Shutting Down

You’ve probably heard the news that one of our competitors, Today’s Plan announced they were closing down. This was pretty big news back in December and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind here since then.

Obviously it’s an opportunity for us and to be honest that was my first thought, but also at the same time I felt for everyone that will be negatively effected by the shutdown. The coaches who rely on the platform to coach their clients, the current team at Today’s Plan and also the original founders who had already stepped away from the business.

It’s takes an immense amount of work to build up a platform like Today’s Plan.

Most coaches who I’ve spoken to who used Today’s Plan were very happy with the platform, it’s comprehensive features and the team at Today’s Plan who supported it behind the scenes.

DC Rainmaker wrote a good post about what happened over here, with his own theories and ideas about what led to the downfall of a seemingly successful business.

If you prefer audio, you can listen to the audio version on the podcast, or use the embedded player below.


Ultimately there are only two reasons a business shuts down.

It’s owners either run out of money, or they give up.

There are many other factors that lead to this path but in the end it was a decision made by Today’s Plan’s parent company Specialized who acquired Today’s Plan back in 2019.

In the software world it’s very common for a “successful” platform to be acquired by a much larger company and then a few short years later closed down. Big company priorities can quickly change, and I suspect this is what happened here.

Specialized wanted to focus their resources elsewhere. If it were still owned by the original founders, they likely would have battled through and found a way to continue.

A business only fails when it runs out of money, or it’s owners give up.

Looking Inward

The news also made me reflect on my company Training Tilt. We’ve been serving the coaching industry since 2014 so will be celebrating a decade of working with coaches this year. Our journey has been much different to that of Today’s Plan. We’ve had steady yet modest growth and never had any big companies knocking at the door for an acquisition.

This is most likely because we are small, self funded and relatively unknown in the industry.

Even though we’ve been around longer than almost all of the current competition including Today’s Plan, most coaches have never heard of us.

This could be partly because we only offer services to coaching businesses, and don’t offer anything directly to athletes. This results in a lot less exposure because our overall user base is much smaller but does enable us to focus solely on the needs of coaching businesses without the conflict of interest that is inevitable when you try to service coaches and self-coached athletes at the same time.

As much as I’d like to attract more customers, I’m very happy helping coaches manage and grow their practices. Slow and steady can win races.

Coaching Businesses

Hearing about Today’s Plan closing down really got me thinking not just about the immediate opportunities for us at Training Tilt, but also about the bigger picture for coaching businesses. The news hit a chord on how important it is for coaches to look closely at their business models and think more about long term sustainability. Not just in the financial sense but also in respect to the energy and passion you can realistically put into your business if you aren’t getting the growth and returns you’d expected over the long run.

After a few years most coaching businesses find themselves in a tricky spot where you're working your socks off but somehow still hitting a revenue ceiling. This is ok for a while but eventually will wear you down, especially after pouring your heart and soul into your coaching.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The whole situation with Today’s Plan, while sad, also shines a light on a path forward for the rest of us. It’s about getting smart with what we offer and how we price it.

First up, scalability. This is the savvy coaches secret weapon. Offering services that can reach more people without needing to clone themselves. Think online programs, group coaching, or even creating digital content that keeps on giving without you needing to be there 24/7.

Then there’s pricing strategy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that price is a signal you send to your clients about the quality of your service, and people will pay for quality. It’s about believing in the value you provide and not being shy to put a premium on it. This doesn’t mean pricing yourself out of the market, but it does mean getting what you’re worth.

Look, the closure of Today’s Plan is a reminder that even the big players can face tough times. For us smaller folks, it’s a nudge to keep evolving, to not just survive but thrive by offering more, charging appropriately, and never losing sight of why we started coaching (or building coaching software) in the first place.

Working for Today’s Plan Coaches

Much of our focus over the last few months since the announcement has been on building migration tools for Today’s Plan coaches to smoothly bring over their workouts and athletes with as little disruption as possible. This has taken our focus off our existing roadmap temporarily but a positive side effect of this is that we’ve also been busy improving our own features based on feedback from Today’s Plan coaches. I think it's a win for everyone.

To be honest after exploring Today’s Plan in detail over the last few months I’ve found it a little clunky and over complicated. But that's just Horses for courses.

In saying that Today’s Plan does have a lot of really cool features that coaches love because they save them a lot of time and effort. We’ll be looking to implement more of those in the coming months.

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