Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Business Of Strength Podcast #3 - Marketing Your Gym

 Today we live in a false reality where fake lives, fake friends, and fake marketing are the norm.  People spend an inordinate amount of time on a variety of social media outlets trying to portray an image that is at best only partially true.  They accumulate followers by the thousands, but to their dismay, ARE NOT THEIR REAL FRIENDS!!!

This past week Dan and I had the amazing opportunity to speak in front of over 50 people at the Gym Jones advanced seminar and our two-day Business of Strength mentorship at Varsity House HQ.  That opportunity came to life because the “real” relationships we built with the Gym Jones community.  We cultivated that relationship over four years spending time going to Utah to train, communicating via email/phone, attending seminars on our own time, helping to coach attendees, and taking the time to listen.  When they wanted to improve their business portion of the seminar they turned to people they trusted personally.  Likewise, the majority of people who attend our business mentorships are people we have met along our fitness journey.    They have had the opportunity to hear our story, see firsthand our passion, find belief in our depth of knowledge, and most of all just get to know as genuinely good dudes.  Time is truly more valuable than money.

Taking the time to listen to someone’s needs, answer questions, give honest and critical feedback, and provide a service and value that is needed are sure fire ways to build a trusting friendship.  We spent the majority of the time coaching and helping others, not pumping our products and worrying about social media posts.  We want to speak to people, meet with them, and connect so we could get to know them and their businesses.  As always, we made many new friends and reconnected with some old ones we have not seen in a while.

Fitness for most is about trust.  What better way to build trust than to be a friend.  If you want to build trust in your community and with your customers start by focusing on them.  Provide value and service, and most of all listen to what they want.  The best way to do it is through  community outreach,  referrals, and direct emails.  In the end, we are trying to get people to commit to our brand of fitness.  To believe and trust in what we tell them, so much so, that they tell their friends and family about us.  Most of all we want them to come to our gym!  If you would like to hear how Dan and I do it at Varsity House check out our latest podcast on ‘Marketing Your Gym’.  It should be no surprise that social media is not on the list, it is centered on building trust and real relationships.

Dedicated to Your Success,
        Coach Joe Riggio
Soundcloud: CLICK HERE
Show Notes: CLICK HERE

Thanks for listening! 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Remain Consistent

“It is the accumulation of the hundreds of minute decisions that is the difference between mediocrity and true excellence.”

-Kevin Eastman
Director of Player Development for the LA Clippers
This is true with what we do as coaches, what our athletes do as athletes, and what anyone does in their career or fitness journey. If we’re truly striving for excellence, we must take hold of this concept.

It is the importance of our decisions, our actions, our thinking — no matter how small they may be on a given day — that all add up to something significant over time. When we think that a detail or decision is insignificant, we need to remember that it’s not just this detail or this decision this time that’s important. It’s this detail or decision in addition to the hundreds of other details and decisions over time that add up and help us in our own pursuit of excellence.

The most successful athletes and adult clients have truly embodied this concept. Over the course of the last 4 months, my most successful collegiate athletes have attended 65 of 72 possible sessions. Within these sessions, they always did their personal weak point training prior to training, they never failed reps on any of their exercises,  I backed off when they were tired, and pushed them when they felt good. Most importantly, they showed up. Furthermore, I established a relationship with them because they had trust in me, and I in them.
As a result, they all achieved personal records in the following: Average 1RM on the bench = 34.6 lbs. Squat: 41.3 lbs. Push ups = 7.4. Pull ups = 4.8. It was the little things over time that contributed to the success of each one of these athletes! May it be relationships, business or training, the small habits that you build daily will help change your life forever. Start slow, be consistent, and watch your success surmount. September is here and there's no better time to take a hold of a new beginning than now.

The Summer is over and it’s time for you to start making those small decisions that lead to long term success.  There is no better time to take a hold of a new beginning than now.*

In Strength
 - Coach Adam Menner

Sept 11th - Dec. 3rd

Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Gyms Fail.

Ten years ago, the “box gym” space was uncrowded with CrossFit in its infancy and the big Globo Gyms ruled the fitness world. Underground warehouse style box gyms started popping up everywhere and it seemed like anyone with a few thousand dollars could open their very own gym. Times certainly changed, and so had the culture of the gym industry. As the box gym space becomes more competitive only those with the best business models were left standing.

Today, consumers want the best even from their local box. To stay competitive in today’s market you need to be firing on all cylinders. You must have a great training product, amazing community, top-notch customer experience, and the business systems to support your growing gym. Because of this the market has retracted a bit in the last year. In 2015 CrossFit opened roughly 2600 new affiliate gyms, their best year ever, but in 2016 there was a drastic drop off and their numbers plunged to only around 1500 new gyms. WHY?

According to here are the top five reasons private “Box” gyms fail.

#5 – Hiring Hourly Coaches – Hiring hourly coaches means that you have not made a real investment in them, in turn will not make the investment back into your company.

#4 – Poor Communication with Clientele – Once you get a client you must consistently engage with them. Emails, social media, thankyou cards, phone calls, and client events should all be part of a good client communication system. Failing to do so means the client feels disconnected from your community and lacks loyalty to your tribe.

#3 – Random Programming – Not planning your training in advanced is just planning to fail, and potentially injure a lot of clients. It is also your opportunity to design fun, unique training programs that make your gym stand out in your local market.

#2 – Lack of Leadership – Leadership in business is a skill just like learning to train. If you do not cultivate this skill it will be difficult to grow your business. How will you direct a team of employees with no leadership? Spend time learning how to motivate, cultivate, and delegate to your employees.

#1 – No Well-Defined Marketing, Sales, or Operational Systems – This is a big one! Imagine if Apple of Microsoft ran the companies by the seat of their pants? Reacting to every little internal and external change is no way to grow and scale a business. Every company no matter the size needs to have a lock down plan to execute when it comes to marketing and sales. Systems are what allow you to focus on the big-ticket items knowing the all the little details in between are taken care of.

If you’re failing into any of these areas, don't worry, we did too for the first 5 years in business. Then we got smart. We outsourced, hired help, and got serious about turning our passion into a "Real Business." I have a few seats left for the next Business of Strength™ seminar here at Varsity House Gym August 24/25th. If you are interested or would like to discuss details of the event personally, shoot me an email. I look forward to working with you soon.

Dedicated to Your Success,
Coach Joe

Thursday & Friday, August 24th & 25th 2017
at Varsity House Gym

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Vision For Success - Business Of Strength Podcast Ep.2

Listen Below:
Soundcloud: CLICK HERE
Show Notes: CLICK HERE

In this episode Joe and Dan will teach you how they created a clear vision plan that improved productivity and lead to a direct increase in revenue. Learn the components of creating your vision/traction organizers and the importance of your advisory board. Start running your business and stop letting it run you!

Topic Include:
• Setting both business & personal objectives.
• Crating Your Vision so other people can see it and understand it.
• Components of a great Vision Plan.
• Identifying your needs.
• Creating Solutions.
• Delegating work.
• Creating your Advisory Board.
• How the Advisory Board has reshaped Varsity House.
• Examples of the effect of VTO and the Advisory Board.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Brothers Of Destruction

The first rule of Brothers Of Destruction is, you don't talk about Brothers Of Destruction. This group, or club if you will, all started about 1 year ago. It just worked out that I had an opening in my schedule on Thursday evenings, so I decided to send an email to a specific part of our community. I was looking for anyone who wanted to increase their overall training experience with specific goals. I had several inquiry’s but there was one that stood out. One of our long-time athletes Adam Thomas, was looking to pursue a career in the army after he was done playing football at Springfield College. He explained to me he was looking to increase the intensity of his training to help better prepare for his future in the military. After talking and devising a real plan, we started training every Thursday night.

After a few weeks of training another one of our long-time athletes, Martin Scheuring had some interest in similar training. I would be training these 2 big dudes while other classes would be coming in, watching them do log presses, tire flips, sandbag carries, and much more. Before I knew it, I started drawing interest from a few other guys. Fast forward a year later it has turned into an squad of about 8-11 brotha’s!  I soon realized that these dudes are serious and that this can turn into something really cool. Mental testing had to begin. I started programming things that would test them mentally and see If they would break. After several months of max distance sandbag carries, death medleys outside in 30 degree weather, team 10k ski challenges, bodyweight sled pulls for 200yds, and "The Duke" (don’t ask!!!) they began to love it and couldn’t wait for the next form of physical torture.  Since the workout is only once every two weeks the energy and anticipation for the session is always an inspiration.

I quickly came to the realization that these guys were mentally tough. I needed to start programming to improve specific movements. The last few months we have worked on their log press and the deadlift. This training led to half of the "brothas" crew competing in our annual strongman challenge. When they are here the atmosphere in the gym is unbelievable. There have been times where everyone in the entire gym will stop what they’re doing just to watch them. I have had college athletes come home from school and back to the gym and ask me, “Are the Brothas training tonight?" We now even have a group of Badass females (Dooms Day Divas) on a similar bi-weekly schedule. We even recently had a new gym member come in for one of their first workouts and ask,  “When do the Brotha’s train?"

What?! It has really grown into something great, and it all started very organically. Most people never reach their full potential or see what they are truly capable of accomplishing. My number one goal of B.O.D. is to rid the fear and give each person the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Having a group of individuals in the facility willing to go all the way, will motivate 7th graders all the way to high performance athletes. It doesn't ever matter about age or ability as long as the EFFORT is extreme!

If you’re looking to be part of the B.O.D crew there are 3 things you MUST know:

   1) You must pass the B.O.D mental testing.
   2) Consistency creates change.
   3) Don’t ever forget the first rule!
Stay Heavy!
  - Coach Mike

Monday, July 31, 2017

Do You Drink Starbucks?

Do you drink

Ever wonder why daily, we willingly go and pay nearly double for the same exact product, coffee?   I’m an avid drinker of the stuff and will go out on a limb and say the product actually is better than other chain’s, but double the price better?  The reason  consumers pay so much more has to do with the culture and customer experience Starbucks has created.   You're addressed by first name (and it's also written on your cup!) when your order is ready. Grande, venti, tall;  they literally have us speaking a damn different language!

The couches, clean bathrooms, seasonal music & smells, free WI-FI along with dozens of power outlets... I think you get the point.  It's more about the cup of coffee... it's about the experience.   Too many coaches worry SO much about the X’s and O’s of training and lose sight of what the consumer cares about. It's way less about what you know and way more about how you make them feel every single time they walk in the door. 

Does your gym meet the Starbucks criteria for top level customer service?  Varsity House has taken the customer service experience from Starbucks and implemented it into our brand of fitness.   If you need help identifying ways to make YOUR business run as smoothly as a Starbucks, join us for our Business of Strength mentor-ship.

Thursday & Friday
August 24th & 25th 2017
at Varsity House Gym
(Limited to 10 seats)

Saturday & Sunday
January 13th & 14th 2018
at Reach Fitness Clapham (London, England)
(Limited to 15 seats)

coach our classes. Learn how to cater to both high-level athletes and adults alike, all while delivering the ultimate customer experience. Develop all the essential tools you need to build your own million-dollar business and become a true Strength Entrepreneur.   I look forward to working with you soon!

In Strength
- Dan Goodman

Monday, July 24, 2017

Creating Operational Freedom - Business Of Strength Podcast Ep.1

Operations are all the processes that run your business. From on-boarding new clients to ordering gym supplies. Everything should have an operational procedure so it is always consistent. This will also allow you to teach these processes to other employees. Many gym owners fail to outline their business processes and wind up trying to do everything themselves. This might work for a short period of time, but not if you intend to scale your business to another level. Believe me, having to deal with every little thing that comes up on your business will be a GIANT waste of time!

Soundcloud: CLICK HERE
Show Notes: CLICK HERE