Coronavirus Town Hall for Gym Owners No. 3 With Chris Cooper




Andrew (00:00:02):

Welcome to a special edition of Two-Brain Radio. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten gym owners around the world, Two-Brain business founder Chris Cooper is hosting a series of emergency webinars to help fitness entrepreneurs get through the crisis. What follows is the audio from the March 20 live webinar. For more info that can help you in your business in this tough time, visit the blog on And now, here’s Chris Cooper.

Chris (00:00:25):

Hey everybody, thanks for making it. Today is March 20th. For some of us, this is the start of week three of the coronavirus crisis. For others it is day one. And so we’re going to briefly cover why you need to be focused on right now, what the best tactics are for the gyms who are being really successful through this crisis and the steps that you should be taking in the next 10 days, 60 days and 90 days to make sure that your gym survives and actually comes out of this a little bit ahead. So, as questions come up guys, what I’d like you to do is use the chat button. So if you scroll down to the bottom of the screen there, you’ll see the chat and I will answer them as I go to give you a couple of updates, uh, in the last few days.

Chris (00:01:13):

The good news is that our strategy is working, that a pivot to one-on-one delivery of your programming is still showing a 90% conversion rate for people in your gym. And it also has a longer adherence rate than broadcasting group classes does. My goal with this video is to be signal in a world full of noise. And so I’m going to stick to the facts. If you have questions, by all means, please ask them, but I want to make sure that I’m not giving anybody the wrong impression because it’s so easy to get buried in the minutia of this. So the very first thing is I still see a lot of posts about doing online group classes. That’s a natural pivot for you to make because you’re so used to doing group classes that, you know, your ideas is like we’re going to do this exact same service, but now we’re going to do it over here on the internet instead of in person.

Chris (00:02:09):

The problem is that, adherence data from group classes, so I’m talking about like broadcasting your class on Zoom, Skype, Facebook live, doesn’t matter. The adherence rate drops off starting at the three-day mark. So while doing the group classes is a good stop gap, and it can buy you a little bit of time, it’s not going to be your permanent solution. So if you haven’t already downloaded our guide to pivoting to online training, please do that. There’s a really, really, really important point in there. There’s also like, here’s the email you need to send your clients, here’s the language that you need to use with your clients. Here’s how to establish the value and here’s how to set yourself up for longterm success with this program. And, continuing with the bright spots, a lot of gyms in Two-Brain who have made this pivot successfully are like shocked to find out that they’re already getting new clients or old clients are coming back because now they have this online training option.

Chris (00:03:09):

It’s a real epiphany for a lot of gym owners because it shows you like they didn’t hate your service, they didn’t hate you. There was just one little thing stopping them and it was probably convenience. And now that you’ve removed that one little barrier, people want your service. So believe it or not, there are some gyms who not only have 100% retention, but they’ve already gotten new clients by pivoting to this online model by demonstrating leadership in their communities, by giving people clear answers on how to stay healthy during this crisis. And just by making this service available, there’s a lot for us to be optimistic about. I hope to convey that over the next hour. That’s right. Rob, you’re doing it man. Way to go brother. So we’re going to get into data guys, and I am going to make sure that I answer every single question before I leave here today.

Chris (00:04:00):

But I know that not everybody has an hour and a half, two hours to spend with me. So I’m going to start by going through the big points. OK, here’s what we’re going to do. The first thing, if you’re not closed now you should plan to close. So when the crisis hit and it was left up to us in Canada whether to close or not, my thought was I don’t want to close. I want to be like the common hub for people to go find support and community and get out of their house. And we were debating back and forth on whether to close or not. And then finally we said, yeah, we’re closing. And we did that maybe four hours before our government decided a mandated close anyway. But what happened was that people in the community started saying, thank you for making that decision.

Chris (00:04:47):

Thank you for making that tough call. I’m sure it was tough. And so it’s really important here that you are taking the steps before they’re forced upon you. They’re going to be forced upon you anyway. Set yourself up for an online pivot and just close the gym if you need some help with that. You can see previous recordings where I walked through that pivot step-by-step. Here’s what you say to your members on email. Here’s what you say one-on-one. The step though, once you’ve moved to this online training that I think a lot of people are missing right now is how you deliver that. So I’m going to go through that again. And then in our new Facebook group, Gym Owners United, I’m going to share a video of one of my coaches at Catalyst doing this with a client this morning. I asked him to record what he said.

Chris (00:05:32):

He did it off the cuff and it’s perfect. Cause it’s not hard, you guys, everybody can do this. So the first thing you’re going to say is client, we’re closing the gym because my worst fear would be exposing you to unnecessary risk. However, it’s most important to me that you maintain this buffer of health and fitness and strong immunity during this time of crisis. We are going to keep coaching you. We’ve lost a tool, but we haven’t lost our ability to coach you. So during this time what we’re going to do is issue a workout every day. I’m going to get in touch with you every single day and I’m going to tell you exactly what to do and how to make this work out perfect for you. Now, this is normally a service that we charge more for than what you’re currently paying, but while this crisis is going on, you are going to pay your normal gym rate and still get this higher level service.

Chris (00:06:25):

OK? There’s a few things in there. Number one, I was really careful to anchor the value of this service as higher than what they’re currently paying. Number two, I was presumptive in that they’re not going to cancel. Number three, I told them exactly what to expect. Now let’s talk about how that looks like in delivery. There’s a difference between a program customization and program personalization program. Customization means this. You’re going to take the gym’s general fitness programming, and you’re going to deliver it to each client one-on-one, and you’re going to customize it for that. So your message sounds like this. Hey Zack, good morning. How are you? Good. Here’s today’s workout. I know that your goal is to get over lower back pain. And so when you’re doing this workout, I want you to focus on X, and this is going to have the effect of Y, and here is the primary benefit for you.

Chris (00:07:27):

OK? So instead of just delivering features, here’s how many thrusters and pull ups you gotta do. You have to be very cognizant of delivering benefits. Here is how this workout will benefit you today. Next, you pick up the phone and you call the next client. Maybe she’s getting the same workout, but her goal is weight loss. Hey, Jennifer, hope you’re doing well. Here’s today’s workout. What I want you to focus on in this workout is alternating periods of high intensity with low intensity. So you’ve got enough time to metabolize, preferentially fat for fuel. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to go as hard as you can for the first three minutes of step-ups and push-ups. Then I want you to take a 40-second break. Don’t let yourself cheat and start early. Then I want you to go as hard as you can again for five minutes.

Chris (00:08:21):

Now you can use the same workout for 150 people in your gym, but the customization has to be different. The next level of online programming is personalization and that differs from customization because customization means taking a general prescription and making it fit. This client personalization means writing a completely different prescription for that client and their goals. So what we’re doing here is we’re anchoring value. We’re showing people that we can still coach them really, really well at home and we’re not undermining our private personal online training. All right? You can certainly ask questions about that in the chat if you want to, and I’ll come back to those in a moment. We have learned a few things about delivering online training in the last 24 hours. The first is that you need to think about offering some kind of challenge. So start with the personalized training.

Chris (00:09:14):

Run with that for about the first week. If somebody starts to drop off and you have to pay really close attention to this, if somebody isn’t making your workouts anymore, you need to pick up the phone and call them, not text them, not Facebook message them, not tag them on Instagram. You pick up your phone and you call them, how are you doing? How are you really doing? And ask them that question. Then it’s a good idea to think of like a challenge. And a couple of people in the Two-Brain group are having a lot of fun because this is traditionally the CrossFit Open time, right? So they’re going to run like instead of the intramural open, the intramural closed or there was the Quaranteams was the name of another great one. Right? So it’s great for stickiness to have some kind of challenge and if you can introduce another layer of accountability by making people into teams, that’s great.

Chris (00:10:09):

The last piece about online training that I want to talk about before I answer questions is what you’re actually selling online training is not just your training done online. OK? It’s not like a recorded video. It’s definitely not your programming. You cannot sell your programming. Chris Spealler’s selling his programming for 19 bucks a month or he’s probably giving it away free now. You’re not going to compete with that. What you have to do is know what your clients need right now and deliver that to them. So I spent the last four hours on video calls with the top training platforms in the world and I was grilling their CEOs or their product developers and saying like, what do the top online trainers in the world do that I can teach to gym owners who want to do online training? And what they said was they do challenges, which is great, but also they tend to focus more on what is the client need right now.

Chris (00:11:11):

What do our clients need right now? They need structure. Most people are sleeping in for the first time in 30 years. Most people have their kids home all day for the first time. Most people have a cupboard full of carbohydrates that’s just calling to them all day. They lose structure because they don’t have the structure of school and work to set their clock to all day. The next thing that they do, even if you look up like health and fitness trends on Google right now, you’re going to find a lot more around sleep, around mindfulness, around stress reduction than anything else. And so when I was just talking with Train Heroic, they were saying that their coaches who keep clients the longest have actually pivoted to talking to the clients more about rest and sleep than they are about performance right now. OK?

Chris (00:12:04):

Nobody is going to increase their one rep max hang power snatch in the next six weeks. OK? You need to get them to embrace a new goal. You can do that by setting up a short term challenge. You can do that by gamifying the experience, putting them in teams. You can also do that by giving them some structure into their day. All right. I hope that helps. So before I forget, we do have a brand new online coaching course. How to set it up, how to deliver it, how to have your coaches help you deliver it. How to charge for it, how to get your current clients to do it, how to get future clients to do it. We’re having that all set up. We’re going to give it to Two-Brain family members for free and it’s going to be part of our incubator process going forward from now on.

Chris (00:12:53):

All right. Thank you for your questions. So many here. Where do I get the guide, Josh? If you’re in the Facebook group called Gym Owners United, in the file section you will see our online training guide and what you’ve got in that guide our step-by-step, here’s what you’re delivering, here’s how you’re delivering it. Here’s how you anchor the value. Here’s how you talk to clients about it. Here are some samples. What’s not in that guide that we didn’t foresee the need for was how to deliver the why. Like how to tell your clients this will help you because, and now that was a blind spot on my part because starting as a personal trainer, this is something that I had to do at every single session for 10 years. Group coaches generally don’t have to do this, but if you learn how to do it now and you practice, it will make you a better group coach later because you’ll be able to do this. The silver lining here guys is we’ve basically taken all the problems you might face in the next five years and condensed them into the next 60 days. And we’re going to go through them all at once. And when we get out the other side, we’re going to have a brand new coaching toolkit. We’re going to be better coaches, we’re going to have a brand new revenue stream. It’s great. We just have to make it there.

Chris (00:14:08):

All right, Jennifer de Merino. Hi Chris. Any data on using online coaching with online virtual group classes? Yes, Jennifer’s. So you will have clients who say, I just want to see everybody’s faces. I miss my gang. And I totally get that. So for these people, if you want to, you could open up an online group class maybe twice a day, three times, six noon and five, whatever you want to. And measure that we don’t have data on it. Thank you for asking for data. I love that. Here’s what you have to know. The coach who’s really good at coaching people in person is not necessarily the same coach who can deliver an amazing class online. If you’re going to deliver classes online, you have to ask yourself who are the best in the world at this right now, and I’m going to say the best in the world of this right now is Peloton.

Chris (00:15:02):

If you’re going to deliver a single Zoom class online, you should go on YouTube and spend an hour or two hours on YouTube watching Peloton classes. These people are not movement experts. They do not have PhDs. They’re not talking about premeditation or mobility. They are throwing a party and they are choreographing this whole big thing and they are calling you out by name, high five. It’s like, it’s a dance night with your best friends, right? It’s not quite a bachelorette party. It’s still guided and coached, but it’s more cheerleading than what you’re probably used to and maybe what you prefer. However, just like one-on-one delivery, if you can practice and develop this skillset, even if it feels foreign, even if it feels fake, even if it feels weird, you are going to be a better coach on the other side of this. Brian St. Andrews, it’s great to see your brother.

Chris (00:15:51):

Are they upselling or replacing at a current rate? Service-wise, I mean. Some of them actually are upselling, right? You know what I mentioned, Rob put up his hand earlier was that as soon as these guys started publishing online training available, some of them started getting new clients or getting old clients back. And so we still follow the prescriptive model. You do a one on one call, we determine your goals. We figure out your starting point and then we are going to make you a prescription. So some people’s prescription might be, I need to see you one-on-one. We’re gonna do one-on-one online training. You’re going to have a personalized plan. I’m going to use Zoom to come into your house three times a week for 30 minutes and I’m going to walk you through this and teach you OK. But for most people, they are selling their base online package, which is usually brand new to that gym at their current membership rate.

Chris (00:16:43):

They want to keep people engaged. You know, that’s your top priority for the next 10 days is retention. So you can bill them April 1st but you can’t undermine the value cause you’re going to sell this in the future. I hope that helps. Pete, how’s the equipment loan program working for other gyms? So, Pete, we’re not sure. It’s tough because retention is the only reason you would loan your equipment is to keep clients around longer. Right? We agree on that. Retention is a lagging metric, meaning we can’t tell until this is all over. If that’s going to work, two things are telling me that it might work. The first thing is if you’re a Robert Cialdini fan and you’ve read like “Influence and Persuasion,” then you’ll know that lending people something means you’re probably going to see them again. Right? Like they’ll always look at that dumbbell and be like, oh, I gotta get that back to the gym. Also that they owe you something.

Chris (00:17:38):

We actually teach this as part of the sales process in Two-Brain Business. When somebody comes into your gym, you give them a bottle of water and it triggers this reciprocal, I must give something back response. OK. Very powerful psychological move. The other reason that I think it might work, and this is because this is the only data there is, is if you look at gyms in areas that have had a natural disaster, a hurricane or flooding, sometimes they have tested a equipment loan out and they’ve always gotten the equipment back and they’ve always gotten a client back. It’s a small sample size, very few gyms usually lending out to very, very few clients. And we can get into the whole backstory of why they tried it in the first place. But in those cases, retention was at a hundred percent. I’m not willing to bank my business on that.

Chris (00:18:24):

At Catalyst, we’re not lending equipment out, but you know, until we have actual data and next time we have one of these, we will have actual data on that for you. Until we have actual data, I don’t think there’s any harm in it and I think there could possibly be a positive upside. Brian, CrossFit folks pay 167 and your OPEX-style client pays 267 to 367. That’s fine, Brian. The thing that you’ve got to do is like differentiate the service that your CrossFit people are getting from the service that your OPEX style people are getting. And I was literally on OPEX’s podcast or webinar or whatever it was two hours ago talking about this. What you’ve got to do, and this is going to be trickier for you than for most, is you’ve got to say, I have this like think of it as an OPEX downsell.

Chris (00:19:10):

I have this version of my OPEX style training that’s available for you know, 189 and I’m going to give that to my CrossFit gym members. What you can’t do is provide the 267 level service to the CrossFit people because now you’re undercutting like your best clients. I think that you get that. So I’m sorry guys, I can’t see names. I see MAR asking opinion about actively using this to attract new paying clients. Yes. It’s happening already. It’s really easy to get like five personal training clients. The way that you would do this is first you would, you would take the online training option to people who are former members because they already know you, like you and trust you. Then you would take it to like the friends of your current members and then you would put it out on Facebook.

Chris (00:19:57):

I will say that online training is so novel for people that it’s like, you know, CrossFit in 2010. If I post, I’m opening a CrossFit gym and it’s 2010 and Facebook is around, I get my firsthand clients and that’s happening with online training right now. Most of the people in Two-Brain who are reporting, I got this new online training client are surprised and delighted. I can’t believe it. I got this new online training client, you know, I’ve never tried this thing before and it’s immediately successful. Is that going to work forever? No. There’s low hanging fruit. There are people who are dying for this. It’s like the perfect storm to sell online training right now. However, we recognize that, you know, in the next 10 days your priority is retention. That’s not going to save your gym in the long term. You have to keep acquiring new clients.

Chris (00:20:43):

The only way you’re going to acquire new clients right now is online. And so the course that we’re building to give to the Two-Brain family and to build it into our incubator should be done by about Tuesday. And it’s how to acquire clients online too. To be honest with you, man, the only thing that’s slowing us down on the development of that course, we know what to do. We know what the systems are and we know how to set this up and how to price it. We’re testing ads right now, so we’re putting like thousands of dollars into ads for gyms to get clients in their doors through online coaching. We’re measuring what works and that’s what we’ll put in our curriculum later. Dre, this may be premature, but I don’t want to forget. Oh, Drew. All right. If I hover over it, I can kind of see it.

Chris (00:21:27):

Sorry Drew. We’re making all of our content available direct to our members via email and through a private Facebook group. The thought is they are paying and this is the only way to show them value for their membership dues. Would you encourage them to share pics video of them working out? Yeah, more media is better. Absolutely. But, so Drew, you know, something that I said on the Train Heroic webinar that I did a couple of hours ago is like walls are coming down right now. I’ll give you an example from our group. So Bill Schiffler, CrossFit Renaissance, one of the best CrossFit names ever. He had a husband and wife combo and the husband was paying for unlimited membership. The wife was paying for, let’s call it two times a week. They’re sitting together in the living room at the start of the workout. Bill is not going to say to the wife, sorry, you only paid for two workouts a week.

Chris (00:22:17):

You can’t do this one. Right? So while you have to be careful to preserve value, by the same token, you cannot try and hide your workouts from anybody. Like at this point, I think you should almost be more public with things. Don’t give anything away, but you’ve got to understand like your programming is not your secret sauce, right? Nobody is paying for your programming. Sorry man. It’s not that special. And that’s a hard lesson that I had to learn, too. What they’re paying for is that personalized value delivery. You know, Two-Brain publishes content every single day. I do not hold back on information because what we sell is not access to information or access to equipment. What we sell is mentorship. We’re a mentorship practice and you’re a coaching practice. I hope that helps. But yeah, they should be sharing it because you’re proud of them.

Chris (00:23:08):

Mark, what if a limited number wants to upgrade to unlimited during this time. Free upgrade? No, charge, man. Something you gotta be really careful about here guys, is that you don’t throw out all of your systems and policies longterm because of the short-term crisis. I know. It’s tempting to just like throw policies out the windows. I’ll give you whatever you want at whatever discount it takes. You know what, don’t pay me this month even though everybody else is paying me. I’m going to tell you right now, people have a long memory and what’s most important here is the story that you’re telling about your fair and equitable and valuable coaching. So if people want to upgrade, that’s fantastic. Mark that’s a testament to your great coaching. Let them upgrade. Rory Fitzpatrick, what would you charge for equipment rental? $0.

Chris (00:23:59):

You not an equipment rental company. Christopher Heed. How do I contact all 130 of my clients every day and personalize the program for them? So again, there’s a difference between customization and personalization. And I hope you caught that earlier, Christopher. It’s not that hard, Train Heroic estimated two to three minutes per client per day using video. When a lot of gyms do it for the first time, it was six or seven minutes the first time. But that’s because their clients are excited to hear from them and their clients are emotional and the clients have a lot to talk about. And so the coaches wisely sat there and listened, let the client be heard. And then they said, here’s your workout, blah, blah, blah. But as people get acclimated to staying at home and used to this crisis and it drags on, two to three minutes is probably average. And that’s coming from one of the biggest platforms in the world who’s been doing this for three years. All right.

Chris (00:24:58):

So Mark, you use SugarWOD. Yeah, me too. Should we continue to use and allow members to see a week’s worth of workouts? Not in advance, man. I don’t think so. I think, the thing is like, you’ve got to—I don’t deliver a week’s worth of workouts in advance to my clients anyway. You know, one of the greatest things about our type of gyms, whether you’re a CrossFit gym or not, is novelty. It’s that, constantly varied, you don’t know what’s coming next. If you think about the attention that the CrossFit open workouts get or used to get on a Thursday night at 4:59 when everybody’s tuned into that YouTube channel and they’re hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh. That’s what people used to do with in 2007. You might remember that. So, the thing is, if you tell them in advance, right?

Chris (00:25:53):

Like, let’s say that you were doing the CrossFit Open, but you knew all the workouts in advance, you don’t get that excitement. CrossFit does that for like the masters and I think the teens now and I gotta tell ya, it’s not as exciting. Right? It’s building that anticipation, seizing that moment and being aware of the value of a surprising and delighting your clients. There’s so much value in that and I would do that all the time. Hey, Jeff, affiliate owner, Stay Classy. I’d also recommend adding classes to Saturday and Sunday. The five day work week is gone. Yeah. Keep your members engaged and with structure seven days a week. Also scheduled OG gym time a few times a week on Zoom just to bring the community together to chat and work out together. That’s great, Jeff. I think that’s a great balance there, you’re definitely not hurting anything by doing that.

Chris (00:26:41):

You’re supplementing your delivery, right? It’s not the whole thing. I think that’s fantastic. One thing you guys should know is that big chain gyms like Lifetime, Equinox, what they sell per month for 299 to four 499 is mostly accountability. That’s what you’re selling here in good times. When people have a structured workday and they’re always going to work out at 6:00 AM because they have to be at work at eight and they are always gonna eat lunch at noon and when they get home, they’re always going to see their kids at dinner time and the kids will be tired by eight o’clock. During those times, people need accountability and they’re paying twice as much as they would pay for a CrossFit membership. Well guess what? That’s twice as important now. I’ve been home with my kids for about three days.

Chris (00:27:26):

I’m having a fantastic time. They need more structure and so do I. All right, MJ, we’re closing our doors via government mandate. Closed the business tonight in Arizona. We’ve run daily at-home WODs and videos up and running. We also have the option for members to switch to one-on-one online client up and running. Both strategies are doing well and are successful. Next move is to Zoom class schedule, which we have in place ready to rock and roll. That said, we’re in Arizona and we’d love to take advantage of great weather and incorporate park workouts. Question is what percentage of park workouts versus Zoom classes should I run, ideas to run both led by coach. What about capping 10 at the park. OK, so MJ, a couple things. Your at-home WODs and videos should supplement one-on-one delivery. I think we’ve already been clear enough about that.

Chris (00:28:14):

I’m not going to beat a dead horse. I would save the park workouts for like your 60 day plan and I’m going to go through this guys, 10 day, 60 day, 90 day plan, very shortly here. The park workouts are awesome. People are going to miss one another. You want to bring them together. The thing is though, like you do not want to expose people to this disease, right? Just like letting kids run wild in your box, you have to imagine the worst case scenario here that one of your members catches covid from another one of your members. What does that do to your box and what is worth that risk? To me it’s nothing. The thing about classes, so when the gyms were closed in China, we were working with the gyms and their pivot was like, OK, do exactly what we’re doing, but take it outside.

Chris (00:29:05):

Kind of inconvenient, but we’re going to do it anyway. The problem they found was like at the start of the class, they would say, here’s a mask for everyone and everybody stay 10 feet apart and this is China, right? Where this is happening every two years. Like, Oh, we went through this with SARS. It’s just another SARS, whatever. So people are used to social distancing. Our culture in these gyms are not used to social distancing. So when Jim walks up to you after the workout like this, you are going to fist bump him. When Betty Lou at Catalyst sees me coming to the gym, she’s going to hug me. And you as the leader need to remove the danger of that happening because I as the client can’t, right? And capping 10 limit at the park, I guess. But you’ve got to keep people apart. It’s really, really tough.

Chris (00:29:55):

MJ, if you do it, please let us know how it works. So. OK, David, does anything change with insurance, with coaching online? This is a fantastic question. So David, I got on the phone with the Affiliate Guard and the RRG and I said, are these gyms covered? And both of them gave me back the response that if these are your normal clients, they already belong to your gym and you’re moving them to online training, you should be fine. If you start selling online training as a separate service and you are talking to clients over Zoom at intake and you’re delivering their programming and you never ever meet them, you might need an additional rider. Neither of those companies was able to provide it for me, but I should be able to find you something in the next 48 hours. Let’s see,

Chris (00:30:39):

Justin, I’m in Two-Brain growth and was looking to see when that tool you were talking about is going to be available. Is there a post or link somewhere with detailed steps on how to deliver the message about one on training? Yeah, so Justin, that’s been available for about 10 days. If you are in the Facebook group, click on files and you’ll see Online Training Pivot. We’ve sent it out in two emails, one to you and then a week later to everybody. I want to make sure that you get it though. So please shoot me a Facebook message afterward and I can make sure like that you’ve got that in your hand. What I’m talking about, the new tool is a course, and that’ll be available to you guys next week.

Chris (00:31:20):

Locklin: Do you have any advice for dealing with landlords in regards to reducing your pausing rent? Yeah, so I’m a landlord and I come at it from their perspective. Most governments now, so I’m talking Canada for sure. Australia, New Zealand for sure and some places in the States are now talking about mortgage abatement, which means you can skip one to six months of paying your mortgage with banks. Not every landlord knows this yet. Your best bet is start framing the conversation now by saying, Hey, look, I’m OK through April, by the end of April. if this is still going on, I’m going to be in trouble or I’m going to need your help. Can we take May’s rent and spread it out over the following six months. As a landlord, that would actually be a sigh of relief to me because I would know what to do.

Chris (00:32:07):

Most landlords don’t know what to do, so they’re going to either charge you rent and risk losing you and your business or just lose the money entirely. Right. I think that’s the best, easiest solution. Dana, how many clients per coach do you think is a limit or does the limit exist to retain quality of service when starting out? Interested in first helping our current clients as much as possible, haven’t posted anywhere, public, social, just wondering if we should try to reach out. So the first thing I do, Dana, is like run it just with your current clients for a week. Get a sense of how long it’s going to take, knowing that that time is actually going to go down per call. And in our Facebook group, Gym Owners United after this, I’ll share that video from Mike and Catalyst on how he does it.

Chris (00:32:53):

I mean he’s a pro, but he and I have been doing this together since like 2003. It’s really, really easy. You just have to show that you care enough to tailor the workout to them. OK. So I would start with that. And then how many clients, you know, can you handle, I mean, we split up about 185 clients, over four coaches and it took them about two to three hours. So, you know, Train Heroic is telling me like two to three minutes per client per day. The only data that we have says six to seven minutes. But again, it’s because this is a brand new service with a brand new crisis. So budget for six to seven minutes per coach, I hope. Joe Venuti, don’t play with me Joe. OK, I’ll come to your gym and we’ll pick up that CPR dummy and I will drag it someplace outside in the cold Boston winter and leave it for you to find like a corpse.

Chris (00:33:53):

Oh, Justin. Incubator. I’m sorry brother. You’re not in growth stage yet. I will talk to your mentor and make sure that you have that guide. You’re right. You need to be pivoting to that right now. And by early next week you’ll have a brand new course in incubator that’s available to you. OK. Louis, how best to market the online training programs to new or old and active members, social media and newsletter to the PDF that you put on a few days ago. Would that be a way to offer new clients online training? Fantastic questions. When we’re marketing something, anything, we always start at the center. OK, what do our best clients need? Then we say who is closest to them? OK. So it’s like referral marketing, except you take the reins and you say, you know, how can I solve your husband’s problem?

Chris (00:34:47):

And then you call the husband. OK? So start with that. Then you start with former clients. You know, about three times a year, we tell every Two-Brain gym member, like reach out to all former clients. What you should be doing right now is calling every client who’s canceled in the last year and just saying, how are you doing? No, no. How are you really doing? And just listening to them, right? They’re probably still paying attention to you even though they’re not paying you money. So all you’re doing is having that conversation, which has value in its own sake. You’ll feel better for helping them. Then when you say, OK, I have five spots available for this new online training option that we have. You can do everything in your home with the equipment that you have or don’t have, who wants it? We’ve seen people sell out on that program every single time we’ve tried it, you know?

Chris (00:35:38):

But I always go to the newsletter Lewis, if you know me, like I’m an email guy, right? We have a 43% daily open rate on our email list of 23,500 people. A lot of people read our stuff every single day. And that’s where I tell people about new opportunities more than Facebook. The PDF that we put out, would that be a way to offer new clients online training? No. So guys, I always want to share my experience with you. I never want to share my ideas with you. The difference is testing. I don’t want to give you stuff that hasn’t been tested. So when we share, here’s what to do, it’s because we have data showing us that is the best option and the other things didn’t work. So when we’re talking about like how to get new clients, we have a couple of good strategies already.

Chris (00:36:24):

Like I just shared with you, we do not know how to do Facebook marketing for online clients yet. That’s what we’re dedicating thousands of dollars into testing right now. And that’s what we’ll have sorted before we publish this course. I hope that helps. Alison, it’s great to see you. I won’t read your compliments, but I thank you. Just wanted to double check the, you said the adherence for members attempting classes online drops off after day three. Where’s that data coming from? So Alison, a mentorship practice isn’t top-down, like I don’t tell the mentors, tell your clients this. It’s actually bottom up. So what happens is, you know, 850 gyms inTwo-Brain right now, 2000 gyms in our network that we have, you know, some data from, or we’re keeping tabs on, we’ll say what is actually working and that will trickle up to the mentors, which will trickle up to our managers who will run data tests on it.

Chris (00:37:18):

So for example, when a Two-Brain gym gets on a call with their mentor this month and the mentor says, what steps have you taken? We’re doing video classes. What’s your adherence like in those classes? What’s your attendance like? Is it dropping and where does it drop? The first person to say to me three days was actually on the CrossFit L1 staff. He’s a very charismatic dude, if he’s losing clients at three days, I start to worry. The mean average, so I’m saying like as low as three days, the mean average is more like five to six days, but you’re going to have to check in your own gym. So what you need to do is look at who showed up to this class on Monday, who didn’t show up to the same class on Tuesday and you need to pick up your phone and call that person because you’re losing them.

Chris (00:38:02):

Ricard. Yeah. Have you figured out the best way to pay staff at the moment? Yes. 4/9ths, man. Basically, you can do this one of two ways. You split up your client list and you can say, I have this much money available to pay my coaches. I’m going to pay them like the group class rate to deliver these messages to my clients who are paying for a group membership, or I’m going to pay personal training rates to people who are delivering personal training one-on-one online. The same as I always did, up to a four ninths. Jarrett, can’t tell if this is JP or not, but I think it is, experts are surfacing everywhere on best practice. My question is thoughts on the longterm effects of this on the economics of the boutique fitness industry. Specifically CrossFits. Yeah, man. So Jarett, I’m sure you’ve read this book. Let me grab it.

Chris (00:38:56):

  1. This is “Antifragile” by Nassim Taleb. And in 2013, we had an economic downturn. I was reading this book and I was like, yeah, but how’s this gonna work for the gym? And one of the examples Taleb gives in the book “Antifragile,” he actually says like, we are unprepared for a worldwide pandemic. What would you do if you had to close your business? And around 2013 I started to wonder like, what would I do? And I started to think about park workouts and we actually started doing some strongman stuff like at my farm. But at that time there was an emerging small group of online coaching people. Jonathan Goodman is one of them, and they were delivering training online and I was like, how are they doing this?

Chris (00:39:49):

So I had Goodman on the podcast a few weeks ago, just, you know, for luck and he gives you the step by step on our podcast. What I see longterm though is a massive opportunity. There’s going to be, you know, barriers are coming down. There’s going to be more partnerships. There’s going to be more cross referrals. Gyms are getting a new revenue stream by adding this online personal training component. Jer, I know, you know you’ve got like, a chain of gyms at Brick. What you need to know is that big chains that sell themselves as coaching gyms like Orangetheory and F45, they are trying to pivot to online training. Right now, Equinox has already done that. They’re laughing. Lifetime has already done that. They’re laughing. So but these big chains, they have to pivot like a thousand trainers over.

Chris (00:40:37):

And so, when they do that, it’s gonna take a while. So we’re lucky enough to be nimble, open-minded, positive, caring coaches with one-on-one relationships with our clients. We can pivot faster. To the transparent response to the affiliate owners who are struggling prior to this almost inevitable recession, even if temporary, what’s the prep for them without going further into debt? I mean that’s really tough. So there’s a couple of ways that people are trying to cashflow this. The first is to like put their own personal funds into the business. I really don’t like that. If you do it, make sure that you write yourself a document saying that you, the shareholder are lending the business this money. Because when you took that business, that money out of the business, you are taxed on it. When you put it back in, you’re not making that tax back.

Chris (00:41:34):

And when you take it out again, you’re going to get taxed again. So to avoid double taxation, you have to have some kind of document saying, I am writing a loan to my LLC or corporation. The second thing that you have to be aware of is SBA loans. And grants. We’ve actually got a list published in that public Facebook group, Gym Owners United, or we’ve got a few links so far. The thing about SBA loans is you have to stay on top of them for two reasons. The first is that you don’t know when they’re going to become available in your state. The government does not communicate them very well. The second thing is they are first come first served. So a few days ago we published a list of SBA loans to the Two-Brain group and people applied and they were already approved. So that means if they lose revenue in their business, they’re going to get access to that pool first.

Chris (00:42:23):

You need to get on these lists right now. What should affiliates look out for in these newly surfaced crises? honestly, Jarrett, there’s so much man, I think what they should look out for is the opportunity to lead and the potential longterm ramifications of every single action they take. They don’t want to undermine their policies. They don’t want to undermine their value. However, by staying small with low overhead right now, they are going to be the longterm winner. You know, something that I said a few days ago in an email which got me a lot of hate mail was if you’re the last gym left on the block, you are going to benefit big time. And I usually try to be more tactful than that. Honestly, you know, I’m a shy Canadian, but in these times, like I don’t have time to be unclear.

Chris (00:43:17):

So if you can last through May into June, you will be able to hire the coaches and owners of other gyms. You’ll be able to save their clients from lapsing back into morbidity and chronic disease. You’ll be able to continue the mission. And so what we should be looking out for is opportunities to stay alive, to lead your community and to prosper at the end of this. J Wine, are these initial calls just check-ins in general or are you prescribing different package options right off the bat? So Jay, as a caring coach, you’re calling to say, how are you doing? Then you’re saying, it’s my job to take care of your fitness. Here are your options. Does that make sense? Amen. Can you go through one-on-one delivery brief please, just joined. No, please go back to the start of the video and watch that. Brian, Coop.

Chris (00:44:10):

One more question. My lease renews in 90 days and I signed an extension. Best practice around unwinding that for now. Brian, I mean, the best practice is you grab a cup of coffee, you grab one for your landlord, you go sit down with them and you say, here’s the reality of the situation. You know, can we go month to month after the end of this until I’m on a firm footing. I will definitely, you know, look to your guidance. But right now everything is so topsy turvy in my world that, you know, so you’re just being like transparent and open and honest with them. As a landlord, that’s what I would look for.

Chris (00:44:48):

So Joe Venuti, don’t touch Randy. So Randy is Joe’s CPR first aid on me. He’s full size, he weighs like 180 pounds. And I once did a fight gone bad workout where I had to pull Randy back and forth along the floor at Joe’s gym, CrossFit Mass. Chris O’Brien, do we need to call each member with daily WOD personalization or can we email them? Why or why not? There is a hierarchy of communication. OK. And this is ingrained in humans. The best communication is face to face, but we can’t do that. We have to go to the next level of personal communication. If you could get on a Zoom call with them or send them a video, that would be best. The third level would be a phone call so that they can at least hear your voice and inflection. The fourth level would be a text, which feels more personal because not everybody has my phone number.

Chris (00:45:37):

And the last option would be an email. I love email, dude. I wish that was the answer. It’s not. You gotta go top down. So you can’t talk to them in person. I would say send them a video every day or get on a Zoom call with them and explain it. If that doesn’t work, you’d pick up the phone. Especially if you have clients who are like 60 years old, they’re at risk. They need to be home. They don’t know how to use Zoom. They’re not going to get Facebook. You pick up the phone and you’d call them and they’ll pick it up on their old rotary landline with the curly cord and they’ll listen to you and then they’ll call you back when they’re done. Rory, what would you charge for in-home training compared to what you’re charging for group training at your facility?

Chris (00:46:19):

So slightly more is the answer, Rory. And if you download that free guide and I’ll explain exactly why and also what to do if you don’t know what you should be charging right now. Oh, OK. Jared, do you have any data on youth programs? My adults skipped out on the Zoom and asked to go personalized. Fantastic. I gave my youth performance group that option. They said no, I posted in the Gym Owners United group and someone else said they had a similar experience. Yeah, man. So, we’re still gathering data on kids. Honestly, about five, six days ago, a few of us thought it would be a good idea to tell members, yeah, bring your kids into the gym, let’s make them healthy and safe and burn off some nervous energy. Some people advertised that and got some really negative feedback. You’re exposing my kids.

Chris (00:47:07):

We got to remember that people are thinking emotionally right now, not logically, and they don’t know the science maybe that we do. So I would run an online kids group class. Now if these people are looking for specific athletic coaching, it’s actually pretty easy. So you would talk to each one and you’d be like, OK, here’s what I want you to focus on in this workout. You know, you need anaerobic capacity, 40 seconds and then you rest, this other person’s like, you need lateral movement, whatever. And you have both of those in the workout. But then you could easily run an open Zoom call for everybody. What you got to realize, guys, is like, kids are more connected than we are. They are used to, maybe not FaceTime anymore, but they’re used to FaceTime. They’re used to Tik Tok, they’re used to gaming with one another over the internet. They work and they think and they behave differently with their peers than we do. Let’s see. So Rob, four ninths of what? Four ninths model is a salary cap. If you think of all the revenue that you have coming into your business, 44% or 4/9ths of that revenue can be allocated to pay your staff. That’s how 4/9ths works. So if you’re charging $10,000 a month or collecting 10,000 a month in revenues, you can afford to pay out $4,444 in coach pay. OK. That’s just how it works. Just like the NFL’s new CVA cap, they’re at 47%, 4/9ths.

Chris (00:48:37):

Beth, how do you replicate the community aspect if you switch everyone and you don’t think virtual classes aren’t the way to go? Not everyone in the gym is Facebook friends. So what ways, so Beth, I got to tell you, the problem with the community aspect is that it’s impossible to measure. And in many cases the gym owner projects larger importance onto it than it actually has. If you’re worried that people will miss each other or that you’ll worry that you know they need to see each other, then do the Zoom call, by all means. But that is not the backbone of your coaching program. OK. That’s all. Jared, all the best to you, brother. I hope things are well.

Chris (00:49:15):

Oh, let’s see. Tanya, Chris, we just downsized in February and it is good because I’m not as stressed about our rent or clients. Awesome. Small as good right now, Tanya. I agree a lot of gyms right now who have pivoted to one-on-one are waking up to this epiphany of this whole new world and they’re like, wait a minute. I’m making 80% of the revenue that I was making before. I’m working four hours a day instead of all of the hours. My payroll is less unless I want to pay my coaches and I don’t have this ridiculous rent payment. I’m taking more money home. I have better quality of life. I’m here with my kids. I’m done by noon. Why the hell am I going back? And it’s just starting to hit people. But the way that you make yourself antifragile or more resilient is you lower those overhead costs that might not even be necessary anymore. Sorry, I’ll finish the question. It’s under control right now. We have to close up shop tonight and have been loaning out equipment. Nobody wants to drop and everyone is ecstatic that we’re going to put on one of the coaches teams. We’ve got this thanks to your team already. Got one new client from Germany and I’m in Texas. Well, yee-haw, Tanya. Congratulations. OK. So

Chris (00:50:28):

Jared, yes. Kids want the Zoom class. Do it for them again, man. Our kids are growing up very differently from how we grew up. They communicate online like they’re fluent in online. If you have a gym that’s all kids. Yeah. Then this advice changes. Go to video classes. But for kids classes right now it seems like running a video classes better than one-on-one. We’ll keep that for adults. Let’s move to Q and A.

Chris (00:51:00):

OK, great. We answered those questions already. What I want to move to now guys, is I want to give you a very, very clear 10 day plan, 60 day plan and 90 day plan. I hope and pray that this is all over before that 90 day plan kicks in. And I hope that you never ever need it. But my gut says that this is not going to just suddenly end. Even if a vaccine is discovered tonight, even if a cure is discovered tonight conclusively, you’re still going to have a couple of weeks where everybody has to get vaccinated where you’re, you know, you’re going to have to show like that your facility is clean and people start to cautiously trickle back in. OK, we’re dealing with fear here. We’re not dealing with logic. And that means it takes time to catch fire and it takes time for the fire to go out.

Chris (00:51:44):

So let’s start with your 10 day plan. First you have to manage your cashflow for the next 10 days. April 1st is probably the start of your next billing cycle. If you can make it to April 1st you’ve got quite a bit of breathing room. So your top priority right now is retention. And that means doing everything you possibly can to keep people’s membership active until April 1st and that’s why I say like if it takes six or seven minutes per phone call, if you have to let a client cry on you right now, that’s OK. Do whatever it takes to keep them. If they want one-on-one, but they also want three group classes a day on Zoom, that’s fine for now, right? Like let’s do whatever it takes to keep them. We’ll worry about, you know, getting rid of redundancies and stuff later. So that’s revenue.

Chris (00:52:36):

The second thing that you can do right now is if you’re ready to sell online coaching to people locally, you can post on Facebook that you have the system ready. But I’m going to warn you here, don’t do this until you’re actually ready to deliver on it because like introducing CrossFit to Sioux St Marie in 2008, I did a bad job of it and that kind of soured my market for years for clients who would be perfect for my gym. They didn’t want to come there because of the way that I rolled it out. OK? I blew it. Don’t do that with online training because that’s the next big thing. You also need to look at your expenses. So, what you want to do is this, you want to pull out your P and L or just like make a list of all the bills that you pay every single month, and then you want to go through them step-by-step. For your staff, which is the most uncomfortable one for most people,

Chris (00:53:27):

You want to contact your staff and say, is anybody, does anybody want to stay at home right now? Would you rather be at home than come in? Let them make that decision easy for you. The second thing that you say is, Hey guys, I know that our classes aren’t running. We’re still coaching our clients. That means I still need you. We’re going to deliver one on one sessions. Here’s the price for that. We’re going to deliver a one-on-one delivery of our programming. Here’s what I can pay you per hour for that. I hope it helps. OK. I have a bad feeling that there are going to be a lot of fitness coaches losing their jobs. I definitely don’t want that to happen. But yeah, it is an expense that a lot of gyms are going to have to face the hard reality with.

Chris (00:54:16):

The next thing is, your next big expense is rent. And we talked about like how to approach that with your landlord. OK, so that’s fine. Next is, loan and mortgage payments. There are a lot of debt relief programs out there right now. If you look at, um, a lot of banks are being given extra months, or extra credits like the fed dropped their rates to 0%. Banks can buy money to loan you really, really cheaply right now, interest rates are falling. They’re not as low as they’re gonna get. But, the government also took the extraordinary measure of mandating that people have extra time to pay their rent. You know, pay their mortgage. That’s going to trickle down to you guys eventually, but you’ve got to take the initiative right now and call the person holding your loan and saying, Hey, can you spread out April’s loan payment over the next six months or the next year?

Chris (00:55:14):

Cashflow is most important right now. So, let me give you an example. Around 2009, I had the two locations, right? And I was turning around the CrossFit gym, but like cashflow was still at a premium because we were making all these mistakes. I had about $12,000 in accounts receivable. We were billing people at the end of the month after they’d already trained with us. And I had no money to pay myself or my coaches and I had this like $600 loan payment because I was, I hated debt. I wanted to pay it off as quickly as I could. So I call my banker, I’m like, I can’t make my loan payment. Surely somebody before me has been through this. What do you do? And she’s like, Chris, this happens to everybody. Don’t worry about it. What we do is we spread out your loan payment over 10 years instead of three years and you make smaller payments every month and then when you get ahead, you get some cashflow momentum going, pay it all off at once.

Chris (00:56:11):

We don’t care, you know, but for now, like spread it out as much as you can. So if you’re not sure about your cash position in the next 30, 60 days, I do recommend applying for a line of credit or spacing your loans out or even taking like a cashflow loan. I have people in Two-Brain right now who have applied to the BC in Canada who have gone through, you know,, they’ve applied for funds. They’re going to get those funds at like 3%. The funds are going to be in their bank account. They’re not going to touch those funds. But the funds will make sure that they live to fight another day and they’ll pay those loans back later. I know that we’ve all been taught this dogma of don’t take personal debt, bootstrap everything. But guys, we’re in this for the long haul, right?

Chris (00:56:59):

We want a 30-year business. Your family’s groceries depend on this business. Like, do not be too prideful to tell your bank that you need help. I also know some lenders for equipment who are actually, pushing people’s fees back for a month or their loan payments. I’m just not going to name who they are because I’m not sure if they want every client to ask for that. And then finally you go through the rest of your expenses and you don’t say, what can I cut? Because you can never cut your way to success. You ask yourself, how do I improve my ROI? So for example, I pay my bookkeeper $200 per month. I don’t think I’m going to not pay my bookkeeper this month or I’m not going to get my taxes done this month. What I think is like, how can I get a better return on that $200 that I paid the bookkeeper this month?

Chris (00:57:46):

Call the bookkeeper. Christine, what should I do? I really need your guidance. She’s thrilled, right? Other people are canceling bookkeeping, which is crazy. She’s like, Chris, here’s what you need to do, blah, blah, blah. Improve your cashflow position. And I’ve got amazing value that far exceeds ROI on that. If you’re a great coach, you will provide this kind of value to your clients. And at Two-Brain, like we’re providing more value to our clients than ever before right now. That’s your 10 day position. Cashflow 60 day position is get your clients back. So you have to be prepared to ramp up operations again, I said it’s not just going to be like flipping a switch. What you need to do is you need to look for when your city reopens public gathering places and if they open public gathering places like parks before they reopened gyms and restaurants, then you need to start doing your workouts in the park again.

Chris (00:58:40):

OK? The next thing you need to do is you need to stay in contact with the people who cancel every single week. So you know, on Friday or on Monday, Hey, I know that you canceled. How are you doing? No, how are you doing? Right? You have to stay in contact with them because they’re still paying attention even though they’re not paying you money and when it’s time for them to come back, if you’ve been staying in constant contact with them, it’s going to be a really easy transition back into your gym. If you haven’t been in touch with them, it’s going to be really awkward and hard. OK? So stay in constant contact. And then finally, at the 60 day mark, when people are coming back in the gym, that’s when you call previous clients who have previously canceled and say, Hey, you know, now would you like to come back?

Chris (00:59:28):

We have this new online training option. Would you like to get on a Zoom call and talk for 15 minutes about your health and fitness goals? OK, 90 days. So 10 days, protect your cashflow. 60 days, get your clients back, 90 days, get your money back. Now you need to be applying for actual refunds. So there’s going to be tax refunds. There’s going to be a small business administration loans. We’ve got a doc to show gym owners in Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia where to apply to get this money. A lot of these countries have grants for landlords, for small business owners and for employees to ease that burden. So number one, I mean, if the government will pay your employees next month, you don’t have to, you can save that money. If the government, if you do pay your employees and the government will reimburse you, that’s fine, but just know that it’s going to take a little bit longer.

Chris (01:00:22):

And, you know, they are trying to like speed up the application and payment process, but you’ve got to understand it’s going to take weeks and months and people are applying for like billion dollars in aid. Right. So those are your 10 60 and 90 day priorities. I actually do have one more cashflow idea that I really, really like. So I mean if all of your clients quit, this is not going to solve your problem. But if it’s close, if you’ve got $5,000 worth of bills on April 1st and you’ve got $4,000 in the bank, this will work. It turns out that more people actually buy nutritional supplements when there is a health crisis going on. OK. It’s crazy. So, our friends at Driven Nutrition actually set up this program where they can turn around payments. So it’s a presale, you’re not putting money out of your pocket.

Chris (01:01:20):

You set this up and you say to your clients, here’s how this thing can help you. They’ll help you with all the messaging and stuff. You take orders, they ship directly to your clients. They don’t ship to your gym. You don’t have to deliver anything. You keep 40% of the revenue, which is insane for supplement sales and they turn payments around to you in three days after it ends. So if you need quick cash, I mean, I like these guys. I really believe in their values. I think they’ve got a great product and if you need an extra thousand dollars or whatever, this is a great way to do it. And that’s Driven Nutrition. Karen Herring, could you elaborate a bit on what you meant by being ready to roll out online coaching locally? Yeah, Karen. So do you mean pivoting my clients online coaching or selling new clients in my city on online coaching and I’ll wait for you to respond to that while I answer Matt.

Chris (01:02:13):

What’s the best initial response to cancellation requests? So, Matt, you can’t say no, right? You have to, you have to be confident enough as a coach to tell them what they need without poisoning that relationship later. And it’s a fine line to walk. But I know you, Matt, and I know that your clients trust your judgment and they are coming to your gym because of that. So you have earned the authority, the loyalty and the trust where you can say to your clients, I understand that you want to cancel. I’m scared too. We have this new option where I can train you at home because I don’t want you to lose the buffer of fitness and immunity that you’ve built. You’ve got to stay fed to take care of your family. Are you willing to try it? If they say, no, I’m a waitress, I don’t make the money, then the best thing that you can do is make sure that they’re going to come back.

Chris (01:03:10):

You say, I totally understand. What can I do right now to help you? If they say, well, you can give me your program for free, you could say, I wish I could, it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of my clients. If they say, there’s nothing you can do, you know, come to my restaurant. Then you call the restaurant, you order 20 pizzas, you give them to families in need and you say add a $50 tip for Tanya. And then when it’s all said and done or you call Tonya every Friday, you know, are you doing OK? Are you really OK? What can we do for you when it’s all said and done? You call Tanya, you say, I am so excited to see you back. Are you working yet? OK. The thing is like you’re a genuine dude. I mean, people know you, they love you and for good reason.

Chris (01:03:59):

And, I think if you stick with like what comes naturally here, you’re good at this. Karen selling new clients in my city for online coaching. Yeah, Karen. So, it’s actually pretty easy. I don’t know if you were on the call when I said like, it’s like selling CrossFit in 2010. Right? There’s enough people out there who are just kind of like curious, like what’s going on over there that you’re probably going to get like five clients really, really easy. So what we teach is all you have to say, you build up your system. Here’s what I’m going to do. You say, Hey, local friends, I’ve got this new online training system. I’m about to launch it before I do, I want to test it on five people. I know it’s gonna work. I just want to see like, you know, do I have my systems down?

Chris (01:04:45):

Is it easy for you and is it fun? I’m willing to try it on you at my introductory rate of 199 but only for five people. And whenever we’ve done that in the past, exactly, Jonathan Goodman. Exactly. And when he was on the podcast, he walked through that way more eloquently than I just did. OK. Yeah, it totally works. And when we had people test it in Two-Brain afterward, all of them sold out their five spots right away. And you know, it’s not like, OK, they made 1000 bucks with a Facebook post. That’s cool. But what that really did was show them that it was possible and that thousand dollar win was enough to give them the motivation to build a bigger program. I think some of the fear of the online training is nobody wants to invest time and energy into building something that feels temporary.

Chris (01:05:33):

Like in, you know, in 30 days we’re not going to need this thing anymore. So let me tell you why we keep talking about it more and more. Your competition is not the gym down the street. Your competition is moving online, Peloton, Swift, Optiv, Mirror. These systems are really good at getting clients and keeping clients. Peloton is not a bike company. Peloton sells recurring memberships and that’s where they make all their money. The way they’re beating you is they know how your brain works and they know how to gameify the exercise experience, make it fun, get people hooked and keep them addicted. They’re not baiting and switching anything. They’re actually selling an excellent service that’s helping people. That’s not going away. This crisis has made more and more people aware of the opportunity to train at home with minimal equipment and a coach than ever before.

Chris (01:06:28):

There’s a brand new world that’s opening up to us. I want us, the micro gym owners who are free to pivot, free to go back to square one, free to start from a blank slate to be the first to benefit from that. And so you’re not just setting this up for the next 30 days. It’s not a bandaid. This is a whole new leg on your chair. And this is exactly why we’re adding a new course to the Two-Brain incubator and growth programs. So when you sign up now, you’re actually starting with online training to make you some money, retain your clients, and then you progress into all the other business building stuff that we have for you. Yeah. OK man, I really went off on a tangent there. You think I’d be out of tangents. This is a now hour five of live webinars and podcasts interviews that I’ve done today and I’m not at out of tangents yet.

Chris (01:07:19):

Aaron, can we package equipment with the online offerings? Yeah, man. I’m not sure what you mean. Can you lend it with the online offerings? Absolutely. You’re going to have to stay on top of that, you know, for all the reasons we talked about earlier about, you know, feelings of reciprocation stuff. Yeah, you can lend equipment. Absolutely. Should you lend equipment to everybody? I don’t think you need to. For example, if like you’re a level method gym and you’re using the map and somebody is trending toward the right side of the map on like strength and power, lend them some equipment. If somebody brand new, it’s more than enough to use body weight. If though you’re talking about can we sell equipment to match our online offerings? Yes, you can. I mean, you could do something as simple as like an Amazon affiliate setup where you’re getting like a 4%, you know, there are some people doing that already in Two-Brain.

Chris (01:08:19):

You can certainly do that. You have to think longterm. Like, what is my model going to be? And if you think like more and more, I’m going online with this, you know, I’m just gonna move this whole thing online then yeah, that should be part of your model. If you’re telling people buy equipment and they’re buying it based on trust and in your judgment and your prescription, you should be rewarded for that 100%. If you’re going to continue to open a bricks and mortar gym and maintain all the expenses, you know, all the responsibilities for maintaining that, I don’t think I’d be selling equipment. But that’s just me. If you try it, please let us know how it goes. So guys, it was my mission today to be as concise as possible. Work with a distributor like Rogue and create a package.

Chris (01:09:07):

You can man. I mean if you’ve got an in with Rogue or a another distributor and you want to create a package, sure, like I said, barriers are being dropped here and my comment that like the last gym standing is going to win, that is part of it. But more than anything else, there are new opportunities for everybody. It’s like we’re all starting from square one and we haven’t erected these fences with our neighbor, with potential partners, with people we haven’t met with our competitors. They don’t exist anymore. Everybody is focused on one common enemy, coronavirus. It’s amazing. It’s a great time to be alive. It’s a great time to be in business. It’s a great time to be a leader. With that in mind, people are more open to these partnership opportunities than they ever have been before.

Chris (01:09:59):

Some of the podcasts that I was on today, a month ago, a week ago, these people would never have wanted me on their show because, you know, maybe we thought of each other as competitors. That’s not the case anymore. We’re all united around a common goal. And if you have a connection already with an equipment supplier, absolutely do it, man. What you got to realize is this, and I’m going to go down this other tangent here, Aaron, because this is important. There are two sides to business, right? There’s operations or like your service or your product, and then there’s audience. And if you know how to build an audience, you’re set for life. That’s a verbatim quote from Todd Herman, my mentor. If you can bring an audience to an equipment supplier that they didn’t have before and it’s big enough to create value for them, that is incredibly valuable.

Chris (01:10:53):

If they can bring you an audience, you know, you’re working with Rogue, you’re the only one selling online training and Rogue, you know, links to your product on every receipt. That is enormous valuable. In fact, it’s so valuable that in most cases now, the ability to build an audience is more valuable than the ability to deliver the service. So as much as we want to say our service is 10 times better than the dude down the block, it’s not always true. But if we can build an audience, we are an extremely valuable partner. And yeah, I could rant on this forever. So I’m going to stop myself right now. The bottom line is like the person who should be paid the most in that relationship or make the most money is the person who brings the audience. OK, that’s it.

Chris (01:11:43):

OK guys. So I told myself I was going to be concise on this. Some of these calls have gone like two hours. I’m really thrilled that you guys stuck around. You know, you’re asking great questions and stuff, but people look at the recording and they’re like, Whoa, two hours, no way. So I’m going to try and keep these as concise as I can. If you have specific questions, join the Gym Owners United group. We post our stuff in there. Including like a ton of free guides. We’re constantly trying to be a signal in a world of noise, meaning that, you know, we want to give you clarity, best practices backed by data experience, not opinion. And thank you. Thank you for being my audience.

Andrew (01:12:23):

this has been a special edition of Two-Brain Radio. Two-Brain business serves a global network of gyms and we will be collecting and sharing the best strategies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. For tactics that can help you and your business, visit TwoBrain

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