Today, many Affiliates are seeking out multiple avenues to increase annual income. Corporate wellness programs, pro shops and therapy are common examples of ancillary revenue offerings Affiliates incorporate into their gym, but by far the majority lean toward personal training as a profitable avenue their gym should take.
Clayton Borah, the owner of CrossFit 43 North in Nampa, Idaho, opened up shop after seeing a need for smaller class sizes than what was offered at the gym where he had previously trained. At 43 North, they cap classes at 10 athletes, but Borah said they normally see only five to six in each class because he wanted there to be a high-touch rate from Coach to athlete.
“There is only so much you can do logistically when you have classes of 30 people or so,” said Borah. “We really wanted to make a commitment to making everything we do smaller so we can offer the best product possible. CrossFit is a premium service and people should feel they are getting that.”
43 North offers numerous options for members to pursue a one-on-one style of coaching. Programs like nutritional coaching, personal training and lifestyle coaching are just a few of their offerings.
When a member first comes in or shows interest in joining 43 North, Borah explained he sits down with them and goes over each option of class style and personalized session they offer. He then directs them to the best solution after evaluating their needs. Above all, they see a high success rate in their lifestyle coaching sessions, which incorporates personal training, nutrition coaching and a multitude of other things.
“Our lifestyle coaching is to help with all the confusion out there with what fitness, health and wellness is,” said Borah. “Because it is one-on-one, we have the opportunity to talk about the other things related to health and wellness you might not have time to discuss in a large class — stress management, sleep, hydration, decompressing at the end of the day, how much time you should be staring at a computer screen a day and how it affects your health, when the last time you had a vacation was. People will get the best results when they have one person they go to for all their health-related questions, rather than trying to navigate the Internet to figure it out. We wanted to be that solid grounding place to answer those questions so people wouldn’t feel lost in the sea of fitness information.”
While CrossFit 43 North has found success in starting members from Day One with these options to choose from, Amy Boyd, the facility director of CrossFit 8035 in Des Moines, Iowa, explained their gym likes to give members time in the general CrossFit class before moving them to personal training. “Once beginners cross the bridge of learning how to do something over wanting to be better at something, we start to discuss personal training options,” she said.
Boyd explained this strategy has helped them market the personal training offering because they can see where athletes are struggling in class and use that as leverage. If an athlete is trying to get a muscle-up or another complicated movement, Boyd will suggest they stay after class to work on it, and then she will suggest personal training.
“If they were still frustrated even after working on a movement after class, we might say the next time this movement comes up and it’s still an issue for you, maybe we should think about personal training,” said Boyd. “I’ll suggest that maybe we should think about meeting six to eight times and working on what they are struggling with. It’s a great way to show them rather than tell them why personal training is beneficial.”
Boyd’s other piece of advice for Affiliates considering incorporating personal training into their Box is to start with why. Explain to your members why it is necessary for their lifestyle to pursue the offering and how it’s not just to see numbers change on a scale.
“Once they know the value of your services, they aren’t afraid to pay extra,” said Boyd. “You have to sell them on the value of the why. Why would it be better for you to come into the gym and confidently be able to Rx some gymnastic workouts? They will be more confident when they leave the gym. The gym will become fun for them to visit and stress free. Start with why.”