Fairy Dust or Facts? Why Two-Brain’s Data Can Save or Supercharge Your Gym

Chris Cooper

Mike (00:02):

You can base business decisions on a gut feeling, a hunch, fairy dust, or a wing and a prayer, or you can make decisions backed by hard data. Today, Chris Cooper will explain how Two-Brain Business uses data to help clients grow their gyms at lightspeed.

Chris (00:17):

Chris Cooper here to talk about Level Method. When it comes to owning a gym, it can be really tough to show your members their progress and keep them engaged long term. Level Method provides experienced gym owners with a visual step-by-step fitness progression system that’s fun, engaging and easy to use. With Level Method, your clients can reach their fitness goals faster and safer than ever before and become raving fans of your gym. Go to levelmethod.com to find out more. I use this product in my gym, it helped with my conversion from my on-ramp program into ongoing group coaching, and it’s also boosted my retention over time.

Mike (00:50):

This is Two-Brain Radio. It’s Mike Warkentin, and I’m here today with Two-Brain founder, Chris Cooper. I’m a writer. So I like words and I hate numbers, but I like profit a lot. So I always want to hear about the data Two-Brain collects. This industry-leading data set allows Two-Brain mentors to ignore useless tactics and point gym owners to tested data-backed strategies that bring real results. So Chris, you recently announced two incredible stats, almost 25% of gyms that logged metrics in our growth program increased revenue by a hundred percent or more in the last year. Almost 50% have grown by more than 50% or more in the last 12 months. So tell me about the system that supplies these incredible numbers. And when did you know that it was needed?

Chris (01:31):

Yeah, and so years ago, when I started mentoring gyms in like 2012, I realized right away that all I could share was my own experience.

Chris (01:43):

So I had like this N equals 1 data set basically. And that experience was helpful to a lot of people and, you know, 26,000 people bought the book about that experience. And a lot of people, hundreds asked for mentorship based on that experience because they were having a similar experience. But the problem with any N equals 1 experience, mine or anyone else’s is that really it doesn’t carry any more weight than somebody else’s experience, could be the complete opposite. And so right away, I started looking for kind of a dataset, you know, how did this work for you? Is that thing actually real? Or am I like susceptible to advertising? You know, did you take this challenge course, did you do it on Facebook? And I also realized that as entrepreneurs, a lot of gym owners just don’t have a background in statistics.

Chris (02:34):

And so it’s hard for them to really say like, which one of these strategies should I use that person who I know like, and trust is advocating no Facebook marketing, this person over here, who’s brand new, but very exciting and young and seems successful is saying, yeah, you need to be advertising on Facebook. And you know, this person is saying like, don’t give discounts. That person is saying, do give discounts. And as we scaled up and we started to talk to more and more people worldwide, I realized like we need to have an actual data set that we can point to and say, this isn’t just my experience. It’s not my opinion. It’s the truth as measured by numbers. That was a huge problem in the industry was that a lot of people were getting by on the power of the personality, but they had no numbers to back it up.

Mike (03:21):

So they’d say, I think that we should do this, or we must do this, but there was no data behind that. It was just kind of like what they thought or what worked for them, which created some huge mistakes for some people who went down the wrong path.

Chris (03:32):

Yeah, for sure. And unfortunately, you know how it is in the industry, right. Everybody’s kind of an alpha. So when they say this is the thing, they have the utmost confidence that it is the thing, even though really like, they only have their own experience to draw on, which is sometimes limited. You know, for example, let’s take what gym management software should I use. Very simple question. Right. But if you ask that to a hundred gym owners, 80% of them have only tried one, so that you’re not getting like any kind of comparison there.

Chris (04:05):

And they’re either going to say, it’s amazing. You should do it because they’re internally invested in its success. Or they’re going to say, it’s horrible. Never use it. They’re never going to; it’s very rare that somebody can say I’ve used, Wodify and Zen planner. And I prefer Wodify because. And so we were looking for that in all honestly, Mike, like all along, I thought this data’s gotta be out there somewhere. I just don’t have access to it as a micro gym owner. So when we were borrowing money to buy our first building, that’s something that the lender wanted was industry stats. You know, Chris, you don’t have contracts. How can you predict how much revenue you’re going to have next month? And I’m like, well, here’s our retention data. And they would say, OK, well, how does that compare to the rest of the industry?

Chris (04:52):

And so, you know, like some places have some data, some have very, very little and most people measure it differently. So I went to CrossFit HQ and you know, I was working for CrossFit at the time. And a lot of people at HQ would gather for breakfast at this little cafe right in Santa Cruz. And we were sitting out on the patio and with me is Bruce, the COO at the time, is Jeff, the CEO at the time, Sevan is there, like Greg’s not there, but a lot of Greg’s the inner circle is. And I said, you know, one thing that could really help affiliates right now is if there was a standard dataset, all you guys have to do is collect it and leave us to interpret it. You don’t have to tell us what to do. And of course, like they didn’t want to tell affiliates what to do, because they would take ownership of affiliate success or failure if they did that.

Chris (05:44):

But, I just said, you know, produce the dataset. And Bruce, I’ll never forget this. He says, that’s a great idea. We’re never going to do it. Go ahead. And yeah, I mean, honestly, Mike, I left that meeting super frustrated, like, I’m looking to you guys for leadership. And you know, you’re not going to do it. So then I said, OK, well somebody has to do it. I can’t find anybody else that’s better positioned in the industry than us. We’re going to do it. And so we went down this road with a company in Idaho to try and build a system. I spent $75,000 on that. We got nowhere, we went somewhere else and tried to build another system. And, you know, I spent about 65,000 on that one got nowhere. And then finally, Mike Lee, who is our chief information officer said, you know what, I’m just going to rough it in. He’s got some programming chops, but he’s not a software engineer.

Chris (06:42):

He’s just incredibly smart. Yeah. And so he kind of roughed in this app over a weekend. I was like, wow. You know, that’s pretty awesome. And so we started investing more heavily and today we’ve put about a quarter million into it. We have two full-time people working on it and that’s Two-Brain.app that houses both our dashboard and our Growth ToolKit now, which is like our internal curriculum library.

Mike (07:08):

So what you’ve got here is essentially the first micro gym data set ever. And it’s always growing based on the metrics that we track every month. Correct.

Chris (07:17):

Yeah. And that’s really the core of our data. Like, you know, we have a lot of influence over what Two-Brain gyms do. We don’t have full control, you know, it’s still their business. We’re not a franchise, but we can really influence what they’re doing and we can see exactly how they’re doing it.

Chris (07:34):

So for example, every month we pull the metrics for the top 10 gyms in about a dozen different categories and we track revenue, but we also track how much is the owner paying themselves? What’s their retention, what’s their average revenue per member, et cetera. And from there, we can identify who’s doing it best. And we can identify people who have made rapid improvement. And so we interview those people every single month and we say, what are you doing that’s new or slightly different. And then we take those answers. And we say, if everybody did this, would everybody get better results? And so what’s happened. And this has taken me a long time to come back to your original numbers is that Two-Brain gyms are not just getting better results, but they’re getting better and better results faster as we go along. Because we just keep taking that distillate of the data and saying, OK, this person is getting success with Tik Tok.

Chris (08:30):

How are they doing it? What are they spending? What’s their SOP. And then turning around and teaching that to a small subset inTwo-Brain. And then if it works, we teach it to everybody.

Mike (08:39):

Our internal data, obviously you say it as influenced by the tactics that we give to our clients. And those tactics are tested, but they still influence the data. But then we have things like the state of the industry publication. And we’ll put the link to that in the show notes for our listeners, that data set outside Two-Brain. And that starts to give us some real insight into gyms as a whole. So our data collection is like, is getting pretty robust.

Chris (09:02):

Yeah. So couple of things happened there. We had a really great relationship with some gym management software coming into 2020. And those relationships really solidified in a couple of cases.

Chris (09:14):

Like Wodify where I really liked the leadership that they were showing through COVID and we would talk every couple of weeks and they would share our stuff and we would try and help out their audience as much as we could. And when it came time to data, they said, we want to participate. And so they gave us their data set anonymously. Like I can’t say CrossFit 1, 2, 3 is doing this much in revenue, but what they could do is give us averages. And we did that with a few industry partners like Arbox and Wodify and expanded that out to 6,500 micro gyms worldwide, making it the largest data set ever collected in the fitness industry. But most importantly, it’s data that matters to micro gyms. That data is not skewed by, you know, numbers from globo gyms, like 24/7 fitness or whatever it’s called 24 hour fitness.

Chris (10:05):

It’s really specific to us. Yeah.

Mike (10:07):

And that’s important because those aren’t the same. They’re both gyms like a micro gym and a 24 hour fitness are both gyms, but they’re not, it’s like comparing like a, you know, a Chihuahua and an English Mastiff, right? Like they’re just not the same thing. And they need different food and training and blah, blah, blah, leave the metaphor there. But the idea now is that you’ve got all these numbers. And so now, like the point here is that you can now with great confidence, tell gym owners what’s going to work with a high degree of certainty, right? Like your mentor is no longer have to guess and use their own intuition or their own experience only. They can now say that, OK, look, I know you want to invest heavily in tick-tok however, we tested that extensively. We didn’t find that any gyms got a return. Now that’s not to say you won’t, but you probably want to try something else. Like this data is like really the backbone of our mentorship program now.

Chris (10:55):

Yeah, that’s right. And, and the mentors each have their own lens on it because they all have varied experiences. And we try to match people with the best mentor. But the mentors job is not really to identify, you know, everybody should do Tik Tok ads. Their job is to say, what’s right for this client right now, what should their top priority be? And then help the gym owner manage that change. So sometimes managing the change means, teaching them how to do it. And so, you know, we have big curriculum for that and SOPs and like step-by-step guides, but a lot of the time it’s like supporting them through it. And a rate increase is the biggest example. So, here’s where the data would come into that. For example, somebody says, I need to raise my rates. I didn’t realize that my ARM, the amount of money I’m making per client is so low. It’s only $120 a month. I just never sat back and figured out like what all these discounts, grandfathered rates and all this stuff was costing me. And I see from your data that the average gym is actually about 30 bucks more a month than me. OK. I feel validated in raising my rates. I’m actually lower than average. And I thought I was just slightly higher than average. So I’m going to raise my rates. How do I do it? Well, then we turn to the curriculum and we say, OK, here’s the actual letter to send out. Here’s the checklist you have to complete before and after you raise your rates, here’s the math that you need to go through to figure out what you should be raising them to all at this shot.

Chris (12:27):

And then here’s the timeline to set it all up so that you have the best possible rate increase that you could. Now that process again, has been tested by data. So we look at the gyms who have completed it using this exact letter, this exact timeline, this communication plan, this much increase. And we can confidently say, you’re going to keep over 85% of your members. And you’re going to make more money. Even though you might wind up with a few fewer members during a rate increase. Now imagine doing that. And you’re on an island and you’re not connected to data. You’re not connected to other gym owners. And you’re not connected to a mentor that proposition at best becomes a wild guess. And that’s what makes it scary because you know, you’re just jumping off the cliff and you’re just kind of hoping it all works out.

Chris (13:20):

Maybe you take some solace knowing that, oh, people really like me, but you’re going to quickly find out that you’re not selling to your friends. You’re selling to your clients. And a lot of people that you think are your friends will quit over five bucks. So this data proven method gives you confidence to do the hard stuff, but it also shows you what you can avoid. So for example, we usually run about three tests at a time. One of the tests that we were currently running is clubhouse. Now in January, clubhouse looked like the coolest new thing. Well, the reality is.

Mike (13:55):

FOMO alert. Everyone was all over that.

Chris (13:57):

Exactly. Yup, exactly. Personally, I didn’t like it, but I didn’t want to just say it’s bad because Chris doesn’t like it. That’s not how Two-Brain works. So instead what we did was, five mentors said, yeah, we’ll test this.

Chris (14:10):

And we set out the parameters. We will say that clubhouse is successful if this happens, if you convert at least three new clients in three months, because let’s face it. If you’re spending an hour a day on clubhouse and you’re getting less than three clients in three months, there’s better places to spend that hour that will get you more clients.

Mike (14:31):

And we have data that proves that too.

New Speaker (14:33):

Exactly. And, that’s where it comes down to, right? It’s like, OK. I went on clubhouse for three months. I spent an hour a day. I got a new client. Therefore it works. But the reality is you could have gotten five clients if you had done something else. Your time is finite and you have to use it in the best possible way. And you can’t guess, and you can’t do everything. So what we found was that while engagement is pretty easy to build on clubhouse, you know, as a new platform, you’re going to get a ton of followers.

Chris (15:04):

Conversion is really hard. Now, do we ask why is conversion hard and why do we optimize it? No, because it’s like, conversion is close to zero on clubhouse. We’re not going to go any further down that road. You know, we might look at a different platform. OK. Tik TOK. And so at first, when people were saying, yeah, Tik TOK, it’s, it’s awesome. It’s so much fun. And their advertising, nobody had a proven strategy to do it. And so we didn’t talk about it for the first year it was around. And then finally somebody showed up and said, yeah, I’ve got this thing. Here’s my data. Here’s my metrics. You know, I’m getting these leads. And we said, oh, that’s interesting. You’re getting success. Let’s test this with five other people and see if it extrapolates. So is this a replicable system? And you know, that test is still ongoing and we’re always running these tasks like right now, high ticket coaching is one of them. I mentioned clubhouse already, and we just finished up a third test too we’re running. And then we’ll batch up like three more.

Chris (16:03):

It’s Chris Cooper here. Your gym’s programming won’t attract new clients, but it can help you keep your clients longer. Good programming includes benchmarks, novelty, skills, progressions, leaderboards, you know all that stuff. But great programming contains something more: a link between each client’s fitness goals and the workout of the day. Your coaches need to tell your clients more than what they’re doing every day. They need to explain why they’re doing it. Gym’s whose coaches could explain the why connection had a 25% better retention rate during lockdowns. Imagine how that translates into better retention when things are back to normal. Now, I want to solve this problem for gym owners. Programming is the service you deliver to your clients. So I partnered with Brooks DiFiore, who had one of the highest adherence rates in the world for his group classes at his gym to build twobrainprogramming.com. We built this for Two-Brain gyms and we give them free access in our mentorship program. But I’m now making this available to the public. Programming proven to improve retention and cashflow in your gym. Visit Two-Brain programming.com to get it.

Mike (17:12):

So it’s not about necessarily if something works it’s how well does it work? And does it work better than the other tactics that we have so that mentors can say exactly what you said, based on our testing and based on our metrics, this is likely not going to give you the return that something else would, or our testing revealed that this just doesn’t generally work, but in your unique circumstance, given these parameters, you’re very similar to this test result. It might work for you but you need to test and you need to track your data and then analyze it. And if the results don’t work, you need to pivot, right. So like it really becomes a systematic approach. The thing that I’ll throw at you, Chris is like, when we went through a rate increase on the Two-Brain plan. I was terrified. And I had no idea. Like I set my first rates by guessing I set my second rates that I was going to increase by guessing. But then we actually went down was Jeff Burlingame was our mentor at the time. We calculated it on based on what we wanted to make and all the other things that are on our checklist. And the coolest part was we understood that we couldn’t raise by more than 15%. Now you can. But Jeff told us based on Two-Brain testing, that 15% was probably the max that you want to do in one shot. Because if you go higher, the results tend to be negative. And so I’ve talked to many gym owners on the podcast who have had the same experience where, you know, they want to increase, but they’re only gonna increase by 15% or they’re gonna make a plan to go more. But the idea is that the data showed them a mistake that could be clearly avoided. Right? So if I had done just on my own, I would’ve guessed at the rates. I would have increased by too much. I would have lost a bunch of members and we’d be in trouble. But because the data was there, I got optimal results and lost very few members and made more money. So like the data, it really is a financial win, right?

Chris (18:57):

Yeah. Yeah. It really is like, it’s a time win too. Warren Buffett has this quote, that there’s always a better place I can put my money. So as much money as Warren Buffett has, that amount is finite. So he’s not going to put that money into an investment that’s going to yield them 3% because there’s other investments that are going to yield 8%.

Chris (19:19):

And that’s where he’s going to put it, right. While the top resource that a gym owner has is their time. And that is very finite. If you’ve got one hour to invest in the growth of your business a day, you want to put it in the place that’s going to give you the greatest return on that time. And so while Instagram ads might technically work, that is not the optimal use of your time. It’s going to slow down your progress and that multiplies over time, you know, as you go on. So if you’re focusing all your energy in something, that’s really, you know, it’s getting you one new client a month and you could be focusing your energy on something that’s going to get you five new clients a month. Well, you’ve just slowed down your progress by five years. And that’s why, you know, we tend to focus on retention, then sales and then organic marketing and then paid marketing because each of those layers multiplies the one above it.

Chris (20:13):

But that’s I know beyond the scope of this conversation.

Mike (20:16):

Let’s look at this then for gym owners who aren’t part of Two-Brain, yet, there are some out there that are listening. What metrics should they focus on right now? Just to kind of start thinking about this stuff. And then for Two-Brain clients, how should they determine which of the many metrics they need to improve right now?

Chris (20:31):

Yeah, there are really six metrics that matter. And we used to teach like 20 metrics. And then we brought that down to 10. But if you want to really see like how somebody’s is doing, there are really only six that matter. And those are also leverageable. So if I was not in Two-Brain, I’d probably be focused on ARM, which is a measure of how much your clients value your service. That’s average revenue per member per month.

Chris (20:56):

And most gyms, in our survey and our data set of 6,500, most gyms were making less than a hundred dollars per month per member. Now the price might be 115, but they’ve got some grandfathered rates or they’re like trading a coach a membership, or they’ve got some family discounts or whatever. And so each client is actually only paying them $95 a month, which is like $4 every time they show up.

Mike (21:18):

That’s borderline unsustainable.

Chris (21:19):

Oh yeah, man. Yeah. We’ve been there. Right? We’ve all been there. It was unsustainable in my case. You too. And so, so like, if you just focus on that first, that number will multiply across everybody else. Now there are different tactics that you can use to increase ARM. You don’t have to raise your prices, or you can only raise your prices on incoming new members for now. Or you can start selling personal training, or you can add a nutrition coaching practice, or you can move to the prescriptive model.

Chris (21:49):

Like there are some easy wins here, or you can change your payment processor. You know, there’s some easy wins here that you can do before you have to do the really big wins, like raise your rates. So I said that that’s the one that I would focus on if you’re not inTwo-Brain, but the other five aside from ARM are net owner benefit. How much you’re paying yourself. There are strategies like profit first that will help you pay yourself more without getting more clients. Next is how many clients you have, right? That’s a multiplier. And then the next one is length of engagement, which is a retention metric to tell you how long the average person stays in your gym. Churn is not a useful metric for increasing your revenue or your personal pay. It tells you, you know, how many people are leaving in the average month, but it doesn’t tell you who they are or how long you can expect them to stay.

Chris (22:39):

So we use LEG. Another one is what percentage of your revenue goes straight out the door to expenses like your rent, your lights, your loan payment on your equipment.

Mike (22:50):

Guys, if you are not in the Two-Brain family and you want to get access to this information, including a diagnostic tool, you want to go to Two-Brain Business and you want to click on free tools. At the bottom of that section, you’re going to find how to make a hundred thousand dollars per year with 150 clients download that PDF. It’s got a guide that you can look through. It’s got a bunch of scenarios and examples and tactics that you can use. Check that out. It’s a super important guide. It’s totally free. Chris, put it together to help you if you’re not in the family. So Chris, now we’ve got Two-Brain clients who have a grasp of metrics. They understand all these things, and they’ve got this Growth ToolKit that you’ve created with like, I don’t know, 600 or whatever it is now, tactics that they can use. How do they figure out what metric to do now or to address now, and then what the hell to do with it?

Chris (23:35):

Yeah. So this is half mentorship and half metrics. So what you’ll see on the Growth ToolKit is this graph of your progress, you know, on a scale of one to 10, how are you doing it, paying yourself on a scale of one to 10, how high is your average value per client, your ARM on a scale of one to 10, et cetera. And it’s immediately obvious from the second you log in where your weaknesses are. You know, I could be a seven out of 10 on length of engagement, meaning I’m keeping people around. And I’m a 3 out of 10 on ARM. They’re just not paying me enough. So from those looking at those two, you can say like, well, your biggest opportunity is to increase your ARM. And then from there, uthat opens up like, you know, a whole bunch of different tactics to increase your ARM. And depending on where you are in your entrepreneurial journey and a bunch of other things, your mentor will say, OK, here’s the two choices that we have for this month. Which one do you want to do? And then you pick one and then the mentor says, OK, let’s walk you through it. Do you know how to do it? Here’s all the resources that you need to do it properly. Do you know what the obstacles are? Here’s my experience and what the obstacles might be, and here’s how to overcome them.

Chris (24:44):

And now next month, we’re going to measure your progress and look at your next kind of weakest link.

Mike (24:49):

So it’s, I mean, it’s kind of incredible to look at it and you just think about like one aspect of that, like average revenue per member per month. And you’d sit there. If you, if you weren’t, didn’t have the mentoring, you’d be like, what do I do? But if you do have the mentor, the mentor can say, OK, look, we want to get you to 205 to start you’re right now, you’re at 150. Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to do exactly this. And let’s say one of them is we’re going to start selling a high value hybrid program that involves group training and personalized programming in PT sessions. And we’re going to price this at 275 or whatever the rate makes. I’m just making that up. But whatever the appropriate rate is for the business and all of a sudden your ARM is probably going to rise because you’re going to start selling this brand new thing. And when that starts working, then your mentor can say, here’s the next thing we’re going to do. And it’s going to be, you know, adding on nutrition consultations once a month to, you know, group classes or something like that. And all of a sudden you start generating all this momentum and then it’s the next thing, the next thing. And the cool part is that when you get that, you know, you’ll see that graph. So ARM, all of a sudden your ARM’s in a great spot. It’s not the lagging metric anymore. Your lagging metric is now length of engagement. And so now your mentor can say, here is what I want you to do right now to make the greatest increase in your retention. You do that and you hammer away. And so rather than overwhelming process through the eyes of the mentor, who has the, you know, the experience and the data, the mentor can now it’s basically like sniping things on a target range, right? You’re like this, that, that, that next metric next, next, next. And all of a sudden, you’ve got these gyms that are growing dramatically. And the data that I gave you at the very beginning of the show that you quoted incredible growth over short periods. So the question here, Chris is why can gym owners grow so quickly? Like the stats that you gave us are incredible. You know, I’ll tell people 25% of gyms that log metrics and growth increased revenue by a hundred percent in a year. Like that’s kind of unheard of. How does it happen?

Chris (26:48):

Well, it’s a snowball effect and it’s like compounding interest.

Chris (26:54):

You improve one metric. You move on to the next metric. But meanwhile, ARM is still high. It doesn’t drop when you stop paying attention to it again. So if I go from focusing on ARM to getting more clients next month, every single one of those new clients will be paying a higher ARM. So the effect just snowballs. And then if I focus on like retention the next month, every one of those clients will be paying a higher ARM and staying for two extra months, which means that, you know, I’m losing clients less fast. My overall growth is happening. The alternative to this snowball plan is what most people do. And that is they only change their marketing. So they do the new challenge and it stops working. And then they bring in Facebook advertising and that replaces what they were getting from the new challenge.

Chris (27:45):

And then it stops working. And so then they bring in Instagram reels and that replaces, you know, what they were getting in Facebook. And then that stops working. And so they’re constantly on this treadmill of doing new things, learning new things, taking a few months to get it, spending money and not growing. The alternative is to break the business down, use metrics like the six that we mentioned earlier, identify your weakest link and fix that. And then that will multiply every other metric that you have. So if I improve leg from 12 months to 13 months, then the value of every single client just went up by eight and a half percent. If I include my, or if I increase my ARM from 200 to 205, then every client is worth $5 more per month. And if you think about like, what difference will that make to my family?

Chris (28:39):

You know, if I’ve got 200 members I’m making another $5 per member per month, what difference will a thousand dollars actually make to my family? That tells us that we’re on the right track instead of what difference with 30 more members make to my family, you know, you really have to see like where the biggest opportunities are and you have to do the things that are going to grow your business over time instead of just constantly replacing your marketing.

Mike (29:03):

So I’m going to, I guess I’m going to pull the curtain back here just a little bit and show everyone who’s pulling the levers, but you know, not to de sexify the whole gym guru, industry, but it’s really less about having these like grand ideas that work for everyone and being, you know, all I know and I think, and so forth and being very passionate about it, it’s actually very analytic. Am I right? Like, you’re just, you’ve got mentors now who can rely on numbers and data. And that’s not to say they don’t rely on their experience, but it’s the data that drives this whole thing. And so entrepreneurial-ism is, is less about, you know, this like make your wings on the way down and, you know, learn to fly as you’re falling and it’s more about like learning from the mistakes of others, finding the stuff that’s gonna make a difference and doing that faster. So you don’t have to waste all that time.

Chris (29:48):

Yeah, that’s it, man. And that’s really important to me. It’s the thing that really drives me all the time to create better content is gym owners wasting time. Now you mentioned like there are other business coaches and consultants out there. And you know, I do think that they help people most of the time, but the problem is what they’re selling is novelty.

Chris (30:07):

So what that means is that, you know, if I want to sell gym owners on like the newest thing, you know, Pinterest ads, OK. Then I have to produce a Pinterest ads guide really, really quick, your complete Pinterest ads guide, click here to download. And then I have to sell them on my program. The way that I win at that and sell a lot of business consulting is to be the first, not the best. It’s just the first, OK. Brand new clubhouse comes out. I’ve got to have the clubhouse guide for gym owners fastest. The problem is when you’re selling novelty, you don’t have time to test. And so while we won’t have the first clubhouse marketing guide for gym owners, we will definitely have the best, or we’ll say, you can skip this one. And to me, you know, building a legacy and helping gym owners build multi-generational businesses, it’s less important to be the fastest and more important to be the truth.

Mike (31:06):

And really the second you publish the Pinterest marketing guidance out of date, right? Like that’s the whole trouble. And we’ve done this so many times thinking about planning social media guides, and so forth. It’s so hard to stay on top of things because everything changes so quickly. But teaching someone tell a story lasts forever, and that will apply in any media that’s available. The last question that I’m going to ask you is this, so what are your future plans on data collection and microgyms? Cause I know you’re always thinking big and you’ve got your eye on the horizon. So what’s next with all the data that you’re going to keep collecting and how are you gonna apply that to helping gyms build that multi-generational wealth?

Chris (31:41):

So an interesting thing happened when we published that state of the industry guide at the end of 2020, the first thing that happened was about three other software platforms, big names that everybody would recognize said, we want to be part of this.

Chris (31:55):

You know, there’s nobody that’s going to be able to do this on their own because we’re all competing with one another. We need a central hub, like Two-Brain to kind of pull things together in a report in an objective way. So, next year that data set will be even larger. The other thing that’s got to happen now is we have to start going deeper into the data. So for example, we know what the average mean, average CrossFit, unlimited prices across the world. We know what it is in America. What is it in Atlanta? You know, and we’re starting to be able to get that now, too. We can dig into data better. We can say, you know, what is the average price if you’re in Manhattan? And the majority of your clientele are between 20 and 30 years old, we can say, what is it?

Chris (32:42):

If you are in Sault Ste. Marie, and you have a 2000 square foot gym, how is that different than if you have a 6,500 square foot gym, what is the right size gym for my area? And these are the numbers that we’re starting to collect now. So in the future, we can be even more prescriptive saying like, you know, the best model in this location is that. This is super important to me because every gym is different and I want to keep it that way. I don’t want to have a franchise, even though we get asked for this about five times a month, what I want to do is let every gym owner be a true entrepreneur, learn the stuff, have the data that only the big chains get and make decisions based on that. Now, the reason that orange theory and F 45 and Barry’s bootcamp, the reason these guys spread is because they collect data and they make decisions based on data.

Chris (33:33):

And they change what they’re doing based on data. Every time somebody buys a membership at F 45, there’s somebody at headquarters reviewing that sales script, reviewing that sales person’s close rate and saying, what if we tweak this thing? And then they test, and then they improve. And it’s the data that smoking all these little micro gyms. Each of us until you know, we built this hub was out there, kind of on an island, making guesses, thinking about our N equals 1 dataset, leaning on people in Facebook groups whose experience and motivation might be misaligned with ours. Let’s put it that way. And finally, you know, maybe we’re better off seeking their opinion. Maybe we’re worse off. That just can’t happen if micro gym owners are going to be successful, we need a central data hub. We need all the tools that the franchises have, but we want to maintain the freedom of self ownership instead of being a franchisee.

Chris (34:30):

And that’s where we’re going.

Mike (34:31):

My name is Mike Warkentin. I’m a recovering whimsical entrepreneur. I used to make decisions based on my gut and based on nonsense and whatever I felt like since I started working with Two-Brain I now make decisions based on data and the data doesn’t lie. Chris, thank you so much for sharing your time and insight with us. The state of the industry guide is in production as we speak, and that is going to be out. It’s a huge project, but it is coming out at the end of the year. And we’ll tell you exactly how to get it so that you can get this information for yourself. Chris, thank you so much.

Chris (35:00):

Thanks Mike.

Mike (35:02):

I’m Mike Warkentin and that was Two-Brain founder, Chris Cooper. Before you go be sure to join the Gym Owners United group on Facebook. Chris is in there all the time, dropping data and sharing strategies. You won’t see him posting in any other public Facebook group. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook. Join it today and I’ll see you in it.


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