When Carl Neidholdt opened his gym a decade ago, the options for gym management software were slim. And they definitely weren’t user-friendly.
As a result, everything from billing to client communication was time consuming and cumbersome, he explained.
“I also went through a whole bunch of really complicated software, not a lot of user-friendly stuff. I just felt like with other software companies, I was just a number,” said Neidholdt. He opened CrossFit Cerberus in Blue Springs MO in 2012, a gym that today has 250 members and 10 coaches.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of explanation. It was just like a figure-it-out-on-your-own kind of thing, so I was really just struggling. I was a coach and had no business background,” he added.
Then in 2016, he heard about PushPress, became a client and gym life instantly improved.
The PushPress Difference
From data processing and billing, to lead generation and conversion, PushPress immediately helped Neidholdt’s clients and business.
“People used to fall through the cracks all the time because we didn’t have a good follow up system. Or sometimes something would happen, like their credit card would bounce for four months, and we didn’t even notice,” he explained.
Today, following up with clients easy thanks to the PushPress dashboard. It’s also a task Neidholdt has been able to outsource to his coaches.
“They check the dashboard twice a week for at-risk clients who need attention and follow up with them,” he explained.
Beyond the day-to-day tasks, PushPress became even more invaluable to Neidholdt when the pandemic hit. Features like the class reservation system made it easy for clients to start reserving classes and safely coming to the gym.
Further, PushPress has made signing up new clients much easier. The Grow software integrates seamlessly with his PushPress-built website. It has “reduced the number of steps I have to take, saving me time and mental stress,” he said.
Quick Refresher: Grow is an all-in-one platform. It allows gym owners to create marketing campaigns, connect with leads to convert them into clients, and improve client retention in time-saving ways.
- Grow automates processes that often bog gym owners down. This includes sending generic follow-up text messages to leads, or checking in with clients who haven’t been to the gym in two weeks.
- “I can send out personal messages to all my members, and all my members get birthday cards, too. It’s all automated,” Neidholdt said. “When you’re managing 250 members, it makes it a lot easier.”
On scaling his business, Niedholdt comments, “ basically PushPress has allowed us to grow. Before, I was spending so much time on little things. I didn’t have time to focus on more important things like advertising or having real conversations with people.”
He added, “Right from the start, I always felt like (owner) Dan (Uyemura) cared about my business. He wanted me to be successful and he was helpful and always available. I believe in the staff and I believe in the reason the company exists.”
Neidholdt’s Keys To Success
Being a small gym owner isn’t easy. Twelve-hour days and never taking a vacation can quickly lead to burnout. Once the gym owner hits that point, they often find themselves prioritizing their own fitness less and less. Before they know it, their dream job has turned into a nightmare.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. Neidholdt is proof that it’s possible to run a gym for more than a decade, and still love what you do.
He admits, there were earlier days when he nearly reached burnout.
“There was a time where I was so busy with the business I didn’t get to workout. That was a painful place to be, and it’s something gym owners don’t talk about. They get so wrapped up in the business, and yeah I was there. I was so busy taking care of everyone else I forgot to take care of me,” he said.
“But then I realized my dreams are just as valuable as other peoples’ dreams and I had to make time for myself,” he added.
The Future Looks Bright
Today, Neidholdt works out regularly and no longer coaches group classes at his gym. Instead, he focuses on business and coach development. He also does some nutrition coaching and works a manageable number of hours each week.
Having efficient software like PushPress has certainly played a role in his long-term success. Another big piece of the puzzle was getting to know his clients on a personal level and helping them as individuals.
“I have learned you really need to connect with people to find out what they need and then create paths for them. So instead of trying to make people fit CrossFit, we try to make CrossFit fit the person. We do have a certain amount of individualized programming here even though it’s class-based,” he said. “And then you need to do a really good job of following up with people and staying connected.”
He added, “I’m never trying to sell anyone anything. I want to help them solve a problem. When someone first comes in, I want to make sure what we offer is actually what they need. I find out what’s driving them to want to change and what their goals are. Then I share the plans we have to help them,” he said.
Clearly Neidholdt is doing something right in Blue Springs. His members think so, too: Neidholdt was given the Client’s Choice Award at the 2022 Two-Brain Business Summit.
When asked about why he thought his clients couldn’t stop raving about his gym, he shrugged humbly. Then he said, “I hope they feel that we love our job. Our job is to educate them, elevate them and celebrate them, and I think we do that pretty well.”
Whether you’re new to owning a gym or have been up and running for years, PushPress helps you optimize and scale your business. Schedule a demo with the team to see how PushPress can help you create an unforgettable member experience!