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Brick and Mortar Fitness Center Help

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Goldstandard

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Hey guys, I have a bit of a different area/question that some of you might be interested in or have some experience in to help me.

I have an actual physical location business...Brick and Mortar. It's a fitness center and has been open for 4 years. I'm having a hard time. Breaking even, but just barely. Doing everything from teaching to janitorial. One man show. I literally didn't even pay myself more than $100 a month all last year. I'm poor AF.

Advertising ...referrals/events/handing out flyers
Have Facebook and website

I could use some simple and free new things to try or other ideas that could work with this idea.

Reading a lot of Grant Cardone in the meantime. I'm definitely NOT in the fast lane and I need to be.

Thanks!

G85
 

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Envision

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What's your lease expense?

Can you provide a financial breakdown?

How many members do you have? What are you charging them? Are they on terms or m2m?

Where are you located? How many competitors are within a 10mi radius?

Are you a franchise or a solo operator? Whats your competitive advantage?

What are you doing for marketing?
 

Greg R

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I'd work backwards.

How many more members could you take on before you have diminishing returns (people start leaving because it's too crowded)?

Say it's 50.

What is it going to take to get to 50 new customers? Well-known trainers? A local fitness legend? Younger women?

As you probably already know, the demographic of people who go to your gym (or your desired demographic) should be the people that you focus on.

If your club caters to the elderly, you may want to target an older neighborhood with EDDM.

If it is more for the younger crowd, try targeting the desired demo via IG or FB ads.

What is going to motivate them to come in? Convenience, vanity, specialization (like power lifting or Crossfit). What make you unique?

Find ways to be different and focus on that thing that makes you different across all of your marketing.
 
OP
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Goldstandard

Goldstandard

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Nov 19, 2017
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What's your lease expense?

Can you provide a financial breakdown?

How many members do you have? What are you charging them? Are they on terms or m2m?

Where are you located? How many competitors are within a 10mi radius?

Are you a franchise or a solo operator? Whats your competitive advantage?

What are you doing for marketing?
Thanks for the Reply. Rent and Cam are killing me. Rent and Utilities monthly expenses are about $4k Monthly income is about $4.5 That .5 gets eaten up with license renewal, insurance renewal etc. Having a hard time banking any of that.

about 40 members...month to month $100 a month includes private training sessions weekly. Location US not a franchise Lot's of competition. My competitive advantage is the weekly private sessions included in price and that there are no contracts.

Marketing is word of mouth and flyers
 

ZCP

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Give us an idea of your skillset and background on the business side?
Have you read MJ's books?
Do you have any resources / others that can mentor or help you?

What is your elevator speech?
What value does your company provide?
Who is your target market?
What is your business model?
What is your exit strategy?

Need to get three things going ...... cashflow, then profit, then growth

If your current business cannot support the info above .... then move on to something else.....
 

Greg R

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Give us an idea of your skillset and background on the business side?
Have you read MJ's books?
Do you have any resources / others that can mentor or help you?

What is your elevator speech?
What value does your company provide?
Who is your target market?
What is your business model?
What is your exit strategy?

Need to get three things going ...... cashflow, then profit, then growth

If your current business cannot support the info above .... then move on to something else.....
Damn Z. Always dropping value bombs!
 

LightHouse

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am trying to make @LightHouse proud!
I'm always proud of you! Also, thanks for dragging me in here. I never see new threads unless I am tagged because i work out of my alerts, LOL.

Thanks for the Reply. Rent and Cam are killing me. Rent and Utilities monthly expenses are about $4k Monthly income is about $4.5 That .5 gets eaten up with license renewal, insurance renewal etc. Having a hard time banking any of that.

about 40 members...month to month $100 a month includes private training sessions weekly. Location US not a franchise Lot's of competition. My competitive advantage is the weekly private sessions included in price and that there are no contracts.

Marketing is word of mouth and flyers
I guess the question is, after 4 years... why are you still in this business? Google "Sunk cost fallacy" if that is the issue, to me after 4 years you are wasting your time if you haven't paid yourself so it's a pure emotional attachment that you need to cut. You are in a commodity business that you have even displayed here is very tough to turn a dime in.

Cut it where it is, if the lease is up. Salvage a few bucks from the asset sale and get into a business that provides something to your life and others and isn't just there because it is what you are used to and takes up your time.

This is just my opinion of course.
 

inputchip

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I guess the question is, after 4 years... why are you still in this business?
Four years is plenty enough time for the market to speak it's mind. Props to OP for hustling and scraping by, but you need to look at the facts. If your idea hasn't worked after four years of acting, accessing and adjusting, it's time to take it behind the barn and shoot it.

A fitness center CAN be fastlane if executed properly, but it will require optimizing one location before cookie cutting it out across the country. You need to have a unique value proposition that all the franchises are currently missing.
 
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Goldstandard

Goldstandard

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Thanks everyone. What about putting in some Fastlane ideas like maybe creating a you tube channel and trying to monetize it? Or Creating a website and adding subscription only classes. You sign up with us and you get free online class content, but some of it will also be on our youtube channel for free. Maybe two ways to create value out of what I already have?
 

LightHouse

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Thanks everyone. What about putting in some Fastlane ideas like maybe creating a you tube channel and trying to monetize it? Or Creating a website and adding subscription only classes. You sign up with us and you get free online class content, but some of it will also be on our youtube channel for free. Maybe two ways to create value out of what I already have?
None of these things are things people haven't already done that have a lot more money and resources than you currently seem to have (no offense). You are trying to squeeze blood from a stone here.

Really rather than looking at the mechanics of it, figure out your emotional attachment to this business. You hate to give up something you've worked so hard and so long on, but if i pedaled a bike for 4 miles and the chain was off the whole time and i only went four feet i'd throw that bike over the freakin cliff.
 

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OP
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Goldstandard

Goldstandard

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None of these things are things people haven't already done that have a lot more money and resources than you currently seem to have (no offense). You are trying to squeeze blood from a stone here.

Really rather than looking at the mechanics of it, figure out your emotional attachment to this business. You hate to give up something you've worked so hard and so long on, but if i pedaled a bike for 4 miles and the chain was off the whole time and i only went four feet i'd throw that bike over the freakin cliff.
You're making sense. Hate to start all over with something I love. And I know you don't have all the information or even enough information to make a really informed answer, but do you think there's a way I can turn what I have into another business...moving laterally so to speak, or as a springboard? I'm thinking...like there was an uber before uber. Maybe the online thing has a niche market like the hispanic community for one example?
 

MakeItHappen

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What is your elevator speech?
What value does your company provide?
Who is your target market?
What is your business model?
What is your exit strategy?
If you don't have a clear answer to all of the above questions make sure you figure it out.
Also make sure you have/create a clear unique selling proposition.

If you have all of that it's time to ramp up your marketing efforts.
I think facebook ads via videos can be a cost effective way to get started. Also look into Adwords.

Also something I learnt from Jay Abraham is the fact that there are only three ways to grow a business:
  1. Increase the number of clients
  2. Increase the average transaction, get each client to buy more at each purchase
  3. Increase the frequency that the average client buys from you, get each customer to buy from you more often
I would look into each of these areas as well.

In theory it's pretty simple. Great product + great marketing = win
If you don't have success ether your market doesn't value your product as much as you think your your marketing sucks and there are a lot of people out there that would love to give you money but don't know about your business.

Good luck
 

The EL Maven

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month to month $100 a month includes private training sessions weekly.
Without reaching the conclusion that seems obvious to everyone else, this part here seems to be the hangup from my vantage.

Let's take two different gym franchises, both are making great money and expanding right now. At the $100 per month category, you have Orange Theory. There are no one-on-one training included, but the workouts are coached and scheduled ahead of time and use some gimmicky tech. People love it.
I'm not the target demographic and my opinion is it's an expensive workout.

On the flip side, you have Planet Fitness, also expanding and growing, and netting thousands per location per month. They get you in on $10 per month, and try to upsell you to the $20 per month plan which includes tans and sauna and whatever else. They don't allow anyone to actually try there, or care there, or workout hard there. I'm definitely not the target demographic, but again, people are signing up left and right.

I highlighted that portion of the quote because that's where YOUR time is fixed. If you can hire cheap enough trainers, then it's not a problem, but if it's nearly always YOU that has to show up for these sessions, then you have a job, not a business. This must change.

I think there's certainly a value in having a one on one meeting with a trainer to discuss workout regimen, progress, advice, nutrition, goals, etc. Is this worth $100? Can you get enough people signed up in such a model to reach economy of scale?

I don't know. I can only look at what is out there that's already working well. If I were in your shoes, I'd look really hard at what these successful franchise style gyms are doing to see what I could take.

Best wishes to you!
 

Lex DeVille

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If you want to use YouTube you could do something like The Jump Rope Dudes...


Basically pick some piece of gym equipment and start making videos about how to use it. Show how ripped you can get using it. Show celebrities using it. Show regular people using it. Show how to do tricks with it. Show how to warm up before using it.

Mention in your videos how you only use one brand of that equipment. X brand. X brand is your brand. Link back to a single page that sells that piece of equipment. By the way, sell it for 3 times or more than what a generic brand sells for in Target.

Probably won't save your gym.

If you go viral and people start buying your piece of equipment, you probably won't need or want to save the gym anyway.
 

MJ DeMarco

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What's your lease expense?

Can you provide a financial breakdown?

How many members do you have? What are you charging them? Are they on terms or m2m?

Where are you located? How many competitors are within a 10mi radius?

Are you a franchise or a solo operator? Whats your competitive advantage?

What are you doing for marketing?
What is your elevator speech?
What value does your company provide?
Who is your target market?
What is your business model?
What is your exit strategy?
Crucial questions need answers in order to provide any realistic answer.

How about some photos? Inside and out?

Your value array is what people see when they drive by.
 

Envision

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Like Mj said, photos would be good to go off as well.

Thanks for the Reply. Rent and Cam are killing me. Rent and Utilities monthly expenses are about $4k Monthly income is about $4.5 That .5 gets eaten up with license renewal, insurance renewal etc. Having a hard time banking any of that.

about 40 members...month to month $100 a month includes private training sessions weekly. Location US not a franchise Lot's of competition. My competitive advantage is the weekly private sessions included in price and that there are no contracts.

Marketing is word of mouth and flyers
Echoing some other thoughts in this thread, is there a reason you havent closed it? Im going to respond as though closing is no option however I'd seriously consider it unless you truly believe in it.

Rent will always be your highest expense, the goal when negotiating is to ensure that your lease/square foot is as low as possible. Whats your usable square footage that members can use? How many bathrooms do you have? Would you compare it to Anytime Fitness or Golds Gym or is a crossfit box?

Line item out your exact rent and utilities. What are you licensing? Have you shopped insurance to ensure you're getting the best rates?

We'll get back to the above once there is more information.

Members...

Where are you located city and state, the country does nothing for reference. Your priced like a crossfit box, is that what you're gym is and is that why you're licensing? If not what is your competitors pricing? Are you tracking their pricing and competing with them on specials?

What do you mean by weekly private sessions? One session per customer? Various sessions throughout the week like a class? Describe your business model.

How many hours are you spending per week on your business?

Do you have debt?

Marketing

Word of mouth and flyers doesn't grow a business.

Paid traffic grows a business.

Teach yourself facebook ads and run ads on a 10 mile radius over your gym advertising $1 enrollment and split test it with first month free. If you cant afford adspend get a night job and use the money from it to fund the ads.

Once you have that running, repeat the above running within a 10 mile radius on your top two competitors advertising a special for new members that sign up soon. Make sure they can click "call now" and it goes direct to you.

On the ad use a good asset that's been shot professionally highlighting the reward of working out at your gym (getting fit, staying healthy, whatever).

Cut flyers unless your marketing from Dec-Feb and can get a special on it with whoever you're running it through, once again run it on a 10 mile radius advertising a special.

With your current members run a special if they bring a friend in and they sign up they get a free month.

Need more information to dissect it but the reason your business isnt growing is definitely because you arent running any form of strong advertising.





 
OP
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Goldstandard

Goldstandard

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Nov 19, 2017
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America
If you want to use YouTube you could do something like The Jump Rope Dudes...


Basically pick some piece of gym equipment and start making videos about how to use it. Show how ripped you can get using it. Show celebrities using it. Show regular people using it. Show how to do tricks with it. Show how to warm up before using it.

Mention in your videos how you only use one brand of that equipment. X brand. X brand is your brand. Link back to a single page that sells that piece of equipment. By the way, sell it for 3 times or more than what a generic brand sells for in Target.

Probably won't save your gym.

If you go viral and people start buying your piece of equipment, you probably won't need or want to save the gym anyway.
I like the video idea. I think that's something I need to do. Any good Video editing ideas/software for someone that's not tech savvy when it comes to video editing?
 

minivanman

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With a business like this be sure to make a winning plan. Don't go trying this and then try that and then this and then let's try this thing 1 more time. Make a winning plan and stick to it. If your lease is up soon I wouldn't sign another. If your lease has a ways to go then you almost don't have a choice but to keep trying.

If this 'business' fails, before you start another business make sure you have a solid business plan and don't just go on hopes and prayers.
 

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