWerk Fitness Coworking and Flex Space Member Weightlifting

Identifying opportunities for improvement

For Steve, the traditional gym model is antiquated. Employees’ time is largely taken up by menial tasks, hospitality is low on the list of priorities, and canceling a gym membership requires meeting in person and signing a piece of paper.

From the beginning, Steve knew he wanted to make these processes more efficient and create a seamless user experience for members, or what he calls, “a friction-free ecosystem.” This is accomplished through technology, design, and operations. 

He put himself in the shoes of the consumer and worked backwards to understand how to create the ideal experience for both a fitness professional and their clients from beginning to end. He envisioned employing technology to automate as many systems as possible in order to free up employee time so they could focus on more meaningful and impactful tasks. 

Once the vision was mapped out, Steve focused his attention on putting together the right team of partners to enable this experience. 

“Fitness is about connection and connectivity, and people are at the heart of it no matter what. I wanted technology to enable the human capacity.”

Finding the perfect tech partners

When it came to finding the right tech partners, there were two things top of mind for Steve. 

The first was the people behind the technology. Steve was looking for long-term partners to help him achieve his vision of rapid expansion over the next several years. He didn’t just want a technology vendor, he wanted a thought partner and collaborator.

The second thing Steve was looking for in a technology partner was alignment. He wanted to partner with platforms who viewed the world the way he did, and who were fully aligned with his mission of empowering fitness professionals. He wanted a partner who was willing and able to drive the user experience and enable human capacity.

Steve took his time in evaluating over two dozen technology partners for a wide variety of platforms and tools. He found Optix to be the missing piece in the ecosystem and the broader puzzle to help bring everything together. Although not a traditional gym management system, Steve found that the set up of Optix most closely aligned with his vision of coworking for fitness professionals.

Steve also decided to partner with Kisi, an access control system, to automate access to any physical FlexWerk location. After members download the FlexWerk app, they can use it to gain access to the space with just a click of a button or wave of their phone.

Once the right partners were in place, Steve’s friction free ecosystem was born.

“Optix and my other tech partners have really given me so much more than I could ever afford or envision.”
FlexWerk Coworking fitness friction free technology and ecosystem

Creating a friction-free ecosystem

Here’s how Optix supports Steve in enabling fitness professionals to be their own boss.

Managing customer relations with a White-labeled App

At the heart of the user experience is the FlexWerk White-labeled App. Not only does the team use the app to facilitate transactions and bookings, but they also use it as a lead-gen mechanism. Since launching six months ago, the FlexWerk team has brought over 1,000 members into their app, allowing them to use Optix as a central hub for all their members. 

Anyone who is interested in FlexWerk can download the app to learn more about it and become a part of their community. From here, the team has access to these individuals’ information and can start to grow their relationship with them, much like a CRM.

Before a member ever accesses the space, the FlexWerk team already understands who this person is and when they’re coming into the space. With the bureaucratic pieces out of the way, Steve can provide a more customized experience for every individual member upon entering. 

Automating space access with Kisi

Automating access control frees up Steve’s team from having to perform menial tasks, like managing a door and checking people in. With the power of the Kisi and Optix integration, all of these processes are handled automatically.

This is a huge win for Steve and his team, with over 2,000 check-ins automated in under six months!

"Nobody gains access into our lobby, let alone our secondary spaces, without being on the app. And when you walk into our space, my team already knows exactly who's going to be there, for what purpose, and at what time."

Making data driven decisions with Analytics

One piece that was really important to Steve was having detailed data and analytics that he could use to drive decision making.

With Optix, Steve and his team are able to see how long people are staying in the space, what times are most popular, what equipment and spaces they’re using, and so much more. In less than half a year, he’s been able to harness this data and use it to make more informed decisions as he prepares to open his next franchise location.

FlexWerk was built by a vision, but is ultimately being shaped by what consumers want and how they are using the space. By taking an iterative and dynamic approach, Steve has been able to adjust quickly and make changes that better fit the market’s demands.

“One of the biggest tenets that I adhere to is, first seek to understand before you seek to solve. The way that we will be successful is by validating the customer's needs and providing a solution. Make your guesses, observe, and then take action.”
FlexWerk customer story

Developing a true partnership

The first FlexWerk location officially opened in April 2023. Before opening, Steve and his team were working closely with the Optix team to plan for a successful launch.

Being new to the coworking industry, Steve has been able to tap into the incredible wealth of knowledge available on the Optix team. Together, we’ve been able to work to address difficult situations and come up with creative solutions to challenges.

The Optix team acts as a thought partner to Steve and the entire FlexWerk team to ensure that their admin dashboard is set up in a way that enables success.

Taking the time to build this relationship has resulted in a partnership built on consistent feedback, creativity, and excitement to help FlexWerk grow into what Steve imagines.

“As a team, the people behind Optix and the rest of the group ultimately drives us and make us better. I need support and I need experts who know the technology and are willing to push and purvey the very best in what you do in your space. And I think we've got that as a partner in Optix.”

What’s next for FlexWerk?

From sketching out an idea nearly 8 years ago to planning his first franchise location, Steve has come a long way in his journey with FlexWerk. There is a lot of work to be done in his mission to turn FlexWerk into an international franchise, but there are always moments of celebration in between.

When asked what makes him most proud, Steve replied, “I’m proud of seeing people now buying into this manifestation of an idea that I had in a book that I started writing back in 2016. It’s cool to see not just me or some crazy idea or some wild outlandish thing. I’ve got team members, we’ve got customers, people are seeking us out now.”

As Steve continues on this journey, Optix and the team will be there to offer a thought partner or helpful hand at every step. We’re proud to support Steve and the FlexWerk team in achieving their mission of empowering fitness professionals to be their own boss!