Customer Profiles

06 May 2020

Meet Jonny, Co-Founder and COO at Precision Hydration | BizFaces

 

Meet Jonny, Co-Founder and COO at Precision Hydration. Based out of BizSpace Christchurch, the company has created a unique approach to athletic hydration. 

Precision Hydration was as a result of Jonny’s Co-Founder’s personal journey, and from there, the team have been creating new technology, winning an exclusive patent, working with professional athletes and teams and manufacturing a range of their own products. 

Now, the team is working on something even more exciting in the hydration realm - they are about to break into the new space of tailored hydration precision on-the-go.

Here’s how...

Hi Jonny, tell us about yourself

Before Precision Hydration, I studied Mechanical Engineering at Surrey University. Oh, I was also an elite-level canoeist.

Tell me about your business

At Precision Hydration, we use a non-exercise Sweat Test to personalise the hydration strategies of athletes and sports teams. We provide bespoke multi-strength electrolyte supplements that match how our customers sweat and help them replace the sodium they lose in their sweat.

When did you start your business?

We launched Precision Hydration in 2011. The idea came about as a result of my Co-Founder, Andy Blow’s struggles with hydration during his career as a pro-triathlete. He suffered significant hydration-issues when competing in the heat or over longer distances. 

After years of trial and error, Andy worked out how to effectively manage his sodium and fluid intake to maintain his hydration and performance. During this process, he received significant support from a highly respected heart surgeon, Dr Raj Jutley, who introduced Andy to ‘sweat testing’. Sweat testing acknowledges the considerable variance in sweat and sodium losses that can occur across athletes, for example, some athletes lose as little as 200mg of sodium per litre of sweat, while others can lose as much as 2,000mg per litre!

From there, we developed our Sweat Testing technology and achieved exclusive access to the patented non-exercise Sweat Test. We also developed our own range of effervescent electrolytes early on because existing products simply did not cater for the needs of most athletes we were Sweat Testing.

What sets Precision Hydration apart from others?

We recognise there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to hydration, which is why we personalise hydration strategies to a person’s individual needs. We take into account everyone’s individual requirements from physiology (the volume at which someone sweats and how much sodium is lost), to the level of endurance required for the event the person is taking part in. 

Off-the-shelf brands have a much broader approach to hydration which isn't necessarily optimal for everyone. For example, our strongest electrolyte drink – PH 1500 – is around 3x stronger than most sports drinks out there. It’s our tailor-made, personal approach which sets us apart and ahead of the game.

Tell us about your early business challenges

Andy and I have been on a typical start-up journey. We're self-funded without significant resource for marketing, so we have had to be innovative with how we generate our growth. Largely, our growth has come from earned media (lots of hard work writing great content), organic search and word of mouth referrals. We've always put a heavy focus on customer service and support, which has been key in optimising the customer experience too.

As a small team working on a global scale, there were significant challenges in developing and managing a supply chain to support that. Now, we have a warehouse in the UK, three in the US, one in Canada and one in Australia, so we are producing Precision Hydration products across multiple continents.

Tell us about a recent success

In December, Major League Baseball teams come together for their Winter Meetings. We had the opportunity to speak to these athletes and pitch how we can support them next season. 2019’s meetup was particularly successful - we now work with over 50% of major league baseball teams in the US which has created a lot of business for us to go and activate during spring training 

What’s up next?

We have a few exciting projects on the horizon at Precision Hydration. At the moment we are working on some significant web developments which will really improve the customer experience on our site.

We've also expanded our team significantly in the last 12 months and we’re putting a heavy focus on developing a brilliant culture within the group. Growing a highly motivated, specialist team is an essential part of the next phase of growth for us. 

Excitingly, we are also deeply involved in some research within the wearables space. Hint: it won't be long until you are able to analyse sweat on-the-go, in real-time, with our team remotely supporting you in personalising your hydration strategy.

How long have you been with BizSpace?

Andy and I came to see BizSpace Christchurch before it opened and we announced to our team that we would be moving in while we were actually at the launch event as a surprise! We moved into our new office with BizSpace in February 2020, and it’s great to have been able to put our own personality stamp on the office.      

And why did you choose BizSpace?

As a growing business, we had outgrown our old office and needed more space. BizSpace was the perfect base for us - it’s a smart, modern venue that we can be proud to welcome visitors to, while the versatility of the building is also appealing as it offers flexibility as we scale up. I can see a significant benefit to being in amongst the other small dynamic businesses in the building - we can definitely see us developing strong working relationships with some of the other businesses here in the future. 

Jonny’s top three tips for people wanting to start their own business

As Co-Founder and COO at his successful hydration company, Jonny is in a prime position to help others thinking of starting their own business. Here are his top three tips:

  • Bootstrap the overheads

Costs are the biggest problem in start-up companies, so really try to get a handle on them.Only work with great people & hire people who are better than you as you grow.

  • Don’t have an ego

Find people who are not difficult to work with, those who can help you grow and always hire people who are better than you.

  • Be prepared for a rough ride but embrace the journey

It’s always going to be harder than you think, but embrace it! It’s a huge part of why we do this.


Author

Jen Latimer