Her Gym Grossed $6k Per Month. Now It Pays Her $6k Per Month.

Her Gym Grossed $6k Per Month. Now It Pays Her $6k Per Month.

Ashley Kates: (00:02)
Hi, my name is Ashley Kates. I am the owner of Mom+me Strong in Lexington, South Carolina. And through the Two-Brain RampUp program, I went from grossing less than $6,000 a month to paying myself $6,000 a month.

Mike Warkentin: (00:15)
Wow. Ashley, will you tell us the story of exactly how that happens so other listeners can have the same success?

Ashley Kates: (00:22)
Well, the bottom line is policies and procedures. It’s getting all of the backend completely organized, knowing my mission, my vision, and then implementing everything with bravery.

Mike Warkentin: (00:32)
Okay, we’re gonna dig into that in just a second. Listeners, this is Run a Profitable Gym. We’re gonna teach you how to do exactly that, and Ashley is gonna help today. Please hit subscribe wherever you are watching or listening. Now, Ashley, that’s a huge number. You told me before the show that you had some other really, really big numbers. Can you tell me about your client growth and your average revenue per member from April to October in our RampUp program?

Ashley Kates: (00:57)
Yeah, so my member stats, I had roughly less than 20 and it was an in and out sort of situation. We were losing just as much as we were gaining per month. And now we’re right around 50 and my goal was to hit 40 members by the end of the year. And I did that before October.

Mike Warkentin: (01:14)
Wow. And average revenue, how did that change?

Ashley Kates: (01:16)
Oh man. My average revenue per client was roughly around $150 per member. And now we’re upwards of $300 per member.

Mike Warkentin: (01:24)
So, doubled.

Ashley Kates: (01:25)
Yeah, doubled in less than six months. May, June, July, August, yeah.

Mike Warkentin: (01:30)
Okay. So these are huge stats and listeners, you gotta know that it’s not a numbers game with members. There are gyms with 400, 500, a thousand members that are not profitable. You can make a great living from a much smaller number of members if you charge the right amount and provide the right amount of value. So Ashley has done that, where she’s now taking a solid wage from her gym with a small number of members who see incredible value in her service. We’re gonna talk about how she put that in place in RampUp. RampUp is, if you don’t know already, that is Two-Brain’s introductory program. It’s a 12 week accelerated mentorship sprint. It’s designed to help you build a profitable, stable business. In RampUp, you’re gonna work with a mentor to figure out what to offer, who you want in your gym, what you should charge, how you should get clients, how to keep those clients for years, how to pay your staff, all the stuff, the basics that you need to run a profitable gym. After that, you can graduate into our Growth program where you work one-on-one with a mentor to target very specific things to grow the business further. But RampUp is that first step. Ashley did that and had great success. So you talked a little bit in the intro about some of the things that happened. Tell me the very, you start up RampUp, your gym is not doing what you want it to do. What are the first things that happened?

Ashley Kates: (02:41)
It was a lot of behind the scenes work. It was analyzing the systems that I have. I think the biggest thing that made the hugest impact initially was understanding the client journey and building out, what does it look like for a person to join my studio from their perspective? What’s their experience gonna be from the very first contact we make til their 90th day with us? But also, what does that look like on the back end? What has to happen as far as lead nurturing, which is a phrase I didn’t even consider before. What happens with touches, with policies? What contracts do they need to sign? What policies do I need to have in place that protect them and protect me and run smoothly?

Mike Warkentin: (03:25)
I bet you’re a great coach. I’ll put you on the spot. You’re a pretty good fitness coach.

Ashley Kates: (03:28)
I would say so, yeah.

Mike Warkentin: (03:29)
Yeah. And most gym owners are, they’re passionate about their craft. They know what they’re doing. I put myself in the same category. However, I did not know how to run a business. So when you’re talking about the client journey, I had no idea. I thought the client journey was someone Googles something, shows up at my door, I throw that person into a free class, we sweat together, maybe throw up, and then that person either signs up or leaves. And I didn’t think about what happened in between. I didn’t think about the systems behind that, any of the structures. So you started with the RampUp program and looked at your client journey, put those things in place to now figure out how exactly do I get the right people in my door? And then how do I help them give them the best chance to stay for the longest period ever? Did you see your retention of members change as a result of looking at that client journey?

Ashley Kates: (04:11)
Oh my gosh, completely. And one of the biggest holes I noticed is I did exactly what you did. I let people try classes for free and then we maybe did or did not get a chance to schedule an appointment to talk. And there were so many holes for people to fall out of. Now it’s like a 70% chance if you come into the studio and you meet with me, you’re gonna join. Whereas before, it was maybe 1% of the people that came in.

Mike Warkentin: (04:35)
So people who come in, you get to meet them and they sign up far more often than they ever did before. Which means you’re solving a problem of acquiring clients and your retention is better because we know for a fact at Two-Brain that this introductory program and a No-Sweat Intro to start, a free consultation, a plan, 90 day check-ins, all of a stuff in the client journey, we know for a fact it improves retention, which means you don’t need to find as many members and if they’re high value members, you’re multiplying everything because you have great members who pay a lot and stay a long time. That’s the basis of a solid business. Right. Did you use the No-Sweat Intro free consultation process as well?

Ashley Kates: (05:11)
I did. Well, not before Two-Brain, but that is mandatory now.

Mike Warkentin: (05:15)
And what happened when you put it in?

Ashley Kates: (05:18)
Oh, it was a game changer. First of all, people were signing up, but it was because they knew what to expect and we were able to communicate that effectively and clearly with them. And they felt heard. They felt that their experience here was gonna be exactly what they needed and not something from a big box. But also it allowed me to sell something that costs more money instead of just paying a regular membership. We were now selling personal training. We were selling nutrition accountability, nutrition coaching. So instead of someone joining and paying just $39 per week and where they maybe did or did not actually stay, now I’m taking in up front 5, 7, 8, and a thousand dollars. Wow.

Mike Warkentin: (06:03)
So you can tell me from ground level, when you put a No-Sweat Intro process in place, your average revenue per member improved.

Ashley Kates: (06:11)
Oh yes. Exponentially.

Mike Warkentin: (06:14)
And that is backed up by data. I knew the answer to that question because we’ve seen it every single time we talk to a gym owner who’s put in a No-Sweat Intro process. That’s a free consultation where you ask the client, what do you wanna accomplish? Here’s the plan, sign up, here’s the price. Every single gym owner who does that, average revenue per member goes up. So we’ve solved a couple of problems very quickly. You’ve talked about how you’re selling more average revenue per member. You’ve got some retention in place. How do you find clients now? Did RampUp help you acquire, find clients out there in the world?

Ashley Kates: (06:44)
What is very strange, I think it’s more of a law of attraction thing is, once I got my stuff together, I feel like because we were more prepared and capable of helping people in a more well rounded way, they just started coming. So typically we just do Facebook and Instagram posts. We weren’t even doing paid ads. I didn’t start paid social media promotion until last month. So it was all word of mouth and just regular old Facebook posts.

Mike Warkentin: (07:12)
And the interesting part about that is that you do not need to spend money on advertising if you’re acquiring the right number of high value clients. Why spend money on ads if you have the clients you want? I’m gonna guess that if your gym is named Mom+Me Strong, you have a pretty good idea of who you serve. Did RampUp help you exactly figure out your ideal client and how to make that client happiest?

Ashley Kates: (07:31)
Yeah, I think 100% it helped me put the idea, which was, I think a lot of us as business owners, we have the ideas in our heads and we don’t put it to paper. ‘Cause I would say my skill set is ideas, not the organizational piece. So what RampUp did is it helped me put it together in a way like I shared earlier, where it could be clearly communicated with people so they knew what to expect and more specifically address the issues that mothers, women tend to deal with.

Mike Warkentin: (07:58)
So we’re coaches, we like to coach and deal with people and do all the fun stuff in the gym. Some of us don’t like to do the back end stuff. And you said that maybe that’s not your favorite part of things. So how did you feel going into RampUp knowing that that was gonna be the focus and, you know, was it worth the investment to focus on these procedures and policies and things that maybe you didn’t want to?

Ashley Kates: (08:17)
Short answer: 100%. It was worth it 100%. I knew it was what I was gonna have to do, but I also knew enough about myself to know that what Two-Brain was gonna teach me are all the things that I am not good at. And that’s why I’m paying for you guys. I got myself to grossing six grand a month from nothing from Covid, but if I wanna go to the next level, I have to hire people that are experts. And your stats didn’t lie. And so I just trusted the process and allowed myself to be uncomfortable.

Mike Warkentin: (08:49)
So I’m gonna throw two stats at you from our website. And this is, listeners, RampUp, 93% of students add enough revenue by the end of the 12 weeks to fully pay for the program and 97% would recommend it to another gym owner. Ashley, do you agree with those numbers?

Ashley Kates: (09:03)
Yes. In fact, the program costs roughly about $10,000. And I took in gross $15,000 before I finished RampUp. And I did recommend Two-Brain to another gym owner on the other side of town who also signed up with Two-Brain.

Mike Warkentin: (09:19)
And it’s cool that you’re working with someone local to improve the market down there. Like, how cool is that?

Ashley Kates: (09:23)
It’s amazing.

Mike Warkentin: (09:25)
Let’s fill a little bit of background for listeners. Describe your business to me. What’s kind of the nuts and bolts of your gym? Who do you serve? How do you serve them?

Ashley Kates: (09:34)
So we’re a private training studio specifically for women. We’re not a bootcamp facility, we’re not a gym. So we offer personal training, small group classes. And the classes are never more than 10 women. So we can maintain a lot of intimacy and personalization to everything. We also do nutrition coaching, but we tend to digress from calorie counting and macros. We wanna create healthy relationships with food. So we focus more on intuitive eating, not “eat cupcake ’cause you want it”, but more like, what are the triggers behind your choices? Why are you making these decisions? And then working towards healing that relationship. And then one thing that’s very, very unique to us is we also offer a core and pelvic floor program that I created about six years ago called Heal and Seal for diastasis recti and the pelvic floor.

Mike Warkentin: (10:18)
So you’ve got your market dialed in, your service packages, you’ve got them all together. If I would come into your gym, and again, I’m not the right gender for it, but if I came into your gym and I said, Hey, I want to make changes to my entire life, fitness, health, everything. I want your best package. Tell me what your best package holds. What’s in there.

Ashley Kates: (10:36)
Yeah. So let’s dive into that. The best package, especially for a woman who deals with anything core, pelvic floor related, you would do heal and seal. Specifically, you’d do one on one with me. That’s $400. Our classes are $45 per week, but I’d probably tell you to do personal training, and we all know that twice a week and once a week doesn’t get you where you wanna be. So three times a week is where you would go. We’d also do nutrition coaching and that would be a 90 day process as well. It all would be a 90 day journey. So you’re looking at roughly spending 3200 dollars.

Mike Warkentin: (11:08)
For a 90 day journey that includes a combination of nutrition, personal training, group stuff, and specific pelvic floor work.

Ashley Kates: (11:15)

Mike Warkentin: (11:16)
Okay. So $3,200 over 90 days, that is a pretty solid chunk of revenue. What happens at the end of that 90 days?

Ashley Kates: (11:24)
We do what’s called a goal review. So we sit down with, well, so we have check-ins along the way because it’s very important that you’re making sure as you’re walking through the journey, that they’re getting what they’re expecting, that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. So these little check-ins along the way are important. We do that at 30 days, 60 days and then the 90 day goal review. And we’ll basically take all the measurements that we took from the first, second, third check-in and we’ll compare them. How do you feel about your progress? Where do you wanna go from here? And then then we do a prescription. Where do I as your professional and your leader think that we should be focusing on next? And they agree or they disagree. Most of the time they agree. And then we tend to continue along a very similar path with the training. Nutrition, most of our women feel very comfortable and confident navigating that on their own. I’d say about 95%.

Mike Warkentin: (12:15)
Ok. If you’re listening to this show, if you do not have a 90 day goal review session in place, and it can be earlier, this could be sooner, shouldn’t be later than that. If you don’t have some sort of contact in place, you are leaving money on the table because members are going to leave. This is a retention tool. And at these meetings, as Ashley said, a significant portion of members are going to upgrade their services, which gives you an opportunity to sell them more stuff. We’re not selling it as a slimy, oh yeah. You want the cup holders and the automatic windows and stuff like that. You are selling them things that will help them accomplish their fitness goals. Right. I’d like to make faster progress. Sign up for our nutrition program. Has that been your experience? Like a lot of gym owners say, ah, selling, I hated it, slimy. Has that been your experience in this process with the prescriptive model? That it’s not a slimy thing, it’s a “help first” quote unquote perspective.

Ashley Kates: (13:04)
Yeah, I would say before Two-Brain I always felt like I was being a salesperson by pitching things to them. But now it makes sense because of the way that they have a script for doing the No-Sweat Intro after reading it, studying it, and then applying it with women, having just a conversation about it. It’s very, very natural. You’re having these problems. These are the programs we have that can and will solve those problems, and this is what it’s gonna cost. What fits your budget and what time commitment are you willing to make? And then we sign and it moves forward.

Mike Warkentin: (13:37)
All the stuff, if you’re listening, is laid out in a specific plan. It’s not just, you need to put a prescriptive process in place. It is described step by step. You can take the stuff that we have, tailor it to your specific business, follow the framework, make the adjustments. Obviously if you’re looking at moms, you’re gonna do some slightly different things as opposed to if you’re looking at power lifters or whatever other fitness niche you are looking at. But the stuff is all there in front of you. So is it fair to say in RampUp that you have accomplished everything that you wanted to through the program?

Ashley Kates: (14:07)
More than that, yes. I am blown away. And I just wanna preface for people who are listening who may have the disbelief like I did, that it was possible to happen to me. I am shocked that I am at a $20,000 month, that my husband was able to quit his job and be a stay at home father. These are things that I never thought were gonna happen to me or if they were to happen, it would probably take me 10 years to get there. And in less than six months I’ve accomplished all of this and it’s because of the structure and coaching that Two-Brain has put together and I am obscenely grateful for this.

Mike Warkentin: (14:41)
Oh, that is amazing. What’s next now? So you’re going onto the Growth program and what are your goals now? So you’ve gone through RampUp, put the structure in place and in the Growth stage, mentors still work one on one, but there’s this gigantic toolkit of stuff. You don’t have to use all of it. You use specific things that a mentor will tell you, right now you need this. So what are you working on right now to take your business further?

Ashley Kates: (15:03)
Right now I’m creating extra programs that are gonna bring in more revenue, that don’t require more effort from me. So we’re gonna do a deadlift clinic, we’re doing some kid classes and these are extra opportunities for my coaches to make money too. And we’re specifically setting the goal to expand our facility by June of next year. In fact, next week for Thanksgiving, my dad is coming up from New Orleans and we’re gonna be knocking down one of the offices to make space for a personal training area.

Mike Warkentin: (15:31)
He’s handy.

Ashley Kates: (15:32)

Mike Warkentin: (15:33)
. Ok, that’s good. That’s nice to have that in the family. Listeners, here’s an idea. If you have a gym and specifically if you serve mothers, if you don’t have a kids program, you’re leaving money on the table. Pretty obvious one, but a lot of us don’t realize things like that. When I decided to put a kids program in my gym, and it was just a general gym that served everyone, all I did was start the program and parents signed their kids up. I didn’t market it, I didn’t advertise, I didn’t do anything other than tell them. Kids program, obvious one. Ashley, tell me how you create a program like that and give it to a staff member without creating a major headache and more work for you. How do you delegate that to a staff member?

Ashley Kates: (16:12)
Oh man. SOPs, this is something that Taryn says all the time, standard operating procedure. Like you literally type out everything the exact way you want it done and you communicate, you problem solve with them, troubleshoot. So I just met with the girl who’s teaching our kids class and we went through what is it gonna look like, what’s the structure, what’s the goal, what are we accomplishing, how do people sign up, what’s the step one to step 10? And then I just pass it off and then she has the opportunity to come to me when she has questions. But I think a big key is hiring the right person. Not hiring someone out of desperation, but hiring someone for a specific role. And so that’s made a big difference too.

Mike Warkentin: (16:51)
And laying out exactly what the expectations are, what the roles and responsibilities are, and then if you pay them in a certain way, the coach, we call it the four ninth model, 44% to the coach. That’s a great wage. And if the coach generates more income, the coach makes more, the gym makes more. And the best part is that the owner doesn’t have to do the work. All you have to do is put the roles and responsibilities in place. They can then be cut and pasted for all sorts of different programs. Use that structure. So for example, if you decided to do a deadlift program, like you suggest or maybe you decided I’m gonna do a pull up program or something like that, the whole thing just copies and then from there you got coaches making great wages. So you went from, just to put an exclamation point on it. You went from not being able to make a great wage yourself to doing that now, having your husband quit his job and getting coaches who are now working for you and making great wages.

Ashley Kates: (17:39)
Yeah, so I was pulling in maybe $2,000 a month and that was hit or miss, and now my minimum intake is $6,000 per month. I was working 50 to 60 hours per week. Now I work about 25. I had two team members and they were not very into the mission at all. And now I just signed on two new coaches. So I have a team of five women and they are bought in. They’re actually getting to our January jumpstart program with just the team. So we’re all gonna start together next month and they’re all bought in. So yes, like everything is just 180 since starting two grand.

Mike Warkentin: (18:16)
Wow. I’m not gonna yak a whole lot longer because listeners, I want you to go and click the link in the show notes, check out the RampUp program. You can verify, Ashley has laid out exactly what’s in there. You can take a look at what we offer and it can change your gym. This is Run a Profitable Gym, that’s the name of the show and we teach you how to do that. RampUp, Growth, Tinker. There’s a progression. Two-Brain can take you through it. Ashley, close it out for me. What would you say to someone right now who’s looking at this and saying, this sounds too good to be true. I don’t think this works, I don’t know about mentorship. What would you say to that person?

Ashley Kates: (18:45)
First of all, the stats don’t lie. That was the very first question I asked my introductory call person. What’s the return on investment? And when he said, on average it was right around $600 per month, I said, great, I’m signed up. ‘Cause if you know that number right off the bat, then there’s no lies, no hidden things. Secondly, what are you gonna do if you don’t do this? Like, where are you gonna be in six, seven months? It’s worth it. All you have to do is pull your bootstraps up. It is hard work and that’s what it’s supposed to be, especially in the beginning. But if you can just buckle down and follow the step by step, it’s all laid out. You can just follow the steps. You will see growth, you will get to where you wanna be, as long as you’re willing to commit the time and let go of your limiting beliefs and what you think should be done.

Mike Warkentin: (19:28)
Ashley, thank you so much for sharing your story. You’re gonna help a lot of gym members.

Ashley Kates: (19:31)
I hope so.

Mike Warkentin: (19:34)
This is Run a Profitable Gym. Please hit subscribe on your way out, wherever you’re watching or listening. Now, here is Chris Cooper with a final note.

Chris Cooper: (19:43)
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. The Gym Owners United Facebook group has more than 5,600 members and it’s growing daily. If you aren’t benefiting from the free tips and tactics and resources that I post daily in that group, what are you waiting for? Get in there and grow your business. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or www.GymOwnersUnited.com. Join today.

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