Building a Client-Centric Business: The Mission

A closeup image of a compass with the needle pointing north to the word "purpose."

What do the truly great gyms have in common?

I mean the gyms that really change their clients’ lives, create wealth for the owners’ families and really impact their towns. What’s the common characteristic?

They’re built around the needs of the client first.

In this series, I’m going to talk about building a client-centric business. This means solving clients’ problems and being paid for it.

To build a successful client-centric business, you have to make decisions in four areas:

1. Your mission.
2. Your model.
3. Your method.
4. Your media.

If you work through the steps with me in this series, you’ll have more clarity in your business than ever before.

Your Mission

Let’s start with the mission: What result do you want your clients to achieve?

For me, the answer is a longer lifespan and longer healthspan.

Yours might be to create access to gym equipment or to guide healthy eating or to introduce people to meditation or something else.

But your mission is not your method: Your method evolves over time, whether that’s CrossFit or powerlifting or yoga.

Next, how many people do you want to achieve this goal over the course of your coaching career?

I chose 7,000 people because that’s 10 percent of my city’s population. If I can get 10 percent of the local population to create a lifelong exercise habit and understand healthy eating, that will create a direct spillover to at least 7,000 more people (spouses, friends and coworkers) and trickle down to another 7,000 souls (kids and students).

You might choose a different goal. Remember, though: You have 30 years to get there. Don’t try to reach 7,000 people all at once.

Next, how long will it take a person to achieve the result you want?

I know that if I can keep a client at my gym for two years, that’s long enough for them to create an exercise and nutrition habit they’ll keep forever. They might not stay at Catalyst forever, but that’s not the mission. Many of our alumni keep training for decades, following fitness apps, riding bikes or doing other stuff. But they’d never have done any of this without getting started at Catalyst first.

You might want to keep a client for five years or just 90 days. But remember: If a client finds fitness, falls in love and then quits the gym but continues to exercise, that’s a win. I know it might feel like a breakup, but you’ve truly changed a life. Celebrate that!

One other sign they’ve reached the goal: They tell you so.

“Catalyst changed my life!” is really “mission accomplished.”

We’ve had people meet and get married, get pregnant and survive emergencies because of Catalyst. I’m sure your gym has incredible success stories, too.

Finally, how many people can you serve at once? That depends on your model. Your model is how you deliver your service to accomplish your mission.

I’ll dig into that in the next post in this series.


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.