And how are things going for Apex right now?
Charlie: Very well. The bikes have arrived and we can't wait to get them into customers’ homes.
Simon: We're just really looking forward to finally rewarding our customers for their patience. One of the benefits of launching that pre-sales campaign is that we’ll have a ready-made community of riders from the very first day bikes are in homes. We also launch with John Lewis next month and with Christmas and get-fit Jan around the corner, it should make for a busy few months.
Pandemic aside, has launching a business been as you expected it to be?
Simon: I think it's impossible to anticipate what launching any business entails – until you actually do it. No two days are the same and those days are long, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Charlie: It has been very hard, but we never anticipated it to be easy. It's certainly not for the faint hearted.
What have you learnt since launching Apex that you would love to go back and tell your pre-launch selves?
Charlie: It’s a marathon not a sprint. I’d also tell myself to try and enjoy every day despite the stresses.
Simon: Buckle up, you're in for a hell of a ride!
Could you have launched all of this on your own?
Charlie: Absolutely not. Having a business partner is crucial.
Simon: Yes, I think having a co-founder is super important – and I imagine it's the same in any start-up. There are stresses and strains and we don't always agree, but we have a strong bond. With shared responsibilities, you’ll halve the stress. In our case, it helps that we've known each other since we were eight.
How have your skillsets complemented each other’s?
Charlie: I'm still trying to figure this out, but they definitely do.
Simon: I'd say I'm more right side of the brain: creative, but I very much enjoy doing deals. Charlie is more left-sided – good with numbers and detail. So between us, we make one full brain!
The big name in spin bikes right now is Peloton. You’re competing with them on price – how have you managed to keep your prices low?
Simon: The world is full of screens, tablets and mobile devices these days, so we’ve built a Bluetooth bike and developed software that allows the customer to use their own device. Removing the screen from the bike has removed a lot of the cost.
Charlie: There’s also no need for us to have expensive retail shops in super-prime locations.