How To Deal With Your Competition

The nearest box is 800m away.
They charge less.
They copy EVERYTHING you do–right down to your color scheme.
What do you DO about it?
Don’t turn to arson yet…there are several reasons to be EXCITED about competition, including this one: they’re not hard to beat.
First, the problems, and the opportunities that come with them:

  1. People quit your gym to go to their gym because it’s a lower price. The reason is that the average consumer can’t tell the difference between what YOU sell and what THEY sell, so they choose based on price. This is the definition of “commodity”. If I’m selling vanilla ice cream, and you’re selling vanilla ice cream, I’m going to choose the cheapest.
    Being slightly better isn’t enough. Even if you have some sprinkles on your ice cream, I might not choose it; I’ll have to decide if it’s worth an extra .25 to have vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.
    The opportunity: be REALLY different.
    Don’t do free trials; do consultations.
    Build in a unique measurement system (we use an InBody, which no one else can afford.)
    Start with nutrition instead of thrusters.
    There are a hundred ways to slice this, but start here: you sell fitness. CrossFit is your biggest tool. Group classes might be part of your delivery of fitness (or not.)
  2. They’re too close. The reason the other gym built close to you isn’t because they wanted to be up in your grill–it’s because you have the best spot, and they want to be in the best spot too.
    In this case, the opportunity is to be the best gym. They’re doing you a favor by teaching people in your area to LOVE CrossFit, and then asking them to run by the door of a better CrossFit gym every day on their warmup. They’re basically running an OnRamp for you, and if done right, they’ll keep all the troublesome clients and graduate the best up to you.
  3. They copy everything you do. Here’s the good news: you won’t run out of great ideas. They already have. When your little brother played the “copycat” game with you as a kid, how did you shake him? You started moving faster. If another gym is copying your content, your website, your programs…do yours faster. Bury them. Clients will know. People are smart.
  4. They’re bringing a poor version of your service to the market. They’re hurting people, or giving CrossFit a bad name. Tell yourself this: if you’re going to compete with SOMEONE, you want it to be THEM. They’re probably stopping a better competitor from entering your market. When a gym owner tells me he’s going to expand because he’s found a town with no CrossFit gym, I ask him to go back and look for towns with poorly-run gyms in them. Those are huge opportunities, because the bad gym has taught people to love CrossFit, and then given them less than the best experience. They’ve groomed your audience for you!

Trust me: I get copied. Former coaches try to attract my members to their programs. Personal Trainers try to tell people CF is bad for them.
Even though TwoBrain is a huge family, with gyms on every continent–or maybe precisely BECAUSE of our success–we have imitators. We have copycats. There are consultants giving mediocre advice. But these people actually help our mission (to make gyms profitable) because they teach gym owners that mentorship is important and easy to find. They also work with the clients we don’t invite to the Incubator, and often help them become successful. Many gym owners “graduate up” to TwoBrain, which makes me immensely proud.
In 2016, Dave Tate told me, “The top ten percent will keep looking until they find you.” I thought he was paying me a compliment. But he was really telling me to be the BEST. And I’m asking you to do the same: don’t just be 10% better. Be SO different that you have a monopoly. Be SO different that no one thinks you’re the same as the low-priced option. Be SO far ahead that everyone who cares KNOWS you’re being copied.
You are more than enough.
Live up to yourself.


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.