In a fickle market like the fitness industry, how do you survive?
Further, how do you thrive? Everybody expects to have a big January but what about the rest of the year?
How do you keep growing revenue in seasonally slower months? For us, WBBC became our Hail Mary and is now a strategic and critical element to our business plan.
Our box, CrossFit Triumph, has been around since 2008. The reputation was that the coach was tough but great at developing “athletes.” He had become known as an expert in olympic weightlifting and the “go to” for strength and conditioning. I landed there in 2013 and got involved in the business shortly after a mass exodus. It was a very risky time as so many boxes were popping up right next to each other, undercutting their neighbor’s price, directly soliciting members and ruining the CrossFit® brand by injuring people. So much for “community.” I saw an opportunity to start over from scratch, creating a new culture, refining the brand and building brand loyalty.This, to me, was a diamond in the rough because of the reputation of having a long-standing, quality coach and program.
In less than a year and lots of gradual changes, the membership doubled and we were back on our feet, but it wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be. My goal was to double and triple our revenue. That’s the thing about a successful business.Some boxes put up a façade that they have this successful business by having a plethora of members mostly drawn from “grouponites” or founding members. Founding members are those who tend to pay little to nothing for a membership for life and grouponites typically don’t stay and pay next to nothing right next to somebody who is paying much more for the same service. But, in the real world, the rubber meets the road with revenue and profit.
We realized our opportunity to grow in other areas but we needed help to get it done. Having a history of catering to the 1 percenters, how were we going to attract that market of the other 99% of people who just want to get fit and lose a few pounds? I had tons of experience in sales and marketing in the healthcare industry and had plenty of ideas; but this kind of business presented unique challenges, and I was out of my element. I began shopping for “plug and play” type solutions. After several conversations with our now WBBC partner, CrossFit Credence and a blessing from Burch, we embarked on a journey that, in raw form, was that “Hail Mary” play in my eyes.
In December 2015, we moved to a more desirable, centralized location with ample parking in a standalone building. We spent most of November prepping our new location, maintaining our current business and training to launch our first World’s Best Boot Camp in January. It was challenging, but we did what we needed to in order to have a successful launch.
The move in December has proven successful. Since adding WBBC to our business, we got much more than anticipated. Not only did we learn how to implement WBBC as a doorway to our CrossFit® programs, we have also learned how to attract those 99% of people who actually thought they were not “good enough” for CrossFit®. Surprised to uncover THAT information, we have incorporated the missing component to bridge the gap from couch to CrossFit®: WBBC.
Personally, I have learned how to adapt my sales and marketing skills to this unique market from creating ads to connecting with people on a more personal level. I believe, whole-heartedly, in doing the most good and constantly learning from the vast resources available. And, I am finally able to use the education I worked so hard to earn in Health Science and Education. The physical results of our first troop are staggering: An average of 10 inches lost per person and two of my graduates made it into the top 10 greatest transformations out of 1400 troopers. What’s more? 90% of my graduates transitioned to CrossFit® or are repeating World’s Best Boot Camp. When was the last time you added 20 athletes to your roster in a month followed by 33 athletes the following month?
In keeping track of our numbers, we’ve grown our CrossFit® membership revenue by 25% since December in just 3 short months! This does NOT include our WBBC revenue, retail, private training or special programs, which by the way, I have also learned to incorporate more effectively since getting into WBBC. With the addition of our WBBC revenue, we have more than doubled. And, that was our original goal.
The one thing I would say to anybody considering a business coach or adding a “plug and play” program like WBBC:
You have to be honest with yourself first about the state of your business, why it is in the state that it is in and be open to coaching. Sound familiar? You have to truly understand your current situation instead of being blinded by it and willing to change for the health and benefit of the business. If you are a coach worth your salt, this is a philosophy used to develop our athletes. Be humble because egos have no place anywhere and bull shit will only get you so far. All those boxes popping up on top of each other seem to be slowly fading away, something Glassman eluded to recently. Crème will rise to the top.
We are constantly learning, evolving, refining, improving; but this experience, thus far, has been one of the best decisions I have made for our box.
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