Don’t Be Afraid of Breaking All the Rules When Starting a Fitness Business

I’ve never been much of a rule-follower, but I can thank my Dad for that trait.

Back when I was little, my Dad showed himself to be a true rule-breaker when he decided to escape communist Armenia with his wife and two kids. After coming to California, he made his own rules when building his tailoring business and quickly because the tailor to celebrities and fancy department stores.

Breaking the rules worked for my Dad and our family. Now, breaking the rules has worked for me and for my family.Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 1.57.38 PM

When I started working as a personal trainer back in the Dark Ages (1995), everyone was doing 60-minute one-on-one sessions and everybody said that was the only way to do things. Every personal trainer I knew, including me, dragged themselves from one client home to another, day in and day out, six and sometimes seven days a week. I was exhausted, barely making enough money and I never saw my family. It take me long to realize that I needed to find a better way.

Within two years, I was renting space in a gym and had switched from doing 60-minute sessions to doing 30-minute sessions. Everybody told me it wouldn’t work. But you know what? I got to train twice as many clients as everyone else and clients loved it because it saved them time.

A couple of years after that, I was in what would be the first of five of my own locations, paying out $16k a month on rent and overhead expenses. Everyone said it wouldn’t work, that personal training couldn’t generate the kind of income needed to maintain that overhead. The rule-followers were wrong again, because pretty soon I was generating $55-65,000 a month by selling long-term, five-figure training programs.

In fact, breaking the rules worked so well that in 2002 I sold my training business for six figures and started devoting my time to coaching and consulting with other personal trainers. I wanted to teach other trainers about starting a fitness business and generating a much better income than they were making.

Once again, the rule-followers said it couldn’t be done. No one would pay to learn what I wanted to teach. They said there was no money in it. But I knew in my heart that if I delivered true value and value that no one else was offering, the money would come. My Dad taught me that, too.

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 2.04.23 PMSo while everyone else was churning out info products that promised everything and delivered nothing, I created books, manuals and high-quality DVDs that had proven strategies, actionable steps and nuts and bolts information.

Everybody said it would suck, but The Art of Selling Fitness is still one of my best-selling products. I broke the rules by setting the bar high and delivering a ton of value and personal trainers were only too happy to pay for my marketing, sales and business systems. At the same time, I was happy and I was sleeping just fine because I knew that I gave my customers value. I knew that I was making money without selling my integrity.

Dad taught me that I could make good money by setting my own high standards instead of following everyone else’s standards. He taught me that sometimes the best way to do things is to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. He was right and so when I came up with the idea of starting a fitness business franchise, I knew I wanted Fit Body Boot Camp to be the anti-franchise franchise.

We broke every rule in the franchise book.

While everyone else is charging $20k or more to buy into their franchise, we charge less than $10k.

While everyone else takes from 6-8% of their franchisees’ monthly revenue, we charge a flat rate of $497 per month, even if the franchisee is bringing in $50k per month.

While other franchises send their franchisees off to figure out marketing and sales on their own, we do all the traffic generation for our franchisees, including done-for-you Facebook pages and marketing, inclusion in proven deal-of-the-day campaigns, email newsletters, website design, YouTube traffic and press releases.

While everyone else is handing their franchisees the keys and saying, “Thanks for the check, please don’t be late with your royalty checks,” we deliver support and coaching via phone and email, and provide a ton of continuing education and training.
We’ve broken every rule in the franchise space by placing our FBBC location owners first and being committed to delivering them real value.

Everyone said it wouldn’t work, but Fit Body Boot Camps is the fastest-selling fitness business franchise in the world.
Let ‘em chew on that for a while.Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 2.08.41 PM

What I’m trying to get across to you is this……

Don’t limit yourself to what others believe will work.

Don’t settle.

The “opposite” thing is often the very best thing.

If the conventional way is so great, why is everyone always looking for something better?

If you’re starting a fitness business, dare to come up with better solutions and deliver more value than everyone else. Pretty soon, the rule followers will be following you.

Committed to Your Success,