William Graham had benefited from a mentor’s guidance before, so calling Two-Brain Business for help was a no-brainer.
The former soldier and military physical training instructor got his civilian start by coaching a couple of PT clients outdoors; that same pair offered to help him make a business of it.
Graham recalled: “I’d always had a plan to have my own gym, so when they offered to help set this up (they happened to be multi-millionaires), I told my wife. And she said, ‘Well, I hope you told them yes!’”
The clients mentored him for the first two years: “I didn’t know anything about business, so they helped me out quite a bit.”
William had heard a lot about Two-Brain Business, however, and he decided to make the jump just before lockdown last year—which effectively shuttered his Edinburgh gym, CrossFit Murrayfield.
“I think that was one of my best decisions, to be honest,” he said.
Growth and Success
Graham said his mentor, CrossFit NIKA owner Ashley Haun, has seen him grow—and Haun agrees.
“We spent time during his RampUp practicing his leadership skills and helping him to find his voice amongst his team,” she explained. “Once he did, a lightbulb switched on for him, and it has made all the difference.”
Graham suddenly had confidence to let go of clients and staff members who were dragging the business down.
“Before, I was at the gym at 5 a.m., didn’t leave till 7, 8 p.m. It was me being busy but also not trusting the staff at that point,” he admitted. “Now it’s going quite well. I’ve got a GM—he’s doing amazing. He’s really good at the sales part. It’s put me a bit more at ease running a business, because I was stressed before. It’s given me more focus.”
Graham feels better about things, but he’s got data to back up his good vibes.
“My business is stronger: This month alone, we’ve taken on 22 new fundamentals,” he said back in April.
He continued: “My (average revenue per member) is a lot bigger than it was. Before Ashley, it was at $64, $65. Now I’m just over that 100 mark, which is amazing because I’ve always struggled with that. And hopefully the next few months will get a lot higher when everything fully opens up.”
Like many other gym owners, Graham has had to weather a series of COVID-related closures in Scotland.
“We learned a lot in that first lockdown,” he said. “We retained more members this time around—we’ve been shut down for five months this time—and we only lost 10 percent of … memberships. Not one asked for a reduction in rates.”
Now, he’s very close to living his Perfect Day.
“I’m not working as many hours as I was. I get more time away,” Graham said. “I didn’t really have holidays before. Now I’ve got more time off, more weekends away, and I do more stuff for myself rather than spend all day at the gym like I used to.
“I’m more relaxed when it comes to leaving it—it was like my baby, and I didn’t want to leave it with people. But now I’m more confident because I’ve got processes in place. I know everything is getting done. I was away for a week in April for my birthday; by the time I got back they had already signed up 14 new clients.”