Archive for the ‘Inner workings of the 24 hour automated system’ Category

Why Gyms fail and go under part 1 of 2

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Ok, here’s the “Donald Trump” version of why most Gyms fail

When it comes to these reasons why gym businesses are failing, most gym owners are in denial about everything. They get super mad when I tell them whats really going on. I try to be tactful, but not anymore, Marcu Lemonis on CNBC’s “The Profit” sealed the deal for me. I just have to tell the truth and let it sink in to the gym owner for days or even weeks sometimes. I’ve been there several times and almost went under also, so I had these same talks with myself believe me. But I did what it took to succeed by doing what i’m opening up about below.
  • “When your business get you to a place so dark you have to poke a hole in it to see out”, its time to ask for help
  • You’ve got to hunt down the problem like your looking for it in the daylight with a flash light.

 

  • The problem is most people are like the part of the Conway Twitty song, “He who won’t look is just as blind”. Most gym owners I deal with wont even look to find a problem because they are going to have to have some really difficult conversations with themselves first, then with those around them, and that’s really hard to do.

Here are the “going out of gym business sale” reasons:

  1. No innovation
  2. Getting Out Marketed (which is terrible to start with even with the biggest gyms)
  3. Uncleanliness
  4. Employees are untrained, wrong hires, or unmotivated (which is French for lazy)
  5. Owner is worn out and gives up from not having systems and processes in place.   (I think of these as a guide for my wife to run my business if I died today. She could walk in, open the owners manual or computer videos I made for every aspect of the business and continue on or sell the gym successfully)
Now let me break down every part to prove these are real issues in the fitness industry
  • Innovation: When I went from 120 members down to 50 I knew something was wrong. I had to offer something new and unique. I researched and went to other gyms in my town and out of town.
Then I sat down and ask myself which one I’d do with a very limited budget. By limited I mean $3000
I decide to boot strap a 24 hour gym access system and software because their were none in my town at the time.
I did everything myself except the install which needed an electrician. I ended up spending $3800 all together after I borrowed the $800
That was my one innovation to get started, later on I also automated my tanning beds so they were able to be accessed 24 hours by automation also. BTW, that was 7 years ago and as of yet no other gym in my town has done that with tanning because they cant figure it out for the insurance companies, and there are many 24 hour gyms now. They just don’t try to figure it out.
  • Gym Marketing: I got out marketed by a big gym opening close by. They didn’t even market was the crazy part. I got out marketed by not marketing.
  • I decided right after I Enacted the 24 hour access system and no one showed up to even glance at, that I had to let people know I was alive. Which meant learning how to market my 24 hour fitness center.
  • How? I went on a “how to market a gym” learning spree that has lasted 8 years now. I learned how to build a website, put an email form on the website and write marketing emails that gave great information out first of all then a call to action at the end of every email that got them to come in. Btw, it takes an average of 3 to 6 months after they start receiving the emails before they usually come in or call.
  • Video tour: Then came my video tour I put on YouTube then put on my website. This turned out to be the most valuable sales tool I ever used. It pre sold 95% of my prospects. I pretended the camera was a prospect walking up to the door and took the camera on the same tour the actual person would get. In this way everyone that visited my website got the tour and if we were not the gym they were looking for then we never wasted a second on them. But if they liked what they saw they’d come in, and when we started our sales pitch they’d stop us 95% of the time and say “I know how it works I saw the video, please take my money and sign me up”. Here’s the link to the very normal and cheesy video tour that you won’t believe actually saved my gym from 50 members to over 300 in less than 3 months. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bA3bfNTNzg
  • Radio ads: then I write radio ads that lead the prospect to my website, sign up for the emails, and come in. Always, always, lead them to your website.
  • Then always lead them to sign up on your email form
  • then always include great email info, funny info, that leads them to your actual front door.
  • Then it’s up to you
“If you want to make people think your rich, wear penny loafers with a dime stuck in them”.
  Yes I love doing stand up comedy too, but its true about perception. Be charismatic, yes you can learn this art. Then listen, listen to what they want and need, then try to fill that need. If they need a program to go by, do as I did and make a program about how exactly to use the equipment in your gym and what pieces to use to work certain body parts, or even a basic diet program will go a long ways. Most importantly, when they say their name, burn it into your brain and repeat it several times to them during the conversation, the sweetest thing a person can hear or see is their own name, which is why we love to go to the mailbox even though we know there are bills in there.
I consider myself somewhat an expert now, but I did everything wrong to start with though. Like mark twain said “He who totes a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way”
I’ve toted many cats by the tail, learning every aspect of how to open a 24 hour fitness center and converting mine into a fully automated gym. Then marketing my gym to three times the members, doubled my fees, and finally selling my gym for over 5 times what it cost to start.

Part 2 of the “Why gyms go out of business” will cover cleanliness, employees, and the owners themselves” and how you can change everything just as I did. Be warned though, this article will be very blunt about laziness, time vipers, thieves, and owners who shouldn’t own a gym and exactly why. It will be the Donald Trump portion

For the complete NO B.S. Guide to opening a 24 hour fitness center from scratch and hear the fitnessmarketing.tv podcast about the 24 hour system, go to www.how2ownagym.com to see his book where you’ll find much, much more detailed info of everything in this article.
Shannon cook is an author of “how to open and market a 24 hour fitness center” and former owner of temple gym in Tuscaloosa Alabama and owner of www.fitnessmarketing.tv
Shannon is a consultant to the fitness industry for opening a 24 hour gym and fitness center marketing. Get the book below to learn everything you can about how to open a 24 hour fitness center and market it once open.

Questions or comments? email Shannon Cook at shannoncook902@gmail.com

How I lowered my Fitness Center’s power bill from $1,980 a month to under $1,000 with the help of the Power Company

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Fitness Center Marketing won’t help you much if  your power bills are sucking every dollar out of our profit. There are many things you probably don’t think about that can lower your Gym power bills

by: Shannon Cook, Fitness Marketing Consltant and expert in How to open a 24 Hour Gym

Yes the power company will come to your business and help you find ways to lower your power bill for your gym business like they did for me.

The summer’s in Alabama are as hot as a blistered butt rash and my power bill almost doubled. I did everything I could think of to lower it like insulating the ceilings and making sure the air conditioner was maintained, but the air conditioner runs non stop when its 110 degrees outside.

The power company sent out an employee to do a power audit for me. He told me I could combine the 6 power meters into 2 and save $50 per meter because they charge $50 per meter plus power usage, which i did not know. I saved $200 per month just by doing that one thing.

Then he went through my gym. He told me to turn the water heaters down to 115 to 125 degrees to keep them  from working so hard to heat water to a high temp.

Then we looked at my lighting. He recommended i take the old strip lighting out that required T-12 bulbs and install the new energy efficient T-8 lights. Actually I had 28 lights to begin with, but with the light output of the new T-8 bulbs, I only have 13 now, and it puts out way more light and the ballast that run the bulbs are about 1/4 the size of the old ballast and don’t even get hot like the old ballast. If you have an acoustical ceiling with lay in lights, then you can get the new lay in lights with the T-8 small bulbs, or you can get a T-8 conversion kit for the old lights if you want to but it’s about as difficult as being married to my ex-wife to install. I also recommend getting the daylight type of bulbs because they are brighter and put off a better quality of light.

Then the guy suggested I install motion switches for all lighting. Here is where I went through hell backwards with gasoline underwear on. I wanted good switches that were easy to set and worked even if members were 50′ across the gym. I ordered the best motion activated light switches amazon offered, which was about $60 apiece.

Well, needless to say, I spent hours upon hours trying to set them to work right. I turned the setting a tiny bit to make it stay on for a few more minutes extra, but they wouldn’t come on at all then. I have about 6 switches all together so you can see how frustrating this was. I finally went to Lowe’s and got a $20 motion switch and put one in. It worked perfect and was easy to set for the correct 15 minute time limit I needed in the main gym area. The bathrooms and child play room have 5 minute time limits. Time limits meaning if their is no motion detected for the set time, then it goes off, but when motion is detected it automatically comes on.

Just note that if your going to buy a switch make sure it isn’t “auto off, manual on”, because it will not come on automatically, you have to press it on which defeats the purpose.

All these power saving changes made a tremendous difference in my overall power bill.

Make sure your ceiling is insulated with the correct amount of insulation also. if you have a drop ceiling or acoustical ceiling, then make sure the insulation is laying correctly and not scattered like a wasp nest in a tornado.

To buy the guide on How to Open a 24 Hour Fitness Center from scratch or convert your Gym into a 24 Hour Gym, go to www.how2ownagym.com

To contact Shannon Cook about Fitness Center Marketing Consulting or writing ads for your gym, email: shannoncook902@gmail.com

Video Interview with NFL player Will Herring on How to Open a Gym or Convert a Gym into a 24 Hour Fitness Center using the Firebug Gym Software and Door Access and Security System

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Video Interview with NFL player Will Herring about how he opened his gym from scratch and  how he decided to make his gym a 24 Hour Fitness Center

In this video Will talks about his experience’s with the system and opening a gym form scratch.

Want to know what kind of door access and software systems Fitness Centers like Snap Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and 24 hour Fitness use to automate their gyms? Here’s a complete system I use at my gym, Temple Gym, and I recommend my clients use to automate their gyms. It’s a complete system that comes with door access, gym software, and security system.
Shannon Cook of www.fitnessmarketing.tv interviews Will Herring, New Orleans Saints Player #54, about the 24 hour gym access system (firebug software system) and how he used the book, “HOW TO OPEN A GYM OR CONVERT A GYM INTO A 24 HOUR GYM”, available at www.how2ownagym.com to open his gym, Herring Fitness 24 hour gym in Auburn Alabama. Shannon owns Temple Gym in Tuscaloosa Alabama www.templegym.tv

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

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