Are You Planning To Fail?
Just over a decade ago, the “box gym” space was uncrowded with CrossFit in its infancy, no Orange Theory, no F45, no Cycle Bar, and the big Globo Gyms ruled the fitness world. However, underground warehouse style box gyms were popping up everywhere and it seemed like anyone with a few thousand dollars could open their very own gym.
Times have certainly changed!
Because of that, so has the culture of the gym industry. As the box gym space becomes more competitive only those with the best business models will be left standing.
Today, consumers want the best, even from their local box.
To stay competitive in today’s market you need to be firing on all cylinders. You not only must have a great training product, but an amazing community, top-notch customer experience, and the business systems to support your growing gym.
Because of this the market has retracted a bit in the last couple of years. In 2015, CrossFit opened roughly 2600 new affiliate gyms, their best year ever, but in 2016 there was a drastic drop off and their numbers plunged to only around 1500 new gyms. Now they are going through a MAJOR rebrand as they attempt to make their brand more “user friendly” …
According to Forbes.com here are the top five reasons private “Box” gyms fail:
#5 – Lack of Professionalism – Many who open gyms do it for the passion. They fell in love with training for whatever reason but have little to no “real” business experience. They lack the business professionalism needed to run a company. They often mistake running a gym for running a business.
#4 – No Retention Strategies – Once you get a client you must consistently engage with them. Emails, social media, thank you cards, phone calls, and client events should all be part of a good client communication system. Failing to do so means the client feels disconnected from your community and your tribe lacks loyalty.
#3 – No Unique Brand or Niche – Even though we are talking about training and there are not too many NEW things in terms of the Xs and Ox or training, how you package it all together makes a BIG deal. You want to be in a category of ONE in your local community. Be the best at something…fat loss, performance, baseball, something that set you apart. Combine that with great brand, core values and mission and you’ll have a powerful combo.
#2 – Lack of Leadership – Leadership in business is a skill just like learning to train. If you do not cultivate this skill it will be difficult to grow your business. How will you direct a team of employees with no leadership? Spend time learning how to motivate, cultivate, and delegate to your employees.
#1 – No Well-Defined Marketing, Sales, or Operational Systems – This is a big one! Imagine if Apple or Microsoft ran their companies by the seat of their pants? Reacting to every little internal and external change is no way to grow and scale a business. Every company, no matter the size, needs to have a plan to execute. Marketing, Sales, HR, Finances, even your training should all have a system. This allows you to focus on the big-ticket items knowing there are systems to follow and that you can delegate work to your team.
If you’re failing into any of these areas, don't worry, we did too for the first 5 years in business. Then we got smart. We outsourced, hired help, and got serious about turning our passion into a "real business."
I look forward to working with you soon.
- Joe Riggio
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