Backache? Never a welcome visitor!

Steinbeis supports a startup company from Stuttgart as it walks the road to self-employment

Backache can severely cramp your lifestyle and wreak havoc onsimple everyday tasks, as anyone who’s literally been flat on theirback will tell you. Most back problems are caused by shortenedabdominal muscles, usually due to lack of exercise. Help is on handfrom the bauchkröte® (“belly turtle”), an exercise aid made out offoam. The cushion is being marketed by Florian Schweer. The entrepreneurfrom Stuttgart was assisted on the road to self-employmentby the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Business Startups,spearheaded by consultant Udo Schmid who, with his client, successfullydeveloped a marketing, sales and acquisition strategy.

The bauchkröte® can be used at home or at the workplace as part of acompany health care program. Exercise involves carefully stretching thestomach muscles using the bodyweight of the exercise aid. The aim isnot to address the symptoms, but rather the original cause of back problems.

Florian Schweer was so won over by the efficacy of the foam turtle thathe jumped at the opportunity to go out and sell it. He set up his ownlimited company, FSBV, and entered the realms of self-employment. Tomake sure nothing went wrong with this not insignificant undertaking, he brought in professional support from the Steinbeis Consulting Centerfor Business Startups. As he limbered up for the startup phase, consultantUdo Schmid exposed Florian Schweer to the importance of selling,highlighting the problems encountered and how to solve issues bypresenting professionally and in a way that matches the target group. How can I differentiate myself from less professional salespeople, andhow do I sell to companies? Or in other words: What distinguishes asustainable and lasting sales organization?

Udo Schmid and Florian Schweer started by analyzing the target groupfor bauchkröte®. Which groups of people suffer the greatest losses as aresult of backache? Which activities are most likely to result in backache,and where are these people? Based on these questions, a conceptwas drafted which revolved around the idea of not just marketing theexercise aid by itself. Instead, users should be motivated to use and keepusing the aid, and company clients should be convinced that they aremaking a long-term investment in the health of their staff.

An analysis of the number of working days lost due to back conditions and theassociated costs showed that for the company, the payback period on a“belly turtle” would be relatively short as fewer working days would belost. Fewer back problems, less absenteeism and higher work performance.And the impact a company makes by showing that it valuesits people by responding to their individual requirements should not beunderestimated. The concept also encapsulated communication aspectsof selling and the important role that instruments like social mediacould play. Udo Schmid and Florian Schweer also placed emphasis onensuring that all parts needed to make the bauchkröte® were sourcedfrom local suppliers.

The young entrepreneur is also not short of ideas and visions for thefuture. Using his limited company as a springboard, he would like todevelop and launch other products with health benefits on the market.He is already drafting plans for a computer workplace with a trainingapparatus to aid the recovery of joint and muscle injuries in the feet andlegs. Naturally, he is turning again to the expertise and advice of thespecialists at the Stuttgart-based Steinbeis Consulting Center.


Udo Schmid | Ralf Lauterwasser
Steinbeis Consulting Center Business Start-up (Stuttgart)

Florian Schweer
FSBV GmbH | distributing innovation (Stuttgart)

Fon 0711 50 43 86 24

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