“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Reading Time: 6min 43 seconds.
In order to launch a successful studio, you need a plan and I am going to give that to you. We have opened many successful studios. I call them hybrid studios because we were the ones who have introduced the full body electric muscle stimulation workouts to the United States where we developed a hybrid model of both EMS and conventional while we were working on the FDA to able to acquire it for the first-ever EMS suite.
The reason why I am sharing that above because that is something new that was never done before. We have also developed the first even-strength and condition workouts combining weight training with full-body EMS.
So there were Trial and Errors in opening new studios to get to the perfect model. Which as we know is never perfect we can always improve.
However, throughout my trial and error, I offer you some feedback and how we opened up our studios in under 3 and half weeks on a budget that is unheard of and become profitable in month one.
Furthermore how to pre-sale so you can have over 50K revenue in month one as a small personal training studio like ours with 700SF.
If you ever watched Rush or know who Niki Lauda is that you might aware of the fight they have had between them two Nikki and James Hunt.
However, there are some serious calculations involved. Nikki was all about the calculated risks and building the perfect engine, perfect car and team. then rebuild and make it better, then again rebuild and make it better. Then move on and learn the track he was notorious about showing up hours before in the morning before anyone else to practice and plan.
James Hunt, on the other hand, was pure talent with a giant heart for the race. However, everything else was out of his control. The reason why I am bringing this up because one was for short term another for the long term. There is a reason why Niki Lauda went on for the rest of his life leading as #1. And when he passed away every single car in racing had his name on it.
So plan, practice, tweak. We have learned so much from each studio openings we have done so much from each one and after opening up 6 we have finally learned we don't know everything and when to think we do there will be something new to learn at the next time.
From 9 months to 3 weeks
Our numbers and success more than tripled in every way possible.
We started out with opening our first studio in 9 months that was horrible and crazy expensive. So we took everything apart and said we won't open another one until we learn how to open one up in under 3 months. So we did that next we opened in under 3 months.
Then we wanted to push for the same thing 2 studio at the same time in under 3 months we did that too. So then we went for NYC completely new place. Open in under 1 month so we did it in 3 and a half weeks! That is because we are always learning and always improving even though we know how to open studios we always learn new things instead of celebrating the latest success.
You don’t want to be the one-hit-wonder
Especially if you want to open more then just one studio. You got to improve every single time and use every single second you get to practice that.
James Hunt after winning the championship was not ready to get to practice he wanted to celebrate his accomplishments. For him, that was enough.
And eventually after outside factors and problems with cars, teammates, internal fights he retired from driving. While Nikki went on forever.
So are you wanting to able to to do this for good or you gonna be a one time wonder?
First lets clear the rules on when you are ready to open your second location.
My Golden Rule
1. Your current location is at full capacity and there is no way you can add any more revenue its maxed out. You are in high demand ad you have utilized everything possibly you can from supplements, clothing you name it.
2. Your current location is capable of paying for your next location for a whole year in case your next location isn’t working out. Not just for rent but for everything.
3. You can go on a 30-day vacation and your current location is thriving while you are gone.
If any of the above is not true don’t open a second location.
Be careful on whose advice you are taking
I have read many articles and advice from people who have never owned and operated more than 1 studios at best 2-3. But the biggest "GURUs' of the internet never even had a gym before... And now with the help of the internet and landing pages and social media, it's easy to look like an expert...
It is also worth to point out that opening a franchise ( a well-known brand) like Orange Theory or F45 is way different than opening your mom and pop shop. So do not listen as much of the advice of the ones with a franchise because their branding will be different than yours.
I once read that from some guru who was interview by the NY Times that his #1 advice is to look around for studios and don't charge more or less than the competition... charge the same and always look at them.
I am completely against that statement I could care less for the competition for one since ourselves are the biggest competition however I looked all of them up so I know who charges the most and I came into the market charging the most. So then people ask why the hell are they so much more expensive then Equinox or Core Club or these other gyms.
Of course, don't take this advice if you are spirit airlines. What I mean by that is your price is low. There is nothing wrong with that its a different business model that's all. Then you come in and undercut the competition. But if you think about it when you come into our market and we charge $1300 per month to train 2x per week at our studio and you would open up next to us charing the regular price which would be about half or less then our clients would not go for that. It's just a different market and offering.
So research the market. Have a plan. Then plan out the pre-sale. Be loud on social media and know where your future customer hangs out. Is it Facebook, Insta, Youtube. All the above. In our case, Florida is all about FB while NYC is all about Insta.
We got over 1000 leads in under 60 days. And we filled up our studio so much that after being open for 2 months we had to close down for a weekend for a full remodel to able to fit in 3 changing rooms and widened the training area for more training.
Good problem to have right? You can have this problem too by planning ahead. You may ask well if you have planned ahead why didn't you built out the studio like that. We planned 3 phases for our studio and we planned that Phase 2 won't come till the end of the summer and it came way sooner our plans worked way faster than expected.
And to lower our risk as Niki Lauda would say we also made sure that our Lease was first a flexible one for 6 months which gives us enough trial and error to see if NYC is truly our market which turned out to be the case.
You never know until you do it. No matter who you talk to, what you think and what you are doing. Until you do it.
The King of Pre Sale Interview
How we did it
Before we enter a new market we first create a branding video that is all about the people and the place. We went to NYC and recorded videos all around the city and then started to advertise it on youtube, and Insta.
Then we launched our pre-sale with a deal nobody can ignore.
We made sure we have 2 full-time trainers ready to go with one full-time salesperson who is just going to sign up people at consult and put them on the coaches schedule. This also meant that our sales team at home had to be ready for all the inbound/outbound text and phone calls because like I said we had over 1000 leads just for this one location.
As soon as we launched it was like the stock market! The phone off the hook and appointments started to flood our studio.
In this episode of our podcast which you can watch here on Video:
Or if you prefer listening you can Tune in here:
The Bottom line is:
1. Research the market, make sure your clients are there
2. Find out what is the best platform to stay in front of them
3. Follow "My Golden Rule". All 3 have to be checked off!
4. Have a plan, Best Case - Worst Case what would both look like to you?
5. Kill the PRE SALE GAME. It will save you tons of money, time and energy.
6. Have the Coaches & Sales team ready to go 100%
7. Phone Needs to be answered Text/Voice in the first 5 min.
8. Have an amazing deal that can not be ignored with limited time and spot.
9. Pitch to all local bloggers, news and influencers, invite them for a free workout, cookout, grand opening party, podcast recording collaborate.
10. No Matter what go above and beyond. Overpromise and over-deliver.
Lastly early to bed early to rise and most importantly Advertise!
Watch Our full Podcast episode about the above topic in more details: