Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Hughes, owner, and CEO of Put Me Back, LLC., located in Toms River, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

PutMeBack is primarily a gym equipment organization system that reminds members to return weights to the correct location and wipe down equipment after use, which are the two biggest complaints members have. Product quality and durability are very important. Clean, easy-to-understand messaging provide the best outcomes for gyms trying to address the issues without having their staff confront members who disregard the goal.

We work with gyms of all sizes from chains, solo operations, physical therapy offices, college football teams, 24-hour facilities, cross-fit, hospital-based rehab, any place concerned about their customer's experience.

Tell us about yourself was founded last June 6, 2009. There was and still is a significant need to minimize problems all gyms face, which directly impact member retention and acquisition. As more gyms open, a clean and organized facility is going to attract members, especially with the current COVID crisis. If you let your gym go, so will your customers. The "not my gym, not my problem" mentality as many are focused on their cell phones then proper gym etiquette, including: cleaning equipment, putting weights back, stripping plates, etc.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Still operating since 2009 as a self-funded business. Having NASA as a customer, the U.S. military, and shipping to battleships. Also, Camp Casey in South Korea, where my Dad was stationed during the Korean War. Top 25 NCAA football programs utilizing our products in their weight rooms, such as UCLA and Ohio State University. We fill a niche which hits home with gym managers, trainers, athletic directors, and strength and conditioning coaches.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Visibility and marketing. Many gym owners get what we are trying to do, and some just don't see the value. Our solutions don't solve 100% of gym organization and cleanliness problems, just as speed limit signs don't get full compliance. Advertising is expensive as our price point is very low. Paying the same rate as a company selling a $5k product requires alternative ways of getting exposure, and using the top social media apps to promote is critical & constantly evolving.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Act and don't sit back. Many of us have the same fears and concerns when starting a business.
  2. Taking a leap of faith to develop a viable business because you believe so strongly will help determine pursuing working for yourself.
  3. Be resilient and thrive off the negativity during the journey.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don't minimize any previous experience you ever had, as it will serve you in the future when you least expect it.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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