Revenue Leader Reveals Reasons for Success: Nate Beveridge

20210628-beveridge-blog

Mike (00:02):

How did a five-time CrossFit Games athlete find time to become a revenue leader in the gym business? Nate Beveridge shares his secrets right after this.

Chris (00:10):

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Mike (00:50):

This is Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. We track data relentlessly over here, and revenue is a super fun category because everyone likes huge numbers, especially with a good profit margin. In April Nat Beveridge of Hybrid Athletics was one of our revenue leaders and he’s here today. So Nate, you recently qualified as a masters athlete at the CrossFit Games and you posted this on Facebook. “I committed to my kids that I would take three years off to grow our business and spend family vacations together. Then when I turned 40, I would give it another shot.” So it looks like you accomplished your goals, but here’s the big question. How did the time off contribute to your revenue number and would it be this high had you focused on the Games for the last three years?

Nate (01:27):

  1. So for the first part there, how did it contribute? Definitely taking that step to focusing on the business a little more, give a little back story. I had a business partner previous to that time. We both kind of had the goals at the time that our gym would be somewhere that we could work out. You know, we wanted to make a playground that we could train for the Games and make the Games and that kind of stuff. And we were very successful in our first bunch of years doing that.

Nate (01:56):

Yeah, we had, you know, a team go to the Games three years in a row and then we just missed and then we kind of transitioned to get ready for masters type stuff and then both qualified in masters. And then at that stage, we kind of diverged in our goals and plans and stuff like that. And I wanted to turn the company into more of a business, still provide an awesome space for people to train, obviously, and have an amazing community, but I wanted to deep dive into creating something that my family could live from, not just kind of scrape by, right. So we separated, I bought him out of the company at the time, and then that’s kind of right after the Games when we decided to turn it into a business and actually get some systems in place and try to grow the business.

Nate (02:41):

And so I still worked out regularly. I still did some local competitions and things like that. I would compete in the Age Group qualifier, but my training focus switched to, you know, I did class once a day, if that, and, just became a regular CrossFitter right. And my years of experience helped still for me to be able to compete as much as I wanted to, but I spent more of my focus on building systems and hiring staff and developing the staff. We didn’t ever do really a lot of advertising, but just being in the community, being around, having conversations and those kinds of things, and just like, you know, nose to the grindstone, doing work, tracking some more metrics, actually paying attention to things. And after about a year of doing that on my own, and seeing Chris Cooper’s face, seeing his mug on Instagram and things like that.

Nate (03:36):

And I think maybe you started working there. And so I saw it a little more, Sean Woodland did a few things and I kind of was like, OK, this Two-Brain things looks like something I want to look into. And then like anybody that got into gym owning just to have a, you know, that was my full-time gig, but it was like spending money was like trying to get milk from an almond. I realized you can do it, but it’s a lot of work. So I wasn’t big on spending money. But then once I did invest in Two-Brain, I saw the value of it immediately. It’s tremendously helpful and helped kind of reiterate the things that I already thought I knew and was coming along with. And so through my own experiences and all that, and then all the things that I learned through Jeff Larsh was my mentor at Two-Brain and talking to Coop and all the different things, yeah, developed systems. And so had I been training just for the Games, it’s a really difficult thing to do. It’s a lot of time and effort and you have to prioritize something and it’s kind of like, you can only burn so many candles at the same time. Right. So I think if I had not reset and planned on really focusing on the business, I definitely wouldn’t be at where I am right now with the revenues and the way that our business has grown as much.

Mike (04:58):

An interesting question. I asked it to Kate Rawlings, Kate Spinner now who competed the Games many years ago. And I asked her if she would be able to do it. She said no. With her focus on training for the Games, it was so all encompassing. She said she wouldn’t have been able to do it. And I’ve asked other Games athletes, I haven’t had a chance to like ask Rich Froning, you know, Hey, how tough is it to train for the Games and run your gym? But I don’t know how much, you know, Rich is involved in the actual details of his gym. And he might be like dialed right in. But I know the training is obviously a big focus for him. So it’s an interesting thing. And I’ve thought about guys like Ben Smith too, like at CrossFit Krypton, Ben top Games level athlete, running a gym is tough.

Mike (05:34):

You know, like, you know, it takes a ton of work. So I was really curious to see you kind of boomerang back where you hit the Games for a number of years, took some time to really focus. And I loved reading your story on Facebook, listeners, check it out on Facebook, if you have the chance and then to see you get back to the Games with high revenue numbers. So let’s dig into that a little bit, share as much data as you feel comfortable with, but I’m curious, like how diverse is your revenue stream? Do you have like 30 different programs, three big different programs, or what do you do? What are your top contributors to that?

Nate (06:01):

We do a lot of personal training. So that month, I believe we were on the leaderboard for April, May. Right. And then I think I talked to Coop about this too. And one of the questions he had was whether that was an anomaly month than we thought it would be. It would continue. It’s actually it was probably our lowest month of the year, that just happened to be the month that you guys tracked for. It did happen to be also one of those months that hits with like the extra four days of the month, are like, you know, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. And so they were the lesser days. And so, March and May were better months in terms of more busy days. Our busiest days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So revenue stream wise, we have a ton of personal training.

Nate (06:48):

We’ve always pushed that as our, and I don’t want to say push it even. It’s always just been something that we’ve talked about as the key to the fastest growth. Like you sit with a person and you say, if you want to get somewhere the fastest, one-on-one personal training is your best way to get there, nutrition, coaching and so on. So forth. The example I use is with my kids, you know, I put them in a group swimming lesson and there’s eight kids and some of them are fooling around and the instructor has to spend all their time dealing with those kids. And my kids don’t get as much attention and they don’t maybe progress as far. Whereas I put them in a private lessons, it costs me more, but they progress twice as fast. And in the long run, it actually costs me less because of the progress that they make in those private sessions.

Mike (07:32):

You’re buying time, essentially. Totally.

Nate (07:34):

And so you look at a group session, even with 10 people in an hour, that’s six minutes per person. And if you purchase a full hour to yourself, that’s 10 times as much time, 60 minutes, and you’re probably not paying 10 times as much money for that private session. Right. So you’re paying your minutes essentially. So our personal training has been very big, especially, with the pandemic and with things being closed and stuff we weren’t able to do group fitness. And so all we could do was personal training. It was a bit of a boon in that people that maybe hadn’t done personal training before, decided to do a little bit of it because they didn’t have other options at the time. And some of them decided to stay on with it as we’re now, I guess next week, we’re allowed to start running classes again.

Nate (08:22):

People have grown into realizing the benefits of personal training. So that’s always our biggest lead that’s, it’s always, since I started changing things three years ago, it has overtaken our class membership revenue, for sure. Sowe’ve got PT would be our highest revenue and it was, I want to say it was in the 52% range of our overall revenue last month. And then classes, classes are pretty low right now because of the COVID rules and regulations that we’re under. We also have a youth program that used to be run as a big class, but we’ve actually switched it over to small group, personal training sessions as we move forward into reopening so that we find we get way better results with the kids. It can be slightly more specific to each kid rather than, you know, 10 kids in a general fitness group.

Nate (09:17):

We run four kids in a semi-private session. They pay 50% more than they would normally pay, but they’re getting way more results because they’re getting a lot more hands-on attention. It also allows us to program that a lot better because with a drop-in based group fitness, like kids’ fitness, you have no idea what kids are coming and what physical levels they are. And so you have to be a really, really, on it coach. I was able to run that myself in the past with lots of experience, but it’s really hard to adjust day to day. So the new way we’re running, that is a better revenue stream for us. It’s a better result stream for the kids. So it all works out that way. We have a sublease that has physiotherapy and massage in our space. And so that’s another revenue stream.

Nate (10:04):

That’s offset some of our rent. We employ at front desk service that is all there. It’s like full business hours. We have somebody on the desk. And so the physiotherapist shares our desk. So they pay us a little bit of a wage, which is just a pass through, I guess, because they basically pay for X number of hours for those front desk staff. We have our nutrition program, which has expanded recently into we run a live zoom session for corporate groups privately. It has just begun in the last month and a half. So we’ve run three of those sessions and you get a, like a two hour cooking session live on zoom with you and 10 friends. Our coach is fantastic in front of the camera, she’s super on the fly, able to make adjustments and changes.

Nate (10:51):

And you cook a meal and do meal prep all at the same time. So she’s that all spurned out of some of our members, just not knowing how to do meal prep. And we started a zoom zoom video for that, and it became a super cool project for her where she can make some really good money on that side of thing. And then the company makes some revenue through there. The other one is we also have purchased an InBody scanner in the past six months, and we started using it to do corporate packages. So we have our first one was with this company that we have, a local construction company. We helped them to build a, this is an amazing company. If you can find someone like this, guys, this is what you need is we help them to build a facility in one of their warehouses, which is a real great gym facility, kind of, I guess like Khalipa had with some of his groups, Jason Khalipa.

Nate (11:42):

So their staff all gets free access to that gym. I do some personal training out of there for the owner and his son and his wife and their vice president, and then they also pay us to run two classes, two nights a week out of there that allows their staff to come in for classes in their facility. And we just provide a coach that’s over there and the programming and stuff like that. So that revenue stream has been good for us in terms of diversity there, where we have some classes being coached over there. We do programming for them. We’ve run the challenges. This current challenge actually ends next week. I’ll be retesting them on the InBody scanner. We had 93 people from their company sign up for a body fat percentage challenge. We provided 10 weeks of workouts, nutrition information, and like a mindset video and a mobility video each week to help them along the way. And then that’s uniquely scalable down to, you know, six to 10 people can run that challenge as a group of friends. And it’s a lot of the same information, right? We’ll personalize it a little bit to each group, but a lot of the groundwork, the heavy lifting is already done for other corporations once we start to get that rolling. So that’s another stream that we’re hoping to build into.

Mike (12:57):

That’s a little more diverse than some gym owners that I’ve spoken with. So, but essentially it boils down to, you’ve got your group training, you’ve got your PT, you’ve got nutrition, you’ve got kids and you’ve got a sublease. And then you can kind of tack onto some offsite, PT group training, nutrition stuff, and so forth, but it’s still about like five different streams or something like that. But the interesting part is that you said that PT is your highest one, is that correct?

Nate (13:22):

Yeah. By far, yeah.

Mike (13:23):

By far, so that’s interesting. And we won’t beat the COVID thing to death because it’s been going on for so long, but it is worth noting that, you know, you’re cranking up really good revenue during a pandemic when you’re not even able to operate the way you would normally operate. Do you see that number jumping up once restrictions go away and you’re able to group classes again?

Nate (13:42):

Definitely. I would say our group class revenue is at about, I think last month it was maybe 55% of what it was on average pre pandemic. So that number will jump up. I think a small number of that will be from people that switch back. So we have a handful of personal training clients that’ll maybe go back to class. So we’ll lose a little bit of training revenue there, or perhaps people that are doing more days a week of personal training than they used to might drop a day or two. And they might do, you know, two PTs and three classes a week instead of three or four PTs.

Mike (14:19):

Yeah.

Nate (14:19):

Right. So some of those might drop off. But I don’t see, I think I projected yesterday when I was thinking about it, like maybe, a five to 7% drop in personal training, maybe 5% of what’s happening right now, but then that same revenue be offset by the, not just those same people increasing their group membership, but we’ve got obviously, you know, I think we lost, like I said, 40 to 50% of our members through the pandemic from group fitness that are kind of, I feel like most of them are just waiting in the wings for everything to reopen and be able to sign back up. So those people are there. They’re hot leads obviously because they’re previous members that are ready to go to sign up again. But we’re also through our GLM website getting leads every single day for new people.

Nate (15:07):

And I think as soon as things do start to open, there’s a lot more cognizant people of health and fitness and being healthy to fight off things like COVID-19 and the flu and the cold and just anything like that. So they’re all ripe and ready to get into fitness. And then the fact that, you know, upersonal training is more personalized. You can control the variables a lot more. You’re not in a globo gym where you don’t know who’s been there, who’s touched what, how much it’s been cleaned, all those things. It might feel safer to some people. So I think people are when they do start to come back, the growth that we have rather than being people looking for the lowest common denominator and the cheapest price, they’ll be looking for better service.

Nate (15:55):

And I think that’s where maybe why our personal training has grown so much over the years is that we’ve just really prided ourselves on providing the highest level of service in that possible. So we have that, like I said, we employ our front desk staff. So when you walk in, you’re greeted by someone, we have a towel service, we’ve got really nice, like, hotel quality bathrooms, like really fancy tile and all that stuff. And then you come into the gym and it’s like hard-work space, but we wanted to marry that boutique type feeling in the front with the hard work in the back, you know, like a mullet, right?

Chris (16:31):

We know that getting clients results isn’t enough to make a great business or a great career, but it is the foundation. If you’re not getting your clients results, none of the other stuff matters. Your marketing plan, your operations plan, your retention plan, your systems, how much you care about the clients. You need to get them results. What does it take to get a client results? Long-term behavior change, short-term habit change. It means learning skills like motivational interviewing, peer-to-peer programming. It means focusing on things like adherence and retention instead of novelty. And I built twobraincoaching.com with my partner, Josh Martin, to teach coaches how to do this. More than ever before it is critical to get results for your clients. You need to charge a premium fee. You need to provide high value to warrant that fee. And what is most valuable to the client? What do they care about the most? The results on the goal that they choose. Twobraincoaching.com has programs set up to help your clients achieve those goals. We will train you and your coaches to deliver personal training, group training, online training, nutrition coaching, and coming soon, mindset coaching, in a way that’s simple for you to adopt, it’s legal everywhere. And it’s super effective. These courses were built by experts with years of experience getting clients results. Twobraincoaching.com is a labor of love for me, and I know you’re going to love it too.

Mike (17:59):

Yeah, exactly. Like a mullet. With Games season coming up, we can’t talk about mullets enough for some of the competitors that are on the podium in recent years. Let me ask you this. When you’re talking about some of the amenities and some of the really sweet features at a gym, they come at a cost. Do you keep a close eye on profit margin? Because again, gross revenue doesn’t really mean much if your expenses are equal to, or above that. So with the amenities that you provide, you keep a real sharp eye on the profit margin?

Nate (18:25):

Definitely. I definitely adhere to that thought that it’s great to have a million dollar company, but if you’re only making 3% profit, you know, $30,000, if you can make $50,000 on 300, well, that’s a lot less work for the same amount of money. Right. So we want to make sure that we’re not, just throwing money after emptiness, right? So I try to track how much we spend in each area and what it’s going to and see if there’s a return on investment. So thinking of like advertising, even, we haven’t really done a whole lot because we continue to grow at a rate that we can. I mean, I’m having to hire staff all the time. We’re having a hard time handling the growth that we currently have. So I can’t imagine if we did throw money after advertising, besides doing like local golf tournaments and, and donations to auctions and supporting charities and getting out in the community and stuff.

Nate (19:18):

We don’t do a lot of paid newspaper, print, all those kinds of things. So I do definitely follow the profits. At the same time, I am very much, fulfilled by knowing that I’m providing, especially during this past year with the pandemic and everything, providing a living wage and a quality job and position for we now have 17 employees and I have a full-time coach that’s going to make probably a hundred thousand dollars this year. And other coaches that are becoming full-time and making good living wages. So that really fulfills me as a business person and a human as well. So I feel really good about that, but at the same time, I do need to watch profit margin because I’ve got a family and four kids and all kinds of goals for the future to be able to grow this place and help more people. Cause that’s the ultimate goal.

Mike (20:20):

Profit margin numbers make you happy. Like where’s your sweet spot there? Are you targeting like, kind of like in that 30% range or is it different for you?

Nate (20:28):

It’s tough. The way that I’ve adjusted some of my tracking and the like trying to take the money out and stuff like that, it’s different. We’ve been paying ourselves differently this year than we have in the past where we maybe made greater profits but we didn’t pay ourselves as much trying to watch lines of stuff. Right. But, I think probably in that, 20 plus percent, but in the 20 to 30% range, I think if you’re making more, a greater percentage than that, then perhaps there’s room for re-investment, to create growth and to help other people and maybe prop up your coaches and stuff like that and help them along the way. But that’s probably a safe marker to look for to see. It’s also whether you’re tracking how much you’re doing too. Right. Like if it looks like I’m making 30% profit, but I’m only paying myself $40,000 a year and I’m working 90 hours a week, I’m not really making that much profit. Right.

Mike (21:26):

Yeah. It’s such an important one because I always, I never want to tell people, oh, revenue is the be all and end all, because sometimes there are gyms out there, like you said, with million dollar revenue and they’re making like, they’re splitting like $20,000 among six partners at the end of the year, you know, and that’s not good. So I put that in perspective and you brought up a good point about massive hours, even if you’re making like, you know, good profit, but you’re putting in 90 hours, that’s not fun either. So that, you know, going back to your original statement about spending time with your family, that’s that net owner benefit that Chris has been talking about in some of the writings recently, let’s talk about how you did it. So Jason Cohen over at Locomotion Fitness, he’s down south in Charleston. He recently put a YouTube video up on our channel and subscribe guys, if you have not done so already, he identified key decisions that helped him get past a bunch of revenue sticking points. So over the last year, Nate, were there any specific spots for you that like just big moments where this speed bump was you clearly went over and revenue started to speed up?

Nate (22:23):

I guess the catalyst of pausing my Games training a little bit and buying out my partner and really diving into it. That was a huge giant change for things.

Mike (22:37):

It sounds like that was a mindset shift for you really where it was like you wanted to run a business. Is that right?

Nate (22:42):

Definitely. Like we just had different ideals and where we were trying to go with it originally, it was like, yeah, let’s just build a gym that’ll run itself and we’ll have a place to work out for free basically and make a little bit of money along the way. And I think what happened was I wasn’t, because my partner didn’t want to do a lot of work that way. And that’s totally cool. Like a lot of people get into owning a gym because it can kind of run itself. You don’t have to grow much. You’re happy with the level that it’s at and it just kind of floats along. And so I was kind of sitting in that regard too just letting it happen cause it’s like, well, I don’t want to do a ton of work. Like you said, if there’s six partners or two partners, you’re splitting the money. So every extra dollar you earn, you’re only making 50 cents on that dollar. And so that was a mindset shift where I was like, OK, look, I’m going to now. It’s just me. My wife is my partner. But we’re shared everything. So every dollar we make is coming towards us. So yeah, definitely. We’ve got the four kids in there, the oldest one’s 17. So he’ll be, I mean, they all work for us a little bit in some capacity.

Mike (23:45):

That’s good. I love that.

Nate (23:48):

Totally. And that’s , I mean, if they want to get into the business, that’s great. There’s no pressure there though, but they all seem to love working out and being around this stuff and that’s really cool, but so that was a big mindset shift, I would say then joining Two-Brain Business helped adjust things a little bit more and kind of clarify a bunch of pieces and understand those things. I recently, I guess I got recently within the last maybe nine months, we had gone through a couple—of my wife was our manager on the front desk, and then we hired someone else to take it over. It didn’t work out perfectly there, but I transitioned one of my coaches into taking over as that service desk manager area. And she’s sliding over to GM soon. That was big in terms of her skill set and things that she was able to do to free me up to do a little bit more, you know, there’s just different angles and different pieces and it’s hard for one person to be doing all millions of things.

Nate (24:44):

And I still personal train and coach quite a few hours a week because I enjoy that. But that was another big shift there, but there wasn’t a lot of like, oh, wow, this is a mindset shift or big changes. I think my background coming from personal training only, essentially with my first few years in the business that was already there as a mindset, that personal training was a big thing. And it’s kind of just grown and grown from there. We have one great coach, I mentioned, that’s going to make a hundred thousand dollars this year. She’s been with us for, I guess, three or four years now. And she’s definitely been a huge addition to our team and she’s very helpful and, just such a caring, awesome person. And we all, I think all of our staff does personal training with each other as well. And so that bleeds out to the membership, seeing like, oh, well, if it’s good enough for you guys, then that’s good enough for us, right? Like if the best way for me, I work with Kelsey, our nutrition coach and she’s my nutrition coach. And so if me as a Games level athlete, every coach needs a coach. And so if I’m showing that even I can use coaching, then our members see that like, oh wow. If they think that it’s valuable, then it must be valuable to us as well.

Mike (25:57):

I always thought that, you know, and it was always important to me that our people in our gym did our programming because I saw what happened when they didn’t, because all of a sudden it looks like the chef who’s not eating at your restaurant. You know, what’s wrong with the meal? You know, it really doesn’t set a good precedent. So I love what you’re saying there, because it really helps people understand that if you’re doing it, it’s good. Because I’m not saying you can’t do this, but I’ve seen gyms and I’ve talked to gym owners who, you know, they they’re adamant about, you know, our programming is great and stuff, yet they do specialized outside programming. It sets a really weird optic for the membership. And I’m not saying you can’t do it, or shouldn’t, I’m just saying, if I was in the membership, I’d be like, why aren’t you working out with us? You know, it’s interesting.

Nate (26:41):

Definitely. I mean, so I follow our class programming myself. I do all our programming. We don’t follow an outside programmer right now. I just find, I know our climate, I know our weather, I know our members, I know our equipment, I know our space. I know how many people are coming in each day and I can, I can adjust for all those variables and factors. And then the fact that I’m also following the programming, I know that like, oh, wow, Monday really hit those shoulders a lot harder than we thought it was going to. We need to adjust Thursday a little bit to figure that out. Right. So that helps. But then at the same time, like you said, people will see that, oh yeah, he’s doing the same workouts that we are. It gives them a number to shoot for at the same time.

Nate (27:23):

If I’m doing them a little faster, a little heavier or whatever it happens to be. But it also shows that I think it’s what’s best for general physical preparedness. And that’s what CrossFit is. Right. And so why would I be doing something else? I’ll just say, I’m going to add at this point in my training for the Games, I’m adding a little bit more of the higher skill stuff, a little bit longer things, things like that that I might not do in a general class, I do a lot more muscle-ups than our classes do. But generally speaking. Yeah, definitely. Right. So I’m trying to prep for those things and not everybody needs to prepare for those things as a general physical preparedness program.

Mike (28:00):

Yeah. You’re at elite level of the sport. It becomes a little different at that point, but you’re a bit of a unicorn in a lot of ways where there aren’t too many guys, like you running around around who’ve been at the Games five times. So that totally works out. Let me ask you this. Revenue generating plans for the future, you hinted at some of them already with some of the corporate stuff you’re doing. Are there any specific areas that you’re really focusing on growing that we haven’t talked about already?

Nate (28:22):

Our nutrition piece that we have, so that dinner and a meal prep thing, we’ve just begun. So we’re looking at growing that from not only being, like a corporate type purchase, so you pay, you know, whatever, it’s $500 for a one-time two hour zoom session with the coach and they walk you through it and you ask questions and it’s a super awesome experience. We’re looking at running that as maybe a subscription, so maybe we record them and then you can rent, rent a DVD kind of thing, like rent a zoom link for a weekend. And now, yeah. Right. So you don’t get to ask the questions per se, because it’s not live, but you can still follow along. And, whether that becomes a paid subscription, external for everything else, or it becomes part of the nutrition program, you get one of these per month, if you’re in our nutrition program and that changes the rates or whatever.

Nate (29:16):

That’s one side of it. There’s a lot of growth in the neighborhood here in terms of like, developments and housing projects and stuff. And so, we’re looking at getting into the welcome baskets and things like that. So, that’ll just be regular growth, I guess, in terms of number of members and things like that. But putting the thing in where you’re like, you know, you buy a new condo up the street and you get a free personal training session at Hybrid Athletics just down the hill. So it gets us in front of some more eyes that way. We’ve been developing our youth hockey program for a couple of years. It’s a big sport here in Canada, obviously, and all sports in general. My son plays basketball. And so we’re growing in that regard as well, but developing our off season, work with the young athletes we get into the schools locally.

Nate (30:04):

So I’m trying to develop that relationship to where we can get into the schools, because schools are understanding that high-performance PE is an important piece of what people are looking for nowadays. So my son does 7:00 AM, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, in the gymnasium. And whether they’re in lifting weights or they’re shooting hoops, it’s part of a PE program that they do. And they bring us in a couple of days a year. And so we’re looking at having that grow to a larger scale so we can get into more schools and be in there more often. And then that becomes revenue generating through not only the sessions that we do in the school and maybe professional development days, but also exposure to those youth athletes who then come into our programming and they’re looking to make, you know, division one scholarships or whatever it is. They want to get some extra training with a personal trainer, it’ll grow those side of things. Right.

Mike (30:56):

So it sounds like you’re, you know, you’re generally focusing just on acquiring, high value members for your programs, but then also creatively reaching out into the specialty areas to create some new and, you know, very creative offerings. Like, I love the idea of some of the stuff that you’re doing with the corporate programs, the online zoom nutrition, and really focusing on that. How much would you want to maintain? Like, is it kind of like group PT, you kind of maintain where you’re at and grow on that specialty side, is that kind of the focus or have I got that wrong?

Nate (31:25):

No, that’s probably probably correct. Like, obviously we had to do a lot of soul searching and thinking through the pandemic and like making decisions on nobody knew what it was gonna be like when they come out the other side. Right. And so is space going to be at a premium, are we always going to have to separate and create a 10 foot divide between each person? Can we only fit X number of people in our facility in the future? And so we had to look at like, what does it look like if we only do personal training and don’t do group, what does it look like to have smaller classes? So you have guaranteed hands-on more, and it’s higher rates, like all the different things. I think that we’ll end up going back to the same alignment we had before.

Nate (32:06):

We never really had more than 10 people in a class for the reason of coaching and hands-on service. There was the odd class that had more. We do have registered classes now, so we’ll be capping that at 10 once we’re allowed to have that. But we kind of came to the consensus that we’ll never really get rid of the group side of things, because a lot of our personal training, a lot of it’s just straight personal training. But a lot of it’s also driven by, I do classes four days a week, and I really want to get better at this one specific skill or a little bit of this skill and that skill. And so I’ll do once a week personal training to continue to work on that. Right. So the community is just, it’s great in the personal training development, everybody’s always around, but I think having the classes running simultaneously and having people to do some PT, some class, it just creates a little bit more of the community feeling.

Nate (32:56):

But at the same time, like we don’t, I know there’s the Dunbar number and 150 and stuff. We’re kind of in that range. And that’s probably where we want to stay. We don’t want to grow too much beyond that number to where you just become a number. Right. We want, like, my wife has stepped back a little bit from being on the desk and in the gym as often, she has a second job that she does outside of here. And I’ll sometimes talk about a new member and she gets upset with herself that she doesn’t know who they are. Right. And they’re brand new. So it’s not like she hasn’t known who they are for six months, but she was always used to knowing every single person. And so she’s really worked back into having that feeling of knowing who everyone is.

Nate (33:40):

And obviously there’s like morning people, afternoon people, they might not know each other or whatnot, but it’s nice to have that community feeling that everyone knows each other. Everyone feels safe, again, not to harp on the pandemic thing, but when you were coming to our gym during that time, you knew that everybody who was coming cared about you and would have the wherewithal to be like, you know what? I got a little bit of a sniffle today. I’m not coming to the gym. I’m not gonna put my friends at risk. Whereas if you don’t have that tight knit community feeling, you might not feel as safe in a public setting with people that you don’t know or whatever.

Mike (34:13):

Yeah. That makes sense. Here’s the last one I’m going to ask you, when you go to the CrossFit Games this year, is your gym going to grow and thrive in your absence more so than it would have been previous years?

Nate (34:24):

With me not being here. Yeah, I think so.

Mike (34:27):

Like, at the competition floor, can you kind of rest easier knowing that you’ve got the systems and everything in place now where you can take that time off?

Nate (34:36):

Definitely. Yeah, definitely. I have really great staff that really have bought into the culture and the values of our system and our plan. And like I said, I try to hire good humans and then we can make you a better coach. I can’t make you a better human. So we hire good humans and we help to make them better coaches. My GM, Allie, is fantastic. And so having a person in that role will definitely help. I do understand that there probably be some fires that I would normally have snuffed out before they started. And there’ll be, you know, we’ll see where the holes in the boat are having me be away, but that test is awesome because for the long term, it’ll really help me to be able to plug those holes and know where we need to get to one day have functional retirement or be able to step back and not have to be hands-on with all the different little things that occur on an everyday basis.

Mike (35:38):

I love it. I’ll be cheering for you at the CrossFit Games, but more than that, I’ll be cheering for Hybrid Athletics to keep driving up revenue while you’re gone competing. So, Nate, thank you so much for being here and sharing your story about how you drove up and got on our April leaderboard. Thank you.

Nate (35:51):

Awesome. Thanks so much, Mike.

Mike (35:54):

I’m Mike Warkentin with Nate Beveridge on Two-Brain Radio. Please subscribe to this podcast for more episodes. Now, before you go, be sure to join Gym Owners United group on Facebook. FOMO alert, the smart kids in the gym biz hang out in there and we need your voice. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook. Join it today.

 

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