In this episode, Pat lays out a 3 step plan to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Pat acknowledges the craziness going on. It’s all hands on deck right now
- His wife, Holly, has been offering online community for 13 years
- Its very important to keep your current clients
- You have to do more than just online workouts
- Offer accountability, check-ins, personal attention
- Your clients are as stressed as you are, be there leader
- We need to be better at managing money now
- Cut what you can, but be mindful of payroll
- Start a discussion with your landlord about upcoming payments, be proactive
- Attack the opportunity
- Your business can actually be stronger by the time this is over
P.S. – 6-Weeks of Coaching…Free.
Get a surge of new clients and revenue over the next 6 Weeks with ZERO FEE and no obligation to continue?
If you’re a current business owner who wants to add 50K or more in annual revenue over the next 12 month, you can Test Drive our coaching program for 6 Weeks with no fee or even an obligation to continue as a way to demonstrate how we can help you grow your business.
No strings attached. No obligation. You get our best coaching & tools…and hopefully, you’ll love it enough that you want to keep working together.
Would you be interested in discussing?
If so, email me here with ‘interested’ in subject line and we’ll set up a chat.
Hey Pat Rigsby here and in today’s episode I’m sharing a three step process to help you navigate today’s landscape. I originally shared this with perform better so they could pass it along to their audience, but I thought it would be really valuable for you to be able to check out as well. So let’s get to it.
Welcome to the fitness business school with Pat Rigsby, the podcast for fitness entrepreneurs who want to make more income, have greater impact, and enjoy more freedom in their ideal business. If you’d like an accelerated route to these goals, email me at [email protected] and put BGA in the subject line and I’ll get you all the details about our business growth accelerator program.
Hey guys, Pat Rigsby here and I wanted to help with how you’re navigating the current circumstances that we’re facing. Um, man, it’s been all hands on deck over here with my clients and I wanted to share some of the, um, really the key takeaways, the things that have worked thus far and I organized it into a three step action plan. Basically that if you follow it seems like for all of our people, the results have exceeded expectations to say the least.
Now, one advantage that I’ve probably had is over the last 13 years, my wife Holly has been coaching people online. She’s had a membership community, um, that has reached around a thousand people at a given time. She’s had over 35,000 customers online. So, you know, we’ve had a lot of experience with serving people online and making sure that we could create a, a really high quality culture a solid experience. Something that kept people coming back and seeing the value in what she had to offer. So not only, you know, is this stuff that we’ve seen work right now with some of the gyms transitioning to, um, training people online, but it’s stuff that we’ve got a lot of track record with that we understand. Can I have a pretty profound impact?
So the first step in the action plan is to keep your current clients and um, you know, there’s, there’s nothing kind of out of the ordinary about that. But there were a few variables that I think you need to consider. Um, the first of which would be we want a mix of things. It’s not enough to just host workouts. A lot of times we’ve been able to get away with just hosting workouts in our facility, but people aren’t going to pay their normal rate for, for our live streaming workout or a workout on demand with nothing else because they can go get that for a fraction of the fee that they’re probably training to be a client at a training based facility. So we need a combination of live streaming workouts, of on demand workouts. We need some sort of accountability. We need a check in. I don’t care if it’s text messaging clients on a daily basis using an app like Voxer, using something like Coach Catalyst to hold people accountable. Or if it’s just periodic calls from your staff throughout the week to make sure people are doing, doing what they need to do to make sure they feel connected, that they feel supported. So that that’s a big piece of it. So we’ve got on demand live streaming. We’ve got accountability, but we need to create and foster community. We need to make sure that people feel connected to one another. So we’ve seen people doing coffee meetups, um, get-togethers in the evening. We’ve seen, um, my wife calls, uh, something she does every Friday a win share where people are sharing the things that went well during the weekend. Kind of celebrating that is a, is a check in. So there are a lot of ways that we can um, connect with people outside of a, just, just a traditional workout. Um, we can provide education. You can do on on demand workshops or live streaming workshops. You can use some pre-developed um, content. I mean we’ve seen people use things like pro coach or coach catalyst to deliver, um, content that’s dripped over time to keep people engaged as well. And then we need to make sure that we’re doing some personalized attention, some one to one outreach. In fact, if you’ve not done much with personal text messages and one-to-one calls, now’s a great time to do it.
Let’s face it, the stuff that our clients are going through right now is very much like what we’re going through. They’re stressed out, they’re anxious, there’s a lot of uncertainty. So just being somebody that they feel connected to, somebody that cares about them far more than just the, the one-to-one transaction. But you know, you’re somebody who sees them as being under your care and your giving them a sense of calm. You’re taking a role of leadership through a turbulent time for them. You know, I mean, let’s face it, that’s what people need now more than anything else right now. Their focus has changed. Their, their goals have probably evolved a little bit and it’s not what they came to you for originally, but I mean, we can do so much for them in improving their quality of life under the circumstances that they’re currently facing. So when we think about, um, the things that they probably don’t feel like they have a whole lot of control over right there, there are press conferences going on every day. They’re there. They’re being bombarded by, by the media. Things with their career may be, um, you know, beyond their control things that it might be happening. Just feeling like, Hey, I can’t even go out and get haircut or I can’t go out and have lunch with a friend or something like that. Some of this stuff’s been taken away from them. So they do get to exert some degree of control over their fitness, over their health or their well-being. And you can be a facilitator for that, but you need to step up and take that role. It’s going to feel like all hands on deck for a while and you know, that’s okay. Um, you know, we’ll weather the storm, but the beauty of this is if they stick with you through this, and more importantly, if you stick with them through this, they’re going to be loyal to you long after, right? Like the, the connection that you’re going to have through facing adversity together. They’re not going to be looking around for the brand new gym that pops into town or waiting for a discount or anything like that. When they, you know, when they see an ad pop up on Facebook, that loyalty, that connection, that community is going to transcend things long after.
So we want to focus at first on keeping those clients we have, the second thing that we want to do is manage our money. Um, you know, we need to cut the, the no or low benefit cost or subscriptions that we have and understand that man, we can come back to it later if we have to put something on pause for a little bit, we can come back to it later, but we need to make sure that we’re spending the money on the things that are important to us staying the course. It’s now riding out the storm and putting ourselves in a position where we’re healthy not only at the end of kind of this forced online business model, but long after, the second thing that we need to do is understand that we may have to, um, cuta little bit of payroll. Now, obviously we want to take care of the people that are part of our organization, but we also need to be smart about this and know that if we aren’t smart with our money, they’re not going to have a business to come back to, to work for. So we have to, you know, manage things. And if that means cutting a little bit, uh, of our payroll cutting some of their hours we’ll address that as we need to.
Now as I film this, there’s not been a final, um, stimulus package come out or whatever else, but it appears that there may be some cash to offset any financial losses that our employees might have. Um, you know, so if they get, uh, you know, an influx of $1,000 or whatever the number might be, um, you know, we’re not saying necessarily that we need to cut payroll from, you know, what we’re offering them currently to zero. But if we have to cut back hours by, um, 20%, 25%, 30% better to make sure that we’re keeping the business business healthy and sustainable then to, you know, feel obligated to keep payroll, you know, at a normal level for them. Well, we’re taking a massive pay cut and ultimately putting our business in. So that’s number two.
Third thing, start a conversation with your landlord about some relief from your lease payments, whether you need to renegotiate your lease, whether you need to see if you can push back payments, whether you can reduce payments for a little bit or maybe tack them on towards the end of the lease or what things balloon up over time. You know, honestly, a lot of landlords are going to punt on this for the time being. They’re going to say, Hey, we’ll get back to this, but right now, um, we’re not ready to deal with it. And in many cases it’s, they’re waiting to see if they’re going to get some relief on mortgages or whatever else. But I think we, you know, we have to be realistic. Landlords don’t, don’t want to evict people because they don’t want 80-90% vacancy in an economy that they’re uncertain of as well. So, um, you know, they’re going to work with you whether or not they do it begrudgingly, they’re gonna work with you probably more often than not. So start that conversation. Take a proactive approach.
I’m not suggesting that you’re going to get a lot of feedback but better to be proactive about anything that we’re doing financially rather than burying our head in the sand. And then, you know, explore the funding sources that are available to you. Can you get a line of credit? Um, pay attention to the small small business association, um, disaster relief loans, the loans that might be available to you through other sources, both locally and state or nationally. Make sure that you’re aware of those. And if you need to do some work too, apply for those. Get the ball rolling. Make sure you have this cushion. Maybe you won’t need it. Hopefully you won’t need it, but better to be safe than to be backed in a corner and not have money available in a time of desperation or a time of need.
Then the third step or the third component of this action plan is attack the opportunity, right? We need to stabilize by keeping our current clients. We need to preserve cash or free up cashflow. So we’re going to manage our money, but then we need to attack the opportunity in every adverse situation. There’s always somebody who comes out of it a hit, right? Somebody’s always going to win. And you have the ability to, to capitalize on some of this if you are proactive, because so many people are going to be reactive, they’re going to freeze, they’re not going to do what they need to do to protect their client base, to keep them engaged, to those clients may be looking elsewhere. Um, they’re going to be people who just kind of panic and don’t do anything to preserve the health of their business. And some businesses are probably not going to last. I mean, we saw that in the last economic downturn. But guess what? It’s under your control. This is something that you have far more control over the most people like take responsibility for. So leads are cheap. Right now we’re seeing leads for people who are advertising at a cost that in some cases is anywhere from 10 to 25% of what they’re normally paying. So if you have the available cashflow and the available reserves, feel free to advertise a little bit or at least do some grassroots or guerrilla marketing and get out there and generate some leads. Build an audience. So you’ve got people to market to when they’re ready to buy if they’re not ready to buy right now. So that’s, that’s a big step.
Acknowledge the fact that many big box facilities, many of the franchises, they’re not really offering anything more than streaming workouts. And I’ve heard it from multiple people that you know what, they’re not happy with whatever their facility is or whatever else because they don’t want on demand streaming workouts. They don’t want something that they could get on their iPhone with an app for two 99 a month. They want connection. They want community, they want leadership, they want an actual coach. They just don’t want an on demand library of workouts. So take advantage of that void. I mean, I’ve had an, I have a neighbor of ours that said that exact thing and she belongs to a local franchise and she reached out to Holly and said, look, I want your help. I need a leader to help me stay focused and motivated when everything else is in disarray. Position yourself as a leader in the community. When it comes to health, wellness, fitness, take a leadership stance, put out content, share valuable insights, be on video, online beat share articles, share workouts, shared tips, provide lead magnets, anything that you’ve got that you can deliver that, you know, lo low hassle for you. High leverage, not interactive coaching so much, but expertise that you can share to position yourself as an authority. Give away some sort of free level support, not nearly what we’re giving our clients. We want to make sure that we’re over delivering to our clients, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a free Facebook group and let people check in and have their win the day challenge or something like that and share what they did to be healthy and active. There’s something that you can do to offer for free and we can offer charity things. I’ve seen so many of our clients put together small business kind of charity initiatives, um, charity based workouts where money gets donated to things like food banks. There are things that we can do to step up, take a leadership role in the community and be a lot more visible and really kind of capture more of the market that’s available because let’s face it, if you’re online doing this stuff, so many people in our industry had been pretty proactive when it comes to social media marketing and a lot of other businesses, a lot of other small business, they’ve not really done that. That’s not been their comfort zone.
So take advantage of those experiences and skills you developed and step up and be a leader in your community. And then understand that, you know, I mean if we want to stimulate the economy, if we want things to stay healthy, we need to sell. We can’t sit back and not feel like, Hey, we shouldn’t be selling anything because people are in a time of distress. No. If you can solve somebody’s problems, if you can help somebody reduce stress and stay healthy and feel like they have a semblance of control in their life and infuse activity into their life and give them a sense of connectedness, then sell your program, sell a low cost transformation type challenge is probably not a transformation challenge. But I know my wife Holly is putting together a stay at home workout bundle, a we’re stuck at home workout bundle. I think she’s calling it and you know, I mean, but I’ve seen people put together 21 and 42 day challenges. We’ve had my client base put together a 42 day challenge that uh, it’s just, they’re just calling it an at home workout challenge, put together something like that where people feel like, you know, I’m not overextending myself. It’s not super expensive. You can offer something like that. You can offer your normal services. I know that we’ve heard so many people in our communities say, um, you know, Hey, my friend wants to learn more about what we do. You know, I’ve been raving about what we’re doing online and my coworker wants to know more about it tour normal offerings.
And then finally, don’t hesitate to upsell some of your current clients. I mean, some of those clients that have traditionally been maybe in a group environment, offer them one on one attention, offer them more connection, more accountability, um, just more personalized support. You’re going to see a handful of them want to upgrade. And what’s so great about this is between the new clientele that you bring on, the upgrades that you generate, even if you do have a few losses, if you do have a few people that say, Hey, I want to freeze. I’m going to pause something. You’re going to be able to offset that, come out of this healthy and really be poised to thrive when we get to back back to some sense of normalcy. So you know, we’re going to get through this. We always do. Um, but you’re not going to do it successfully unless you’re proactive. You gotta be, um, willing to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to be adaptable and be willing to move into delivering a lot more than just a workout online. You’re probably going to have to work a little bit harder than you’ve typically been working. But one thing that I’ve noticed from my clients is, man, they all feel like a better business owner right now than they felt a week or two weeks ago. They feel stronger in what they’re doing. They, they have a better handle on how they’re going to be able to differentiate themselves down the line by being a much more complete and solution for their clients. And I think you’re going to get that sense too. So those three action steps or tips, hopefully they helped. And then I available to you, just reach out. Happy to support you any way I can.
Thanks for listening. I’m giving away a bundle of my bestselling books, the ideal business formula, the fitness entrepreneur handbook in the path. All you have to do is go to patrigsby.com/podgift to get it. Also, make sure to subscribe to The Fitness Business School with Pat Rigsby so you don’t miss an episode and you get yourself on the fast track to creating your ideal business.