Archive for the ‘Managing Personal Trainers’ Category

The NO B.S. Book about How I Converted my gym into a fully Automated 24 Hour Fitness Center then How I Marketed my Gym successfully from 60 members to over 300 within 3 months

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

I’m so tired of people writing books about how to Start and Market fitness centers but they have never done it themselves. I have owned a gym for the past 10 years, and was in 2 businesses prior, one successful and one not, and I’m not afraid to tell you all about it in my book about how to start, or transform a gym, and market your fitness center from scratch.

I understand the saying “fake it til you make it” when it comes to portraying yourself as an expert until they actually become an expert. I didn’t have the money to follow someone who was faking it till they made it.

So I actually transformed my gym business from a failing gym into a 24 hour fully automated gym and started a marketing program that actually worked, and I tracked it to see just how much I was growing and with what worked and what didn’t.

I wrote this book in explicit detail on everything I did that failed and succeeded. Plain language is my hammer, experience is my nail, succeeding is the picture I hang on the wall beside the failures as proof of what has worked for my fitness center in this book.

fitness marketing book image

In my book “How to start a 24 Hour Fitness Center from scratch or Convert your gym into a 24 Hour Gym”, I give you a “CURRENT GYM OWNERS” view of how to actually start a gym from a gym owner, not someone who hasn’t had skin in the game. Get the book at http://how2ownagym.com

Will Herring, line backer for the Dallas Cowboys now, but former New Orleans Saints and former Seattle Seahawks player bought my book and then hired me to open his gym and do his marketing and he said he laughed all the way through the book because of the no nonsense way I wrote it. He said I didn’t have a very good grasp on grammar, but he said it was the information he wanted , not a great lesson in English. He didn’t know the half of it when it comes to me and spelling, and Microsoft word isn’t much better at catching my spelling mistakes.

For example:

I had a gym owner contact me one time about writing their marketing Ad’s and I replied to them in an email but my IPhone didn’t Capitalize their Name because I didn’t really care to make sure it was, I am a very busy person and that is not my top priority.

Anyway, they sent me another email and said their name starts with a capital letter. I said my answer to doing their marketing starts with “NO”. If you care so little about making your business that obviously you need to get some help, then I think you can over look some spelling and grammar mistakes.

I don’t care what people think about my style of writing, spelling, or how i just say what needs said. I only care about getting out what needs to be said in as plain a way as possible.

I’m not poetic about my writing, I take more of a 50 Shades of Grey approach to writing, just say it to where everyone with a 3rd grade education can understand it. My hobby is being a comedian so I also add a lot of humor to my writing, sometimes on accident. To get the book go to www.how2ownagym.com

I’d rather find a little crap in a bunch of nuggets. Here’s what i’m talking about.

I started a regular old fitness center 10 years ago, in a warehouse looking building 1.2 miles off a main road, and with no experience in the fitness but I did run two businesses prior to that, which taught me a great work ethic and business education for which I’m very glad for now.

I have made every mistake known to man about business, which you’ll discover in my book. I had fraud committed against me though when i tried to buy an existing gym to use their equipment to open my gym. by the way god does get those back for the wrong committed against one of his, the guy who committed fraud against me and suit me just got busted for $200,000 worth of steroids, guns, and liquid Viagra, which I’m not sure how they go together but I’m sure I can “come up” with something. see!

I have been sued and filed bankruptcy, not unlike some of the most successful people in our history like Abraham Lincoln, H.J. Heinz – Founder of the Heinz Ketchup Company, P.T. Barnum of Barnum Bailey Circus (probably one of the greatest marketing minds in history), Samuel Clements (Mark Twain), Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Ulysses S Grant, Thomas Jefferson, Larry King, Burt Reynolds, Etc…..

Now I’m not saying I’m in their class, but I’m in good class in that I did learn from my mistakes as they did. God made our brains with the ability to overcome and learn from set backs. I discuss many things I learned like bad marketing mistakes such as following what all the other gyms were doing, kind of like the churches do.

Most Church marketing so terrible. there are so many churches stagnate these days that if they’d listen to anyone but each other they’d be way better off. My church is included here. I tried to talk to the church leaders about marketing but they have the theory that “if you build it God will bless it”, tell that to all the Christian book stores and other churches that are out of business. it is after all a business isn’t it? don’t just produce a product, tell folks about it. that’s what I’ve done with my book and this website.

I give you useful information about my entire gym operation from scratch to now, and if anyone doesn’t want to pay $39 to learn my $200,000 worth of mistakes and come back and all my marketing that brought me back then God help them.

I got screwed like a French hooker on nickel night, and came back.

I know, you cant believe I just said that after talking about church, I told you I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, I think like that but I also believe in God, so that’s what you get with me.

If your dream is to start a fitness center or personal training studio, I recommend taking a few days to read my book and learn from my over $200,000 of mistakes and 10 years of gains from those set backs. To get the book go to www.how2ownagym.com

Two of the most important things i’ve learned in my 10 years as a gym owner is “Employee Management” and “Time Management”, I learned how to control both of these from two of the most important books a business owner could ever read, and MUST read. Both are by Dan Kennedy, both are in his NO B.S. series which I recommend getting every book in that series if your in business. The books are titled “No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs”, and the other is “No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits”. Get these today if you don’t have them, read them and then reread them. I have reorganized my business, Life, and my family and employees lives with these two books.

I breakdown a few of the most important things that I incorporated into owning a fitness center and managing a gym in my book. Like Gym cleanliness, which I consider one of the top must for a gym, if you go into a really nice restaurant and the restroom is filthy or there’s dust an inch on the ceiling fans, the place all the sudden loses 2 stars in your mind no matter how good everything else is.

I have a system for cleaning and making sure everything stays clean, and if its not, there’s gonna be more hell to pay than a tooth fairy in a town full of meth addicts.

You’ll also learn how to compete with big box gyms like Planet Fitness, which isn’t easy to do when they only charge $10 a month and I charge $45 a month

Removing Troublesome Members: I have had to remove 3 members from my gym in the past year also because they were idiots, and I’ll tell you about how to avoid these stupid people if you have the  same signals I had. I know as a business owner you’re suppose to be like “the customer is always right”, or “I cant afford to lose a member”, or in my case a few, because their friends left too. They returned later and admit they were wrong to have friends like that. to start with. get the book at www.how2ownagym.com

I lost long term members that didn’t want to say anything because of these idiots and the sooner you get them the hell out, the better.  There’s no politically correct way to tell someone you don’t like them or that they stink. PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE, I REPEAT, PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE, they hide it better sometimes. God is the only change for the better people make. If someone beats their wife, they always have anger issues and it will come out sooner or later, if they cheat, they will always cheat in a given circumstance. I know its not a popular view because we’re suppose to give our fellow man the benefit of the doubt, I have a business to run and a life to be successful in, I don’t have time to waste doing anything except praying for them, if God cant change them, I damn sure can’t. Get rid of troublesome members and employees at the first sign of issues you know are bad, NOT HEARSAY, CONFIRM IT FIRST, then act immediately.

I know I’ve went long on this but it can’t be understated. Be slow to hire and fast to fire!!! To get the book go to www.how2ownagym.com

If your ready to get assaulted like a drag queen at a tractor pull, then buy the book and learn from my failures and then my successes at owning a 24 hour gym.

If your on the fence about paying $29 for a book, then do what I did and learn the hard way by losing a few hundred thousand dollars because you’re too cheap to buy a book that spells it out in detail.

You’ll also learn my most successful marketing techniques and the ones that didn’t work, from radio ads to postcards to email campaigns

When you buy my book at www.how2ownagym.com you also get a FREE 15 minute consult with me on the phone about any questions you have.

 

contact Shannon at shannoncook902@gmail.com

Mistake I MAY have made in getting rid of a problem causing gym member

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Mistake I may have made in getting rid of a problem causing gym member

I woke early one morning by a phone call from my gym manager saying i needed to come in soon and call this lady about a guy that scared her really bad the night before.

I got to the gym and called her and she began to tell me about what she called a “perv” she had seen the night before in the gym while working out , but she said she knew the guy through her dad that owned a business a few years before and this guy worked for her dad.

she said this guy used to always act like a perv and when he saw her in the gym he started harassing her and cussing to her about sex and other things, i should tell you that we are a christian gym, not pushy, but people know we don’t allow cussing in there. we just have a few christian symbols around and prayer boxes. so this guy knew better

then she said she went to the gym locker room to get her clothes and leave because she had enough of his asking her to go out and get drinks after she told him repeatedly she was married.

when she came out of the gym locker room and started to walk for the door, he yelled her name across the gym and while he was laying on a bench, he grabbed his private through his shorts and shook it at her.

I have a camera system and reviewed it and saw him talking to her but couldnt see him grab himself, but he was laying on the bench like she said, but the angle of the benches view was blocked by a cable machine.

my manager then told me about two more women he said were harassed by this man. he kept asking them out and they had to tell him many times that they were married and his response was to tell them “married people need to eat too”.

It didn’t look like this guy was getting the hint did it?

We’ll I talked to my wife and she agreed that if he was doing that then the only choice we had was to cancel his membership and refund some of his money.

Here’s where i MAY have made a mistake by jumping the gun before i called the other women involved to get their story.

Before i called him i asked my wife what i needed to say because i’m not very diplomatic with words.

Here’s what the conversation would have sounded like from my mind to my mouth:

Hi *****, i have had women telling me your hounding them like its spring break in high school, and they say your a pervert. I’m canceling your membership and refunding your last months dues, don’t come back or you’ll be arrested, bye.

Now here’s what the conversation sounded like from my wife’s mouth then from mine:

Hi *******, this is ****** at the gym. I hate to have to make this call, but i have had quite a few complaints from women members saying your harassing them and frankly, they are kind of fearful because your coming on too strong. I have no choice but to cancel your membership and refund your last months dues. I really don’t want to do this but have no choice, i hope you understand, i know you probably didn’t realize that you were doing it, I’m sure you were trying to be nice but it was taken wrong, but i cant have someone in here that uses foul language and makes gesture like that, it sends a bad message to our members that that’s acceptable, I’m very sorry, i wish you the best.

Doesn’t that sound better?

He was very apologetic about the incident, and got very emotional, but accepted the outcome graciously.

Then the mistake MAY have happened. One of the ladies that my manager told me accused the guy of hitting on called my wife and said the guys friend called her and asked if he offended her in any way by asking her out. She told my wife that he did ask her out but after she told him she was married he respected her and never mentioned it again.

My manager told me a different story, he said the lady said he wouldn’t quit bothering her. Then there was one more lady my gym manager said he saw the guy approach and he said something to her and she got off the bike she was on and left the gym.

I didn’t talk to the third lady, my manager said he didn’t know her name and hasn’t seen her since that incident.

The guys workout partner came in that afternoon and wanted to talk with me and my wife. he said he wanted to cancel because his friend was his workout partner and he was going to have to go with him to another gym, and he wanted to tell us that he was there the night before when the incident happened.

He said there was two sides to this story, which i pretty much knew but with two other ladies having issues also, it confirmed what needed to be done, or did it?

He said he didn’t think we knew it but the woman and the guy actually had a affair going on a few years back and the guy was trying to ask her out because he thought they might hook back up. he said the woman didn’t seem offended at all, she was joking back with him. he said the guy does act like a teenager about women sometimes, but it wasn’t like she said it was.

I told him if the guy would have done this outside the  gym it would be of no concern to me, but he did it in the gym, and i couldn’t have him doing stuff like and talking like that in my gym.

He understood, but he cancelled anyway, and i had to write a $450 refund check because he paid up front, i could have told him no and made him honor his contract, but i cant do that to anyone. Never make someone stay or pay for a service they don’t want in a case like this, they’ll talk bad about you and you WILL lose business i promise.

Then there’s 2 more members that joined because of him and they now will quit they said. so after talking to the other lady that said she wasn’t offended like my ,manager said, i now believe the first woman may have exaggerated a lot to get back at an old flame, and i think this because she left out the key piece of evidence that they had an affair, and she said that he was always a pervert from the time she met him, but she had an affair with him anyway. It doesn’t add up.

He was, in the end hitting on all the women in the gym it seems. I believe i did the right thing, but just as with George W Bush’s decisions, i guess history will have to decide if i did the right thing. I just guess i’ll have to hope mine turns out to be the Ronald Regan Decisions.

The point of this true story. Wait and interview all persons involved before making any rash decisions.

Shannon Cook can be reached at shannoncook902@gmail.com

To learn how to open a 24 hour fitness center, build and start a gym from scratch, manage a gym, and fitness center marketing, check out my book at www.how2ownagym.com