$11,000 to $24,000 in Monthly Revenue in Less Than 1 Year

$11,000 to $24,000 in Monthly Revenue in Less Than 1 Year

Mike Warkentin: (00:01)
Colby, I just got a stat saying that your revenue went from 10,700 to $24,000 from January to November. Is that right?

Colby Knepp: (00:10)
Damn right. Yes, sir.

Mike Warkentin: (00:12)
Oh, okay. So we need to hear the story and our listeners need to hear the story. This is Run A Profitable Gym. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. On this show, you can always hear about the real tactics gym owners use to generate significant, measurable improvements in their gym. The best part: no secrets, just stories. Gym owners are gonna tell you exactly what they do so that you can have the same success that they’re having and improve your gym. Colby Knepp is on the line today. He runs Olde Town Athlete near Denver, Colorado. He’s gonna tell us how he more than doubled his revenue in less than a year. So Colby, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

Colby Knepp: (00:41)
Yeah, big honor, man. Thank you for having me.

Mike Warkentin: (00:43)
It is our pleasure. And I’m a little upset that you were late getting to our meeting, but I understand it was for a very good reason. What were you doing?

Colby Knepp: (00:50)
Had a No-Sweat Intro.

Mike Warkentin: (00:51)
How’d it go? What happened?

Colby Knepp: (00:52)
It went great, man. It was a win. It was a close. We had our appointment scheduled for 11, and we had a quick chat scheduled that just kept going, kept going. I felt like it was a good time. So I had to email Mike and say, Hey, man, I’m gonna be late. No disrespect, but I need to make money for my business. And so, it went well, man. It went really well. Went really well.

Mike Warkentin: (01:15)
I can’t fault you for that because you’re here on the show to tell us how you more than doubled your revenue and taking a No-Sweat Intro instead of talking to me is step one. So now that you’re done with that, let’s get in. Yeah. You gotta have your priorities straight as a gym owner. Let’s get into that stuff right now. So, I mean, revenue changed dramatically from January to November. How did you pull that off? Let’s dig into some of the broad strokes, and I’m gonna ask some follow up questions to dig into the minutia of that. But how did you do this?

Colby Knepp: (01:40)
Okay, well, step one, I hired a mentor, and step two, I did literally everything she told me to do. Big shout out to Joleen Bingham. Man, she’s an absolute rockstar. So I’ve been a trainer here in Arvada since 2010, 2011. I started as an intern at a small little sports performance facility out here. And we opened, our first day was January 4th of this year, of 2022. And so we’re still coming up on finishing out our first year. So I had times with Joleen on our mentorship calls. I’m like, what the hell is going right? , Why is this working so well? And part of it was I did a lot of research on mentorship programs. I put so much time and energy into finding the right space to run our model.

Colby Knepp: (02:28)
And I don’t know, man, just our offer fits the market, fits a need in the space, is different than anything else in the area. And it just is clicking. And we got a really awesome team, coach Rob and Coach Dillon and Coach Megan, our nutrition coach, are just totally owning their stuff. And I guess, it’s really surreal, Mike, to really think about it. I reflect on it. I actually, unfortunately I injured my knee last week at jujitsu and I haven’t been able to be on the floor coaching. And the business just continues to grow. And I didn’t know that that was actually possible. I was really worried. I was like, dude, this is it. I guess this is it. But broad strokes man, I hired a mentor and I literally just implemented like a madman everything she told me to do.

Mike Warkentin: (03:17)
Okay. So that’s super interesting. So a lot of us used a mentor to fix a gym. That was my thing where I was running a poor gym and we got in with a mentor and fixed things and made things better. You kind of went the other path where you decided you wanted to do something and built that into the opening. Is that right?

Colby Knepp: (03:34)
Yes, sir. Yeah, so I had an opportunity to buy an existing gym. And financially, we just couldn’t come to a number that made sense for both parties. And so I respectfully decided to steer clear. And that’s when I really started watching Chris Cooper’s YouTube stuff. He is just crazy consistent and I’m like, this guy’s in my brain, what is going on? , he knows his customer well.

Mike Warkentin: (03:56)
He has that knack.

Colby Knepp: (03:57)
And he said something, I don’t even remember the video, but it was around, why buy an existing gym when you could just build it yourself? Instead of inheriting other people’s problems, why not just build it yourself? Yeah. And that really clicked for me. It was doing my own thing and carving my own path and doing it the way I want to do it from the ground up. And I probably could have done it myself, but I am on the hook for this lease space for well over 200 grand over the next four years. My equipment lease as well. I don’t own this. So that’s pretty risky. And so I was like, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna hire somebody who’s done it before and who can keep me focused. Cause I know I can work hard. I know I can be very disciplined and put in the time, but it’s a matter of making sure my time and my energy’s going to the right stuff. And the prescriptive model fits perfectly with what we do. The micro gym model’s perfect for what I wanna build. So yeah, it’s all worked out pretty well.

Mike Warkentin: (04:53)
Listeners, if you don’t know what the prescriptive model is, the short version is: you do a consultation with a client, you ask them what they wanna accomplish, you give them the prescription, the exact plan, and then you tell them the price and they generally sign up, which is probably what Colby just did in the No-Sweat Intro that he wrapped up. We won’t get into details of that, but if you wanna know more about it, there are tons and tons of videos on it on our YouTube channel, which Colby referred to. And we’ll put a link in the show notes to you so you can take a look at that. Okay. So it’s very tempting when you’re opening a gym then to say, I wanna buy 10 more skiergs or whatever and spend money on other stuff, right. To allocate that money to mentorship requires a commitment. Is that commitment, was it scary to start and when you started doing it, when did you know that you were actually getting results?

Colby Knepp: (05:35)
Oh man. Was it scary to start? Yeah, kind of initially. I remember when the lease landed in my inbox, , I thought for sure something would fall, would kill the process well before that. Financing or the landlord didn’t like my model or whatever. I got turned down seven or eight times ’cause I was a gym prior to this. And it was actually a big blessing because Bruce Pfeiffer, my landlord, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s been an entrepreneur his whole life. He gets it. But then, yeah, committing to mentorship, to be honest, no, ’cause I’m highly coachable. I knew that if I’m gonna make that investment for a year, I’m gonna take it serious versus doing a one-off three month program or something like that. So no, to be honest. It was scary in that the risk I was committing to was a new level in my life for sure.

Colby Knepp: (06:24)
Before this, I was renting space in a gym as a personal trainer, 500 bucks a month, zero overhead, basically. Really, really easy. And I was comfortable. I wasn’t really challenged. And man, I’ll tell you, this year has been immensely challenging on a physical and emotional level. But it’s also been immensely rewarding too. So, to answer your question, no, man. I’m highly coachable. I really just listened to what Joleen told me to do and I did the absolute best I could. And even then I still screwed a lot of things up.

Mike Warkentin: (06:53)
And that’s okay. And it’s funny ’cause some gym owners, when I ask ’em about that, they’ll say, oh yeah, I was intimidated by, made me nervous. There’s a lot of work to be done and I had to pay for mentorship and stuff. Took a little bit to get results. Other people like you say, that’s exactly what I want. I knew what I wanna do. I did my research, I made a sound decision and I committed to it. And that was like when I decided to buy a guitar, I didn’t buy the cheapest guitar I could find because I knew that there’d be no commitment there, right? So kind of the same thing I think you probably did was I’m going to research this, make commitment and follow through.

Colby Knepp: (07:23)
You mentioned something, you asked a question about when did I know I was seeing results?

Mike Warkentin: (07:25)
Yeah, that was it. When did you start feeling like, wow, this is starting, I’m seeing measurable results? And I don’t just mean things are going well, but my numbers are showing this.

Colby Knepp: (07:34)
Okay. Yeah. Okay. Let’s see. December, I followed, I’m gonna mispronounce her name. I think her name’s Kaleda Connell. Do you know Kaleda? Okay. That’s correct. Then yeah. So she had a playbook for a hard hat tour.

Mike Warkentin: (07:49)
Yeah, she loves SOPs.

Colby Knepp: (07:51)
And it was really cool, right? So I reached out to her and just asked questions and she just was so gracious in her explanation. We’re a GLM customer now as well. It’s been awesome. Gym Lead Machine.

Mike Warkentin: (08:02)
They’re rebranding now too. Yeah.

Colby Knepp: (08:05)
That’s right, that’s right. It was in the first month. It was in December when we did the hardhat tour. Started accepting members. I think we ended December with 20 memberships and we finished January, we opened on January 4th, I wanna say we finished at like 30. So we did another 10. And so our first month we did 10,000 something. Ten five, ten eight, somewhere in that range. And then February was 8,000. And I was like, this is so easy. I don’t even know, this is the easiest thing ever. ‘Cause I just talked to people and I enrolled them in my fitness program and it’s great. And my ARM, I want to say average revenue per member was pushing 400. It was really good. And I was like, man, this is the easiest thing ever.

Colby Knepp: (08:50)
And then February, for some reason, I still haven’t quite figured it out, but we had, it was 8,000, oh no, this is it. Oh my God. And then we kind of plateaued around 12 to 13 to 14 for maybe three to four months, maybe five months. I realized that our growth was plateauing and it was all on me. So I really kind of, Joleen was like, listen, you need to hire somebody. Even though you’re really not mentally ready for it, you gotta hire somebody. And so I hired two part-time coaches to help. One of them named Rob is an absolute rockstar. He’s my first full-time coach. He progressed through our system. Another coach didn’t work out in the long term, but he graciously served his role to support the business and support me so I could get some break. And that’s what happened in June, July. Things really started to grow quite a bit.

Mike Warkentin: (09:37)
Okay. So starting, I’m gonna go back just a couple steps. So at the beginning you used the Founders Club program and did this hard hat tour, and actually opened your gym with memberships in the bag.

Colby Knepp: (09:49)
Yes sir. Yeah. 20 pre-sold memberships. I started my pricing fairly low for what we do. It was still higher than most things in the market, but for what I thought our value was, I started low, had no trouble selling that. Part of it is I’ve been in this area for 10 or 11 years. I have a lot of relationships built up, I’ve been around here. I think the other part of it is people are looking for a more personalized approach. They want to be coached, they want to be engaged. They don’t want to be just one of 30 in a big old class. So our model, I think, supported that a little bit.

Mike Warkentin: (10:21)
Yeah. So people, if you’re listening and you wanna know more about the Founders Club program, we have a podcast that is dedicated exactly to that. We’ll get that link in the show notes. You can also go to and there are some free resources that are going to be super helpful. So if you are thinking about opening a gym or even changing locations, go there, get the Founders Club resources and start thinking about how you can do that. Because launching with members was not what I did and it was very stressful. Launching with members is probably a whole lot easier, I’m guessing, Colby.

Colby Knepp: (10:49)
A whole lot easier, man. Yeah. To pay myself a salary from month one was crazy. I’m sorry?

Mike Warkentin: (10:56)
You actually built in paying yourself for month one, ’cause I didn’t do that.

Colby Knepp: (10:59)
Yeah, totally, totally profit first. Joleen told me to go read the book, so I read the book and “Profit First for Micro Gyms”. I studied the allocations. I was like, alright, listen, this doesn’t feel right, but I’m gonna do it. But yeah, I started paying myself literally from month one.

Mike Warkentin: (11:12)
Awesome. And was the business profitable at month one, or did you have to scale up a little bit?

Colby Knepp: (11:18)
Let’s see here. I was making, in terms of just my owner’s salary, in terms of distinguishing the language, it was profitable in that I was making some money. But that was built into the model, I guess. Yeah, yeah. In terms of actually setting aside profit, no, it wasn’t.

Mike Warkentin: (11:32)
But that’s okay because what I did, I did the other thing where my business was quote-unquote “profitable” on paper, but I didn’t pay myself. So is it really profitable? Not at all. I was starving and the business was showing a profit, but I should have paid myself. So that’s totally fine to open a business with clients and paying yourself and then build on that. Pretty significant. And I’ll just jump ahead. You’re profitable now.

Colby Knepp: (11:55)
Profitable now, yeah. I’m paying myself and I’m making more than I’ve ever made as a PT one-on-one, but I’m working way less hours. 

Mike Warkentin: (12:05)
Okay. Which is great. This is a big deal. Now I gotta ask you, June, July, you said things changed. What did you do there? You said you recommitted to something and you started seeing big time moves because you said you were kind of in that 8,000 range and then got to 24 in November, what happened?

Colby Knepp: (12:20)
Okay. Yeah. Let’s see. I actually switched website providers. That was one major shift. I switched from Siteplicity to Kilo to the GLM. Our organic search died for a little while, but then it came back even stronger and the automations and the follow up was just solid to support me there. I freed up more of my time. So I started coaching every class. For the first four or five months, it was maybe four or five a day plus personal training, plus nutrition coaching

Mike Warkentin: (12:45)
Sounds like 12 hours a day.

Colby Knepp: (12:47)
Dude, it was absurd. It was probably, I’m not even lying, maybe 16. Yeah. It was bonkers, but my wife is so supportive. She knew it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and she was my support system for that period. Come about May, I was starting to burn out and I knew that I had five months in me and about May, I was starting to feel resentful, starting to feel really burned out, starting to feel like, what the hell am I doing? I just own a really big job with not making a ton of money. And Joleen was like, listen guy, you gotta hire help. You gotta have somebody to help you. And so, in all the hype of the buildup of the gym and social media and all this, I had a few coaches reach out who were like, Hey dude, if you ever hire, let me know.

Colby Knepp: (13:25)
So I did. I hired two part-time coaches and they took quite a bit of load off my plate in terms of coaching classes. One of them, man, I really lucked out. Coach Rob, again, he is my full-time coach here. He was referred by a person who joined the gym and then actually moved to Los Angeles. And that was a ginormous blessing ’cause Rob’s personality and energy. Man, I just really, really lucked out having him here. And he’s the type where I’m like, yeah, listen man, whatever it takes to keep you here, I’m in. So what that did was that freed up time to go focus on marketing, to go focus on growth and activities that are gonna generate revenue. So I tried doing a nutrition program during the summer. I thought maybe people would be into it.

Colby Knepp: (14:10)
It didn’t work very well. We weren’t bought into it, clients weren’t bought into it, community wasn’t bought into it. It was a weird time to launch a nutrition program. But I hosted an in-house competition in the community called the Olde Town Throwdown. And that went really well. Got a ton of interest and conversations from there, but then organic search, people just searching for personal training here in Arvada has been really powerful. You know, social media, my account, posting on Instagram and organic search has kind of been primarily, oh, and referrals of course. And referrals have been a really key part. And we’re growing by, I don’t know, four, six, maybe eight a month, plus four plus six, plus eight. But we’re not losing people. So we lose maybe half a person a month. So people stay in our system and they stay at OTA. So we don’t have these crazy fluctuations in revenue, it’s just a real steady growth.

Mike Warkentin: (15:01)
Where’s your ARM at now?

Colby Knepp: (15:03)
Oh, we just finished November at 315. Okay.

Mike Warkentin: (15:06)
And that’s great.

Colby Knepp: (15:08)
Yeah. Yeah. I’d like to long term, just kick it up by five to 10 bucks each year. 320, 330, 340, somewhere in that range.

Mike Warkentin: (15:16)
So listeners, I’m gonna unpack a couple things for you. So what’s happening here and the key to growth and I’ve had gym owners say this on the show before. Retaining members, that is the first thing that you must do. If you do not retain your members, you are adding members into a leaky bucket and they’re just flushing out the bottom. Retention is the most important thing that you can do. The second thing is adding members at a slow, stable, sustainable rate and at a high average revenue per member. So if you’re retaining high value clients for a long time and then adding all the piles, there’s exponential multiplication going on. So I didn’t even realize this. So now that we’re chatting, you’ve actually more than doubled revenue from like summer to November.

Colby Knepp: (15:54)
Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Summer, we’re probably around 14, so I dunno if we doubled.

Mike Warkentin: (15:57)
But even 10,000 on top of that. That’s crazy.

Colby Knepp: (16:00)
10,000, I think January we probably will. January, February. Okay. You know, we’re planning for big growth, which would be six people, eight people in a month.

Mike Warkentin: (16:07)
But still, six people not losing any at a high average revenue per member. That’s huge. You know, I wish I had that back in the day because when I started out it was add a few, lose ’em all, add a few, lose ’em all. And it was just like this hovering pattern around 150 clients for us.

Colby Knepp: (16:21)
Yeah. Did you have an affiliate? Were you a Crossfit affiliate?

Mike Warkentin: (16:23)
Yep. And we started that in, we started as a bootcamp in like 2009 and then official affiliate, I believe in 2010. And then opened a physical space 2011, if I’m not mistaken on the timelines there. But it took me a long time to get my act together and Two-Brain was the key to it. ,

Colby Knepp: (16:37)
You’re an OG man. That’s cool. 

Mike Warkentin: (16:38)
It’s been a while. I’ve been going for a while, but I didn’t know what I was doing for a very long time and I struggled. I definitely struggled. So it’s neat to see people like you starting a gym and blowing past where I was slogging and just bogged down. Would it be accurate to say that the key to this whole thing was hiring someone so that you could actually work on growing the business rather than delivering the service?

Colby Knepp: (16:58)
Hundred percent. Totally. Yeah. Just Friday I had another coach hire, a part-time coaching role. So my coaching hours are now down to six hours a week, plus I’ve got two or three PT clients I really like spending time with. Program design is maybe 8 to 10 hours a week. So this morning before the NSI I was writing SOPs Just the owner task of like, ok, I know this doesn’t benefit me now, but this actually pays off huge dividends in the future in terms of time. So systematizing and stepping away to focus on things that are gonna keep people, make the product better or get new people in.

Mike Warkentin: (17:36)
Wow. So going back again, I thought for a long time and many years that I needed to coach and that was the prime role for me, right? I thought I was a good coach and I needed to be that. I did not know how to grow the business. And I also didn’t really, well, I wasn’t comfortable with that end of things. And so I coached too much, spent very limited time trying to grow the business and guess what didn’t grow . So if you’re listening out there and you think that coaching is the prime role, you can definitely coach as much as you want. However, someone needs to grow your business. If you are not doing that, someone else needs to do it. And you can hire people around that or you can hire and offload some stuff and then start working on that yourself.

Mike Warkentin: (18:16)
And there’s a process to this. Colby went the route where he hired a coach and that freed up his time. There’s also other ways to do it. We call it climbing the value ladder. You can actually hire a cleaner and buy back just two hours a week or whatever it is, for 12 bucks an hour or whatever cleaning rates are. Use those two hours to grow your business. And it’s a different process, but it works. So you replaced yourself ’cause I mean you were probably doing everything. Do you have a cleaner now too? Or do you still do that?

Colby Knepp: (18:40)
Yeah, that was actually the first role we hired.

Mike Warkentin: (18:41)
Ok, so you did?

Colby Knepp: (18:43)
Yeah. I was doing all, yeah, my wife and I would come in on the weekends and on Wednesdays. At the start we didn’t have a lot of people. It was 30 people. It’s a brand new space, so it wasn’t dirty . And lemme see here, my mother-in-law was like, Hey, let me help you in exchange for membership. So I said, I’m hesitant about giving this away for free, but I need the help. Okay. So I committed to that and she’s still here doing it, which is great. And then eventually when our revenue could support it, we now have a professional cleaner who comes in. Her name’s Alba, she’s awesome. She just totally comes in and crushes it. She does way better than I or my mother-in-law or anybody else can do. She’s good at it.

Mike Warkentin: (19:18)
And that allows you that time, however many hours it is, to either coach, which is a higher value role or do PT. Yep. Even higher value role. And when I say coach originally is talking about group classes or work on marketing systems and all those other things. So you can behave as a CEO by offloading those jobs. And when you did that in June, July, the numbers don’t lie. Like things changed almost overnight, I’m guessing.

Colby Knepp: (19:42)
It was scary, man. It was like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. I was like, am I gonna have the money to pay them and pay myself and pay rent and pay my equipment lease and pay utilities and pay a cleaner and the money? The answer is like, yeah, because every dollar has a job and if you set aside a plan for the money, it’ll work. And June, I spent a little too much money, we had the grand opening and I had a bouncy castle and a band and it was awesome. That’s cool. But I had to put in a couple thousand of my own money, which hurt. It stung. I was like, Ugh, that’s bad math. That sucked. I shouldn’t do that again. But I needed to experience that. And then man, yeah, it’s just been kind of real consistent, steady growth. We’re not putting up plus 20, we’re putting up plus two, plus three, plus two, plus one. It’s just been consistent every single month. And people don’t leave. And if they do, if they leave Arvada, they stay engaged in the OTA coaching with remote program design and nutrition coaching. So there’s other avenues to keep people as a client longer.

Mike Warkentin: (20:38)
So people sometimes will think about this and it’s that “if you build it, they will come” question where it’s like, okay, hire a cleaner and then your business will grow. The missing step there is knowing how to make your business grow, right? So let’s say you hire a cleaner for four hours a week and you now have this four hours that you can dedicate to growth. I would’ve just sat there in my office and been like, ah, do I paint the walls? Or what do I like? I don’t know what to do. How did Joleen give you focused stuff to do that would actually get results?

Colby Knepp: (21:05)
Man, that’s a really good question. For me it was, I had been kind of self-employed before, just doing personal training. So I’m pretty comfortable in general conversation throughout the day. The people I meet in the Two-Brain world, this is affinity marketing, right? Like your clients, the target, the people who know your client, et cetera. So that’s a really good question. We haven’t invested anything in paid advertising.

Mike Warkentin: (21:28)
Nothing. To grow that much without paid ads.

Colby Knepp: (21:31)
Zero, $0 in Facebook or Google. Honestly, man, it’s been referrals. So we do goal reviews once a quarter and at that we ask for a review or a referral and it’s just kind of a, I dunno if it’s an expectation, but people are happy to, when they see their body composition changing or when they come in. And a common thing I hear is “I just really want to get back into a healthy routine”. And we show them, Hey, over the past 12 weeks you’ve worked out 24 times. You’re literally at a hundred percent compliance. How do you feel? They’re like, I feel amazing. My relationship with my husband is better. My job stress is less. I gotta tell all my friends about what you guys are doing. But again, it’s not like we’re putting up plus 20. There’s gyms in the area who have humongous swings up and down and that would just drive me crazy.

Colby Knepp: (22:19)
Yeah. So I would say just conversations. Everybody’s a potential client, within reason. Once you know your avatar, seed clients I think is a language we use here in Two-Brain. But then it’s narrowing in on that niche. People are going, people who speak that language and who value those same things are going to be attracted to that offer in the marketplace. So where we specialize in, where we differentiate is primarily working with adults 35 and up. Weekend warriors and former athletes. So that niche has kind of been ours in this area. And that’s exactly who we attract is people who used to be athletes back in the day and people who are active on the weekends. And of course we get some general weight loss clients or people who are interested in just general health and fitness, but I’d say 75, 80% of our people kind of fit that avatar.

Mike Warkentin: (23:06)
So you’ve dropped a couple of huge things that I wanna make sure listeners understand. You know exactly who you want in your gym. You have an offer, you didn’t mention it, but I know you do an offer that appeals to that avatar because you can’t know your avatar and then, you’re not offering stuff that they don’t want. You are clearly offering high value services that they want, that are gonna help ’em accomplish their goals. Yep. And then this is the big one, listeners, if you do nothing and take nothing from this call, goal review sessions. If you just start doing those, your life will be better. You will retain more clients, you’ll sell more services, you’ll drive up your average revenue per member. I have not yet spoken to a single gym owner who says a goal review session is a bad thing. So Colby, you’ve got great retention, you’ve got great ARM. You’re growing steadily and you’re not spending any money on ads, but you’re doing goal review sessions where you are clearly getting referrals. That is a big, is there any way that you can tell gym owners how important this is ?

Colby Knepp: (23:59)
Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, listen. Yes, if you put money in the marketplace, if you’re gonna invest, obviously, the money that goes out has gotta bring people in. But in my experience doing paid advertising, I used to work for a company called Train Heroic Software Company. So I had a humongous ad budget to play with. And so I had some experience doing it and some of the numbers were asinine. It was like, I don’t even share it, but it was just silly. It was like, why can’t you just pay me more and I’ll go get clients? Whatever. Being able to retain people, it’s so undervalued. I don’t know, for somebody to stick around three months. Not to mention that just the brain power it takes to get a new client integrated in the community and in classes and consistent and establishing their own autonomy and their own routine.

Colby Knepp: (24:45)
Once we get people into that, the work doesn’t stop after the sales consult closes with every person. I try to schedule a six week check-in. It’s their first goal review with me, with the owner ’cause I’m the one who does their intake. I’m the one that enrolls them in the program. So I feel a personal obligation to show them progress within that first six weeks. After that initial six weeks, their program design coach, the person who’s writing their training plan does their goal reviews, that’s Coach Rob. And we’re also training Coach Dillon to do that. So I don’t know, I think it’s really undervalued. The marketing message for fitness owners is, these crazy hundred thousand dollars in 12 weeks, really ridiculous guru-type offers and that’s not how real businesses are built.

Colby Knepp: (25:28)
I’m sorry, I just don’t see that ever. You build it slowly, one brick at a time, by helping people, providing a really valuable service and pushing people on this path towards physical autonomy. And one thing I want to share is this idea of a perfect day. I’d heard it before Chris Cooper, that’s kind of where they started is, what’s your perfect day look like? This week actually is the first week I’m like, holy, this is all lining up . I get to wake up and be with kids. I get to do a little bit of reading and writing in the morning. I come in and I coach some classes. I get to create some content. I get to train later. It’s really finally coming to fruition. So money aside, the revenue numbers are cool, but that’s just a vehicle for me and my family to do what we really wanna do.

Mike Warkentin: (26:11)
That’s such a cool story because that’s really, the perfect day exercise isn’t there by accident because it really helps gym owners frame, first of all, what do I want? What do I want this business to do for me? And then you get to see tangible movement toward it so that when you get there, you start to understand, hey, this business is supporting me. ‘Cause when I was in the depths of that thing, I was like, this thing is a millstone. This is dragging me down, right? And now you’re starting to get to the point where this business allows me the freedom to do the things that I wanna do with my family. So it’s a huge, huge deal. And listeners, again, think about some of the stuff that we’re talking about here. Goal review sessions and referrals. I’m gonna ask you this, Colby, how difficult is it to get a referral from someone when you do a goal review and the client is crushing goals?

Colby Knepp: (26:55)
Easy if they want to. And when they don’t, when they’re not crushing their goals, we don’t ask for a referral, right? If they haven’t improved their body comp, or their consistency or their energy, whatever, then it’s like, okay, let’s figure out a new plan and then we get back to work being coaches.

Mike Warkentin: (27:08)
That’s the prescriptive model.

Colby Knepp: (27:09)
When they’re getting results, it’s like, Hey, would you mind leaving us a Google review? Boom. Yeah, totally. I’ll do that. And for us, that’s really helpful, right? Because a lot of our search comes from organic. I think Google sees the activity on our maps profile. People are just really helpful, and I don’t pester ’em either. It’s like if the, how do I say this? As a coach, we get into this to help people. And so, never lose sight of that. Especially as an owner, it’s so tough, man. ‘Cause now all of a sudden there’s marketing and dollars and planning and cleaning and staff and you hardly have time. I’ll speak for myself. I hardly prioritize my own training some days because of all the other things that feel like they’re so much more important.

Colby Knepp: (27:47)
But it’s like, when you help people and you get them towards the goal and you actually deliver on what you say you’re gonna do, yeah. I mean it’s easy. One client has probably referred, I’m not even kidding, maybe 15 people. She used to own a gym in town and we’re her home now. We take really good care of her and people reach out to her ’cause they’re her old coach. She is their old coach. And she’ll say, oh no, you need to talk to Colby at OTA and see what it’s about.

Mike Warkentin: (28:17)
Clients will not refer clients unless you ask them to, no matter how much they like you. Yeah. It’s a weird thing where you’re like, ah, they’ll just send me their friends. They don’t do it. But if you ask them to, they’re only too happy to. Listeners, ask your clients to refer other clients to you, their friends, their family. Start with the people closest and your gym will grow. Colby, what’s the trajectory look like? You kinda hinted that a little bit and you think that there’s things like, this is not a flash of the pan. Like your revenue is going up, up, up. Where are you headed here? 2023. 

Colby Knepp: (28:44)
Man, that’s a good question. One of the things my wife and I want to get into is real estate investing in the future. I’d love to own this gym for the rest of my life, but I also know that there’ll be a point where I’m gonna be an old man and nobody’s gonna listen to me anymore. Or maybe they will, you know, but we don’t have a traditional retirement. My wife is self-employed as well. One thing that I really want to do is be able to go on longer road trips with my kids. I’ve got a six-year-old and a three-year-old, two little boys, and my wife and I just wanna spend a lot of time with them in addition to helping our community here.

Colby Knepp: (29:20)
So revenue wise, yeah, I’d like to see pretty consistent growth. I think if we can hit that 500 to 600K a year, things really start to change for us personally. And maybe a second location, maybe not, who knows? We’ll see what happens, man. We got it dialed in here and it’s not lost on me. All the things that fell into place that are beyond my explanation, like this space that we’re in and Coach Rob signing up and the financing coming through, all these other things really lined up.

Mike Warkentin: (29:50)
I can’t wait to see what happens when you get to that stage because I love the trajectory and I love what you’re doing. So thank you so much. You’re gonna help gym owners with this story because the best part here is that you’ve given them tangible stuff that they can do to move an important metric. So thanks so much, Colby.

Colby Knepp: (30:07)
Yeah. Yeah. You got it. Thanks man.

Mike Warkentin: (30:09)
That was Colby Knepp. This is Run a Profitable Gym. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. You can run a very profitable gym too. I’ll give you everything you need to do that every single week here. Subscribe for more episodes, and if you’re on YouTube, please hammer a like button as well. Now here’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a final message.

Chris Cooper: (30:26)
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners just like you have already joined in the group. We share sound advice about the business of fitness every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

Thanks for listening!

Thanks for listening! Run a Profitable Gym airs twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Be sure to subscribe for tips, tactics and insight from Chris Coooper, as well as interviews with the world’s top gym owners.

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help, and we read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.

One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.