- I would consider myself a hybrid business from the start
- Look for low risk, low overhead, low commitment options
- I would make accountability a big part of my offerings
- Community would be key to my brand
- Record everything you do and repurpose
- Be above the midpoint of the pricing spectrum
- Make hires that add flexibility to my schedule
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Hey, Pat Risgby here. And in this episode, I want to talk with you about what I would do if I was a small business owner, a small fitness business owner right now. So let’s get started.
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In this episode, I want to talk with you about what I would do if I had a small training business right now. I get asked variations of that every week, and I just thought it might make for a pretty good episode. If I just walked through some of the things that I’ve thought about if I were in your shoes. So the first would be, I would consider myself a true hybrid business. Now, the way that I think about this is probably a little bit different than the way that most people think about this. Most people think about hybrid being well. I’m going to offer an online component to what I do. My thought is I’m going to be somebody’s coach 168 hours a week. I am their coach. Yeah, all times. And three to five of those hours are probably going to be live interactive training sessions, whether it be in person or on demand or in person in a facility or online. So, you know, for me, this hybrid model is just understanding that I am this person’s coach. When it comes to this specific topic, fitness becoming more, fit, more healthy, enjoying a better quality of life. I’m their coach at all times. And my job is to facilitate them to get the outcome that they want. So I would be building my business model around that.
Honestly, if I were starting from scratch, I’d be looking for probably the lowest risk, lowest commitment, fixed overhead model that I could have, whether it be as an independent contractor in a facility, subleasing from somebody where I didn’t have to sign a three year lease, something like that, that or, or even doing in-home training, or maybe a combination of a couple of those things. I know that I’ve had plenty of success in the past. My own business is doing some of the subleasing and in the market that we’re in now, that would probably be a little easier than it normally is to find somebody that would be willing to sublease you some space. So they could take a little bit of that overhead burden off their own shoulders. But I’d also recognize that, you know, if I could train, you know, a handful of people in their own home, we’re in a convenient society where people like things delivered to them. So that would probably be my model to start from, if I’m already in a facility and I’m locked into a lease, I’m going to make the best of it that I can. I’m probably going to try to mitigate some of my overhead. If that means maybe cutting back a little bit of my staffing or just looking at my expenses and seeing what I can cut. I’d probably do that. If I have the opportunity to downsize a little bit, I probably do that as well. It doesn’t mean that I think that things are going to be bad. It’s just, I think that there’s a higher profit opportunity by having this kind of blended hybrid business than just offering a big box type of footprint.
So that would be first second, I would be building around this kind of service and experience model that I talk a lot about where yes, there’s going to be a live component in person online, but so much of what I’m going to be doing for my clients, going to be focused on making sure their on demand solution so that it’s convenient for them to get support, coaching, help education, anytime they want it really anytime, anywhere, and support the, the second piece of the puzzle beyond that for, for this kind of hybrid model, beyond the, the live stuff there’s on demand, but then there’s personal connection. I’m going to make sure that my clients know that I’m for them. I am an advocate for them. So there’s going to be, you know, just personal, personal touch points. I’m going to text them, see how they’re doing. I’m going to make sure that they know that this is not a transactional relationship. They can get a transactional relationship anywhere. I mean, that’s what most of the bigger franchise offerings have. That’s what a health club provides. I want to make it abundantly clear that this is a special type of relationship that is different from what they’re going to get from, you know, any of the kind of common, big brand providers.
The next step, this would be making sure that accountability was a piece of the puzzle. You know, and that can be as simple as sending somebody a daily message through something like coach catalyst or via email or text, and just checking in on them or a weekly checkup via email were gonna say, okay, how did things go this week? What’s the focal point for next week? What do we need help with? But accountability is one of the bigger missing links. I think the two biggest missing links in in our industry right now are this or facilitated consistency, right? So accountability making sure people are doing stuff not just three hours a week in a gym, and then problem solving when somebody comes up against an obstacle, a roadblock, a challenge that maybe they’ve not solved on their own, making sure that we’re stepping in to help get them past that, to keep them on track because invariably people can, you know, people can get started on their own, but when they kind of go off the rails, it’s it really came to a problem, a challenge, a mental roadblock, whatever that they couldn’t solve. And that’s where I’m going to be able to add even more valuable value to make sure that I’m able to keep them going, even when they do encounter those roadblocks.
And then I’d some sense of community, even if I’m doing primarily one-on-one training, which I probably have some one on one training and then semi-private small group stuff. You know, I provide some opportunity where those people could connect with one another. It may be, Hey, let’s go out. And one weekend a month, we’re going to do a live outdoor workout, or we’re going to go on a hike. We may go out and just do something social together. I know if my own clients you know, we even did like an online comedy night and I hired Sinbad to do that for a night. I want them to feel like they’re part of something bigger. They feel like they’re connected with other like-minded people that may, you know, it may turn into friendships. It may be just knowing that there are other people sharing in this kind of same experience that they are. Maybe it’s just knowing that maybe there’s somebody out there that’s kind of pulling for them and rooting for them because they’re experiencing some of the same stuff.
So I would build around those, you know, I don’t think there’s a perfect answer to exactly what needs to be included in the, on demand, but I’d try stuff. I mean, there, there would be on demand education for everything from foam rolling and mobility to yoga, cooled down those sorts of things. You know, if I want to have quick little high intensity interval sessions that they can do between strength, workouts, I’d record a handful of those. You know, I’ve even thought that it would probably be kind of prudent to do video recordings of different things for nutrition, whether it be, Hey, here’s how to put together quick, healthy snacks. Here’s how to make my favorite smoothie. Even a simple, healthy cooking class that I could go spend a few hundred dollars and hire a chef to do. So putting that together would be kind of the, the foundation of my service offering.
I certainly wouldn’t strive to be at the bottom end of the pricing spectrum. I would try to go above the mid point. I don’t need to be the most expensive, but I want to be a little bit above the mid point because I believe that people want value, right? They don’t need the cheapest option. They don’t even prefer the cheapest option. In most cases, they just want to feel like they got a good deal for what they’re paying. And so I feel confident in my ability to convince them and illustrate to them why this is a good deal and why this is different than what most gyms or fitness businesses would offer. So I want to charge a higher price to give me a little bit more margin, not only for more profit for myself, but so if I want to do fun, little experiential things, if I want to send gifts, I want to stay in cards. There’s enough profit in there that I can do it without eroding my take home. So that’s, that’s kind of the foundation of the service.
Now, one of the things that I would be doing very regularly would be trying to find leverage points. So if I’m doing a live session, I’m like online, I’m going to record it. If I’m in studio and I’m doing live sessions, I’m going to find a way to record that. And maybe I can record the whole session and use it as an on demand offering, but it minimum I can take small segments of that out and I can take screenshots of that out and use it on social media to market my business. And I can tag my clients and really get them to go out there and refer without proactively referring a lot of the time, because if I’m tagging them, it’s going to show up in their feed. Some of the people in their life are going to see it. So that’s going to serve is the, the bulk of the social media content that I’m going to be putting out, just documenting things that we’re already doing. The other side of that is if I documenting some of the things that I’m doing for on demand, I can pluck out small pieces of that and use it as a lead magnet. I can pluck out certain exercises or just small segments of, of workouts and offer that as a lead magnet. So again, I’m recycling work that I’m already doing to attract more of the same type of people I have. And then the last thing that I would be doing would be documenting any questions my clients ask me, I’m going to document those. And then I’m going to create a video or a post about those, because I, I think it’s safe to assume that if your ideal clients are asking questions, your ideal prospects probably have similar questions. And that’s the bulk of the marketing material that I’m going to need. And I can share that organically. If I’ve got a little bit of a budget, I can boost things. I can run ads to those lead magnets, but at minimum I can share things organically and get my clients to share them just by simply asking for a favor. Hey, would you mind sharing this in your feet? As far as tech goes, you know, I’m anything but a techie.
I would probably be looking for the lowest friction option altogether. I’ve used ClickFunnels for sure, or really from their inception. So for at least the past five or so years, and it’s drag and drop, it’s easy to use. So I would probably continue use something like ClickFunnels. I would use convert kit for my email software for the same reasons, just simplicity and effectiveness. I would use coach catalyst to help facilitate some of the accountability if I were going to do anything for a specific train, like online training software, you know, I mean, I just pick one and go with it. Exercise that comes a solid option. True coach is a solid option trainer as solid option. I just pick whichever one I was most comfortable with and run with it. I’d use zoom and Facebook groups and just simple things that are one or two clicks, and you’re good to go and figure out the simplest possible way to collect payments, whether it be if I were going to use a membership area and not something like you know, train arise, I’d use Kartra and collect payments through there, just with something like Stripe. But nothing complex. I don’t need mindbody. I don’t need you know, I don’t need to be paying $300 a month for some sort of client management platform. I can use that little simple, kinda low tech stack and do everything that I needed for a few hundred bucks.
And the, the last two things that I would mention is, you know, I would focus constantly. I set daily targets and always have on lead production and really conversion. So I’d set a target of getting a minimum. I’d start out with two leads per day, whether it be list building or in person connection. And then once I kind of had a rhythm with that and I had a, an effective way to generate online leads, I’d probably raise that up to three, four, five a day. And then I’d send three weekly emails. I’d have my little PS at the bottom. Like you see in my emails, I’d make offers a couple of times a month. And then, you know, the yeah, on the results of those things, I may ramp up offers. My goal would be to get everybody to do one of things. One of two things come in and experience what we do or, you know, come online, experience what we do live in some very low-risk way or get somebody on a zoom or a phone call and do a sales consultation that way. I wouldn’t be trying to sell people, you know, hiring services without letting them experience it, or without spending some time with them to get to know them. I wouldn’t be trying to sell it through a sales page alone. I would be using a sample of what we do or an extended conversation, you know, a 45 minutes sales consultation. So we do, and that would be, that’d be, it that’d be my business.
The first thing I would outsource would probably be a little bit of admin stuff. And then I’d try to find, you know, some sort of training help. So I can create a little bit more flexibility in my schedule if I want to go on vacation, making sure if somebody had have you know, be, be able to take some of the Slack. But the beauty of it is if I’ve got on demand, then I still have something there, even if I don’t have any help. So hopefully that is of some use to you. That’s what I would do if it were my business right now, at least in the situation that most people that I’m seeing in our business are in. If you get any questions about it, let me know. But hopefully that was held.
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