Welcome to a special edition of Two-Brain Radio. With the coronavirus pandemic threatening gym owners around the world, Two-Brain business founder Chris Cooper hosted an emergency webinar on March 13th to help fitness entrepreneurs manage the chaos and create plans to serve their clients throughout the crisis. What follows is the audio from that live webinar. For more info that can help you and your business in this tough time, visit the blog on TwoBrainbusiness.com. And now here’s Chris Cooper.
Hey everybody, it’s Chris here from Two-Brain business. I know that several of you will just be joining in the next few minutes. So, I’m not going to jump into anything too quickly, but we do have a lot to cover today. And so first off, you know, thanks to everybody who sent me any questions before this event. That’s going to help a lot. If you have other questions though, during the event, what I’d suggest that you do is just click on the chat button at the bottom of this screen and post them in chat that, that way I’ll see them fastest and I’ll respond to them in turn. What I’m going to do is go through the questions that you submitted through email first. I’ll also be posting some helpful links to things in that chat as we go. And so if you see me glancing like this, it means that I’m referring to my notes and basically the questions that people emailed to me this morning.
Obviously this is a crisis that we don’t take lightly at Two-Brain Business. We do have the advantage of having some gyms who’ve been in affected areas for the last 72 hours, they’ve been shut down. So we have Two-Brain gyms in China. We have Two-Brain gyms in Italy. Their government’s forced their closure a few days ago. And now we’re starting to see gyms get forced into closure in the UK and the US, especially the Eastern seaboard. But it’s moving West quickly, so. Hey, Debra, I’m Chris Cooper. Sorry. I just assumed that you would pick that up. We’re going to get right into it here guys. So, I can certainly send you my books or my bio later, Deborah, if that’s what you want. Happy to do that. The thing is guys, like if you’re in an unaffected area or if you’re in a place where gyms haven’t been forced to close yet, it’s probably safest to bet that that’s going to happen.
48 hours ago, somebody said, you know, will you move the meet-up for your tinker group? And I said, no, we’d never have to do that. Yesterday we did that. And it’s just because you know, the disease and the government authorities especially they go from like saying nothing saying nothing, saying nothing, to everything’s closed. You know, I live in Ontario, Canada. That happened here yesterday and it’s going to happen even more today. So yesterday out of the blue, they announced the schools were just closed for three weeks. And today it looks like government offices. And then probably banks will follow too. Whether you believe that the disease is just the flu and this is all just the tail wagging the dog or whatever you want to believe, the thing is what really matters here is your clients’ perception. And because your clients’ perception is primary, that means that they are responding to this crisis emotionally, not logically as you probably are.
And that means that in situations like this, you need to lead. And so what we’re really talking about here today is leadership and how you can lead your gym through this crisis. OK. Let’s see. Will this be available as a recording? Yes. We’re going to share this later. We’re setting up some other support networks for you too so that you can share information as it happens too. The way that Two-Brain Business has been set up, guys, is that what’s working in one gym in one area of the world can be tested. We can look at its data and say, tell all of the other gyms you should do this too or not. This cycle has just been sped up with this crisis. So we look at like what’s happening in China, what’s happening in Italy, what’s now starting to happen in the UK?
And we can say, all right, well here’s the strategies that they’ve implemented. It’s working for them or it’s not working for them instead of just, Oh, I don’t know, here’s a bunch of ideas. Let’s throw them at the wall and see what sticks. So what I’m going to be talking about here today guys is things that have been filtered, are proven by data to work, are being used by actual gym owners in the world instead of just random ideas. OK. Thanks Esther. We are definitely going to get to that question. So we’re going to start at the top. We’re going to start with Fox news. The big media right now is reporting like don’t go to the gym. So even if you’re in an unaffected area, your clients are going to be getting all kinds of pressure through popular media to not go to the gym.
Unfortunately, Fox news is using pictures of something that’s obviously a CrossFit gym. The irony is that most, you know, microgyms are going to be a lot cleaner than the big globo gyms, right? Because we see what every client does and what they touch and what they’re doing, and so we can clean up after them. And so that’s going to be one of our first points here. The big globo gyms, absolutely. They should close. I mean, those are virus and germ havens at the best of times, right. But in a microgym that shouldn’t happen. But I want you to be aware of like what your clients are being told and why you’re taking these actions. First off, there is an opportunity buried in this crisis. The opportunity is that we’re gonna speed up the cycle of gym ownership.
Gym ownership for many of us who weren’t entrepreneurs before we open up a gym, it’s a battle of attrition, means that if you can survive three years or five years, you’ll have a huge advantage because most of the other people around you won’t survive three to five years, right. The disease, you know, the virus like this speeds up the cycle and not because members are dying, you know, heaven forbid, it’s because some gyms cannot survive a crisis like this. Like they’re living so close to the edge, that one little thing will actually put them out of business. And so today I want to make sure that I’m keeping you in business. My mission is to make a million gym owners wealthy. Sometimes though we have to address the things that are making the gym owners bankrupt. And so I’d say that’s what we’re going to be talking about.
All right. So the first thing is your job is to coach people. Your job is not to maintain, you know, a facility and it’s not to own 70 sets of dumbbells. It’s not to run the CrossFit Open every year. The great news is that you do not need a bricks and mortar facility to coach people anymore. People still need to eat right? They still need help being accountable with their diet. They still need to exercise. They just can’t leave their house or they just can’t do it in a group anymore. But you can still coach them. And so what you’re going to do is offer people the opportunity to be coached one-on-one in their home. So first off, let’s start with the worst-case scenarios. The gyms that are forced to absolutely close, and then we’ll work backward to gyms who are starting to hear individual client concerns.
The gyms that are being forced to close are actually doing this a couple of different ways. First, they’re offering their clients the ability to be trained one-on-one online. So what they’re doing is they’re sending each client individually one by one, a workout that day, and they’re actually coaching the client, which means they’re saying, dear Chris, this is why I chose this workout for you. Your goal is weight loss, and if you do this workout, here’s how this will help you. Please send me a picture of your workout or your time after it’s completed. OK? That’s how you coach someone online. What you don’t do is post 30 workouts for the month on your blog and call it coaching. What you don’t do is send one mass email to everybody and say, here’s your workout for the day. OK? What you don’t do is say, log into SugarWOD and do whatever the workout of the day is.
OK? They are not going to attach value to that. You need to coach. Coaching means a lot of communication and it means communicating one on one with people. Now what is the price? What’s the value of this online coaching? So at Two-Brain we have this entire masterclass on how to start doing online coaching. And I can’t share all those details publicly because it’s crazy valuable. It’s worth easily like $10,000 to people in their first couple of months. What I will share are the fundamentals. It doesn’t matter how you deliver this programming. I honestly think like you could use True Coach, but you don’t have time to set all that stuff up. Just text it to people, you know, send them a text every single day. Here’s your workout. Here’s why I’m giving you you this workout. Here’s how it’s going to help you.
Then if you want to set up like online training options for people, we suggest you sell in about three tiers depending not on the technical nature or the equipment that they have, but on the level of accountability. And so the three tiers that we have at Catalyst, my gym, our base, which is 149, core, which is 225 and max, which is 399. The difference between those levels is only accountability. And the crazy thing is that just before this outbreak happened, I put our GM and one of our coaches through that program on the Two-Brain platform, they learned on their own without my help how to set up online coaching. They launched the program and had a client within 48 hours who had previously quit the gym because he couldn’t make it in anymore. So now what we’re doing is we’re saying to clients, if you’re nervous about being in a group environment, you have this option, we will extend our valuable service to you.
At the core level, the 225 value, but you don’t have to pay more than you’re currently paying for your gym membership. So you’re gonna get one on one coaching. You’re not going to have to risk your house. You’re not leave your house, you’re not going to have to like risk contact with anybody if you don’t want to. We’ll still coach you and you know, you can have it for the same price for this month. This actually does set you up with a huge opportunity going forward. And that opportunity is to launch this as an ongoing service after the crisis ends. The amazing thing about a crisis guys, is it forces you to think beyond your normal bubble. It forces you maybe to get a little bit desperate or a little bit more creative, and when the crisis is over, you’re still going to have this additional revenue stream or this broader thought concept.
And so the key is that you need to anchor this by establishing its value with a high price point right now, you can’t just start, you know, handing out workouts for free and expect your clients to stay. OK. That’s how you start doing an online coaching program. If you can build nutrition into that, you know, I really recommend that you do. You’re going to have to look at your state laws around nutrition, and you’re gonna have to talk to your insurance company about offering online programming. So that’s the worst case scenario is your gym is shut down. We have a gym in China who are doing some workouts in the park. They’re also recording the workouts and sending them to all the clients on video. They’re also doing demos for the day on video. You know, here’s how this workout is going to go.
And they’re texting their clients one-on-one. In Italy it’s slightly different. They’re delivering the workout to the client in their homes one-on-one. They’re answering questions through text. Now you might think like, Oh man, I don’t have time to do all this. But the bottom line is that this extra time is probably gonna save you clients and getting these clients back after they’ve canceled their membership or suspended their membership is going to be really, really hard after this crisis is over. Next, people who are in unaffected areas. So like the West coast of the US for example, people are nervous about it. They think it’s coming, but nobody’s forcing you to close your gym yet. The primary concern you have right now is messaging. And so you want to send an email to all of your clients today saying, look, here’s how we’re taking care of you.
We know that you’re worried. We understand. First of all, we are concerned with building you up a margin for health. You are healthier than more most people. And that means that your immune system is system is stronger than most people. You have that, congratulations. We don’t want you to lose it. We don’t want you to stop training. If you’re nervous about going into public places, we’re coming into the gym, we understand and we’d love to offer the option to train at home with customized programming until you’re comfortable coming back for the same price you’re currently paying. OK. The next thing you want to do if you’re in an unaffected area and nobody’s really showing concern yet, which is where the situation that we’re in right now, is be really, really obvious about cleaning. So you know, I’m in a lot of Facebook groups with clients who belong to gyms.
So that’d be like nutrition coaching groups. And this question is coming up a lot. Are you quitting your gym? The best response that I’ve seen so far is no way my gym is cleaner than my house. And I love that because while all of us probably have clean gyms, we usually don’t take the time to show our clients how much we’re actually cleaning the gym. We don’t let them see us wiping down their barbell every time they use it or cleaning off every single piece of equipment or like fogging equipment after it’s done. Joe Venuti at CrossFit Mass posted a great video to his Facebook page last night showing them fogging down the gym with like a spray cleaner disinfectant, you know, at the end of the day. But he was also obvious about like wiping down equipment after every single client used it. So in many cases people should see like way above and beyond that you are taking greater care than you even have to.
And again, guys, I said at the beginning of this call, like this is we’re dealing with emotional responses here, not logical responses here. And so you have to over communicate, you have to tell a story that’s stickier then whatever’s in their head that the media has been telling them. OK. So the way that we get ahead of this, to summarize the last two points is be like way more obvious about cleaning things than you think you need to be. And also to identify and the clients who might want to back out, create the opportunity to have them be coached online and have that system set up too. The other option is like, can you coach them in city parks? Obviously in my climate, that’s not going to happen today. For other people. If that’s what you plan to do, then you can try it certainly.
But, if municipalities close public areas and stuff, then you’re back to square one. OK. How can you get, OK, so let’s talk about coaches. This was a really common question in my email box this morning. There’s a couple of things that you want to tell your coach. Number one, you need to tell your coaches, here’s what you need to be communicating to clients. You need to be wiping down equipment in front of them. You need to be talking about safety and how you’re protecting them and how they’re building up a margin of health. OK. It’s really easy to assume that our coaches will know to do these things, but we can’t afford to assume, you know, every single time a client looks at a mat that’s all sweaty and just kind of put away after class, that client is thinking that their life is at stake.
And so at this point, it’s really important that your coaches are repeating the message that you want them to say. So you better tell them what that message is. You also need to tell them to be really overt about cleaning and you know, do this in front of people. Make sure that they see you do it. Take a video of you doing it, post pictures to our Facebook group that you’re doing this stuff. Because if anybody has any doubts at all, like they’re gone. OK? So when I said at the beginning that I really want to talk about leadership today I am talking about leading your clients. I’m also talking about leading your staff. The beauty of leadership is when you’re willing to make things black or white instead of waiting for people to try and figure it out on their own. And that’s what we need you to do.
Here you are leading a worldwide health movement. It is an important movement. You are on the front lines against longterm disease. If this short term disease takes you off the board, then the longterm ramifications of gyms going down, it’s too horrible to contemplate. So it’s really important that you guys can survive this, that you can stay open and that you can grow out of the chaos that ensues. If you have part time coaches and you know, you’re worried about how can I compensate them? Typically we would say, look, we’re going to be doing online training with our clients. We can pay you per client using the 4/9ths model. If you have full time coaches who are depending on you for their livelihood, then you’ve made the commitment to bear these extreme risks and you have to pay them. I mean, that’s why you’re in business.
That’s why they’re not in business, right? You are that thin black line between the responsibility for owning the business and the responsibility for being an employee. You know, gyms who are, who are doing this right, they’ve got a buffer. They can afford to let their coaches work from home for a few months and you can give them tasks. I mean, you can sign them up for coaching courses. You can have them writing your programming in advance. You can have them doing one-on-one, online time with your clients to make sure your clients stay engaged. You can have them writing blog posts, whatever, but you’ve committed to paying them. Your clients have not committed to paying you. So you can not force people to come into your gym. If somebody says, I need to cancel this, then you have to give them an alternative, which is online coaching or you know, meet us in the park.
But if they say, no, I want to cancel, then you have to cancel them. I know that you’re scared. I know that you’re worried about money. I understand that. But the bottom line is that if you don’t let them cancel, you will turn this short term crisis into a longterm death toll because that word is going to get out. My gym wouldn’t let me hold my membership for a month because I felt unsafe. Next, what is the best emergency plan? This is such a great question and I sent an email out to our entire list from Affiliate Guard the other day. Basically, Affiliate Guard and the RRG has actually been in touch too. So both of them have asked me to make it really clear about what you’re covered on. So in many cases, in some cases, and you should check, if a client gets sick in your gym with coronavirus and sues you because they got sick, you would probably be covered.
And again, you know, don’t take my word for it, check with them. However, if your business is forced to close because you get sick or your clients get sick or the government tightens things down, you definitely do not have loss of business coverage. So, you know, I hope that you’ve got some cash on hand. If not, I’m going to tell you how to mitigate your expenses here a little bit. But you know, you’re not going to recover that through insurance so that that can’t be your plan. The rest of the emergency plan goes like this. First off, build your operations up as high as to be as excellent as you possibly can. Like, the best emergency plan is to not have emergencies. And that means having like written staff playbooks. It means having achieved like a high level of operational excellence where you’re not required to be the face of the business anymore where your staff will actually jump in and take care of things for you.
You want to have an emergency procedures guide all written out so there are no mistakes and no mishandling, you want to have like an incident report, so if somebody is sick or injured in your gym, that report immediately goes to your insurance company so that you’re covered. That’s the left brain side of an emergency plan. The right brain side of an emergency plan is this: As soon as you hear a member is sick, you call that member and say, are you OK? How can I help? If you hear that a member is sick, you turn to your staff and you say, we have a sick member. You don’t name them. We’re not sure how they got sick. As a precaution, as the responsible leader of this gym community, I am choosing to close the gym for two days, bring in a cleaning crew and clean top to bottom even though we probably don’t have to because my members’ health and wellbeing takes priority over everything else.
And then you repeat that message to your clients too. So it’s really, really important again from a leadership perspective here that you demonstrate that you are willing to do the hard things to protect your community. And in some of the best communities that I know in Two-Brain, that message has been rewarded with pledges of support. You know, Rich Brogatti had a member pull them aside last night and offer—no, this is Bill Schiffler. A member pulls him aside after class and says, hey Bill, I got $35,000 in a bank account if you need it now. That is because Bill’s an amazing leader, that’s not because bill gave this guy a discount 10 years ago. Right? It’s because Bill has shown that he is willing to do the hard things for this member, for that member’s family and for the rest of the gym community. That’s what leadership looks like and that’s how it’s repaid.
So if a member’s infected, yeah, you’ve got gotta close the gym, you make sure that you tell people, we don’t know if they were infected here, but we’re willing to take this hard measure to make sure that you’re protected because you are the priority. OK. Next: mitigating your expenses. So in some cases where cities have actually forced closures of gyms or cities have gone out and said you shouldn’t go to the gym, people have turned to their landlord and said, what is your plan for rent or lease easement if this happens? And it’s actually a good idea to start this conversation with your landlord. Now, for example, I’m a landlord. I own a building that I’m standing in, the building next door and a couple of others. If this were a big risk in my city, I would definitely anticipate that my tenants would come to me and say, we can’t operate.
How can you help? Now maybe they’re not going to give you a month for free. Right? I probably wouldn’t do that. But what they might do is agree to space this month’s rent over the next several months to, you know, basically loan you the money for this month’s rent. They might give you an easement, you know, one of our gyms in Europe, the landlord said, yeah, I can do 50% off until the government lifts their recommendation. So one to three months probably. You can also do this. You can say, Hey, you know, I’ve had to go get a permit from the city to do workouts in the park. That permit costs me $300 because I can’t use your building. Will you take that off my rent? Now guys, most landlords are just going to say, no, pay your rent. This is not my problem.
You should have loss of business or business interruption insurance. And you can argue that that doesn’t really exist in the gym industry, whatever. They’re not going to give you a discount, but it does not hurt to ask. And that’s one good precautionary step that you can take. We’re going to talk later about your mindset through this and your public persona versus how you’re feeling inside. But I’ll tell you right now, the more proactive steps that you can take today, the less you’re going to panic, the less sleep you’re going to lose tonight because you’ll feel like I’m doing something instead of just worrying about it. OK. The last step here, I’ve got a whole bunch of more questions coming guys that I’ll get to and I do see your questions and comments. I will get to those too. I’d like you to work through an emergency situation with your coaches.
So I want you to say coaches, please come in for a meeting tomorrow. We’re gonna work through some scenarios. Scenario one, a client is infected and it’s because of our gym. Scenario two: a client is infected, but it’s not because of our gym, but they’re still our client and they’re sick. Scenario three, somebody who’s probably infected, an ER nurse wants to come to the gym and what you’re going to do is role play these conversations with your coaches, right? Like a warm, receptive, caring audience so that when it comes time to have these conversations with your clients, you’re more comfortable doing them. It’s going to be very tempting, I’ll promise you this, it’s going to be very tempting to not have that conversation. If you’ve got a coach who’s part time and they also work in the ER or a client who’s working in the ER and they want to come to the gym and you have to tell them, please don’t.
That’s going to be an awkward conversation. If you’re like me and you don’t like that stuff, then you’re going to procrastinate and then you’re going to wind up waiting too long and something worse going to happen. You know, just like having kids running wild while a CrossFit class is going on. What you have to imagine is the worst case scenario and how you’re going to feel, how much worse your life is going to be if somebody actually gets sick than if you lose a few thousand dollars on by closing this month. That’s what we’re reduced to here. A few specific questions that I thought were really, really good from this morning’s emails. First from Ethan, we have a small internal competition. Tomorrow, Saturday, we expect 80 to a hundred people to be there. Would you cancel it? I would not unless I was in a high-risk area where the Center for Disease Control has already issued an alert saying no public gatherings.
If that’s happened guys, then like don’t buck the government because you’re doing a lot to expose yourself to risk and your family to risk beyond the business. Right. But if that hasn’t happened yet, I would say, it’s too short notice to cancel. If you’ve got a competition, that’s supposed to be next week or next month. I would definitely postpone it because this is going to get worse before it gets better. But if it’s like tomorrow, if it’s before Monday, then I would absolutely go ahead and run it. From Jess, at what point should I temporarily close down, for how long? My gut is telling me that when our school’s closed, I should follow suit. So Jess, I gotta tell ya, our schools are officially closed now and they’re going to be closed for at least three weeks in Ontario. We are not closing down the gym.
The leadership in the gym is so strong that I don’t want to deprive my clients of that leadership. For many of them, the gym is kind of like the rock that they look to for leadership in their life. It’s a really powerful anchor, and I don’t want to take that away from them until I’m absolutely forced to do that. What will force me to do that? The feeling that I’m putting my clients at risk by opening. So, for example, if, you know, it’s everywhere, everybody’s getting it and the only the only solution is isolation, then you know, and like, you know, 30% of the population in the city has it or something like that, then I would absolutely make the hard choice to close the gym down and deal with the consequences later. But you know, until then, I would basically look at my gym as kind of like the place where I coach people right now.
And go back to what we talked about at the start of this call, which is coaching does not necessarily mean providing access to equipment or providing access to this particular space. Right. Another question I got this morning was, as things are now, would you change anything about class times, class sizes immediately? If I were in an affected area? Yeah, absolutely. But I don’t think class time or class size matters, right? Like, if you’ve got a class of two people and one of them is infected, then they’re going to infect everybody, if you’ve got a class of 30 people and one person’s infected, they’re going to infect everybody. Class size doesn’t matter. Class time probably doesn’t matter because like, people are still working, right? Their schedule isn’t changing. So I don’t see how changing class time or schedule or size or anything is really going to make that much difference.
Another great question that I got not too long ago though was Hey, the kids are off school. Should we allow the kids to come into the gym? And there’s two concerns there. The first is that kids are little germ bags, right? My kids are, so they carry more viruses, they carry germs and all that kind of stuff. But the thing is like this virus is predominantly transmitted from adult to adult. You don’t have to worry that kids are more likely to carry the virus. However, kids are more susceptible to the virus. And while, you know, the death toll among kids is not high, thank goodness, they are more likely to catch it when exposed to it from the research that I’ve seen. So what you would want to say to your parents is this, guys, if you don’t have a choice, if you need to come to the gym and you know, you want to bring your kids, then do.
So we will be restricting them to this gated area as determined by our insurance. They will not be allowed onto the floor. They will not be interacting with other members. They will not be playing with equipment or swinging from the bars. If you feel it’s safe for them to do that and you have no other option, then that’s OK. They have to stay in this area, behind this gate or in this, you know, behind this door. But dear client, you need to be aware that by bringing your child to any public place, you are exposing them to higher risk. And that’s a decision that I can’t make for you. OK. So guys, there are a billion questions here and I’m eager to answer them. We’re going to start going through them. There’s also a lot of Q and A stuff.
So guys, we’re 30 minutes in. I am going to stay here until all questions have been answered. OK. I promise I’m not going to leave you in the dark. My pledge today was to give you support because I think there’s a vacuum of leadership. We have a bigger dataset, we have a broader reach and so we are exposed to this virus faster than almost anybody else. We’re going to share what’s working with you guys. We’re not going to ditch you. We have taken an extra measure here and that is, we’ve quickly put together a private Facebook group. You can request access to it. I’ll post it in comments. You’re welcome to join that group. And we’ll do our best to support and help you in there. This is not the same as our private clients’ group. This will be a public group, but it will be moderated.
We have hired people to stay in there and keep the conversation positive. We’ll keep doing these live events to help you out. But as new situations occur, we’ll be posting them in the group. We’ll also post the video from this talk. So, let’s go. Jonathan, you mentioned gyms closing in the UK where? All over man. I can’t give you a specific town. And actually yesterday when I was having this conversation, I referred to Ireland as being in the UK and I got blasted for it. So, yeah, I can’t tell you where. Will this webinar be available later as a recording to share with my gym’s other owners? Yes, it will. We’re going to put this in the private Facebook group that I just mentioned and you can certainly watch it there. Esther, do we charge people if they want to suspend their membership during this time?
No. Even if you’ve got a contract with them guys, like this is an exceptional circumstance. I don’t know from a legal perspective how you could possibly charge somebody for a gym membership if they wanted to cancel because of infection. Especially, you know, from a legal perspective too, if like the CDC is saying don’t go to the gym and local authorities are saying stay away from public places, you’re going to have a hell of a time enforcing that contract. From a PR standpoint, you’re going to have a really tough time with that later when they start telling their friends. And from just the standard of care standpoint, I know you’re really going to struggle with that. The reason that people might enforce these contracts and they might charge their clients anyway is they’re scared and they’re worried that, look, if we don’t bill people this month, we’re going out of business.
I’ve been there. I get that you have to give them an alternative instead. And that’s why I liked the at-home coaching option. Christie Neighbors, where are these questions being posted? So the email that went out yesterday invited people to send me questions in advance and about 30 people did this morning. And so those are the first ones that I addressed. Caleb, is it reasonable to survey our members to see what actions they’re feeling most comfortable with. No. You’re the leader. You tell them what you’re going to do. Don’t wait for them to tell you what action they should take. OK? So the value here of them turning to you is that you know what to do and that’s the image that you have to project. You have to make things simple and black and white. You have to go above and beyond and say we are doing this thing.
It’s more than we have to do because we care about you. OK. I don’t think you’re going to have to close. Are you able to expand on what your core level package? Yes, sure thing Joe. So, core level package is just basically like ad-home workouts and we just did a coaching call on this for about 40 minutes in the private Facebook group. Rob Connors was expanding on how he does this. The best point that he made is you are providing personal training using the internet as a tool. You are not selling remote programming, you are not selling online programming. You are not selling online coaching. You’re selling personal training. You’re just doing it through the internet. And so that core level of service at I think I said it was 150 at our gym, that’s what they’re getting. They’re getting one-on-one, personal training through the internet.
I almost blew it there and said one-on-one programming. The higher levels would include a lot more accountability and a lot more nutrition coaching too. OK. Aaron, the way we structure our pricing model is we add nutrition and offline workouts via our app to the overall program. Based on this, what are your thoughts on scaling value higher that will keep clients level of efficacy elevated. Also, how do you position online training when it’s part of the program yourself? Our programs are high ticket items. Yeah, man. So there’s a couple of options here, Aaron. And without seeing like your whole pricing table, it’s hard for me to say, but what you might have to do is just say like, we are not going to be delivering this one part of our service. Right? The in-person part. I think that’s what you meant by offline.
We can’t do that because the gym is closed. The great news is that we can deliver more of this thing. And so as your coach one-on-one, again, what I recommend we do to get through this crisis is that we ramp up your offline programming that you can do by yourself. I’ve got some new exercises, some new workouts. We can really ramp that up while we’re cutting back on the offline stuff. Does that sound OK to you? And because your clients are already doing that combination, you’re going to have a much easier time than anybody else, Aaron, so congratulations. You’ve got a pretty antifragile business there. Gabrielle Ranchiero, what if a coach is doing nothing to grow in this period? I mean, honestly, you’re their boss, right? Lead them to growth. You have to tell people what you want them to do.
They’re not just going to go out there and do it. Chris, if we have full time staff on career roadmap type model with hourly task prices, how do we compensate them based on tasks they’re no longer doing? So Chris, I’ll tell you man, like the fair thing, right? And I’m a pretty left brain guy. I’m all about data and analysis. The fair thing would be don’t pay them for work they’re not doing. The compassionate thing, the thing that’s going to keep them loyal to you forever, the thing that probably doesn’t come natural to you and it definitely doesn’t come natural to me is to pay them anyway. You can tell them guys, look, I know you can’t afford to be without money. Honestly, I can’t afford to pay you if we don’t have memberships coming in. That’s why I’m asking you to do these extra things to keep revenue coming in.
But I can’t let you starve either. You’re my top priority after our clients. I’m going to pay you either way. OK. And I would, I’d probably say something Chris, like, I’m going to pay you for this month either way. And then that’s it, you know, and then 30 days from now, hopefully everything’s all over. I am watching data closely on like, you know, infection rates and then peaks and it seems to be 45 to 60 days. Things start declining. The problem is that what we’re all really suffering from here is not the infection rate. Not yet. It’s the hype cycle. And so it’s hard to see like when that hype cycle will die down again. But for I think the first month, if you can do it, do it.
Best practice for handling membership freezes. I see gyms who are not allowing freezes, only cancellations. I mean, Sebastian, this is way outside the bounds of normal best practices, right? Normally. Yeah. I mean you, you make your rules and you stick to them no matter what. However, people are terrified and what they’re going to remember at the end of this is how you treated them when they were terrified. So give people the opportunity to switch, you know, to switch if they’re scared, if they’re infected, definitely like you don’t want them anywhere near your gym, but you can’t punish people. Right. That’s not our job here. You don’t need to win to win. What you need to do is get the clients back at the end of this. And so you have to stop looking at this as an argument or a debate with your clients and instead say like, how can I continue to coach you?
Gyms that aren’t allowing freezes, they are going to really struggle at the end of this. And I understand why they’re doing it. They’re terrified. They can’t afford to do it. I don’t know what I would do in their position. Probably the exact same thing. But you know, when word gets out about that, it’s going to be hard for them to overcome that. Absolutely. Thoughts on freezes. You also offer them a better alternative that’s worth more money, that will still help them maintain their buffer of health and fitness and peak immunity. And if they don’t want to take that, then what you do is you make sure they’re coming back. So you say, OK, I understand we’re going to freeze your membership for 30 days. Can we schedule an appointment for 30 days from now to review your goals? See how much of your fitness you’ve lost and chart a path to get you back on course.
And when you start doing goal reviews like that, the value of the client tends to increase. So you’ll earn your money back in the long tail. You just have to survive that first 30 days. I hope that helps. Sick with covid or sick in general, DP, that’s a great question that I haven’t thought of before. The bottom line is like, we’re telling people if you are scared, we’re going to take care of you. That’s what leadership is. If they say I’m sick while this, you know, coronavirus crisis is going on, I’m just going to give them the benefit of the doubt. The problem seems to be that there’s such a lon, gestation period that you might think you’ve just got the flu or you might think like, Oh, I’ve just got a sore throat. And then two weeks later it blossoms into something big.
And that’s why like CDC and other health authorities can’t even tell us how many infected cases there are right now because it just takes so long to actually, you know, manifest. So if somebody says they feel sick right now, I would probably relax my normal rules, and trust me guys, I’m the original stick to your rules no matter what guy. OK. I mean, I’ve lost clients because we were strict with our rules in the past. I’m OK with that. I have never ever said relax your rules for any reason ever before. At this point though, we’re not dealing with logic anymore. We are 100% dealing with emotion and people will forget what you said. They will forget what something costs. They will never forget the way that you treated them when they needed you the most. OK. Nancy, Oh, I’m sorry.
Gabriel. Should we cancel all social functions? Yeah. I had to cancel our little hockey team’s hockey banquet last night. It sucked. But Hockey Canada told me I had to. So yes. Cancel your social functions. Nancy, you only have part time employees and they get paid per class in the event of closure, what is a good way to compensate them? Not at all. I mean they’re part time employees getting paid per class. You don’t have classes, you don’t need to compensate them. If you feel like they will starve without you, then you could offer to pay them in advance for future classes that they’re going to coach. If you have a big buffer like I do and you can afford to pay them anyway, then maybe you do take that risk on yourself, but you’re not legally or morally, I don’t think obligated to do that.
Nathan, we don’t have direct debit payments. People will just not update memberships. Any different advice? Man. Yeah, go back in time 30 days and get everybody on direct debit. I’m sorry this is a problem Nathan. But honestly in this day and age you have to be doing that stuff. Michael Crespo. Should we ask our nurses to stay home? Yeah, man, I would. And that’s going to be a hard conversation, but I think they’ll understand. And I think that if you offer them a higher value service to stay home, that it’s going to be worth it. Right? I mean like let’s say that you went into your dentist’s office. OK. And the person that’s like, you know, working on your mouth mentioned that she just came from her other job at the emergency room. How are you gonna feel about that person’s hand in your mouth?
I would probably immediately like clamp up and bite her poor fingers off. This is another example of like, you’re going to have to do hard things for your community, but your community is worth it. And that’s what leadership means. Debra, do you have a good idea of what to say to a longterm member who is due to renew but is afraid, they want to wait and see what happens? Yeah, Deborah, I mean there’s a couple things you can do here. You can say, do you want to give it a month? But I would probably take the higher value, ad-home option with them and say, here’s a higher value program. Do you want to try it for a month? Something like that. A monthly open house, local events have been canceled through no government mandate your thoughts. Yeah, I wouldn’t do it.
I dunno, I hope that you’ve been tracking data on like the efficacy of doing these open houses. Our data shows that they’re not very effective anyway. But you know, the bottom line is like, unless you’re counting on these to bring in new members, it’s probably not going to help you and it might hurt you. So I would, yeah, probably cancel it for the month. Christine, can you give me an example of what the conversation would be with the coaches around ER nurses wanting to come to the studio? Yeah, sure. So, Christine, we’ve actually had this come up in the Two-Brain groups. So I, you know, I am cheating here because I’ve seen what other people have done. What I would do is call the nurses one-on-one. I would take the highest level of communication that I possibly could.
- I would not send out a mass email. I would not ask my coaches to have these conversations for me. I would call them and I would say, look, people are scared, this sucks. Would you like to take this higher value membership? Would you, you know, I don’t want you to lose your fitness. I don’t want to penalize you for the service that you’re giving our community. I want to help you more. I just can’t have you in the gym. And I’ve never heard a case where a nurse or a doctor got upset about that. In fact, in Ontario, the Ontario government just told every single doctor do not leave the country. So yeah, you know, they understand this is not the biggest stress point in their life if you have that conversation. Esther, we have a lot of health care professionals in our gym.
Should we send a mass email out? No. You should have a one on one conversation. Whenever you’re having a tough conversation with people, you need to do that face to face if you can, over the phone if you can’t, you don’t do that through a text message. You don’t do that through an email because it’s like having a conversation with a loved one. You know, they need to feel like you care about them and so you care enough to do it in person. Brad, Hey Brad, we don’t have anybody infected in our city yet, but I do have some members of return from Maui yesterday. Do I ask them to wait two weeks. I think a week is probably good man. Like I know Canada, there’s no mandatory, what do you call it? Like seclusion or anything. But maybe there should be and I would just say to them like, Hey guys, we’re so glad to have you back safe.
I don’t know if you’ve been asked to do this at work, but you know, we’re asking you to stay home and honestly, between me and you and the 500 people on this call, in a lot of these cases, if I’m not comfortable having that conversation, I’ll say that it’s an insurance concern. That doesn’t mean like, Oh, my insurance company is keeping you out of the gym, bro. I’m not gonna lie about that. I will say it’s an insurance concern and leave it at that. OK. Zach Reyes, the gym name is gym owners only, I just pasted the link above. I think the actual name on Facebook is like Gym Owners United or something. How do you gain access? You request access, fill out the questions and then the moderators will allow you, Maggie. Yeah, I just pasted the link above the private Facebook group.
So guys, there’s a lot of private Facebook group questions here. I posted the link. I’m going to do it again. It’s facebook.com, forward slash groups forward slash gym owners only. I’m glad that you’re eager to jump in there. And you have to request access. I will tell you guys that, like if you’re used to being in Facebook groups of gym owners that are not moderated by Two-Brain, this is going to be a different experience. We don’t put up with any, you know, BS. It’s not a place to put memes. You’re not going to rant about CrossFit or you’re not going to complain about your clients in there. You’re going to get real answers and that’s it. And we’re all about filtering and focus. So if that’s not for you, then that’s OK. Let’s see here. At home coaching, do you mean literally at their house or more of a FaceTime?
FaceTime. Yeah. If you’re limiting contact, then limit contact. You don’t have to, if you don’t want to see people one on one, then seeing them in their home versus the gym, there’s not much difference there. Right? I used to do in home coaching when I was, around 2000 2001, I took the leap, quit my job at the treadmill store and I said I’m going to go all in on this. And the first three clients that I had, I didn’t have a gym or anywhere to train them. So I train them at home. You can do it. You should charge at least twice as much because the travel time to and from the home is different. Also you’re going to have to be a lot more creative also. It is kind of awkward training somebody in their home. And finally, it’s really, really easy for a client to ghost you.
So, you know, you pull up their house. This happened to me. The blinds are drawn cars in the driveway. Everything’s dark, nobody’s coming to the door. The dogs are in there, you can hear them going crazy and they owe you $300. That is about the most frustrated you can get. So yeah, they pay in advance. They pay double. And online training now is available where it wasn’t for me back then. Phillippe, would you recommend continuing a one on one training setup when you have cleaning control of your own facilities? Absolutely. Like I’m not saying guys shut down, right. Don’t shut down until you have to, just have this option available because it’s looking like eventually somebody’s gonna at least try to shut you down over this. What is your pricing structure? I think you can scroll up there, Teddy. It was like 150, 225, 350, something like that.
Level with your clients by letting them know that if everyone panics and cancels the gym might not be around in one, two, three months. Is it a good idea to do something like that? No, I wouldn’t say so. I mean, you’re trying to control consumer confidence. You know, if there, so there’s a balance there, Caleb. If things truly are dire and you’re at your wit’s end and it’s like, yeah, I’m going out of business here, then you got nothing to lose, you know, play the emotional card. Absolutely. If you’re scared, then I would play the support your small business card. But if you don’t absolutely have to do that then don’t. Because you know what people are really buying from you here is like leadership and trust. And if suddenly they find out that like, you know, your business isn’t profitable, then that’s going to erode that trust or you’re desperate, that’s going to erode that trust.
You know, if you’re willing to do anything to make a couple of bucks, that’s going to erode that trust. And longterm you need consumer confidence. But if things are so dire in the short term that you have to make a desperate move, then do it. Let’s see here. Michael, we’re hosting a community day tomorrow and a couple of clinics the next few weekends in Wisconsin. Man, it hasn’t really hit us yet, has it? So, what I would be wary of here, Michael, is like keep the community day tomorrow, but I’d probably postpone the clinics. I’d move them later in the year because it is moving West. You know, and like you don’t want to expose people to this. You don’t want to be the reason that they’re all coming together and potentially risking anything. Kis, if our box needs to close, we’re going to do live work codes via Zoom.
That’s great. If some members want to take a break on the membership. Yeah man. So again, like you are not a group fitness instructor, you are a coach. So they can go online, they can get bootcamp workouts led by people who can’t see their audience. They get download videos all day for free. That’s not what you’re selling. You need to be in constant contact with every single member every single day or you know, as often as their membership warrants and you need to coach them. Now if they, that could be one option that you do, but that’s not enough. Like having an online video workout. That’s cool. That might be kind of fun. Maybe you do that three times over the course of the day, but you still have to talk to every single member one-on-one. I posted an open gym option for commercial gym folks who wanted to reduce their risk of exposure. Should we keep pursuing that? I honestly think that open gym increases risk of exposure because you have less control and you’re not really sure about like what people are touching. There’s less accountability for cleaning up after yourselves. I commented on this in our private Facebook group last night. I really don’t think that open gym is a safer option than a coached class.
Caleb, if you’re not forced to close, but you notice 25, 50 or 75% of clients opting to stay home, would you cut back the amount of classes? Yeah, absolutely. So I would cut back the classes. I would say like, Hey, we’re on emergency, you know, schedule, we’re going to run our most popular classes three a day, but we’re going to give you the opportunity to train any time. So guys, what do you really have to do here is you have to position your solution to this problem as like an upgrade or a new opportunity for them. OK. Like, we’re going to actually give you something better than what you’re currently getting. And I’m sure you can deliver on that for at least a month. That was a temporary option. Anita, what is your thought on asking members that have traveled out of the country to stay on for 14 days?
Yeah, I think it’s great. I would do it. Again, Anita. It’s not going to be an easy conversation, but I think it’s a necessary one that a real leader would have. Kis, can’t we say to members to pay, but after the crisis has gone, give them an alternative for their paid revenues. I mean that’s not what they signed up for, right? That’s kind of bait and switch to me it’s like, Hey, I know you, I know that like we took your car away for a month and we still took your money, but we’re going to give you like a roof rack, something that you didn’t really want. You know, I honestly think, I honestly think that you need to go back to the client and say, what do you want? How can we solve this? So maybe Kis, I need to go deeper there.
So if you’re at this point where if five clients cancel, we are done. We’re out of business. What I would do is I would call every single client. I’d look them in the eye or talk to them right on the phone and say, here’s our situation. We can’t afford to close. If you cancel, we’re going to, you know, go bankrupt. Is there anything else that we can do instead? Here’s what we propose. Like, don’t ask them for the solution. Tell them your solution. Gino got to run. You’re certainly welcome, sir. Lou. I had scheduled an AB challenge in the beginning of April. I was going to begin advertising and now should I move forward with that or no? We’re recommending that gym owners focus more on affinity marketing through the crisis. However, if you’ve already started advertising this or you have ads running, don’t shut them off.
Like, don’t hurt yourself by killing any momentum that you have online. Don’t turn this 30 day or 60 day crisis into a four month crisis because you’ve completely shut your ads off. So, you know, cut them back to a dollar a day if you feel like you have to, but the bottom line is all you have to do is offer people the opportunity to do a no sweat intro through video with you. So when they book their consultation, you say, Hey, thanks for booking this. Some clients recently have said that they’d be more comfortable doing this from home. Would you prefer to do this from the comfort of your own home and then you do their no sweat intro that way. Would you allow drop-ins? Michael, that’s a great question. And I didn’t think of this until yesterday, but no, I would not. Would you still allow new members?
Absolutely. I present them with the at home option or whatever option that all my other clients have. But a new member isn’t riskier than your current members. Your current members are not like washed clean or less likely to carry the disease. So as long as the gym is opening any service that you’re offering to your current members, you should be offering to new members. Drop-ins from out of town, from other gyms? No, I wouldn’t. I would protect my community. You know, even if it’s overkill. Yup. Ask nurses to stay home even if no cases have been found. When cases have been found and they will be, that’s when you have that conversation. Then yeah, you can go back through the video. We did say healthcare providers should expect to probably stay home if there are cases in your city.
We should keep allowing drop-ins or limit classes to just current members. No, no drop-ins Lexi, should we tell nurses even if we’re in an uninfected area, no. Is it only ER nurses? No. Can we offer open gym for nurses? No. Again, like, I don’t know how many nurses you know, but they’re not necessarily cleaner than anyone else. You know, I have a really hard time with open gym in general and during this crisis in particular. Is it too extreme to also have the conversation with spouses of healthcare professionals? That’s a great question, Erin. And it’s going to be tough either way. Like, you’re not going to have easy conversations, but when you’re having it with the healthcare professional, like you should know that all these healthcare professionals see this coming. This is not, you know, an unexpected out of the blue revelation, they’ve had this conversation and probably when they’ve had this conversation at the hospital, people have said like, your spouse should also be careful.
So. Bill, getting word that our town slash county is shutting down for next week or for two weeks or so. So I don’t know what that means. We heard the same thing about Ontario this morning and I said the same thing. Bill, what does shutting down the county mean? Like, does that mean they’re erecting barricades at the town line? Like in the Stand by Stephen King? Or does that mean that government services will not be available or does that mean a government offices are closing? Right. Should you get in front of your clients? Yeah, there’s no such thing as too much communication here. You should be talking to your clients more often than you think that you need to talking to them until you think like they’re sick of hearing from me. You’ll get sick of hearing from yourself long before they’ll get sick of hearing from you.
Let’s see, Brianna. There’s no black and white answer to that. Her question is if we asked nurses not to come in, where do you draw the line between them and all the people they come into contact with during their daily life? We have a close knit community of people who spend time together. They’re obviously going to infect each other, but how do you account for that? There’s no black and white answer there. Brianna, I’m sorry. All I’m saying is take every possible precaution that you can. Alan, should you allow drop-ins? I wouldn’t. OK. What about family members of a nurse? Patrick, I think we just went through that. What does the conversation look like for providing at-home training for clients that don’t have any equipment available? That’s not hard. Dan, if you go to Two-Brain coaching.com and you go on the blog, this is a different site than Two-Brain business.com.
If you go on that blog, you’ll see that I posted a blog post there a couple of days ago, 31 sample workouts. I mean, yeah, it’s going to force you to be creative, but the bottom line is like, you can get results without a barbell. You know, you can do it. Anybody can do it. The most popular fitness coaches in history did not have a brick and mortar facility. They didn’t have a gym. Most of them didn’t have a barbell. Right? You might make fun of these people like Richard Simmons, but the bottom line is they got the job done. Richard Simmons made a lot of people, especially women, lose weight, right? And a lot of people tuned into Suzanne Summers and a lot of people tune into these celebrity trainers who are not defined by the equipment they own. And I think this will ultimately make you a better coach.
- Sergio can’t see the link to the Facebook group you mentioned. What are your thoughts on drop-ins, class pass athletes? No way. Any suggestions about conducting intros or on-ramp sessions with online training? Yeah, I mean I think you could probably do the same thing. I think if it was on-ramp I would probably do it through video because there is a lot more one on one instruction, right? It’s not like correction, it’s instruction and then coaching and so I would try to do that through video. If you currently offer online coaching as an add on, how do you handle letting members who want to stay home keep their current price point. If you’re charging other members hundreds of dollars more? You just, you have an option for online only and you charge for that. Let’s see here. David, in Quebec, they now have implemented a two-week self quarantine for anyone arriving from anywhere infected yesterday. You just returned from Miami and you’re respecting that quarantine. That’s great. I mean the thing is guys, like when you talk to your members about self quarantine, it’s not going to be the first time they’ve heard it probably. Right. It might be the first time that anybody said you should do this, but it’s not going to be a complete surprise.
- You know what guys? I just realized that I’ve been posting the link to only panelist. So here we go. If you scroll to the bottom, there’s the link. Fantastic. Do you have any recommendations for gym cleaning protocol? Yeah, so, there’s a couple of different ones. You want to get an antiseptic, you know, specifically ask for an antiviral. If you’re using something like, you know, one of those floor scrubbers, there’s a different mix of stuff that you can use. In general, like I said, you want to be over the top with your cleaning. So you want your clients to see you cleaning. You want to post videos and pictures of you cleaning. You want the gym to smell like an antiseptic when they walk in. You really do. If they smelled that, you know, it’s going to infuse trust. So the question is really, the recommendation is over-clean every single thing. You know, if you’re not a great cleaner and I am not a great cleaner, then you need to bring in somebody else that’s going to do it for you.
Should you loan equipment out to your members? There is a bit of liability that might be attached to that. So, for example, when I was working at a ski hill, we had about 200 pairs of skis that were just used. So we got new skis and we wanted to donate them to a local kids charity and the insurance company said, you can’t do that. You got to burn them because if somebody gets hurt on one of those skis, liable. I don’t know what the case is. I would be really wary about lending out equipment if I don’t have enough for everyone. I’d also be wary about lending out equipment if, you know, there’s a chance we might open up next week, but like we might not get all the equipment back. That said, if a client has borrowed a dumbbell from me, that does create a firm lifeline to that client.
Right. If they try to cancel their membership, like they automatically feel like they’re in debt to you or you’ve got a reason to show up at their house. So, 95% of the boxes in our country, Portugal, are now closed. Oh, I’m sorry, Gabriel. Worst case scenario, what are the repercussions of an LLC no longer being able to make rent payments? Well, it’s more tragic than if you were an S Corp, that’s for sure. You know, the landlord might sue through the LLC and come after you personally. You’re going to have to talk to your attorney. The other thing I would look at in your lease is like, did you sign a personal guarantee? Because if you signed a personal guarantee, then the LLC really doesn’t matter. They’re gonna walk right around the LLC and come after you if the LLC goes out of business.
And I sure hope that’s not the case, man. I would say, you know, they’re gonna try to come through the LLC to you anyway. Hopefully that’s not going to be an option, but you should probably talk to your lawyer if you’re that close. 95% of the boxes in Portugal are now closed. We don’t want to follow as sheep, but it’s inevitable the government will close us. The social following is that people are championing the closures. I think that’s due to a lack of leadership and guidance on remaining open, but really appreciate your opinion. You know, honestly, man, like I feel the same way you do. I think that it’s a little bit overblown, that it’s the tail wagging the dog. But it doesn’t matter what I think, all that matters is what my clients think. And if my clients are scared, I’m going to do every single thing that I can to make them not feel scared.
That means education, but it also means protecting them in the short term. Joe, looking to give clients a care package with at-home programming, care package that includes dumbbells, skipping rope and pull up bar. They pay a $60 deposit to use the equipment, which is refundable when they return it and come back to my class. Sure. That’s a great idea. I mean, you could also give everybody a skipping rope, right? Like you’re making this seven or $8 investment in them because it increases your chances of charging them $200 a month afterward. Would you have an example of the email? I would, but we give that to Two-Brain clients. Hi. We joined late and we’d love to know what online training software you use. Do you have any samples of that home online training? We just bought an existing gym two months ago and are in a very dire situation.
Yeah. So, you know what, there’s a podcast on our channel with Jonathan Goodman and he walks through how to set up online training there for free. He says, it doesn’t matter what software you use, like use a spreadsheet if you want to, and then you can actually get 31 free like at home workouts from the twobraincoaching.com website. I posted a blog post there. You can get free workouts anywhere, guys. It doesn’t actually matter what the programming is. What matters is how you’re talking to the clients about the programming. You know, they don’t even care if you made it up as long as you chose it for them. I chose this program for you because is the most popular thing that you can say with online programming or the most powerful. So we have limited hours and limited coach in a day. How can we strategize online personal training with a client?
Well, I mean, you’re not on Skype with them. OK? You’re saying, here is the program that I made for you. Send me your results when you’re done. If you have to give them a demo, then fill in the demo and send that demo to them. But keep doing it one-on-one. You’re not doing an online exercise class here. As a new gym owner in the midst of a lot of marketing, should I hold off, cancel marketing efforts as the ROI might be in question, is joining a new gym the absolute last thing on someone’s mind? How can I change that? I’m not sure that it is. I mean, I’m not sure that it isn’t. There’s no data either way, unfortunately, but I do know about marketing is this, it’s a game of momentum, meaning that once you start, you can’t stop.
You can dial it back, but if you stop marketing, you will be starting from scratch again and you’ll lose whatever time and money you’ve already invested. OK.Sso don’t change that. But switch to affinity marketing, which is referral based because the only people who are going to refer to you right now are people who already know you, like you and trust you. And that means your best clients. You should probably switch your intake up to include a done by video option. But I wouldn’t stop marketing, no. Ken. Hey Ken. Only ER doctors and nurses or any doctor or nurse, I mean I would do any doctor or nurse. Yeah.
We’re doing a comp March 28th in house. Should we cancel it? My husband’s worried people will quit or suspend. I would postpone it and probably you’ll find out that people don’t even ask for a refund. Should he be worried that people will quit and suspend? Absolutely. But again, you can’t force them. Right. You can’t fight them into staying. The best thing that you can do is offer them an alternative. CPR class and one of the attendees will be a new mom and her infant. My inclination is to tell her don’t bring them. Yeah. I mean, I don’t think you should have to tell her not to bring the infant. I think you should say like, Hey, if you’re uncomfortable having your infant in a public place while this crisis is going on, don’t come, right. I understand where you’re coming from.
And I think that people take risks. And at the end of the day, it’s not your job to parent for them. You know, but if you feel weird about it and I would, then I would say, yeah, Hey, you know, if you want to back out of this, you can. What are the long term opportunities, Steve? There’s a few, right? There’s two tangible financial opportunities. The first one is it pays to be the last one standing, like it or not. And I don’t really like it, gyms are going to go out of business from this. So if you’re in a town with three micro gyms, one of them can’t afford to, you know, float the for 30 days, they’re gone. And then at that point, the best thing that you can do is give their clients and coaches and good home and help them transition out of ownership.
That will happen. And you know, while I don’t want to champion that happening, if it’s going to happen, the second opportunity is to look at the online training option. When we started publishing stuff about online training in the last couple of months, people were saying like, Oh, that sounds good, but you know, as well as I do that we don’t take action on things that are important. We take action on things that are urgent. And so now when they say like, OK, online training, this is really my best chance out of this crisis or through it, I got to put this together fast. And so they started going through our free resources. They start piecing it together. If you’re in the Two-Brain family, you go through the course and it’s all built for you. And then you know, the crisis is over and what you find is that you’ve actually added a new leg on your chair.
So now instead of selling group classes and nutrition or group classes and personal training, you’ve actually got this new thing that allows you to scale, with less time, less space, less equipment, less risk, and a slightly better lifestyle. You know, our podcast next week will be Rob Connors. Rob is in an a thousand square foot gym, 1000. He’s got about 800 square feet of usable space, including 300 square feet of office space. So 500 square feet of like gym floor space. And about two months ago, he really started scaling his business online. And what he’s found is that he’s pretty anti-fragile. You know, like if Baltimore gets shut down, he’s going to be fine. So long term, I don’t know if anybody’s a fan in here, maybe not, but longterm, this will actually strengthen the gyms that survive it. You’ll become stronger because of it.
John. What about other first responders such as firefighters and paramedics that are attending medical calls, man, that’s a judgment call. I’m sorry. You’re going to have to make that decision yourself. Where would I draw the line? I would actually call the EMTs or the paramedics and say, listen, here’s what we’re doing with nurses and doctors. Do you feel like this should apply to you? OK. And I’ve never met a paramedic who wasn’t a stand-up, honest person that didn’t do the right thing. Never. Maggie, Mandy, implemented a freeze last month at $10 a month. Anyone had an experience with that? I mean, Mark, maybe that’ll work, brother. I hope things are great down in El Paso. Lease negotiations if classes get shut down or attendance drops. I wouldn’t, I don’t think you can negotiate the lease based on that. The lease negotiation would happen based on loss of revenue and closure.
How you operate your business is not your landlord’s problem. Lou, what about holding the challenge all online? You have True Coach for the workouts. You can build your online nutrition support and have myself, my coaches check in frequently. I think that’s great. Absolutely. Report back. I don’t have data on whether that will work because nobody has been able to do it. And that’s kind of the nature of this crisis, right? Is that it’s all unfolding so fast that it’s hard to say this works that doesn’t, that might work. You know, it sounds to me like it might, give it a shot and let us know. Aida, hi. We just bought a fogger for 99 bucks, usually used for pest control. You can put any type of chemical disinfectant in it. This adds another layer of member care.
I think that’s great. 99 bucks and I will guarantee you, you will save a member for using that because they will see you doing it. It’s a very visual thing. You know, guys, I worked in the bush a lot, you know, I paid for college by being on a logging crew and I’ve also worked in parks and so they have these fogger machines for insects. And every time I would talk to a park ranger or the maintenance crew about these machines, I’d say, do those work? Like, do they actually kill mosquitoes or you know, do the mosquitoes just go away? And they would laugh. No, they don’t work, they’re for the humans. They’re not for the mosquitoes. If there was anything in this thing powerful enough to actually kill mosquitoes, we couldn’t use it because it would kill everything. So the beauty here guys is like, yeah, your clients are reacting emotionally because they’re surrounded by these negative messages.
We are a bunch of critical, skeptical, crotchety old coaches who maybe don’t believe that the diseases is bad as as the media says it is. But our clients do. How do you fight that misperception? You tell a stickier story and a fogger machine that you hold in your hand tells one hell of a sticky story. Good for you, Aida. Nathan Reed, man, if you are an eight year old who plays goalie, thank you for playing goalie against our team. The other day, we had a Nate Reed in net and he did awesome. Justin, you have two events happening today and tomorrow. Women WOD and wine tonight and gymnastics clinic tomorrow. Should you cancel them? No man, you’re in Carson. I don’t think that the real panic has reached the West coast yet. I think that you’re probably fine to run both of those. I just wouldn’t do anything like after this weekend. Yeah. All right.
I literally just got a call from my kid’s school saying, reminder, don’t send them back for three weeks. Erica. Yeah, I’m going to post it in this private Facebook group. Rich. Your gym is next to a hospital and you have 10 plus doctors and nurses as members, thank them for their service. You know, buy them coffee, buy them lunch for the next month. Absolutely. Rob, we’re going to do the reopen and April should we continue? I’d hold off honestly. The thing is guys, like the problem with the crisis is you just don’t see it coming. It goes from zero to a 90 in like 24 hours. And so you’re better off to take precautions now, push the reopen back. As much as I hate to say that, and just reschedule it, you know. Postponing your in house competition next Saturday. I mean, it’s just in house. Right? And so, yeah, I’d probably postpone it. Thoughts on offering bodyweight live virtual group classes via zoom or Google Hangouts for members and still create that community feel.
And thanks for saying Mirror and Peloton. Yeah. So I do Swift, which is like at home, but with friends. I do get some value with that. I mean, there’s some funny chat that goes on while you’re cycling on Swift. But I don’t do it for that reason. If people are in your group classes right now, they might miss that. So yeah, I mean, try it out. It might be a lot of fun. Longterm, is that a viable product to sell that will stand on its own? I don’t think so. But yeah, I mean it’s certainly one thing that you could offer. This is what’s actually being done in Italy right now. Roberto Mansi and Georgia Donato are offering that through their gym right now on top of the one-on-one option. So Leon, you’re welcome, Steve. What do you see as the main objective for the gyms you work with?
There’s a broad spectrum. So we do have some people who are struggling to survive. Absolutely. And I commend them for seeking a mentor. I was not smart enough to do that until I was like, you know, clinging to the edge. But more and more we’re gyms who are making 30, $40,000 a month and about 20% of the gyms coming into Two-Brain are profiting on nearly that much, 20, 30, 30 grand a month. So yeah, all across the spectrum. And that’s why I wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief,” because the type of mentorship and guidance that you need at each stage of the entrepreneurial journey is different. OK. Cody, what do you say if a member asked to put their pass on hold, you say, I understand. I don’t want you to lose the buffer of health and fitness that you’ve worked so hard to build up.
I want you to maintain your peak immunity. And so I prefer to keep coaching you. Here’s our option. If they say no thanks Cody, I’m out. You say, I totally understand. Can we book an appointment for 30 days from now to talk about how we’re going to ramp your fitness back up to your current level? That’s all. Joey. Stay in Vegas. And I think the ultimate irony would be if the coronavirus struck every city except Vegas. So maybe you’re safe then. Well, would you discount memberships for members who go on vacation and then stay home for a couple of weeks? No, I mean I definitely would not expect them to pay. If you’re telling them to stay home, I would give them the online training option. You know, if you want to cut their membership in half, that’s fine.
I just, I would not call it a discount. I’d, you know, pay for the half month or something like that. Dan, you are more than welcome, sir. I hope it helps. Colin, your gym offers workout programming, nutrition, coaching with face to face. You have your own, you have your own mobile app, that’s splendid. But if our members want to cancel or stop coaching, how do we offer online coaching with weekly? I’m not sure what your question is. I think the answer is like, just offer it. So what you do is you say, so you call and you already have a working system, right? Like you have a huge head start here, you have a huge advantage. You say, here’s what other clients in your position have done. The real key to marketing Seth Godin says is people like us do things like this. So social proof is crazy, crazy important.
And if you can wrap that into a story, it’s even stickier. So what you’d say, Colin is, you know, a couple of clients have come to me with this same concern and I understand what those Chuck clients chose to do is switch to our online personal training program, which has a proven track record of stellar results. I think we should try you on it for a month because I’d hate to see you lose the buffer of fitness and health that you’ve worked so hard to build up. Yeah, Joe, it definitely will. It’s going to be posted in this private Facebook group. You can see the link below. All right, you’re welcome, Colin, and I hope that helps man, and thank you for waiting patiently for an hour 20 to hear an answer to your question. We’re gonna move over to the Q and A. Jen Weingarten asked this over an hour ago and Jen, I’m sorry.
You know, we work through emailed questions first and then questions in the text and now I’m getting to the Q and A. Do you think that saying if you’re nervous going out in public will scare people who are currently not worried about it? It’s a great question. Human behavior’s really funny thing and we’re all really open to the power of suggestion, aren’t we? I think that for now, if you say something like if you are concerned, then you’ll target the people that you want to target without causing panic in the others. All right. John, in regards to offering customized programming at home for no price increase, if we already have paying extra for this service, how do we proceed? Well then you offer and uncustomized programming at home for no price increase. That’s a great question, John. But you don’t sacrifice like your top paying clients for everybody else who are taking kind of like the budget option, right?
Sorry. Gabriel. Did you cancel all social functions? We have a social plan for tomorrow, but I fear canceling will create more stress on them. I don’t think so man. I think your members probably have a life outside the social events that you create for them. Kudos to you if they do get stressed because there you are their social convener. But honestly, man, like their safety trumps that. Right? I have clients who see themselves as high risks and they do not want to come to the gym. How do we keep them as members without putting them at risk? You move to online training. I understand that and this is a great question and you know, I’m surprised that it’s actually not been brought up before. Now, if you have clients who are at risk, meaning they’re over 60 years old or they’ve had a health problem before, or their immune system is already compromised, then take care of them, you know, do the right thing for them.
Don’t wait for them to make the decision. You contact them and you say, as your coach, here’s what I recommend for you. You are my concern. I want to make sure that you’re safe. I’m going to train you from home. Are you most comfortable using Facebook or text or Skype? You know, can I call you in the morning and tell you the workout? Mike Warkentin, my good friend and former editor of the CrossFit Journal, he used to have to get submissions from everybody you know, old lifters even. And this one guy, I think it was Bill Starr, maybe he had like a fax machine that would send, but it wouldn’t receive. So he’d have to send Mike in his article through fax and then you’d have to wait for Mike to like write him a letter and mail it back to him.
But the bottom line is like if you care about somebody, you will do what it takes to communicate with them and get them through this crisis. You know, people will forget what you say, they’ll forget what you do, but they will never forget how you made them feel. And that is the key here guys. It’s not what kind of workouts do I program? It’s not, do I use True Coach or one of the other ones? It’s how do you make people feel and if you make them feel cared for, supported like you’re just right next door to them, they will stay with you. Mark, what’s up man? Is it wise or is it too opportunistic to use this situation as an opportunity to attract new members, EG, open gym hours extended to drop ins for a fee. Again, I’m not sure that open gym or drop ins are a great idea right now.
This is an opportunity to attract new members. And I don’t want you to feel guilty about that though because the bottom line is that your business saves lives, your business changes lives. You are helping people and there’s no such thing about being too opportunistic about serving other people or helping them, right? So if the YMCA down the road has to close, because let’s face it, they’re full of germs and viruses, but your gym is not closing because you are clean, then the best thing that you can do to save their clients’ life is to tell them, come to my gym and I’ll take care of you. And you should never be embarrassed about that. Dorian. Yes. Connor? Yes. Jen. Not changing times, but adding more time between classes to eliminate social interaction. So I don’t know what the difference there would be, Jen, between like, you know, you’ve got a group of 12 and you’ve got 15 minutes and then you’ve got another group of 12.
Right? Like you’re still exposing to people through social interaction. It doesn’t seem to be like the scope of the social interaction that matters. It’s like a yes social interaction or none at all. So, and especially when you’ve got clients who might come to this class today and that class tomorrow and stuff, I’m not sure that’s going to make much of a difference. You don’t have to worry about that. Andy. OK, great man. Yeah, we answered that one. Stephanie, we did that one too. Esther great. Matt Steel. So I actually just just posted this. Key, thank you sir. We got your message. Dorian, my mistake. Thoughts on closing the weekend to two classes only and do a deep clean to show. Yeah man, it doesn’t show fear. It shows care. And you know, again, like we might be skeptical of this but our clients are not. And that’s the key is we are not our clients. We have to be aware of what they want. That’s like what the right brain of business is. And so do that. Clean a hundred percent Leif, and tell them all about it. Tell them about it on your Facebook page, email them pictures, post videos, look how clean this place is. I’m like, you’re licking the ball and then cleaning it again. You know, Kate, yes, it’s in the comments.
Yes. Tiffany. Some places are renting out equipment. How do you value that? I really don’t. I mean, if somebody perceives that they can rent your equipment and that’s a substitute for your coaching, then they perceive that you’re an equipment business and that what you’re selling is access to equipment that is not your business. You’re a coaching business. Give them the equipment for free and sell them the coaching or get in the equipment and access business. Have you seen mass cancellation of boxes, David? Honestly, I haven’t. Now keep in mind that as of 24 hours ago when I went live first to talk about this, the only places that boxes were being forced to close were China and Italy. Since then it’s happened in the UK and it’s starting to happen along the Eastern seaboard. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, before I went to bed at midnight last night.
Have I seen mass cancellations? No. Now keep in mind though that my data comes from Two-Brain gyms and they are ready for this. They have operations in place, they have a framework to build online coaching really, really fast. They have emails that they’re using to send to their clients. They know how to talk to the coaches and they’re more profitable than the average gym, so they can afford to lose a bit of money. They’re not panicking. So how have I seen mass cancellations? No, I haven’t. In fact, you know, in many cases. And I brought up a couple of them here, members actually reached out to the box owner and said, how can I support you? And that is incredibly moving and I think it’s super valuable and maybe it’s a silver lining to these crises is that your clients don’t often tell you just what a difference you’re actually making in their lives and how important you are to them until something like this happens.
And they stand up and say, I have $35,000 if you need it. You know, last night on the way home, my wife stopped at a restaurant to pick up some takeout for my kids and I, and my kids are busy. So she went into the restaurant and it was a ghost town and she said to the proprietress, wow, is it ever empty? The kids are off school for three weeks, you’re going to be seeing a lot more from us. And the woman hugged her and you know, people are scared, people are desperate and we want to help gym owners get through this. But the bottom line guys is like, if you can add an alternative, that’s probably your best hedge. So I kind of went off on a rant there, David. I’m sorry, Cody. The best thing that you can do with your landlord is frame that conversation now by asking how are they prepared to handle loss of business or business interruption.
We mentioned a couple of alternatives. The first is like, will you waive next month’s rent for free as a landlord? I would say no. But then if you said, would you take next month’s landlord or next month’s rent and spread out over the next six months for me to give me a leg up, as the landlord, I would definitely do that. Right. OK. Dan, what’s up brother? Are some gyms running track or outdoor workouts? Not in Sioux St. Marie sir, but maybe in the GTA they are. Yu could definitely do that too. You know, in the summertime, when I bought the building next door a few years ago, there was a problem with the city coming in and approving our plumbing. And so we couldn’t get the gym open on labor day, which is what we were supposed to do. So what we did was we said clients, super special, extra bonus.
We’re going to go to this neighborhood park called Fort Creek and we’re going to do this extra super fun WOD. We will meet you there. We’ll bring the equipment, don’t worry about it. You’re going to love it. And we pose it as a bonus, as a surprise instead of, oh shit. Sorry. You know. Jen? Yeah, we love you. Kim, you’re so welcome. I hope this helps. Daniel, how are you, sir? Thoughts on canceling CrossFit Kids? So, I said earlier, Daniel, that this disease is not more likely to be carried by kids just from the data that I’ve seen so far. However, kids are more susceptible to catching the disease and suffering longer from the disease than healthy adults are. However, I will say this, as a parent of a kid who does CrossFit to kids who do CrossFit, I know that fitness is their primary buffer from disease.
I know that their immune systems are heightened because they are so fit. And if you asked me to stay home, let them become less fit, I would not want to do it, man. I would be doing, you know, I’m doing everything that I can to keep myself healthy. But I am doing everything to keep my kids healthy cause I don’t want them to suffer. All right. I sure hope that that helps. Yeah. OK, we’re going to start going back to the chat now. Graham, you are so welcome sir. Chris, thank you for doing this with all the great free info that you provide through Two-Brain emails, YouTube, you’re a big fan. I certainly appreciate you. Have your new one twoo but haven’t had the chance to dive in yet. Well, a little gallows humor here. You’ll probably get a couple of days off in the next few weeks to read my book.
Mel is the owner and 61 years old. I have at least 15 members age 50 to 61. They begged you last night to not close the gym. I’ll offer them the at-home training they’ll stay for now. I get it. I would not want to leave the gym either. What we’re talking about with the at-home training is when you start to get the sense that closing is unavoidable or that people are getting nervous about being in the gym. I think what a lot of you will find is that you’ll offer this option and 70 to 80% of your members will be like, hell no, I’m staying. And then you can breathe a big collective sigh of relief and say thank goodness when the worst case happens and you are forced to close. You can have this fallback position for them that we’ve been talking about here.
Workouts in the park, online videos, one-on-one training. But I think that, I doubt that any of your members want to leave. Let’s put it that way. Would you let coaches have access to the gym out of business hours for personal WOD and comp WODs? Hell no, I would not. Because I wanna make sure that gym is sparkling clean for the people that it exists to serve. And that is my clients.Sso guys, let’s be clear here. Your gym exists first to serve your family, right? That’s why you have a business. You do not have a job serving your business. Your business exists to serve you. Second, your business exists to serve your clients. So, it has to serve your cliets because the clients pay you. And that’s why you have this business. Third, it exists to help your coaches have meaningful careers, but only after the first two have been satisfied.
So if your coaches having meaningful careers infringe on the gym’s benefit to your family or the gym’s benefit to your members, then no. It’s a hard no, I wouldn’t even consider it in this case, if there’s a risk that your coaches will even give the impression that they are affecting the cleanliness of your gym, that they are undoing your hard cleaning work. I would not let them do it. If it’s crazy important to you that they do their competitive WODs or whatever, then you go in there with them and you clean up after them and you take pictures of yourself doing it. But I would not let anybody just walk into my gym, do their own thing and leave because I just don’t trust anybody to have the care or the discipline about this that I do. Heath, you are welcome sir. Heath says, I appreciate you taking the time to guide us in creating opportunities during these stressful times.
You’re new to the Two-Brain family. You have a no sweat intro at one 30. Well good luck Keith. All the best to you. A Brendan. Yes, we’ll share it. You are all welcome. Ah, OK. Debra is Jonathan Goodman blog about how to set up online training? Yeah, it’s actually a podcast. So if you, even if you Google Two-Brain business, Jonathan Goodman, you’ll find it. It’s a podcast interview. If you go to Apple podcasts or Stitcher or wherever you consume your podcasts and you look for Two-Brain business, Jonathan Goodman, you’ll find it. He also has something that’s called like online PT or something like that. Where he shares this kind of stuff. Like he actually has a PT online business and it is really good. Like he has something that’s called it’s like a free client challenge and you can sign up free client three clients and not pay.
I can’t remember. But yeah, I mean he’s been doing it since 2013. He still uses Google Excel spreadsheets, whatever. Online trainer Academy. Yeah. Thanks a lot. And thank you Brittney. Dave Green. Great to see you brother. Ashley Lau. Going through the incubator right now. You’re so welcome. Your question is in terms of messaging, do you think it’s a good idea to tell clients that you’re part of a gym or bigger gym network and then our processes and responses are based on data? I would, so that is Two-Brain Business, Ashley. First you have access to data. Second, you have a personal relationship with them. So I would say guys, here’s what we’re doing. We are part of a big network. We are part of a mentorship practice that has access to data from thousands of gyms around the world. We are doing everything that we can to stay on top of this crisis and we will do everything that we can to continue to serve you.
Here’s our plan. First off, we are cleaner than your house. Second, as the virus becomes, more information becomes available, we will have it before anybody else. Third, we do have a plan if we have to close the building so that we know that we can keep coaching you and keep guiding you and keep growing that margin between sickness, wellness and disease. Holly, you are starting the incubator soon despite of all this. Thank you Holly. But hope you start the incubator soon because of all this. Pat, you are more than welcome of course. UDebra, thank you. Thank you for saying that. Definitely. You know, guys, it’s not easy for me to stand up here and do this. Like it’s not expensive and I actually enjoy doing it, but I’m not naturally prone to it. Right? Like, I don’t seek out these opportunities.
Let’s put it that way. What I want to do though, and this overrides my self-consciousness or feelings like, Oh God, this is going to be stressful. What overrides that is that I care more about what happens to your gym than I care about my own, you know, self-indulgence. If we’re going to make a difference here and this movement is going to maintain its forward traction of changing the world’s health, it is really important that all of us continue to act as leaders in the face of a crisis. You guys all know that every year, tens of millions of books about leadership get sold and thousands of people are out there saying, I’m a leadership expert. I will tell you how to lead. But when it comes down to it and it’s time to lead, very few people will ever stand up and just take charge. That’s what I want to provide to you as a model.
And so what I’m really willing to stand up here and do for you guys is more than just be a clearing house of information or a database of best practices. I want to be a model for you guys of how you should work with your clients by getting out in front of this, you know, and showing them how much you care. It’s our mission to make gym owners wealthy. We’re going to continue to support you in this quest. We know it’s not an easy one. Thank you for doing it. Thank you for being the tip of the spear. Um, and we will be doing this again as more information becomes available in the meantime. What I would suggest honestly, is you can join this new Facebook group that we’ve created for you. We’re going to be providing information in there and some guidance. You can talk about general business in there, of course, and we’ll help you with free resources as much as we can. But you know, we all succeed if we all succeed. So thank you.
This has been a special edition of Two-Brain Radio. Two-Brain Business serves a global network of gyms and we’ll be collecting and sharing the best strategies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. For tactics that can help you and your business get through this tough time, visit Twobrainbusiness.com/blog.
Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday.
On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories, and Sean Woodland has great stories from the community on Wednesdays.
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