6-Figure Monthly Revenue? It’s Possible & Here’s How

A photo of a smiling gym owner with the title "6-Figure Monthly Revenue? It's Possible & Here's How."

Chris Cooper (00:02):
One hundred thousand dollars a month in revenue at a CrossFit gym. Imagine that. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and this is our monthly leaderboard show where I share not just the real numbers from Two-Brain gyms around the world, but also exactly how they did it so that you can do it too. We do this every month because I want you to have real knowledge from real sources. There are a lot of biz coaches out there, marketing agencies that will tell you numbers because they want to try and impress you and sell you, and it’s numbers that don’t matter. Like it might be: “We pumped 30 new people into this gym last month.” OK, but they all quit the next month. It might be that: “Hey, our new marketing system sold $80,000 in upfront, front-end revenue packages, blah, blah, blah.”

Chris Cooper (00:48):
OK, but that wasn’t sustainable, and it actually hurt the gym in the long run. Or: “We have pumped 150 new members into this CrossFit gym.” OK, well that gym is now an affilionaire, but they’re still not quite barely paying their rent. What we want to do is look at real numbers out there in the gym world and then tell you how these people achieve those numbers so that you can do it too. And that means cutting through all of the crap that you see on social media and getting real numbers reported from the 1,000 Two-Brain gyms worldwide and from our network of up to 15,000 gyms that appear in our data sample. So now, let’s talk about the Top 10 in revenue last month, and these are all equalized to US dollars because we want to be comparing apples to apples here and giving you real numbers—cutting through all the crap.

Chris Cooper (01:35):
So, let’s start with number 10. This gym is from the U.S. Super, super, super fired up to see them. They’re out on the East Coast. I got to hang with them at the Tinker Meetup down in San Diego, was it? Last month, or no—Austin, maybe. And just amazing people. Their revenue last month was $58,330. So now, let’s just screech, hold the brakes here for a second. This is a three-month revenue average. It’s not like they had one big dividend payment in January because they saved up their money all year in 2023 and then just paid themselves. We take a rolling average because we don’t want these like flash in the pan. “I offered a 30% paid in full discount,” or did some crazy thing that’s going to hurt them in the long term. We want people who are just doing this regularly and sharing the lessons from them.

Chris Cooper (02:21):
OK, so 10th place: $58,330 in revenue, U.S. Amazing. Number nine is also from the States, but they’re a personal training studio, and they did $61,145 in revenue in January. We’re going to get lessons from both of these. Number 10 was a CrossFit gym. Number nine was a personal training studio. We’re going to share lessons from both; I think that we can each learn from each other, and I’ll get to those in one moment. Eighth place was from Denmark, and their revenue in U.S. dollars was 67,745. This guy contributed a lot of knowledge and I’m really, really excited to share that with you in a moment. Seventh place: This is a health and fitness gym. $70,068 in revenue. That’s top line last month. And number six out of Pittsburgh, general fitness-type gym: $72,038. Now of course, these are all coaching gyms.

Chris Cooper (03:19):
At Two Brain, we work with coaching gyms. And so, what that means is that this revenue number is usually derived from 150 to 300 clients max. Amazing revenue numbers—so good to see it. Number five was from a CrossFit gym also: $76,400 U.S. I am way more impressed by that number than I am by any CrossFit affiliate, by the way, that has 400 members. Who cares? Like maybe they’ve got 400 people. That means that they’re going to have to be replacing about 35 members every single month just to stay even. And they’re probably charging a low rate, which means that the revenue isn’t nearly as good. So, when somebody says, “How strong is your CrossFit affiliate?” I say, “What’s your revenue, and what’s your profit?” I don’t turn to headcount. OK? Looking at headcount in a CrossFit gym is like measuring somebody’s fitness just on the basis of their bench press.

Chris Cooper (04:08):
That might be a component, but it’s certainly not the whole picture, and it’s not even the most important part. Number four: This gym was out of—I’m going to say Southern Europe. I’m not going to get more specific than that because they’re going to be on the podcast later on. And their revenue this month was $77,698 U.S. Again, especially in Europe right now, there’s this myth that big headcount equals a great gym. We need to look at revenue and profit if you really want to discern who’s running a great gym. This is especially true in CrossFit, and it’s especially true in like Western Europe right now. The myth pervades. And number three on the list: a Canadian gym. This is in U.S. dollars: $80,000 right on the nose last month. That’s awesome. Hopefully the owner sold a couple extra T-shirts to get over that hump. I don’t think it was even the first time that he’s been over that hump, but congratulations anyway.

Chris Cooper (05:01):
$80,000 in a month on average is a million dollar a year gym. Just put that into context, and this guy’s in Canada. He’s a great athlete. I love hanging out with him, and I’m hoping to cycle with him this summer. Above that, second place last month was a sports academy from the States, which was $82,205 U.S. Congratulations to them. Top line revenue. And our top revenue gym last month was a CrossFit gym. This doesn’t always happen. You don’t always see CrossFit gyms at the top for revenue, but it was last month. They’re from Switzerland, and they did $125,606 U.S. Congratulations to everybody. I’m really proud of you for proving that the model is successful. I’m really thankful to you for turning around and saying, “Here’s how other people can do it too.” So, we interviewed all of these top 10 gyms. We got their top tips, and I’m about to share them with you now.

Chris Cooper (05:55):
The first thing, to set the table here for the advice that I’m about to share with you—and I’m going to give you direct quotes from these leaders; these are not coming from me. This is how the Two-Brain process works. This is our science. We find the best, we interview them and we teach the best to everybody else. But the theme is that these large numbers are sustainable. They’re not abnormal. If anything, one of them said that their number is a little bit lower than it usually is. Why do I keep talking about sustainability? Well, because back in 2018-ish, starting then, there were a lot of marketing agencies who would come into your gym. They would have you sell like a six-week challenge, and that six-week challenge might cost $1,500, and you would sell 30 of these, and you’d think, “Man, this is amazing.”

Chris Cooper (06:37):
But at the end of the six weeks, 10% of people would ask for a refund, 90% would never come back. And so, you’d run the challenge again—yada, yada, yada. You washed the good people out with the newcomers, and you actually found yourself six months later in a worse spot than when you started. And now you had to undo all this bad marketing and bad hype. But what happened was that first month, your revenue numbers would spike. And so, people would be so fired up after the first 30 days that they’d be like, “This is it. This is the answer forever. I’m running a million-dollar gym.” And of course, that didn’t happen. The second month it didn’t work as well. The third month it worked less well. And by the six-month mark, they were back to where they started with no marketing plan and no way to actually improve.

Chris Cooper (07:18):
We don’t do that. What we want here are sustainable numbers through best practices that we’ve derived by science and taught these gym owners. So, while these gym owners are all in Two-Brain, they’re all applying the model slightly differently with different emphases on different parts of the client journey. Now I’m going to share exactly what they’re focused on because that’s going to be what’s helps you. The first person on the revenue leaderboard said, “This is now our baseline because we’ve been focusing on increasing average revenue per member.” So not increasing client headcount, but revenue per client or per member. Think about it, if you’ve got a hundred people in your gym and your ARM goes up by $5: Whether you raise rates or add personal training or add an on-ramp or whatever that is, you’ve made another $500 per month right there without adding another single client that has to be coached or managed or tracked or resold or retained.

Chris Cooper (08:09):
And that $500 falls straight to your bottom line. You can use that just as take-home pay to you. You can use that to hire other people, get tasks off your plate—whatever you want. But increasing ARM for most gyms is a more powerful lever than adding more clients. The next person said, “We are just doing the basic things well.” This is so important that I want to repeat it: “These numbers are not extraordinary for us. We’re just doing the basic things well.” That’s virtuosity. And so, what that means is that they’re doing their sales process really, really well. They’ve got four funnels that they measure and improve all the time. They’ve got client check-ins or goal reviews that they’re doing with every client every quarter. They’re doing good personal training; they’re doing good groups, delivering a good product—and that’s probably it.

Chris Cooper (08:58):
They might have one more thing; they might have a kids’ program or a seniors’ program or whatever that is. But you have to get really, really good at the basics. And that’s where the growth comes from. It’s rarely the new thing. It’s almost always getting better at the current thing. And once we teach you the basic model, you can dive in and just keep getting better and better for years. And this leaderboard recipient proves it. The next person said, “Next month’s revenue is already forecast out to $58,000 U.S. So, we think this trend is going to continue.” Next, this one said, “This is quite normal for us. Our revenue only fluctuates about $7,000 per month depending on how many new people come in. But our baseline is not determined by how many new members join.” I think that’s really, really important that no matter how many new members join, they know that they’ve got a high revenue number no matter what, as long as they keep doing the basics really, really well.

Chris Cooper (09:49):
So this gym owner had some really good quotes, and they’re unique because they have some seasonal fluctuations in revenue, but they plan for it. So that means they coach sports teams. Sports teams come in spring, summer, fall—less so in the winter or vice versa. But even in their down months when they don’t have a bunch of teams coming in, they’re always still top three in revenue. And that’s because they’ve learned to level out their revenue by supplementing it with things like supplement sales, with things like retail. So, “While we’re down from our high in November when apparel sales are very high, we’re higher now because we’re offering more one-on-one training, and we pick up revenue from being paid for bigger ticket items that rolled over to another month.” OK. Here’s a couple more quotes on large revenue numbers. “Increasing average revenue per member by offering specialty courses and also a higher-level nutrition program.”

Chris Cooper (10:41):
“We use goal reviews to upgrade prescriptions.” They’re doing the basics. They’re doing them very, very well. The next quote was, “I think our revenue is high compared to most due to the amount of personal training that we do. All of our group memberships are hybrid, and we have recurring personal training memberships.” Two things there: If you’re selling personal training packages, get off of those and sell personal training memberships. Second, at this gym, if you buy a group membership, it includes one-on-one personal training, and of course, the value is higher, so the price is higher too. You cannot just buy group training at this gym, which I think is absolutely brilliant. It takes guts to start selling that. But I’ve never had a gym that started doing that turn around and say, “It was a bad mistake. I’m changing my mind.” Another quote is, “We’ve been focusing hard on retention and goal setting sessions, and two months into the year, we are doing very well, better than ever.” Focusing on the basics.

Chris Cooper (11:32):
By the way, the theme of virtuosity is our theme at twobrainsummit.com. This year, while we are teaching some brand new things, we think it’s more important than ever to reinforce this focus on doing the basics better and better and better. Don’t change the plan; get better at the plan. Next, this quote is, “We charge a lot. Our ARM is between $700 and $800, which is personal training and nutrition coaching combined.” So, they’re a personal training center. They don’t have a group training option, which keeps their price point very high. They don’t need as many members to have a high revenue number. The next one said, “We track leading KPIs for staff. So, we track sessions booked in advance, conversations initiated each week by our salesperson, client touch points for our clients, and everyone has a target number that they’re held accountable to—a number that we know correlates to lagging KPIs like sessions and revenue.”

Chris Cooper (12:20):
So this is a more advanced gym owner. They’ve been with Two-Brain for a while. Not only do they know their Simple Six metrics and know how to improve them, but now they’ve gone a step beyond, and they’re looking at KPIs in their staff that they know and have tested to drive revenue numbers, right? They’ve learned how to read a P&L, they’ve learned what levers actually affect that P&L, and now they know what levers to pull. And so, they’re experimenting a little bit. This is more advanced stuff that you usually see in our Tinker program. Another quote was, “We are selling quite a lot of PT, and we have nearly 500 members. Our membership is only $108 U.S. a month, but our PT session price is $130 per session.” So, if you think about the gyms in the States who say, “Oh, I’ve got $400 or 500 members,” and then, you know they’re selling at a low rate, like 100 to 120 bucks a month, and they’re saying, “We’re just going to sell group; we’re not going to sell personal training.”

Chris Cooper (13:13):
I mean, this is the difference between an affillionaire, somebody who has a lot of clients below revenue, and a really successful gym owner who has both clients and revenue. It’s just that one little thing. You’re giving people the option to train one-on-one if they want it. That’s all it is. You know, and a lot of people, they want to do CrossFit, or they want to do hit, or they want to do kickboxing, but they don’t want to do it in a group, especially at first. That’s all it is, is giving them what they want. Another quote is, “We currently have 200 plus goal reviews in the calendar with people we meet every three months.” So important, they’re using the prescriptive model. If a client comes in and says, “I want to solve this problem,” the gym can say, “Here’s the best path for you.” They’re not saying, “Come and try a free group,” because they don’t know if that’s the best solution for them yet. Right?

Chris Cooper (14:00):
It’s like a doctor handing out free Tylenol on Fridays. You don’t know if that’s going to solve the patient’s problem until you meet with them and actually make a professional diagnosis and prescription. OK? And of course, that prescription should change over time. As the person adapts to your program, you want to be a step ahead and telling them, “Here’s what comes next,” instead of waiting until they stop seeing gains, and they go looking for different programming or go to a different gym or quit altogether. Here’s another quote from a leaderboard leader: “What was special is that we hit a home run on lead ads. We got 250 leads; our normal is 25, and we booked 80 No Sweat Intros that resulted in 55 sales. So, we need to hire an NSI booker to keep up with the leads.” So, what I love about this is they know their numbers, and they know how to improve them.

Chris Cooper (14:48):
250 leads, 80 No Sweat Intros booked. OK? So, your set rate is only about 30%, maybe 33%. You know that you can improve that. And if you improve that to 40%, you’re going to have 100 NSIs instead of 80. And now you look at the next metric: 55 sales out of 80, whatever percentage that is, right? Close to three quarters. Well, if you can improve that, bring that up to 80%, that’s going to get you more clients. So again, we teach people how to read these metrics so that they know what levers they can pull in their business and keep improving forever. Another quote: “I’ve been in business longer than most. We focus on one aspect of the business at a time until it has the strength to carry itself, and then we move to another revenue stream.” Super-duper smart. A lot of people, maybe they read my first book, and they’re like, “Here’s 30 sample revenue streams.”

Chris Cooper (15:39):
“I need to go out and start five of these right now. We’re starting kids, we’re starting masters, we’re starting competition, et cetera, et cetera.” And really what should happen, according to these people on the top revenue leaderboard, is that you do one thing, you do it really, really well until it is at a point where it’s driving good revenue and then you think about maybe going to the next thing, or you decide if there’s more opportunity to just keep getting better at your primary thing. You know, a lot of people on this revenue leaderboard would say the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. So, they’ll have group and personal training, they’ll have No Sweat Intros, they’ll have goal reviews and that’s it. They don’t add anything else. They don’t add different streams of programming. They just keep getting better and better and better at those four core things instead of constantly adding more stuff.

Chris Cooper (16:23):
Another quote: “We are a baseball-softball facility, so we’re based around teams. We focus on volume and numbers of memberships, but we’re shifting to go deeper with our clients this year to do more private and semi-private lessons and be more profitable.” And that’s what put them on the revenue leaderboard is that slight shift in focus from client headcount to ARM. What are we left with here? Well, client’s headcount is important. You do want lots of clients, but ARM, client value, is even more important. And so, the quality of what you deliver is crazy, but also the amount that your client delivers back to you in the form of price is also super-duper important. If you want to be at the top of the revenue leaderboard, that’s the first prerequisite to having a very profitable gym. And this podcast is called “Run a Profitable Gym.”

Chris Cooper (17:09):
High revenue is definitely one of the most important metrics, way more important than client headcount. There are people on this leaderboard with 500 clients, and there are people with 150. If you don’t learn anything else from them, learn that client value is really crazy important. What gives value to clients? A little bit of optionality. You don’t have to train in a group; you can train one-on-one. You don’t have to train one-on-one; you can train semi-private. It’s a couple of options to solve their problems, adding a nutrition program or a kids’ program or et cetera—and staying focused on virtuosity, mastering the basics, getting better and better and better at the system instead of changing systems all the time. Our theme for Summit this year at twobrainsummit.com is virtuosity. We’re really focused on helping you get better and better at that. We’ve done this now with thousands of gyms worldwide. I’d like to see it happen for you too. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” If you’ve got questions about this podcast as always, just go to gymownersunited.com. That’s a free Facebook group with 9,100 other gym owners in there. There’s no coaches. There’s no trolls. There’s no jerks. We filter them all out. Just helpful, meaningful advice from me and my team and 9,100 other gym owners around the world. Thank you for your service.

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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.