Josh Portnoi

Josh Portnoi is a health and fitness coach based in London. He’s used Osu since September 2020 to grow his business, take care of admin and make payments simpler.

Back in 2015, Josh Portnoi was working as a digital marketer in the UK and overseas. He’d always had a passion for health and fitness and had thought about becoming a fitness coach. So in 2017, when he turned 32, he finally took the plunge and changed career.

In the early stages, Josh worked in commercial gyms in London, before gradually branching out and working independently. He coaches people on physical goals – getting healthier, losing weight, building muscle – as well as mental goals, focusing on getting people in the right mindset to go out and achieve their dreams.

Growing a business in a pandemic

During the pandemic, Josh has had to adapt how he works with clients. Thankfully, his online coaching client base has increased by 50-60% in the last 12 months. “I was always a bit sceptical of the online coaching model, mainly because I enjoy working with people face to face. But it works incredibly well and is more convenient for a lot of my clients. They still get the same, if not more, benefits.” 

One thing’s for sure: Josh never gets bored. “I have clients of all ages who lead busy lives running households or working busy jobs, and they all have different targets and needs. The variety keeps the job interesting and means I stay challenged.”

Avoiding awkward money moments

Although Josh gets on well with his clients, the money side is always a bit tricky. “One of the biggest benefits of Osu is that it’s taken away the awkwardness of asking clients for payment. The service I provide is quite a personal one where I get to know clients well. To then have to formally ask for payment muddies the waters a lot.”

Thankfully, Osu’s made things easier. “Now I have Osu in place, the invoices and payment requests are automatically coming from the app and it’s like having a different member of the team doing it. It’s completely separated me from the role, which is great.”

Tackling admin as a sole trader

Josh’s business has always been a one-person operation. “I don’t have an assistant or accountant who can help with payments admin and keeping track of money. I definitely find that side of the business a burden and don’t want my focus to be taken away from personal training.”

While Josh wants to grow, he also needs to keep his existing clients happy. “It’s always tempting to try and grow and expand, but it’s so important to focus on giving the best possible service to the clients you already have. Word of mouth is the best marketing for personal trainers, and one of the best measures of how well you’re doing is how long you can retain your clients for.”

Working smarter, not harder

Since using Osu, Josh has had more time to focus on training, not admin. “When I heard about Osu, it seemed like it could be the virtual assistant I didn’t have! As cheesy as it sounds, time is so precious – particularly when you’re starting a small business. Any tools that can help streamline your time and work as effectively as possible are so worth it.”

Ultimately, Josh needs a tool that’s simple and saves time. “If a payment partner is adding to your workload or your day-to-day stress it’s not worth it. Osu has made my life a lot easier. It’s incredibly simple to use, I feel reassured that the payments are being taken care of, and I can focus on providing the best possible personal training service.”

Find out more about Josh’s work at

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