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How gym owners think like moguls [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jun 5, 2018 9:30:00 AM

How gym owners think like moguls


How gym owners think like moguls


The millionaire real estate Agent from 2004 is a guide to be successful in real estate. The techniques for building an empire are outlined. This might not seem relevant to gym owners at first. The described sales lessons are invaluable to keep your business profitable

You will learn about hiring and how to build a book of business. Gary Keller co-founded the largest real estate franchise in North America.  Further books he authored are The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, Shift: How top real estate agents tackle tough times and The ONE Thing.

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Why gym owners should care about real estate


THinking like a real estate agent is closer to thinking big money than being a gym owner. Getting into this mindset will help you to take care that your business is sound. It is nice to have a gym and help people, but if ti does not pay the bills you need to turn it around or add other cash flows. It also can be an area to diversify to.


The big challenges for gym owners


The biggest challenge for gym owners is that they usually make not enough of a plan. In fact, this is at the core of most failed businesses. You need to exactly know how many clients you need. Calculate how much you are going to charge them. Think about why they would be willing to pay that specific price. Figure out how your profit will be used. 

Go-Getters have the tendency to get to work to quickly. Rather than being thoughtful and deliberate, they throw as much dirt on the wall as they can. Based on what sticks they adjust. This can be tiresome and outright dangerous when you run a business.

This happened to me and my wife when we moved to Germany. Rather than being calculated and methodical about the move we rushed it. My wife had an urge to get out of Ireland as quickly as possible when the kids were out of the house. I could only see the money in the new job offer. In the end, the move was a mess and it took a bit of time to recover from the bad planning. It was a big strain financially and psychlogically on our marriage.

One of the most important parts of your business is recurring sales. Make a plan on how many leads you need to generate a certain amount of revenue. When you fall behind, increase your activity levels. If your activity levels are high and do not turn into money, think about the journey you send your clients on. The most basic numbers to know are your total reach, leads generated and revenue made. 

Costs are also important. They are a part of your business which can be more easily adjusted than the ones mentioned before. You are in direct control of whether you put the fancy towels out or something a bit less expensive. For lead generation, it takes the client to play along too. 


Ideas on how to solve the biggest challenges for gym owners


If you have a winning personality and the ability to convince others you are off to a good start. It takes far more than this to run a successful, sustainable business. For this, you also need grit and analytical skills. What separates good sellers from successful businessmen is the ability to think strategically. They know where to place their winning personality to get the best outcome. It's no use to stand in a corner of the world where nobody sees or wants you.

You can open a gym in the middle of the Sahara without thinking about how to get your clients there. You can have your tea in peace. You just won't make any money.

The first step to becoming a successful gym owner is to find intrinsic motivation. The money will only get you so far when it comes to motivation. It won't give you determination and focus. Such motivators can be to improve yourself constantly and be the best at what you do. Elon Musk is very successful because he is the change that he wants to see in the world and capitalizes on it. Not the other way around.

To keep motivated constantly set big goals. Rather than just owning a gym in your local town, shoot for a chain in the entire area. This turns the first goal in an easy milestone to achieve on the path to world domination. That makes it way more likely that you actually make it.

A good trick for marketing purposes is to market your services as a fitness trainer or coach to people who are looking to sell these services. This is superior marketing to trying to attract customers for yourself only. If you can get people on your site who actively promote you it gives you way more leverage. Once you have enough money to keep the lights on, attract people who sell and are good at marketing.

Another fallacy gym owners tend to fall into is to think they have to do everything themselves. Use tools, systems, and people to focus on what really matters which is growing your business. Time is the only commodity you can not buy back. Delegate tasks which are not revenue related to other people or automate them.

To know how many leads you need and what to charge your clients make a small business plan. If you want to make one million a year and charge your clients 100 a month you need 10.000 clients which are on a one year contract. By doing this calculation you already see why it pays off to invest in a good system that binds clients long time. This also lowers administration for you.

You can already see that for this amount of people you need a lot of space. But maybe not as much as you think. Look at the data of how many people actually do make use of their memberships and you see that you might only need space for 5.000 at a time.

Looking closer into you will see that your floor space might only need capacity for 2.000 people at the same time. Here is the difference between being strategic and being always helpful. A service minded person would have provided space for 10.000 people at the same time and burdened his business with huge overhead cost.

What is also often overlooked by gym owners who have not worked in sales before is that it is more likely to get a no rather than a yes in sales. To have 10.000 people on a contract you probably will be in touch with up to a million people. Again, think about advertising to brands and fitness product sellers to offer your services. It is impossible to reach these numbers yourself or via the phone.

You can be fairly aggressive with people you did not have direct contact to get them into your business. Contact them up to 12 times yearly. In the end, there is nothing to lose here. For those, you already know you should aim for a frequency of 33 times a year. Once you have clients, be tight about your budgeting. Avoid getting head over heels into buying the newest fitness machines for your gym because you think you need them. Limit yourself to only spend the money that your business generates. This way your budget will stay solid and risk minimal. consider the bubble. Expectations of rapid growth caused startups to ae huge capital investments. Once the true valuations came to light, all that money was lost. The result was a major financial crisis in 2008. When you see a chance to increase your revenues you have a green light to invest. Once you have invested the light turns red. Wait until the earnings you anticipated ut of that investment actually mate3rialise. Once you hit that revenue goal you have set the light turns from red to gree again for another investment.

The first person you hire should be someone who takes care of administration. Filing contracts, dealing with clients you have already acquired. Running the gym on a day to day basis. As soon as you can afford it, your job is to know everyone in town and get them into the gym while someone else is taking care of it on site. If you struggle to compute the numbers in this think about it rationally. 1.000 to 3.000 a month might be a big investment for you. But if it gives you the time to get four new clients in the books for that month on contracts worth 1200 each you have made 1800 bucks. Along with this journey, you will face failures. Rather than seeing them as a negative, embrace failure as a necessary part of reaching the goals you want. Negative thinking does not get anything done. Ever. 




If you want to open the first gym in your local area, think about why there is not one yet. Make a plan and don't assume that things will just go your way. Sales can be planned and structured. An ideal way of think about your gym is like a business owner. How can I design a place which generates revenue without me even being there and which is repeatable? This will give you the financial freedom to make your clients lives better personally. If you are in financial peril, you can not do a lot of good in the world. See financial is a stepping stone to be the best version of yourself. 


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Topics: Fitness