“We Sell Solutions”—Tips for Extreme Average Revenue per Member

"We Sell Solutions"—Tips for Extreme Average Revenue per Member

Mike Warkentin: (00:00)
Our leaderboard for average revenue per member is out and it starts at 70 bucks.

Darren Thornton: (00:05)
Mike, that’s 370 bucks.

Mike Warkentin: (00:08)
$370 per client?

Darren Thornton: (00:10)
Yeah. I think we’re up there.

Mike Warkentin: (00:12)
I don’t know. That sounds impossible. How do you know? 

Darren Thornton: (00:15)
Because we’ve done it.

Mike Warkentin: (00:16)
You were on that leaderboard.

Darren Thornton: (00:17)
Yeah, we’re on that leaderboard. I think we’re about halfway up.

Mike Warkentin: (00:19)
Will you share your secrets on this episode of Run a Profitable Gym?

Darren Thornton: (00:22)
Absolutely. I’d love to.

Mike Warkentin: (00:23)
Great. I’m Mike Warkentin, and this is Run a Profitable Gym. Every week, I talk to gym owners and I get them to share their secrets so you can have the same success that they’re having. Please subscribe wherever you’re watching or listening, and you’ll get all the secrets. You’ve just heard from Darren Thornton. He runs Defy Functional Fitness in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As he noted, he made our leaderboard. It was February numbers for average revenue per member per month. Now, this is not what his membership price is. This is when he averages out what everyone’s paying amongst his clients. This is their average revenue per member. The leaderboard: get this, it starts at 370 in the 10th spot, it goes to $812 at number one. These are monster numbers and a lot of gym owners will say they’re impossible. It can’t be done. I don’t know how to do it. So we’re gonna get Darren to dig into those numbers and tell us exactly how he did it. Darren, welcome to the show. Again, thanks for being here.

Darren Thornton: (01:16)
Not a problem, good to be here Mike. Thanks. 

Mike Warkentin: (01:18)
Alright. We’re gonna get right into it. Now, I wanna know, talk to me about some of the milestones on your journey. So you made a leaderboard that is top numbers in the world. How has your number changed over time from when you were a brand new gym owner to where you are now?

Darren Thornton: (01:31)
Yeah, so I first started truly tracking this in January of 2020, which was about, well we opened in September, 2018. Okay. And I always found it really difficult back then to figure out how many members we actually had, because we did have quite a few people on punch cards. And that always made it difficult where you have someone who’s buying a 10 class punch card, but they’re not coming into the gym for like, maybe once a week or once every other week or whatever. But I imagine back in January, 2019, we were around about the 200 Canadian dollar mark of what our average person was. Just based on, some probably not paying for eight weeks ’cause the punch card took a long time to expire. And then set up where our membership rates were at that time. I would say when we first started tracking properly and we knew exactly how many members we had in January 2020, we were up at just under $300. And that’s Canadian again. And then now we average around $500 per month Canadian dollars, roughly.

Mike Warkentin: (02:39)
And that translates to $370 American give or take, on the leaderboard. The numbers that I gave you, 370, 812, those are US dollars. So in Canada about $500. So that’s crazy. Tell me a little bit about your business. What kind of stuff do you sell at Defy and how does that calculate into $500 ARM? What are you offering to people? What kind of kind of package do you have, that kinda thing.

Darren Thornton: (03:00)
So really, we’re trying to sell a solution for people to get better at life through health and fitness.

Mike Warkentin: (03:05)
Ooh, it sounds like you’ve actually thought about this ’cause you rattled it off way too fast.

Darren Thornton: (03:09)
No. It’s just our mission. That’s what we do, right? So it kind of comes pretty easily. But no, the biggest thing with what we do is working from a Two-Brain perspective, from a prescriptive model is always how are we gonna get the best results for the members that we can work with. And the best is always gonna be personal training, right? So if we look to work one-on-one with somebody, we’re gonna be able to get the best results. We’re gonna be able to spend the most time with them. We’re gonna be able to build the best relationship with them, and ultimately they’re gonna get the best results. Now, that doesn’t mean personal training is necessarily the best way for everybody, because if you are somebody who’s super social, then stuck with one person for an hour might not be the most fun for you. So it really depends on what the client is and how we put our packages together, to basically get them the best results that they’re gonna get. Now we have two major options. One of them is personal training only, as we just spoke about. And then the other option would be a mixture of personal training and group classes.

Mike Warkentin: (04:24)
Aha. There’s no gym owner that I’ve spoken to who has a high ARM who doesn’t mention personal training and some sort of hybrid model between group and personal training. So that’s, you might have a group membership and you tack on a session a week or something like that. It’s any combination, might even include nutrition coaching at some gyms. The point being, this is a blend of services and they’re all prescribed, as Darren said, to get the client the fastest results. So this is the prescriptive model, where you ask a client: what problems are you trying to solve? And then you give that client the fastest solution to the problems. The fastest solution, as Darren said, is gonna be personal training, maybe nutrition coaching, some combination of that, but one-on-one high-touch service. Not every client can afford that or wants that.

Mike Warkentin: (05:07)
As he said, you might change that prescription and say, okay, based on your preferences, we have this option. But the idea is that you tell clients what they want and it’s not just throw them into group classes, which is what I did for many, many years. And my ARM was not $370, wasn’t $500, wasn’t $800, it was far lower. It’s probably in the range of $112 or something like that. So this is a very specific plan that you’ve got in place at your gym. And you said you emphasized personal training and hybrid, correct?

Darren Thornton: (05:32)
Yeah. So I think the biggest thing that kind of affected our ARM was the fact that we introduced a fundamentals process. Now, fundamentals process for us is 12 weeks long.

Mike Warkentin: (05:48)
Okay. What? Yeah, tell me about this. This sounds amazing already.

Darren Thornton: (05:51)
Yeah, so I always opened my gym with the idea of having hybrid memberships and doing these fundamentals. The biggest problem was, I couldn’t afford any staff at the time, and I couldn’t take everyone through personal training myself. So initially, people started joining group a little bit too early, right? So yeah, there’s a version of our 12 week program for anybody who wants to join the group classes. And it starts off with personal training for everybody. So everybody’s gonna do a minimum of six personal training sessions before they get anywhere near the group. And that’s even if you come from another CrossFit gym or another functional fitness style gym where it says, Hey, I’ve been doing this for so much, we say, great, that’s cool. But everybody’s got different standards. Everybody teaches things a little bit differently. And we just want to get to know you and how we can help you best. So, you tell me that your knee bothers you on certain exercises. Well, I wanna put you through those exercises, and my team to know, what is the threshold where we can work with you and we can help you get better with that knee pain, or we might need to avoid whatever that exercise is for a period of time.

Mike Warkentin: (07:00)
So I’ll push back, I’m just gonna give you this, a question that a gym owner has in their head right now. You tell me what the answer is. If I sell group coaching, why should I put someone in a one-on-one setting first? That seems weird. What what’s your answer to that?

Darren Thornton: (07:12)
Because I think it’s irresponsible to put someone straight into a group class without knowing anything about them physically. Even mentally. Like, how can you talk to somebody in a class setting without them taking offense, right? I’m from a military background. There’s some of my clients that like that kind of motivation, if you will, during a session. And then there’s other people that would totally turn off and they may end up even in tears if they got spoke to in that way. So obviously you don’t want to be like that with that person. So there’s a lot of things that you want to learn about somebody before they’re in that group class, where it’s a lot harder to learn about that person when there’s 12, 14, however many other people you have in your class.

Mike Warkentin: (07:59)
Okay. So you’re finding out about them physically, but you’re also finding out about them emotionally, mentally, all the other things that’ll allow you to build a long-term relationship. So again, guys, if you’re listening out there and you’re like, I sell group coaching, maybe you don’t want to just sell group coaching, but even if you do, it’s gonna be much easier to get to know a client and know what that client needs and how you can help that client succeed if you start one-on-one. I had this exact experience at my gym. We put on one-on-one On-ramp before group coaching. It made a huge difference in client success and in revenue. Now I cut you off. Tell me more about that fundamentals beginning program.

Darren Thornton: (08:31)
Yeah, so after they’ve done a couple weeks of just personal training only, they then go into a combination of personal training and group classes for the remaining 10 week period of the initial 12 weeks. So somebody very new, they might do one class a week and two personal training sessions. Somebody who is a little more experienced, they might do only three more personal training sessions through the whole period of the next 10 weeks. And the majority of their stuff is gonna be group. It just really depends on where they are. And although we have some set outlines of programs, we can totally mold these and change these to however it’s gonna work for that person best. We do have a little bit of a nutrition program in our initial 12 weeks, but it’s very much a hands-off approach where there’s a little bit of a check-in from it, but it’s more sort of educational based.

Darren Thornton: (09:26)
Nutrition is important. I feel that it’s something that can come afterwards once you’ve established a gym routine. I feel like if people are trying to establish all these new routines all at once, it can become a little bit overwhelming. So kind of once you’re into a habit of, I come to the gym three times a week as a minimum, we can then have a look at going a little bit deeper into some more personalized nutrition at that point, because there’s a lot of low hanging fruits with nutrition that if you do some of the basic stuff right, it will help most people. They just need that bit more accountability. So we provide a little app, they can track some kind of habit-based nutrition stuff. So making sure they’re getting enough water, making sure they’re getting enough protein, that kind of stuff. But it’s very low level nutrition guidance, until they’ve got that gym routine in place.

Mike Warkentin: (10:21)
So it sounds like you’ve considered your client journey and decided how is the best way to get this client from this goal to this result? Am I wrong?

Darren Thornton: (10:28)
No, that’s correct.

Mike Warkentin: (10:29)
Yeah. And you’ve laid it out perfectly. You say, okay, well nutrition’s important, but if I ram it in too soon, it’s gonna be a lot to handle. And what we need to do is get this person to start coming to the gym, start working out, get some momentum, then we’re gonna do some other stuff like it. Guys. If you’re out there, your client journey. If you don’t have one and don’t know how it goes from the time a client interacts with your business for the first time till the time client leaves your business, you need to set that out. You can do it very quickly on a timeline with a piece of paper. And if you do that, I guarantee you will see opportunities to serve that client better, which then allows you to increase your ARM by offering different services. Now. I love that. I love that you’ve got this thing laid out. You said the number one thing that contributes to your ARM was putting in this introductory program. Is that right?

Darren Thornton: (11:16)
Yeah, definitely. The other reason for that is personal training is fully accepted at my gym. Because everybody starts that way. There is no way that you cannot start that way. So it means that people are more, when they think about, oh, I can’t quite do this skill, then maybe I add a personal training session to get that skill right? So it’s just something that I think if you’re a group-only-based gym, a lot of people might just think, oh, well I’ll have to wait until double unders come up in the next class before I can get better at them. No, let’s do a 30 minute session and by the end of the 30 minutes you should have made some decent progress with that particular skill.

Mike Warkentin: (11:52)
It’s so obvious when you lay it out. But when I was in my gym every day, I couldn’t possibly see this. I just assumed that clients would eventually hit double under day and we’d do some coaching and a warmup and they’d fix it. That was just such a misguided approach, both in terms of helping clients and in terms of driving up revenue. Right? Think about it guys, if you’re listening and you’re out there, think about whatever your group class membership rate is, then think about your PT rate. And if you don’t have one, I’ll just throw $75 an hour at you. A group class client is struggling with any skill and you say, I can help you in one hour, make huge differences. It’s gonna make your fitness better and your workouts more enjoyable. You wanna book a PT session? They say yes, add $75 or whatever your PT rate is to your group class rate. What does that do for your ARM? It drives it up. It’s more revenue for you and it helps the client out in a huge setting. I guess you’ve probably seen that thousands of times at your gym where a client struggles, add a PT session, away they go, everything’s better. Is that true?

Darren Thornton: (12:48)
Definitely. You can think there’s certain movements that I say, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, a double under, if you practice it, you’ll get it, right? It’s just one of those, they’re skill-based. Then there’s other things like pull-ups, which obviously are gonna take a lot longer to build the strength and maybe you need to lose a bit of body weight to get that as well. But you can still make some progress with that. But some of those skill-based stuff, you can have that clicked in a half an hour, and then when they come to see it in the class again, they’re gonna have more fun with that movement and they’re gonna have a more enjoyable experience and keep making more progress. So it’s a win for everybody.

Mike Warkentin: (13:23)
I think it’s actually a retention tool in some ways, because I know I had people quit the gym because they hated double unders and Olympic weightlifting, right? And they just weren’t good at it, didn’t like it, didn’t wanna work on it, didn’t see it enough to really enjoy it. If they got some more skill with it, they might learn to enjoy it. It would’ve been a retention thing. And if nothing else, that one hour I spent with them would’ve been a time to interact with them and help find out how I can help them. So, it’s so obvious, guys, if you’re not doing these kind of things, start doing them now and put them into your client journey. Check in with group class clients every 90 days. Are you struggling with anything? Can we help you out? You wanna add a PT session? I mean, it’s just obvious stuff that’s really, really gonna help. You might not see it because I didn’t see it. Darren, what else has moved the needle with ARM? So you mentioned some big ones already. Tell me anything else that you’ve got on your list that really made a measurable effect on this number?

Darren Thornton: (14:12)
So it kind of all comes back to the same idea of some kind of one-to-one service. So I’d say the biggest thing that we did was we introduced fundamentals. Yeah. So that’s kind of number one. And then the second thing that we did is initially, after we introduced our fundamentals program, we then had a group-only membership. But then we changed that in January of 2021, where now it’s a hybrid membership for everybody. So it’s still along the lines of personal training, but now there’s just not an option for group only. And I would say that when we introduce these changes, I always look at three things. Is it good for the business? Is it good for the client? And is it good for my staff?

Darren Thornton: (15:01)
Right? And it can be in any of those orders, sometimes more have priority. ‘Cause if it’s good for the business, then it’s gonna be good for my family, right? If it’s good for the client, then that’s because they’re gonna get more progress, all right? Cause they’re gonna do, as we just mentioned, in those sort of sessions. And then I have five full-time staff who have full-time personal training rosters because we have all of our members going through personal training sessions. Now, one thing that we did do, which I think combines with these personal training sessions, is we introduced our own version of a sort of level grading system within the gym. And that just means that there’s always something to work on with somebody in those sessions because we can have a look back at like, Hey, what is it that you’re not quite as good at?

Darren Thornton: (15:54)
So we have seven levels. Let’s say you’re on level two and you’re checking off all of the weightlifting stuff, then hey, we need to spend some time on the body weight stuff. So let’s spend some time on your pullups, on your pushups, on your dips, whatever that might be. And then those personal training sessions, they can have a structure to them quite easily without us having to say, Hey, what is it that you’re not quite getting? And someone’s like, oh, I don’t know. I kind of suck at this, kind of suck at this, or whatever. But it’s like, no, here we can see a true measurement of how it is, and then we have rewards when you hit certain levels and all that kind of stuff. So people want to do those sessions. People look forward to those sessions because that’s probably a place where they can most clearly see their progress.

Mike Warkentin: (16:40)
So it’s kinda like the white belt, black belt situation in a martial arts gym. Some gyms use Level Method. That’s the thing that can be bolted on. You’ve created your own system of levels, but it’s the idea of ascension with rewards, right? And it meshes very clearly with personal training sessions in the hybrid model. Now I wanna step back and ask you a question. Cause a lot of people will be scared about this one. When you made a change from group only to hybrid, did you lose members? What happened? Was there pushback? What happened to the gym and the business and the members?

Darren Thornton: (17:09)
So I didn’t make it mandatory for all of my current members. Okay. When they joined the gym, they joined the gym for what they wanted to join the gym for. We did obviously make it optional for them. And we had a good probably 30, 40% people pack that on.

Mike Warkentin: (17:33)
Okay, that’s great.

Darren Thornton: (17:35)
Right? So they kind of saw the value. And I think every week we have some more people who are like, oh, you know, because they see other people making progress quicker and that’s what they want too. Right. So yeah, I didn’t make it mandatory for my members. ‘Cause like I said, they joined a gym, they joined for group only. The easiest thing that you can do is you just make it monitored for anybody that comes to the gym at that point. And then if you do have some pushback, which I don’t think I’ve ever had any pushback because of that. I explain the reasons why for it and everybody sees and gets it. I do have a relatively beginner level membership, so a lot of people like the idea that they’re not just gonna be left by themselves to come to group classes, and they’re gonna get that more attention. I think with functional fitness, CrossFit, people have this misconception of injury a lot. So kind of tying it to that of like, hey, this is for a benefit. You’re going to see progress. There’s gonna be less chance that you’re gonna do something wrong in the gym and it’s gonna be a win-win for everybody.

Mike Warkentin: (18:47)
What a feeling of confidence it must have given you to push this out to the general public when 30 to 40% of your members said, yeah, I’ll sign up for hybrid. That’s great like that. Did you just smile all day about that?

Darren Thornton: (19:01)
Yeah, I think you could look at a list of members and you could probably say, well, I know these people won’t do it because, whether it’s they’ve been doing this stuff for a long, long time where they feel they don’t need it. Which, I’ve been at a level where I’ve always been very, very good at this stuff, but I’ve always needed a coach, right? So it doesn’t matter where you are, but some people just don’t think they do or they don’t necessarily seek value in it at that point. But yeah, to get most people on board with it, you just know you’re doing it for the right reasons, right? It’s to make their journey better and then secondary, to be able to provide a proper career for my coaches. And that’s a big thing with this is, we have so much personal training circulating through our gym. There’s always lots of sessions available for people to have full-time schedules.

Mike Warkentin: (19:54)
So when you made this change, I’m gonna guess your ARM was going along like this. You put in the hybrid thing and boom, you get a nice little launch ramp there that then gives you a revenue boost and also allows you to make these careers for coaches and start filling up coaches saying, Hey, rather than pay you, you know, 20 or 25 bucks per per group class, which is gonna burn you out and you’re not gonna make a living. We now have a ton of personal training at premium rates where you can now make a great living and support your family and you’re not gonna leave my business because of another job. Did I lay that out kind of how it happened?

Darren Thornton: (20:26)
Yeah, I think I’ve been relatively fortunate where I spent time at three different gyms in three different continents. And I was at a gym where personal training was mandatory. And at the time I thought, wow, that’s crazy. There’s no way that that could work. And I saw it and I was in the Middle East, it was a wealthy country, so it didn’t seem like it was realistic, right? But then I moved to Canada and I saw the difference and I saw the gap between people just doing group only and then having this personal training model that I’ve been a part of before. And I was like, you know what? This is the best way to do it. You just have to find the correct model and the correct way to do it.

Mike Warkentin: (21:24)
So you know exactly which clients you want now, right? You’re not just saying, I want everyone at my gym. You know the exact person that you wanna walk in the door and take up your service. Right?

Darren Thornton: (21:33)
Absolutely. We want people who want to be coached.

Mike Warkentin: (21:35)
Yeah. And that’s the thing. People say that all the time, oh, I can never charge this much money for memberships. Not everyone’s going to pay this membership, but you need to figure out who will, and then find those people. Tell me, I cut you off there. Tell me what you were gonna say there.

Darren Thornton: (21:49)
You just want people who are coming in with a mindset of, I can get better, I can learn from the coaches that are here. I’m not just coming because they have pull up bars and barbells and skiers, right? Yeah. 

Mike Warkentin: (22:03)
Actually sounds cheap, right?

Darren Thornton: (22:04)
Well, I actually don’t even classify as a gym. We’re a coaching service. So this idea of what’s in our gym really doesn’t matter. We’ll always have the best equipment we can get because I wanna provide that for my members, but it’s really not a selling point of what we do because we could probably get similar results with just a dumbbell and a kettlebell, right? If you did it properly, right.

Mike Warkentin: (22:29)
Equipment and open gym and group classes. That sounds like cheaper service to me. Coaching and goal accomplishment and one-on-one. You know, call it fitness mentorship or any version of that. That sounds to me like a high value service that I would be interested in paying more for. Tell me a little bit about your marketing. So how do you acquire these high value clients? What are you emphasizing? What are you doing to get these people in the door?

Darren Thornton: (22:55)
We had a lot of success with Facebook marketing initially. Okay. I don’t even know if our Facebook advertisements are turned on right now. I actually have no idea. I can’t remember the last time. Sometimes they’re left on in the background. I might have turned them off. But really, it’s all affinity marketing. We’ve now got to a point where we have enough members. Now, this is difficult in early days because you don’t have enough members to keep gaining new members from, but now, ideally, I would love just to take on people who know somebody at the gym.

Mike Warkentin: (23:33)
Yep. And what that does is it makes your marketing budget very small. All you have to do is budget the time to talk to your current members and figure out who their friends and family and colleagues and coworkers are. And Chris Cooper has exact plans for this in our mentorship program. You can download this plug and play template where here are the questions you ask, here’s the chart you fill out. Here’s how you figure out who this person lives with, works with, plays with. All this other stuff. And then here’s how you approach and get referrals. It’s an active process. It is not a passive process. If you think the referrals will just come because you’re great, it won’t happen. Sorry to break the news to you, you have to find out how to do this with an active process. But that takes your marketing budget very low in terms of monetary spend, your investing time, it gives you hot leads, right? Because your friends, your people at the gym, they’re already gonna tell your friends, Darren’s great. Go to Defy. You gotta go to this gym. It’s amazing. They’re not gonna be people who come in and say, so tell me about Defy. There’re going to be people who already know and like you to a degree because they know your friends love you. Has that been your experience, Darren?

Darren Thornton: (24:32)
Oh, absolutely. When somebody’s coming in from a referral, then usually the only potential problem is maybe the budget.

Mike Warkentin: (24:46)
Your close rate must be off the charts.

Darren Thornton: (24:48)
Yeah. But most people have an idea because their friend tells ’em what they pay. So if you’re coming in, you probably have an idea of what our membership costs. It’s a relatively simple process. It’s just about finding the right plan for that person and making sure that they’re gonna have the best experience.

Mike Warkentin: (25:10)
These people are pre-qualified to the highest level and they want to sign up because their friend is there. It’s kind of like fishing with a net in a fish tank, right? You’re gonna get these people. Do you know your close rate off the top of your head?

Darren Thornton: (25:24)
We’re always over 80%. Huge. And the ones that are in there are most likely people that have come through Facebook. The ones who don’t sign up. And those ones, they’re relatively cold leads. I always find it quite surprising when you’re like, Hey, do you have any idea about what we do at the gym? And they’re like, no, I just turned up. And it’s like, oh, okay. There’s a lot of information you could find out, and at that point you kind of know okay, this person is maybe not as interested as they might seem, if that makes sense, right? But you know, they’re in your gym, they’ve come to see you, so they’ve given up some time as well. So it’s not always a lost cause. But compared to somebody’s friend or one of our members’ family or something. It’s a much different process.

Mike Warkentin: (26:20)
Yeah. And I talked to a gym owner about a month ago named Derek Batman, and he said that he really worked hard to dial in his Facebook marketing to target just a very small group of people that were likely to to buy. And that kinda depends on where you are in gym development. In the early stages, as you said, you might need to try and get a lot more people and cast a wider net. As you start to figure out your client journey, your exact audience, you’re probably gonna want to narrow that stuff up so that you don’t waste time in sales meetings with people who don’t want to purchase what you are selling. But the best part about this, again, you don’t have to market if you’re getting all the clients you need through referrals. It’s such an amazing thing. And again, Two-Brain can teach you the exact steps to do this.

Mike Warkentin: (27:00)
It is not hard, but you will not get referrals if you don’t do follow a process to make it happen. Darren, I’m gonna ask you as we close this out. People out there are skeptical. They always think $300, $400 ARM is impossible. They look at $800 and say, it’s made up. It’s not, we actually have the data, but people look at these things and they question them. What are a few baby steps that people could do today after listening to this show to make a step in the right direction to raise their average revenue per member?

Darren Thornton: (27:26)
Just add three personal training sessions to anybody who joins your gym.

Mike Warkentin: (27:30)
Okay. So someone comes in, they join your gym and you say, okay, the On-ramp or the intro process is three personal training sessions. Is that how you do it? Or what would be the steps there?

Darren Thornton: (27:38)
If you don’t have a deeper in-depth sort of On-ramp program, or even if you do have an On-ramp program, but it’s relatively short, just add three personal training sessions. It can be 30 minutes, 45 minutes, one hour, whatever the price is for that that you have set. Just add those to anybody that joins the gym and instantly, you will increase your average revenue per member just from that straightaway. And then eventually, if you have the means to be able to do it, and really it’s a staff thing, is have everybody on some kind of hybrid membership, I would say, where they just do at least, our basic hybrid is one 30 minute personal training session every four weeks.

Darren Thornton: (28:25)
We work on a biweekly cycle. So you could do one 30 minutes every month. Now, if you’ve got 200 members, that’s 200 sessions a month. So you need the people to be able to do that, right? So yeah, two things that I would do is just add three sessions to your On-ramp program or your fundamentals program, whatever you call it. And then just eventually have a look at, can we add a 30 minute personal training session to everyone’s membership or every new person’s membership?

Mike Warkentin: (28:53)
And I’ll give you something else. If you wanna really focus on this right away with a very easy thing, take five clients, any five, and just ask ’em to sit down with you for 15 minutes for a goal review session and just ask them, what are you working on? What are you frustrated about? What’s going right? What do you wanna accomplish in the next 90 days? Just talk to them. They’re gonna tell you something that they wanna work on. That might give you a huge opportunity to say, look, a PT session with me, I can teach you that in one hour. Or I can make visible progress in one hour. Okay. And in that session, the other thing that you can do, where do you live? Where do you work, who do you do it with? Get to know your client, talk about what they do, and write that stuff down. And eventually you can use that information to ask for a referral. Okay. So Darren and I have given you some very easy things that you can start doing literally today to increase your ARM. And if you do these things, your number’s gonna go up. Darren, were you skeptical ever that $300 ARM was just wild and off the charts and undoable?

Darren Thornton: (30:00)
I don’t think I thought of it that way. I thought of it more as I remember looking at the initial sort of profit ratios and all that kind of stuff when I first joined Two-Brain, and I saw what I needed to make per month to make those profit ratios, because I do have quite a high rent expense.

Mike Warkentin: (30:22)
So Toronto was not cheap.

Darren Thornton: (30:24)
Yeah. So, and I was like, I don’t know if I could ever get that number per month, but now we’re probably 50% more than that number. So initially, it was one of those things that didn’t make sense. So I don’t think I looked at it from an average revenue per member because I always went off what was my base membership and how many members would I need to make that. And that number was always crazy. So it never looked, you know what I mean, never looked realistic.

Mike Warkentin: (30:50)
So you did the math of what you needed to make to live the life you wanted and run the business that you wanted, and thought the number was crazy. But now you’re 50% above that number.

Darren Thornton: (30:59)

Mike Warkentin: (31:00)
That’s an incredible story. Wow. I’m super happy for you and Chris Cooper mentioned that we needed to talk to you, and I’m glad I did. Thanks so much for your time, Darren. I hope that number keeps going up and I hope you keep serving clients in Toronto.

Darren Thornton: (31:13)
Well, thanks Mike.

Mike Warkentin: (31:15)
That was Darren Thornton. This is Run A Profitable Gym. Thanks for watching or listening. Please subscribe for more shows just like this. Gym owners just like Darren are gonna share their secrets so that you can have the same success that they have. Now, for a final word, here’s Coop.

Chris Cooper: (31:29)
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners just like you have already joined in the group. We share sound advice about the business of fitness every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars, and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

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