Two Brain Marketing Episode 9: Kevin Rundlett of CrossFit Chi-Rho
Today we are joined by Kevin Rundlett of CrossFit Chi Rho in Jackson Mississippi. In addition to running his CrossFit gym, Kevin works full time as a lawyer and is even the city prosecutor! Growing up lifting weights and training since he was 15, Kevin fell in love with CrossFit and after learning that the gym they attended was being sold, they jumped right in to keep it going. In August of 2017, Kevin and his wife purchased the gym and have been running it ever since! Join us as we learn how Kevin manages his gym, law practice and how Two-Brain has helped with both!
Don’t Forget about the 2019 Two Brain Summit, June 8-9 in Chicago! This year we have some amazing topics and guests for both yourself and your coaches. Click hereto register and sign up now!
2:20 – Introduction to Kevin
6:14 – Advice for others who are considered purchasing their gym
12:30 – What it takes to break even and profit as a gym owner
13:30 – Staffing a gym that was recently purchased
15:03 – The importance of finding a good general manager
18:27 – The key to success when first starting a new gym
21:16 – How to contact Kevin
Announcer: 00:02 Welcome everyone to Two-Brain Radio. It is our mission at Two-Brain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to well,
Chris: 00:26 this episode is brought to you by healthy steps nutrition. I first met Nicole over a year ago when one of my favorite crossfit affiliates introduced me to her because Nicole was helping them. Sam Brumenschenkel at crossfit port orange started a nutrition program in her box and that conversation turned into something larger a year later and Nicole has a fantastic bolt on nutrition program that you can add to your box anywhere in the world. So if you’re thinking, I need to start presenting better nutrition information to my clients or I need a new revenue stream, or I want to know more about nutrition, but I don’t know where to get started, healthy steps has that. What they’re going to do is put you or one of your coaches even better through a course, get them qualified to start teaching nutrition. Then they’re going to add you to a private Facebook group.
Chris: 01:14 They’re going to give you a roll out so that you can do a nutrition challenge at your gym, which more than pays for the cost of enrolling them in the course and then provide an ongoing mentorship program for your nutrition program so you can continue to run things for your clients like in nutrition accountability plan every month like we do at catalyst. Nicole is a fantastic person and after launching healthy steps nutrition online, she actually opened up her own box. She’s working with some massive clients including some big big school boards across the country now and she’s in a great position to actually change people’s lives. With nutrition. You can be a conduit for that. Your clients need nutrition advice and counseling. Healthy steps is the best possible solution to this. It’s bolt on. You can take a coach who’s passionate about nutrition and give them the help they need to start a program overseen by a registered dietician, Nicole Marchand, Healthy Steps Nutrition is a proud sponsor of Two-Brain and I am so glad to have them. Nicole will be speaking at our summit in Chicago, June 7 and 8 this year. You do not want to miss her.
Mateo: 02:20 Hello and welcome to the two main marketing podcast. I’m your host, Mateo Lopez. I’m one of the digital marketing mentors at Two-Brain business. Thanks for tuning in. This is your weekly dose of Digital Marketing Magic. Every week we go over marketing campaign strategies, useful tips and updates to keep you in the loop on the ever changing landscape of advertising on the Internet for Your Business. And today’s episode is special guest Kevin from crossfit Chi-Roh and we’re going to learn about his experience and how he’s managed to juggle and balance his fulltime law practice and his gym. So, uh, Kevin, thanks for, thanks for joining us. And, uh, tell us, tell the people who are tuning in, you know, tell us a little about you, where you’re from, and and your business.
Kevin: 03:09 Sure. Well, I’m married. My wife, Vicky and I are both attorneys. We have three children and five and we live in Clinton, Mississippi, which is about 12 miles west of our capital city of Jackson. Uh, the town is a population of about 35,000. Um, yeah, so we’d been practicing law for since 2001, so 17, 18 years. I’ve had my own law practice the entire time and uh, my wife has been in litigation prior to what she’s doing now. Currently she’s in administration for our church, which gives her some flexibility to, to manage the kids. And uh, so she’s got a full time job and I have a fulltime job. I am also the city prosecutor for the city.
Mateo: 04:05 Oh, I didn’t know that.
Kevin: 04:07 Yeah. So, so I, I wear several hats and it’s, it’s um, it keeps us very, very busy, especially with taking on, on the gym, which, you know, when we started out, all we had to do was purchase it and it was going to run itself. Right,
Mateo: 04:23 right.
Kevin: 04:34 That’s all we needed. Well, what happened there? We’d been members of our, our gym. It was in existence prior to us purchasing. We were members for about seven or eight years. We totally bought into the crossfit methodology. We loved it. We loved the community. And the prior owner felt led to go another direction and was ready to get out of it. So the gym was declining because he was, he was doing other things and he’s a good friend and, and did a great thing and starting the gym. But he was ready to get out and wait, said, well, hey, we love it. Let’s, uh, let’s, let’s make sure we keep it going so we have a place to continue what we love. And in August of 2017 we, we purchased it.
Mateo: 05:28 Never been cheaper.
Kevin: 05:37 But I’ll tell you what, the things that I’ve learned are invaluable. And if this had not happened, my wife and I would not have found Two-Brain, and the lessons that we’ve learned have not just helped us with the gym. They’ve also greatly helped us with our, our other businesses, my law practice, and my wife’s management of time. Um, so yeah, so it’s, it’s been a blessing even though life is very busy right now.
Mateo: 06:11 That’s awesome. That’s amazing. Especially now as crossfit has been around the u s at least for a good while. Now, some of the people who opened gyms were the, were the pioneers there you see a lot of people selling their gyms. And so there are a lot of people who are trying to get in the game and buying and purchasing gyms like you did. So do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about purchasing an existing, uh, you know, fitness business?
Kevin: 06:45 I know there’s other podcasts where you talk to people about the proper process of purchasing a gym and we did not do that, which is okay because we basically bought the equipment. So it wasn’t a huge investment. Did we know what we were getting into? Absolutely not. Uh, we thought, well, you know, we’re attorneys, we’ve been running our own practices, we can handle this. No problem. And I’m going to jump back and kind of walk you through how, how that went. When we purchased it in August of 17, it was not an affiliated crossfit affiliated gym. Um, the, the membership had gone from a high of probably 200 members. We’ve got a big space, 7- 7,500 square feet, little bit more good population in town, you know, lots of people to draw through. So it had gone from 200 or so folks at at the highest point to when we purchased it, probably 60 members and we took over and started getting things in line.
Kevin: 07:42 I scrambled to get my L1– scrambled, to find the name that we wanted for the gym, get affiliated with Crossfit, got all that done. And in that time, uh, started to see the problems that we were having. Mainly the income of the gym was not covering the expense. Right. So I happened to be, I was listening to podcasts and I happened to be on a crossfit, podcasts, profiting podcasts, uh, that Chris Cooper was on. And he started talking about Two-Brain and I said, okay, I’m going to call. So this is, this is what we need. We were led to talk to him, I feel like so, so I called him and talked to Chris and he felt like we could use his help and understood what we were going through and hooked me up with Jeff Smith. So I started there my wife and I started the incubator in January of 2018 so we had about four months with no guidance and started the incubator, then went through that from January to April of 2018 so it took us about four months to get through that and keep in mind that the process has been slower for us because we have so many other hats and things we’re trying to balance.
Kevin: 08:57 But that’s, that’s okay. We got through that initial period, the, the, you know, got the systems in place, started to get them in place where they, are they perfect. No, and that’s, that’s the problem that I had is I felt like, you know, these systems have got to be perfect and I would spend lots and lots of time, you know, we got to do this, this, this is this, right? Always questioning. But Jeff got me through that. You just have to get something in place and we can modify those as, as we grow. So we got the systems in place and got on the, um, got, got with Two-Brain growth after that. And I’ve been with them ever since. Um, worked with Jeff for for several more months, still getting the systems to where they needed to be. You know, we didn’t even have an onramp program.
Kevin: 09:44 We didn’t, we didn’t have any kind of sales process. It was all just, you know, we’re going to get this. People are just going to come in the door and, and you know, as well as I do that it doesn’t work that way anymore. And through the process of implementing all of these systems, we lost members. You know, these are, these were old original members that started with me. So I don’t, I don’t know if they just had a problem paying someone that was by their side working out for so long or they didn’t like the change. We know no one, no one likes change. We understand that. Uh, so we, we lost almost all, you know, we may have a handful of those original guys and girls that were with us. So, you know, our, our ultimate goal here is to get the business running on its own right where we can step away and we can, we can be in that tinker phase and we can come in and just work out if we want to or just through the marketing or whatever it is.
Kevin: 10:41 So we’re, that’s, that’s what we’re working towards. So we were at the point once we get the systems in where we needed to grow and enter Mateo and Blake and so I called you guys, uh, it was October, I think when we got started on this maybe, maybe just before September, October of 2018 and I signed up for the marketing incubator and understand, you know, I’m, I’m getting a little older, I’m not as tech savvy as you guys, so y’all, y’all, I went through the process and we did exactly what you said. We really didn’t deviate much at all and it wasn’t perfect. You know, we went through and we, we got the, the marketing videos and the landing pages and uh, you guys guided us through that. So, so it gave me some insight as to how it works. Can I get on there and do that right now on my own?
Kevin: 11:38 No. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people like that out there and that’s okay. But you helped me through it. We got the system in place and started the Facebook advertising with the six week challenges and basically that’s, that’s what we’re doing. We haven’t changed it much. We change the pictures. We, we tweaked the language just a little bit. And so, you know, I listened to one of your podcast yesterday and I can’t remember the guy’s name, but you know, they made $200,000 and you know, I’m not, we’re not there, but we’ve invested $3,000 in advertising since we started and the front end revenue on that, it’s about $20,000.
Mateo: 12:19 Wow.
Kevin: 12:20 I don’t care who you are or how much, you know, that’s really good. Return on investment.
Mateo: 12:26 Yeah, I think pretty spectacular.
Kevin: 12:46 It doesn’t count the members that stick around
Mateo: 12:48 exactly.
Kevin: 12:50 And then they pay those monthly memberships. And you know, our, when we started and we took over the gym, membership rates were $50 a month, $70. You know, they were across the board, there were discounts everywhere. And um, now I, you know, I don’t have an exact number of what our average revenue per member is. I just don’t have time to, I know what’s going on, but I, you know, I need to focus on that and I think it’s important, but I just don’t have the time to really micromanage that yet. But I know what people are spending and it’s well over $150 probably average per member now. So much, much better than it was
Mateo: 13:35 when you first purchased the gym, you know, was there a staff in place or did you cover a lot of classes?
Kevin: 13:42 Yeah, well I didn’t have to cover a lot of classes. We had some staff in place, mainly just coaches. There was no general manager, there was no head coach, nothing like that. So our coaches have, have changed immensely. The way we train our coaches has changed immensely. We have a head coach now that manages the coaches and he does a great job. We recently, I went through the process of training someone to handle the lead nurturing process, the sales process, and he was also a personal trainer and was doing just great. And so I was, I was getting to that point of, I was seeing through the trees, that tinker area up, up, up top, right. And he left, he moved to another state unfortunately. So no, no bad blood there. But what that did was slide me back into that sales role. So the, the good part of that is I’ll learn how to train someone to do it and I can do it again. I just have to find the right person for that slot.
Mateo: 14:50 Amazing so he moved states, which is fine, but now you kind of have a little bit of an SOP, standard operating procedure for that next person that comes your way. You can train them up and get them up and running pretty efficiently. So it sounds like you were fortunate enough that you didn’t really have to, you know, so a lot of people when they buy gyms, they have to coach all the classes, wear all the hats and then level all the way up. You are able to keep kind of the existing infrastructure in place it sounds like, and then develop the team that you had and, and then put that managerial level in between you eventually. So how are you able to do that? A lot of people struggle with that. What were the conversations that were had with the existing staff or the hey, change of direction. This is what we’re going to do now. How did you find that person to be that manager, uh, in between you and the, and the coaches? You know, tell us a little bit about that if you can.
Kevin: 15:44 We’re not quite there yet. Once we started to get the systems, we have coaches meetings every two weeks and I was constantly talking to them about what we’re doing and, and, and they all bought in. But it was also an opportunity for me to explain the level of service that I want from my coaches. And some of them just weren’t there and that didn’t work out. So they ended up leaving. And we’re blessed with, with people that would come in at the right time and say, Hey, I’m looking to coach. And we move them into the spot. And as, as we’ve gone through the process, knowing our people and observing our people to see who’s in the right spot, we were able to get a head coach in place. Now what I’m working towards is getting the general manager in place. We’re still in that growth phase where we’ve got to get our revenue up to a certain point where I can afford to pay that general manager to, to handle a lot of the stuff that I’m doing.
Kevin: 16:48 And, and I want to jump back a little bit because you, you asked me earlier, you know, how can I manage a law practice and do this well for the first year of my law practice stuff? Uh, I haven’t been doing the marketing for that. I wasn’t able to, you know, it’s maintaining, but I really focused on this and that was probably a mistake and something that Jeff and I, and I’m working with Brian Strump now, who’s awesome to, you know, both of them said, look, you’ve got to manage your time better and block time. So I’ve gotten better. I’m not perfect, but spend some time every day working on the law practice and don’t get distracted by everything coming in from the gym. So that’s, that’s kind of where we are. We’re not, we’re not there yet. We’re, we’re getting there. And slowly but surely. And, and I attribute that to you guys and, and, and Brian and Jeff, I probably know what to do. I understand what I’ve got to do. But taking the action and discussing it with someone else and having them say, hey, just do first, really, really helps.
Mateo: 17:51 Yeah, no, that’s great. And obviously you’re not at the tinker stage yet. You’re not totally removed yet, but just even even be able to keep, keep your hands out of the machine completely, you know, or preventing yourself from tinkering constantly. I think it was, it’s really impressive, right? Especially when you’re taking over a new business, you know, allowing, cause that’s what I would’ve done if I were to, if I were to them what you did, I would have been coaching all the classes. I would have been like not trusting anyone to do it the way I wanted to do it. So I just think that that part in it of itself pretty impressive. And so you’re still working through the process. You’re still growing, you’re still leveling up and learning to manage your time and grow both your businesses at the same time. But I think it sounds like you’ve had a lot of success and you just, the fact that you’ve been able to take a gym that was charging $50 a month per membership too, you know, well over 150, uh, that you’ve, you’ve created new positions for people head coaching position, and you’re looking for a manager position now you’re still growing.
Mateo: 18:54 I think you’ve seen a lot of success and growth so far. And you touched on it a little bit just now, but what do you think has been the key to your success so far? It sounds like you were talking about the, the guidance and the mentorship, but yeah. And in your own words, what do you think’s been the been the key to your success?
Kevin: 19:13 The mentorship. And I’ve always been that way. Even when my law practice, I found that an older attorney and worked with him and went to him with any questions I had. So I’ve always kind of been in that mindset. And so it was a natural progression to do that with the gym as well. But let me tell you this, what I’ve learned through this process, because they don’t teach you how to be a business person in law school. You know? I suspect it’s the same for other professions as well.
Mateo: 19:45 No,
Kevin: 19:45 they don’t. So what I’ve learned through Two-Brain for the gym, I’m also transitioning into the law firm. The Facebook marketing is different for the clients that I have in the law practice and probably for other people that other businesses too. If it’s a service based industry that’s similar to this, great. I hope it works because there’s nothing better for marketing, for the gym, for the law. Practice is a little different and we’re still working through that. But what, what I’ve learned and what seems to be working right now is, is affinity marketing with other lawyers. So because of what I’ve learned through Y’all I’m sending out was I love letters to all my attorney associates that I know out there and telling them what I do and trying to help them with their law practice first and then saying, hey, this is what I do.
Kevin: 20:33 If you need some help with it, let me know. And I’m starting to get referrals from them. So you know, it’s, it’s, it’s helped with the, the law business. If, you know, me doing roles and tasks there and working through the incubator stuff kind of on my own with that, just like it’s helped with the gym. So you know, the, the people that have other businesses and other practices that they’re trying to do at the same time as, as the gym yet. I think it’s important that you, your mirror, what you’re doing, quit the gym cause it’s, it’s really best practices. Right.
Mateo: 21:03 That’s awesome. That’s great man. I think he, I don’t think I could have said it better myself. I think. Yeah, having a staff handbook, you know, it applies to any business, you know, having roles and tasks, any business. Well Great Kevin, thanks for hopping on today. People want to talk to you and where can they find you?
Kevin: 21:22 Well our website is, is crossfitchiro.com that’s C H I r h o. And you know my cell phone. I’m glad to give it out. I give it out to everybody. 601 750 0070
Mateo: 21:36 wow. You’re braver than I am
Kevin: 21:38 . I don’t, I man, I don’t, I don’t hide it. I give it to all my clients. Anybody that needs it just, just call me there and hey, I want to say my wife is a big part of this and you know, there’s, there’s certain struggles there when you’re trying to differentiate your roles, but you know, she’s our joy person right now. She sends out the welcome gifts, she sends out the written cards and does a great job with that. And she also manages all of our new memberships and payments. So know we were really worked together on this. We wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t have been able to get through, but what I do if she wasn’t doing what she does and the same vice versa,
Mateo: 22:15 we’ll have to have a separate episode how to run a business with your spouse. It’s own handbook. Right, right. Awesome. Well thank you man. And uh, yeah, looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2019 holds for you.
Kevin: 22:32 Yeah. I’ll be calling you soon about the marketing stuff.
Mateo: 22:34 Oh, awesome.
Speaker 5: 22:37 Hey everyone. Chris Cooper here on really thrilled to see you this year in June in Chicago at the 2019 Two-Brain summit. Every year we have two separate speaking tracks — one for you, the business owner and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful careers under the umbrella of your business. This year we’ve got some pretty amazing topics like the client success manager, how to change your life organizational culture or the business owner’s life cycle, how to have breaks, how to have vacations, how to help your marriage survive. Owning a business and motivation and leadership. How to convert more clients, how to create a GM position that runs your gym for you and leaves you free to grow your business. How to start a business owner’s group in your community and more point here is to do the right thing that will help gym owners create better businesses that will last them for the long term.
Speaker 5: 23:28 Get them to tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers of their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to longterm health. We only do one big seminar every year and that’s the Two-Brain summit and the reason that we do that is because a big part of the benefit is getting the to bring community and and welcoming strangers into our midst and showing them how amazing gym ownership really can be. We’ll have a link to the Two-Brain summit, including a full list of all speakers and topics on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.
Speaker 6: 24:05 As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We greatly appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a like to that episode. Share with a friend, and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.