In this series, I’ve been writing about the measurable value of being the best gym owner in town.
In the first post, I talked about the effect being the best has on retention—you’ll keep people longer and get the best clients to come back.
In the second, I talked about how being the best causes ascension—some clients will start elsewhere and then ascend to your top-shelf gym when they’re ready.
But what does “the best” really mean? After all, it’s a subjective term.
“The best” means offering optimal value to your ideal client.
My gym isn’t the best gym for those seeking to compete in CrossFit.
It is the best gym for those who want hands-on coaching that will help them get fitter faster.
My gym isn’t the best for air-conditioned comfort.
It is the best for those who want to work out with friends.
My gym is not the best for mirrors or new machinery.
It is the best for professionals who need flexible scheduling.
The beautiful part about having multiple gyms in town? We can all fit as long as each one is “the best” at something. That means we have a “best gym for cyclists,” a “best gym for lawyers on lunch breaks,” a “best gym for people who only want to pay $19 per month,” and a “best gym for great coaching” (mine).
And you can niche down further: You could be the best CrossFit gym for fat loss, or the best Pilates gym for sports performance or the best kickboxing gym for fun.
The key is to know your niche and be the best gym for the people in that niche.
Becoming the Best
Knowing your niche is the first non-negotiable building block of “best.”
The second building block is consistency. Your business can’t just be “the best” when you’re around. It has to be “the best”—at a consistent level—every hour you’re open, regardless of who is there or what’s going on.
The third building block is marketing. To be the best, you have to attract the right people. I have around 150 clients at Catalyst now, but over the years I’ve probably burned through 10 times that many. Some were bad fits and some should never have been allowed in. Most of them I turned off because I was too distracted to give them the service they wanted to buy. If you know your niche and market to attract the right people, you’ll keep clients longer.
The fourth building block is sales: To be the best, you must be able to clearly explain how you’re the best option for the person in the sales office with you.
The fifth building block is profitability: To be the best, you have to be around long enough for people to find you, filter you, and maybe even leave and come back. This is why being the best is 10x better than coming in second. The compounding factor of time produces increasingly large rewards. Play the long game and outlast everyone: If you can just keep going and deliver the best product to your best clients, you’ll stop worrying about competition—because you won’t have any.
You don’t need a monopoly in your town.
You just need to be the best gym for the right people.