After Eric Siegel took over CrossFit 781, there was an initial boost—but then business started to decline.
“In late 2019 … we were at a low point. We were trying anything and everything. But we were juggling maxed-out credit cards on the business and didn’t know what we were going to do.”
He knew their service and coaching were good. And when people joined, they were sticking around.
“The problem was we weren’t getting enough new people to … replace the ones who were moving on in life—having kids, moving away,” Eric said. “We needed help, basically.”
He was familiar with Two-Brain through the gym’s previous owner and had read Chris Cooper’s book “Two-Brain Business.”
“I knew Two-Brain works—we were familiar with it—and thought, ‘Let’s give this a shot.’”
Eric’s mentor had him dial in operations.
“It was putting together the playbook, talking to ‘seed clients.’ … We’d already done some stuff, like raise our rates. But having that direction—‘this is what you need to be looking at, this is what you need to be doing’—having those targets really helped,” Eric said.
When the pandemic struck, Two-Brain helped keep Eric on track.
“It was an opportunity to make a lot of these changes. I felt very ready to step up and lead and go through that. We (had been) so far down already, it was like, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’”
Through COVID, Eric was guided to focus on his role.
“A big part of what I want to do is reduce my hours, delegate. I find that hard to do because I love coaching,” Eric admitted. “So I had to hand off the group coaching. So much of my coaching now is personal training. Now, I’m running the business, creating opportunities for other coaches. … Hopefully down the line I’ll be able to delegate even more.”
He continued: “I like to lead by example. But saying no sometimes, I’m still working on that. The one thing I really liked to do—I’d coach for free—I no longer do it. I have coaches running specialty classes and charging for it, so if I offer a free class, I’d undercut the value of it. It’s really about valuing my time and my coaches’ time.”
CrossFit 781’s metrics show clear improvements.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we saw good, fast growth. Revenue used to be $13-$14,000 a month. Now, we’ve been over $20k since we reopened last July. It’s not just a fluke thing. We’ve been above and beyond for a year. We have about 100 members now. Our (average revenue per member) is in the high 200s. And 75 percent of our base has started since we reopened last July.”
Eric foresees great things ahead for CrossFit 781: “We want this to be a safe place where people of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations—they can come in and experience the joy I’ve found through fitness my whole life. I want this to be that inclusive community that is going to encourage people to pursue those things and live life better. Everyone’s health and fitness is so important. I’m glad people are seeing that more, and we can help them improve that.”