Serving as the fitness marketing consultant on Gym Rescue was a lot of fun. It pulled me out of my comfort zone, allowed me to hang with some really great people and gave me an opportunity to help some gym owners who really needed it. Watching the show can also help new fitness entrepreneurs to avoid or correct mistakes that could cost them their businesses. Last week I uploaded a six-minute clip from one of the episodes and I realized that someone could learn a lot about how to start a boot camp just from watching that one six-minute video.
If you’re thinking about opening a fitness boot camp of your own, or even just a personal training business, go watch the clip. Then come back here so I can point out four really important lessons you can learn from that one short clip.
Lesson #1: Your job is to own the business, not to run it.
The gym owner in that episode was a great lady, but she was working her way right out of business. She was so caught up in the little day-to-day operations that she was neglecting the really important things. I see this all the time and it’s an easy trap to fall into. The problem is twofold: you become an employee of the business rather than its owner and you don’t spend your workday focused on building your business. Find and hire good trainers. Find and hire an assistant. Then spend your time marketing and promoting your business to the community.
Lesson #2: Less really can be more.
One of the things we did for this gym owner was completely empty her facility. She had spent a ton of money on dozens of pieces of weight-training equipment that wasn’t getting used and was taking up almost all of the space. She basically had a miniature gym that really wasn’t any different from every other gym in town, just smaller.
We set her up with functional resistance equipment that could do double or triple duty and cost a fraction of all those weight-training machines. Now, her clients have all the resistance equipment they need, but they also have space to work out. Before, she might have been able to train ten people at a time. Now she can train forty. That means more money.
Lesson #3: Branding can mean everything.
This gym owner started out as a women-only gym, with a name that no one knew. She struggled to bring people in the door, she struggled to create a fitness identity and philosophy and she struggled to survive.
When we turned her place into a Fit Body Boot Camp business, she was still the owner of her own company, but she became the bearer of a brand and that made all the difference for her. She didn’t have to try to come up with a company philosophy or modus operandi – Fit Body Boot Camp does one thing, it does it better than anyone else in the world and the public already knows that. Now her services are streamlined and so is her sales pitch.
Lesson #4: If you’re not selling, you’re failing.
One of the things that was running this lady’s business right into the ground was that they weren’t closing people. Out of ten people who called to ask about their services, only one or two signed up. Listen, you can have the best marketing strategies in the world, but marketing only brings you prospects. If you’re not turning those prospects into clients, you’re not in business.
As a boot camp owner, you need to know how to grow a boot camp just as much as you need to know how to start a boot camp. That means learning how to sell and how to close. Honestly, marketing and then selling your services is your first priority and it’s an ongoing one.
There are a lot of things I can share with you about how to start a boot camp. There are plenty of articles on this site and videos on my YouTube channel that can give you good, nuts-and-bolts information. But these four lessons gleaned from six little minutes of video are some of the most important ones to keep in mind.
Committed to Your Success,