How to Maximize Your Fitness Business Systems

Let’s say there’s a personal trainer who has one gym or a CrossFit or a boot camp of some sort, and their studio is 60% full.

They certainly have room to add another 30%, 40% more clients. And there’s plenty of room to raise their prices and sell supplements to maximize their profit.

But instead of looking at how they can get their one location to reach its highest potential first, they start letting the ego take over.

They start thinking “Gee, I like the idea of being a multi-gym location owner. I want to start opening more gyms.”

So they sign more leases, find another landlord, and they start building it out.

And then they come to find out, the only reason location one was “successful” was because of them, not the systems – in fact, there were no systems.

Now that they’re building out location two, location one is falling behind because the owner left to focus on the new location.

This causes massive anxiety, stress, and chaos in their life because they’re trying to pick up all the pieces.

Beware of Distractions

Now, when you look at online personal trainers, they get a whole lot of opportunities because they have a wider range of clients they can reach.

So if you’re online, you’re faced with the overwhelm of too many opportunities, and in the offline space, your problem is jumping into the venture too early.

If you’re running one gym, you haven’t maximized the number of clients you have.

You start to think “Well, my boot camps aren’t full so I’m gonna start a one-on-one personal training business within my existing business to get more clients and make more money.”

Listen, distractions and lack of structure are the number one cause of anxiety.

You start thinking about the “what ifs” – “What if this fails? What if I get laughed at? What if I don’t make money?”

You start anticipating future pain, and that leads to tremors or panic attacks. That’s what happens when you don’t have clarity of vision and path.

It happened to me in 2014 when I had a massive anxiety attack that drove me to the hospital, and it could happen to you.

I don’t want that to happen to you, which is why I’m sharing this with you.

Systems Run Your Business

In the brick and mortar role, you’re going to have payments that are delinquent. You’re going to have coaches running your workouts for you. You’re going to have front desk staff meeting and greeting your clients.

You’re going to have all these factors going into your business. If you don’t know how to create systems and operations, I highly recommend you research a strong franchise that already has these built-in systems, and plug yourself into them.

On the other hand, let’s say your workouts are so unique and different.


You can create your own, but the big warning right now is make sure you create the systems first.

I like to think of the “system” as individual parts that make up a whole – Systems Save You Time Effort and Money.

You run the systems, and the systems run your business.

And if you don’t have systems, you’re running it by the seat of your pants.

You’re creating a chaotic environment, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table, your staff has an adversarial relationship with you, and your clients feel like the service could be better, and they’ll look elsewhere.

That’s not the environment you want, right?

Create Proof of Concept

Quite honestly, if you don’t have the ability to lead people and create systems, just plug yourself into a franchise.

Otherwise, go do your own thing but just know that your systems are the foundation. Lay a strong foundation, and then build your empire on top of it.

Before you make the jump to a franchisor, like me, make sure that one location you have that’s rockin’ and rollin’ isn’t successful only because you’re in it.

If your business is personality dependent, then you can’t replicate that.

The easiest thing you can do is to create a proof of concept.

With Fit Body Boot Camp, we saw that our one location was working, so we opened up 5 more locations around the OC area.

We ran these locations for a year, they were profitable, they were successful, and our clients were getting results.

From this positive feedback, we saw that we weren’t just personality dependent. We had systems in place that allowed us to run smoothly.

Now, we were able to sell more franchises. And to be totally transparent, we grew too quickly.

We started bringing on more people to keep up with our growing locations, but they were people who didn’t fit in with our culture.

Everybody is flying under your brand. So if some guy in Texas or New York does something shady that could ruin the reputation of your brand, it affects hundreds of locations worldwide.

We quickly learned that lesson in 2011, so we started rebuilding our empire and parting ways with a lot of franchisees who went against our Fit Body brand.

Now we have a whole vetting process that allows us to screen people to make sure they’re a right culture fit before we hand over a franchise to them.

I’ll bring in 10, 15 franchisees at a time, work with them and make them successful, and then scale.

Once you’ve gotten around 150 to 200 locations, you’ll get to a point where you can keep the on-boarding process going.

But hey, I’ve got a 40 person team running our machine.

For someone who’s opened one successful location and think they’re gonna just go out and open multiple locations with their best friend, it’s not going to work out.

Grow your one location to its fullest potential before you start trying to open more locations, and create systems that can be carried across all of your future franchises to make sure they’re successful.

Committed to your success,