gym growth

How PushPress Free Helped GRIT Grow to 150 Members in Nine Months

From a non-traditional start to 150 members, this Virginia Beach gym is doing all the right things! Here's how PushPress is helping them manage and grow.

Emily Beers
October 31, 2023
How PushPress Free Helped GRIT Grow to 150 Members in Nine Months
From a non-traditional start to 150 members, this Virginia Beach gym is doing all the right things! Here's how PushPress is helping them manage and grow.

We live in a world dominated by online and social media marketing. And while the PushPress team helps gym owners navigate strategies and stand out online, we know there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing.

In fact, sometimes creativity is king, and Rachael Small and Rachel Staples are proof. Last December, “the Rach(a)els” decided to take a less-traditional marketing approach when they opened their gym. Before opening GRIT Strength & Functional Training in Virginia Beach, VA, they offered free outdoor workouts. Twice a week for six months, anyone could join.

GRIT gym community
GRIT Strength & Functional Training gym community.

“The goal was to build our name in the community,” said Small. “We were feet on the street.”

She jokingly added, “We suck at social media.”

How a Different Marketing Approach Paid Off.

In addition to the free workouts, Small and Staples found local businesses to partner with. They also raised money for a handful of non-profit organizations in the area. At one event, they created a t-shirt sale where all the proceeds went to breast cancer research.

Combined, Small explained that these creative efforts went a long way in drumming up their gym’s name. She believes it helped them establish trust with their future members. And Staples said it helped to lay the foundation in helping people “know what they’re going to get.”

The branding and growth strategies eventually paid off, when GRIT’s brick-and-mortar facility opened in December 2022. By September of this year, the business had already grown to more than 150 members and a team of three coaches.

Small made sure to mention that Staples’ experience as a coach played a key role in GRIT’s growth as well. Small noted of her business partner, “She has been in the area for a while and people tend to follow her wherever she goes.”

Rachael Small and Rachel Staples
Rachael Small and Rachel Staples, owners of GRIT Strength & Functional Training in Virginia Beach, VA.

Managing Operations and Growth with PushPress.

Small and Staples also credit PushPress Free - the free version of PushPress Core - as another key to their gym’s success. While running their outdoor workouts last year, they started looking for a way to manage reservations and accounts.

Since Free customers only pay based how much they’re billing, Small and Staples knew it was the perfect option. It helped them get started without financial strain, and it’s designed to grow with their business. Plus, they loved the mentorship they received from the PushPress team along the way.

Today, they continue to find new PushPress tools to help them grow in various ways. For example, they recently launched a back-to-school nutrition coaching program. To help members get back on track after summer, it included a meal plan, recipes and a healthy grocery list. First, they promoted it to their community via the Social Feed. Then, they launched it in the new, merged PushPress Members App. It generated a quick $1,600 in revenue for September.

Small and Staples also wanted to put a special emphasis on selling personal training packages this fall. Once again, they relied on PushPress tools to make it quick and easy for members to get started. So far this fall, they’ve been able to generate an additional $5,000 from personal training revenue alone.

PushPress Grow is on the Horizon.

Up until this point, Small and Staples have been focused on dialing in their gym management. They’ve worked hard to streamline class reservations, gym member check-ins, billing and more.

Using PushPress to grow GRIT
PushPress Grow will help GRIT continue to increase gym revenue and retention rates.

Now, as they focus forward toward growth strategies, PushPress Grow is on the horizon. Grow is the perfect gym lead system, including a search engine optimized website and a powerful gym CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

With it, Small and Staples will be able to create marketing campaigns, nurture leads properly and increase conversion rates. Plus, Grow helps gym owners create the ultimate member experience.

Pro Tip: Want to learn how PushPress Grow can save you time while using the power of automation for lead nurture and conversion? Book a demo with our team today!

“Help First” is the Difference-Maker.

More than anything, the main reason Small and Staples chose PushPress was the “help first” culture. They noted that the care they’ve received as customers has ultimately been the difference-maker.

“It’s the support, honestly,” said Small. “Any idea we have had, we have found a way to execute within PushPress. And there is always someone on the other side who is willing to talk through it with you.”

She also added that the PushPress Community Facebook Group has become a great support system.

“There’s always someone there to mentor us,” she said. “And they have experience because they are gym owners too. They’re always listening. If we’re successful, they’re successful. That goes really far."

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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