Archive for the ‘Buying used gym and fitness and health club equipment’ Category

How I Opened, Marketed, and competed with 3 Big Box Gyms and thrived even with a smaller model Fitness Center by turning to a 24 hour access system

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Interview with Shannon Cook of fitnessmarketing.tv and owner of Temple Gym in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

How I Opened, Marketed, and competed with 3 Big Box Gyms and thrived even with a smaller model Fitness Center by turning to a 24 hour access system, and by using high quality used gym equipment, like that carried at usedgymequipment.com

Q: How did you compete against Planet Fitness and Worlds Gym and other big box gyms when they offer gym memberships for only $10 a month?

A: Thanks for the question; I’ve been through 10 years of battling big and small Fitness Centers in my town. I had to innovate 6 years ago to set my gym apart from the others. I had great equipment but I was off the main highway by 2 miles.

I had to learn unconventional marketing the old fashioned way after I tried to follow all the other gyms marketing, and to be frank, they suck at Marketing, thank God.
I studied everything about Marketing from old Marketing masters to the internet marketing masters that were all very successful.
I then come up with a game plan because I had very few dollars to throw at anything then.

I first decided to change my gym from a staffed gym into a 24 hour fully automated gym, fired all my employees, including my nephew, because he wasn’t cutting it. I did keep one employee that runs the gym 4 hours a day 5 days a week only, which saved me over $3000 a month instantly.

Then I began my marketing plans.

I went from 60 members to over 300 in 3 months.

I have laid my story out here first here to tell you how I competed against these gyms that were over 5 times my size.
I first changed my website totally to have email sign ups and a video tour just like as if the viewer had walked up to the door, and in the video I answered all the questions that they ask when they come in, believe me it’s not a professional video at all, but it converts like crazy.

I also added all the keywords to my web pages and post that I wanted search engines to find when directing searchers to my site. Keywords like “Northport gyms”, “Tuscaloosa gyms”, “24 hour gym in “Tuscaloosa”, and many more. I gave web searchers information they were looking for, not just my gym name and the same old bull crap like “great service and fitness equipment” or the worst one “we’re in business for the health of it”. They are looking for useful information

If they didn’t like what I offered then they didn’t come and waste my time or theirs if they were looking for a gym with classes or childcare which I do not offer.
One of the main things I had to offer that most big gyms don’t is the high quality equipment that I bought refurbished way cheaper than new and it never wears out. Equipment like hammer strength, body masters, and cybex.

I went the used gym equipment route because it was more affordable than new equipment plus people can figure out how to use it way easier than the new stuff most of the time because it looks more difficult.
I haven’t had any complaints about my equipment being bought used because it actually looks new, the only things I’ve had to change were the pads after a few years of use.
I searched long and hard for refurbished gym and used gym equipment suppliers and have found www.usedgymequipment.com to be one of the best because of their inventory of hardcore and new style equipment. they also have a great inventory that they keep me up to date with through email.

Q: How do you know what kind of equipment to get, say if you wanted to open a gym that catered to more women than men? or crossfit?

A: well, let’s say you’re opening a gym that you want to attract more women than men, get more cardio stuff, a few different AB machines, and weight stacked machines for lower body too. Women want to work on their abs and legs more than anything. Actually I’d call or email the folks at www.usedgymequipment.com and ask them what they recommend too.

Q: what do you think about crossfit equipment?

A: I love the crossfit idea even though I can’t do a lot of it because I had a hip replacement a few years back due to a bone disease I was born with.
I do however incorporate crossfit exercises that I can do into my routine like pull ups, shoulder exercises, rope climbing, and the overall fast pace idea that is crossfit.

If a gym opens up without a place to do pull ups these days their losing out on a lot of gym members. By the way, I have a ratio of 50% to 50% men to women in my gym and I’d say about 20% of women are now doing pull ups, including all the women clients I train, if they can’t do them on a pull up bar then i have them start on a smith machine with the bar down low like inverted pull ups or use a band wrapped around the pull up bar and put their feet in it to spot them and make it less weight for them to pull.

Crossfit women’s bodies are amazing to me mostly because their legs and arms look great, and every woman I know that see’s a crossfit woman says the same thing, they wish they had their body.
I also love the fact that www.usedgymequipment.com is carrying crossfit equipment now. I don’t have to order equipment from 3 different manufacturers now; it’s like the Wal-Mart of great used gym equipment.

Q: last question, If you had to start your gym over again today what would you do different?

A: I was listening to Brian Tracy, a self help guru 7 years ago and when he said, “If your business burned to the ground tonight and you were able to start fresh from scratch, what would you do different? What people would you not hire again? What sections of your business would you close? What would you change about your business that isn’t profitable?”

I actually did a version of this by stopping services and cutting employees that were unproductive and changing my whole gym persona from the bodybuilding only atmosphere to a closer cardio/bodybuilding equipment ratio that ladies and fitness fanatics alike were acceptable to.

I lost money every month and wanted not just to stop the bleeding but to make money and do what I love, which is marketing my gym.
So I transformed my gym into a 24 hour fully automated gym and tanning center and got rid of troublesome employees, learned how to hire one go getter employee that could run the gym 4 hours a day 5 days a week. I remodeled and remarketed my gym just as I had envisioned and took it from failing to success in 3 months of hard work. I have had to keep up my marketing mind you; marketing has to ever keep evolving every few months not years.

I have written a book about everything I went through over 10 years and exactly how I transformed my gym and how I marketed my gym successfully. I have examples and exact how to’s of my marketing campaigns and ideas along with picture proof how my marketing campaigns worked like radio ad copy, postcards, letters, and website traffic proof using my visitor counts from these campaigns. You can get the book at www.how2ownagym.com

Shannon Cook is the owner of Temple Gym in Tuscaloosa Alabama, the website www.fitnessmarketing.tv , an AD copywriter, consultant for opening, marketing, and converting fitness centers into 24 hour gyms, and the author of “How to start and market a 24 hour fitness center from scratch or convert your gym into a 24 hour gym”. Get the book at www.how2ownagym.com

contact Shannon at shannoncook902@gmail.com

How to start a Gym affordably or keep your Gym Equipment updated by buying Used equipment

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The best and most affordable option for almost any fitness center to update your equipment is to buy used and remanufactured from the start.

I’ve always researched used equipment dealers because that’s how I got my fitness center started. I could not afford new fitness equipment so I went the used route and have never regretted it. I have found a great dealer and will pass them on to you to check out if your in the market.

They have complete gym packages available, which is invaluable since you don’t have to buy from 3 or 4 different folks, believe me on this one, it was a an ordeal.

The dealer I recommend is USED GYM EQUIPMENT, their website is WWW.USEDGYMEQUIPMENT.COM

One thing that I like about this one dealer I found is that they carry my favorite brands that last a long time. I love anything Cybex for cardio, they have came a long way in durability, and they carry a lot of these. If your looking to buy gym equipment for any business like gym, hotel, school, home gym equipment. They even carry Crossfit Equipment

Here’s a link to what they carry and how they can help you either start a fitness center or update your current gym. http://www.usedgymequipment.com/open-2-gyms-price-1/

If your starting a gym I would start by searching their database of fitness equipment and also by reading my book at www.how2ownagym.com

contact Shannon at shannoncook902@gmail.com

How to Start and/or Build a 24 hour Fully Automated Fitness Center, Gym, or Health Club from scratch, including quality exercise equipment, tanning beds, gym software, 24 hour access system, security system, and office equipment, just like I did

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

How to Start and/or Build a 24 hour Fully Automated Fitness Center, Gym, or Health Club from scratch, including quality exercise equipment, tanning beds, gym software, 24 hour access system, security system, and office equipment, just like I did

Learn from Shannon Cook, a current gym owner, former general contractor, commercial building landlord, and Fitness Marketing Consultant, how to go from your IDEA to the Grand Opening of your Fitness Center.

Also, how to convert an existing gym into a 24 hour fitness center by installing a 24 hour automated door access system, 911 system, and security cameras, and if that’s not enough, the gym door access system comes with a gym and fitness center management software system

 I’m so positive you will know everything about how to start a gym form scratch after reading this book, that i’m giving you 182.5 days, that’s 6 months to try it, and if you don’t like it, return it for a full refund

Why listen to me?

Because I did everything wrong before I did anything right. Fortunately I stuck with it and found some very successful businessmen to guide me, then innovated by turning my gym into a 24 hour fully automated gym, then spent over $15,000 to learn marketing the old fashioned way.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

First off, I’ll teach you how I took my gym from 50 members to over 300 in less than 3 months and exactly what I did and still do to make my little back woods gym one of the best known in my town.

Then you’ll learn;

HOW TO:

  • Research and Decide what kind of gym you want to open, from a 24 hour automated fitness center like the very popular 24 hour fitness and snap fitness, to a women’s only gym     
  • Incorporating or LLC?
  • Partnerships 
  • Franchise
  • Buy an Existing Club
  • Business Plan and Executive Summary
  •  Writing the Plan  
  •  Funding your Start up                                            
  •  Accounting for every dollar, for success             
  •  Naming your Gym   
  •  Becoming a Spy                                                     
  •  Location, Location, Location   
  •  Electrical
  •  Lighting 
  •  Air Conditioner and Heat Electrical needs           
  • Cable or Satellite hook up                                     
  • Phone service                                                         
  • Negotiating the Lease                                             
  • Choosing signage for Marketing your Gym          
  • Painting the interior of your gym                           
  • Insurance
  • Plans Drawn up for the building                            
  • The Build out                                                           
  • Getting the Permit for the Build out                       
  • Mirrors
  • Gym Equipment                                                      
  • Parts for gym equipment                                        
  • Flooring
  • Pro Shop Vendors                                                    
  • Office Equipment                                                      
  • Security System                                                        
  • Automated Door Access System                            
  • Gym Management Software                                      
  • Energy Efficiency in your building                          
  • Motion Switches for Lighting                                   
  • Ceiling Fans                                                               
  • Sound Systems and Cardio Theaters                     
  • Electronic Funds Transfer, (EFT) Bank Draft           
  • Accepting Credit Cards                                             
  • Childcare   
  • Waivers
  • Hiring Employees                                                      
  • Hiring Personal Trainers                                           
  • WIFI for members to use                                          
  • Lockers for your locker room                                  
  • Press Release Writing                                               
  • Marketing Checklist                                                  
  • Email Marketing                                                          
  • Website for your gym                                                
  • Google Adwords campaign creation and management                                                       
  • How to run a Grand Opening                                                   
  • Mailing List Companies                                             
  • Social Networking

If you want to know all the wrong things I did, here they are;

  • When I opened I picked the wrong location
  •  used the wrong subcontractors
  •  bought exercise equipment from the wrong people and also bought the wrong equipment
  •  finished my concrete floor with too little sealer
  •  painted some rooms the wrong colors for the right psychological effect (which you’ll learn)
  • Made the tanning bed rooms too small
  • Offered childcare when I wasn’t set up for it correctly
  • Hired the wrong employees
  • Hired the wrong personal trainers
  • Installed the wrong size air conditioner
  • Signed contracts for phone lines that I could have negotiated for a lot less
  • Used the wrong lighting
  • Got sued for $190,000 because of a contract that really didn’t exist (here’s where I made the biggest mistake in believing lady justice is blind, really justice has one eye open, and she’s looking for $$$ not justice), so learn what not to do.

I then turned my business around completely and figured out on my own what no one else would tell me, and I don’t blame them, after all, they learned the way I did.

 182.5 Day/6 month Unlimited Guarantee!!!

Anyone who has a dream of opening a business, and won’t invest in researching the in’s and out’s before going into it, doesn’t deserve to be in business, and probably won’t be for long anyway!!!

Over 200 pages, Instantly downloadable ebook now for only $39.99

how-to-start-a-gym-ebook-cover-in-blue-768x1024


Shannon Cook is a marketing consultant to the fitness industry. contact Shannon for questions at shannoncook902@gmail.com

Neon and LED must have Fitness Center, Gym,Health Club Business Signage

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Neon must have Fitness Center, Gym,Health Club Business Signage

Click Here for Neon signs

If you want to attract business these days, you must do anything possible to catch prospects attention.

When i put my Open 24 Hours neon sign up for my gym, I got immediate results.

No matter what kind of gym you own, you cant afford NOT to have all the signage possible.

I increased my gym traffic by 15% just because of the neon sign i put up. People started coming in saying they didn’t know we were open 24 hours because of lack of cars in the parking lot at late night. I also added a blinker to my sign that really got attention.

The company above supplies great long lasting NEON and LED signs, please visit their site

Clayton, a Gym Manager ask, I am currently looking to own the health club that i currently manage, it is not 24 hour but I would like it to be do you have any suggestions on companies or specific systems that I should look for that are not to expensive?

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Clayton, a Gym Manager ask, I am currently looking to own the health club that i currently manage, it is not 24 hour automated gym but I would like it to be do you have any suggestions on companies or specific systems that I should look for that are not to expensive?

 

Hi Clayton, this is shannon cook
 
If your going to install a magnetized system i would look up HID ENTRYPROX door access system. Get their phone number and call them and speak to someone about the system and be sure to ask them about a computer software called EDGE that works with the door access system.
 
The reason i say call the access system guy direct instead of just relying on ADT or another installer, is because of the terible expierence i had with the ADT people not knowing anything about the system, and i still dont have a computer system installed because of the difficulty installing it now that i have everything up and going.
 
Subscribe to my feed on the site and also Read my other post on ADT and it will tell you more of the issues i had and also tell you what to do to research and have everything together when ADT shows up to give you the estimate.
 
Be sure to get Them to sign your paper on what you want done exactly, that way they cant suprise you with a higher bill and hopefully install the right stuff that you said you wanted.
 
I believe the other post i did is under ADT. search my site using the search feature by typing in ADT.
 
Hope this helps, shannon