Years ago I had the opportunity to welcome Michael from the UK to New York to talk exercise and show him our facility.
Fast forward 7 years later, today we were able to connect virtually to talk about the business side of the fitness industry.
Like many of you, Michael has many questions about the behind the scenes of running a successful fitness business.
We sat down together where he was able to pick my brain as I answered his 10 Questions About Building A Fitness Business.
Here’s a preview of the first 5:
Q: What business model do you use?
A: The model that my fitness facilities follow is unique.
We are open from 6-10am and 3-7pm. (Essentially open when adults are likely to be free from work.)
Members can come for an hour long workout where they will be guided along by a personal trainer.
Trainers will likely be guiding 10 members at once, but they all will be receiving a personalized workout fit to them.
This allows us and our members to be incredibly flexible with their scheduling.
Q: In the journey of what you imagined your business being to what it has become today, what is the biggest pivot you have had to make?
A: In the beginning, I started training athletes in a garage gym with little space.
The biggest pivot and realization I made was that athletes are seasonal.
I needed to pivot to a bigger audience and model for growth that wasn’t limited to athletes.
At the time, I reached out to the athlete’s parents and began to grow my adult audience.
Today, my primary customer is an adult looking to get healthy and active again.
This pivot led me to a sustainable model without the seasonality of athletes.
Q: What is the biggest pitfall someone may face when opening a fitness business?
A: There’s many bumps you may trip over before getting to success.
Make sure that you are personable trainer first.
Speak to your clients and meet the at their level.
Secondly, make sure that you are educated before investing in things.
Focus on perfecting the necessities first.
Cleanly facility, essential equipment, and a sturdy business.
Q: Would you suggest someone to enter the industry with a wide market or niche focus?
A: There is a huge market of people who are intimidated by the gym but what to get healthier.
There’s a large amount of trainers who are wildly successful training elite athletes.
I have found that the businesses that are most successful are those who are generalists for adults who just want to get in shape.
Niche focuses can work, but at the same time (like I mentioned above), you may need to pivot for success.
Q: What did you spend money on building your business that you wish you hadn’t?
A: I’ve always been a little but on the frugal side with money, but I did make a mistake when it came to spending money on marketing.
I spent thousands of dollars on a TV ad when it only brought in 2 clients who just weren’t a good fit.
My messaging wasn’t great and there was no true call to action in my offer.
I spent too much money on traditional advertising before I had my business model figured out.
I answered these and 5 more of Michael’s business questions…
…but you’ll have to listen to Episode 21 of the Level Up Your Gym Podcast, “10 Questions About Building A Fitness Business.“.
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