In this episode, Jim Adams, Catalyst, dives into making the transition from personal trainer to opening your own studio, and he breaks down the blueprint you need to be successful.
Jim Adams is the owner of Catalyst Personal Training as well as the host of two podcasts, The Business of Fitness and Sh*t Trainers Say. A native of St. Louis, Jim is a fitness expert, entrepreneur, and popular speaker who knows what it takes to overcome adversity and follow your passion.
When Jim opened his business, he knew a lot about fitness and personal training, but he had no idea how to scale it up — he didn’t have the tools or the knowledge base to grow his business. With the help and guidance of a few valuable mentors, he put together a solid business plan focused on long-term growth and sustainability. Now he wants to share his knowledge.
Dan Uyemura [0:05]
Welcome to The gymOS Podcast. I’m your host Dan Uyemura, CEO of PushPress. Each episode I bring the best and the brightest in the business world straight to your gym and we tease out actionable steps and strategies that you can implement immediately become a better business owner.
What is up ladies and gentlemen of the fitness community, Dan Uyemura here CEO of PushPress coming at you once again, on The gymOS Podcast, where every episode we’re helping to make every one of you fitness professionals, a better business professional, one episode at a time. If you’re watching this on YouTube, you’ll see I’m in the middle of the Coronavirus right now and I put this green screen on to make myself feel like I’m in San Francisco. Just something I’m doing for myself here. You can disregard Otherwise, if you’re listening at home, you’re missing out on the magic of the green screen.
Today, we’ve got a 30 year vet in the fitness industry coming on to talk about a few things. Now primarily my audience of this podcast so far has been studio owners and gym owners who are working to professionalize and become better business owners. Today we’re going to take a little bit of a pivot, and this this episode is actually directed towards personal trainers who don’t have a space yet now you might be working inside someone else’s gym. You might be training people at the beach or the park. But the point is, you haven’t yet taken that leap of getting a lease, opening a business and starting to go down the route that some of these other studio owners have done. And that’s what Jim wants to talk about today. He wants to talk about the path of and this is his path. He started off as a trainer in someone else’s gym and he realized he was a really bad employee. And through that, through that the process of realizing he didn’t want to do exactly what was told of him to do and he wanted to do it a different way he realized he needed to open his own gym. And that’s what he did. And so today’s episode is kind of talking to that if you are a personal trainer or you’re working from inside someone else’s gym like maybe a coach, and you feel like you have better ideas on how to make a better gym or a better studio and train people more effectively not to say what your what you’re being asked to do right now is wrong, you just want to do it differently, then this episode is for you. He’s going to start talking about what the path looks like and who the typical person is who qualifies to maybe be considering open a gym and and if that speaks to you, give this episode a listen and let us know on the other side if this is something that helped you decide if you want to open a gym or not.
All right, everybody. Welcome back to The gymOS Podcast. Once again, Dan Uyemura here, the CEO of PushPress with Jim Adams, Jim has been working a long time in the fitness industry, and he’s actually coming in today to talk about something that’s relatively unique to this, this listenership. And that’s going to be if you’re a personal trainer, how you can get going into owning an actual studio, and that’s quite a large leap, both financially and in responsibility. And I think it’s an important topic, because there’s probably a lot of personal trainers out there who want to take the next step in this journey. Jim, why don’t we take a quick step back and why don’t you introduce yourself, kind of give us a background on on? I’ve been on your podcast, so I kind of know. But give us give, give our listeners a background on who you are. And I mean, how long you’ve been in this industry and you know, and what, you know.
Jim Adams [3:47]
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me on, Dan. I really appreciate it. I’ve been a trainer for 30 years, started training one on one in 1990 January 1990. And been in it since then I opened my own studio, small group training, we do some large group. But mostly small group personal training is our bread and butter. We’ve been doing that for about five years, started my own podcast masters in the fitness business about four years ago. And then just recently started a podcast for my studio catalysts. Personal Training calls shit trainers say and it’s basically for the local audience, to make us the local expert in town and for our clients. And for anybody else who wants to listen. So yeah, we, we stay busy.
Dan Uyemura [4:37]
Yeah. And actually, if we can get you on another episode, I really want to dive into the local podcasts and how how some of our clients and our listeners can start podcasts for themselves. But for now, we’re gonna stay on topic or we’re going to talk about this personal trainer who wants to become a gym or a studio. Alright. Was that your art? Did you start as a personal trainer yourself, or did you have a physical location?
Jim Adams [4:58]
I did. So I was a personal trainer. for 22 years at this one on one facility, phenomenal facility, it was about 17,000 square feet. And we did strictly one on one. And I wanted to jump into the small group training market and the guy who owned that, and I was the manager of that facility. So I helped run it some what in manage most of the trainers, but I wanted to jump into the small group space and he didn’t want to so I decided to go out on my own and open my own facility and jump into that small group space. And let me tell you something, it was a large learning curve going from a trainer because I was a really good trainer. But I had to learn how to be a really good businessman.
Dan Uyemura [5:41]
Right And that’s, that’s actually the whole focus of my podcast and I believe your podcast as well is right, probably because both of us realize pretty quick in this journey. That being a good fit. Being a good trainer, or a group coach, you know, does not make you a good business person. And that’s the struggle a lot of us face. ask you this what what made you want to go from doing private training to small group? was it was it scaling? What was the drive behind that?
Jim Adams [6:08]
Well, I just saw the handwriting on the wall one on one is really expensive. There’s only a very small demographic that can afford it. And when you do small group, it opens it up. It’s a win win. It’s makes it a more affordable, so you get access to other demographics, more people more money. So and then if you break it down math wise, doing a one on one versus small group, you make more money per hour. So it really was the numbers in the business and opening it up to a greater number of people.
Dan Uyemura [6:41]
Do you think there’s room for trainers to be doing both, like have one on one availability and small group availability? Because I agree with what you said, like if you can get four times 40, that’s better than one times 50 or whatever the numbers might be? Right?
Jim Adams [6:55]
Yeah, I think I think it determined I think it depends on the trainer. I mean, because sometimes trainers are happy being trainers. And if you’re happy being a trainer and you don’t want to have to worry about business things, marketing and negotiating leases and payroll, and insurance and all the things that come with business ownership, then just stay being a trainer, you can make it I made a great living as a trainer, which is why I stayed at that facility for so long. But I think for most trainers, it’s a natural outgrowth, they want to have their own thing. They want to be able to create something unique to them. And so I think it’s a natural outgrowth for most most trainers, if they’ve been in training long enough, and they’re good enough trainer and they have enough clients they think, Hey, I can do this myself and open my own brick and mortar. But there’s there’s a lot more involved with it than that as you and I know.
Dan Uyemura [7:52]
Oh, yeah, for sure. So outside of what you just described, or maybe even recap what you’ve just described, if Can you describe the perfect Picked avatar for somebody who is in the private training space, maybe operating out of another facility, speak to speak to them, like who is the perfect person who needs who potentially could be opening up their own facility?
Jim Adams [8:14]
I would say the person who makes a terrible employee because I was I was a terrible employee, because the owner would set out the rules. And then I would say, that doesn’t jive with me. So I’m going to do it this way. So if you’re that kind of person who like, Well, that doesn’t fit with my style, so I’m going to tweak it or change it a little bit, then that is the blueprint for an entrepreneur right there. Most entrepreneurs, they didn’t do well in school, and they don’t make great employees because they want to do things their way. And that usually is the blueprint for a successful entrepreneur.
Dan Uyemura [9:00]
You just described me to a tee.
Jim Adams [9:04]
And most entrepreneurs.
Dan Uyemura [9:05]
Yeah, no, that’s great. Um, that wasn’t the answer I expected, but that’s dead on right. Okay, cool. So let’s start walking through this framework. I’m a terrible employee at a gym. I’m training a bunch of people, I feel like my way could be better. But I’m stuck within the confines of what the owner of this facility is asking me to do. What is the blueprint from for beginning the path of opening my own facility? The first step,
Jim Adams [9:31]
I find, and I did do this, I did all these steps backwards. So that’s why I’m sending this message out to save people, a lot of headache. The first step is mindset. Because when I first decided to open my training studio, I was viewing it as a trainer. I’ve got clients. I know I will have clients that follow me. But then I didn’t have I didn’t have any experience on how to negotiate a lease. I didn’t Have any business systems in place for when I hired employees, I had no concept of payroll and no concept of marketing. I had no body in my corner to help me with any of those things. So I was just feeling around in the business space blindly. And I’ve seen a lot of crappy trainers become super successful because they got help. And they’re really good at marketing in business systems. And I’ve seen really good trainers who wind up going broke or wind up getting a job as an accountant or some kind of office job because they couldn’t make their business grow because they didn’t learn the business side of things.
Dan Uyemura [10:42]
Right. I think one of the hardest lessons I had in starting a business is I’ve always been a product centric founder meaning like, if my trainings the best if my coaching the best if my software’s the best. clients will find me and I will do fine and the harshest reality I’ve had which I tell everyone who asked me That’s not true. If you don’t know how to market and sell yourself, it doesn’t matter how good your product is, you will probably fail. Right, right. I think we all gravitate. I mean, literally, when we built push press, our mantra was, look at gmail. It’s such a good email client, everyone uses it. But their Google, you know, he mean, like, the amount of power they had behind them to make that happen. You know, it was, it’s different.
Jim Adams [11:25]
Well, they’d already built it and established the brand. If you’re just opening up, you’re the new guy on the block. Nobody knows who you are. And that’s the other thing about branding, you know, people are gonna make up. If you don’t tell them your story, they’re going to make up a story about you. And that’s the power of branding. But all of that goes back to making that shift as a mindset. So I would say, as somebody as somebody who’s been there, get a business coach, you know, who has experience in that studio market in the fitness business market, so they can help you avoid a lot of those mistakes, because you really do have to shifted from the trainer mindset of Oh, I’ve got this. I’ve got this client. He’s coming in Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 5am. I got a full book. I’m good, too. Okay, what are my business systems? Who do I hire first when I grow? Do I have the systems to scale it? What’s my marketing plan look like? What’s my equipment costs and layout going to be all of those things that you have to take into consideration negotiating leases, when you’re talking about the build out, the equipment, the cam, all of those things that go into negotiating lease, you need to start building a team right away. You need to find a business coach to help you with that you need to find a real estate agent to help you with the lease that’s got your back on the lease. You need to find somebody to help you with the business plan because I see a lot of trainers again going in with the trainer mindset, and they want to build the most mack daddy decked out Jim, they their focus is on the equipment, they want the best equipment, equipment nobody else has. And then they spent all of the money, their entire bankroll on equipment and building out the club, and they don’t leave anything for marketing. And then they open up their club with their existing clients. They can they can get by on word of mouth referrals, which we’ll get them by, but in order to survive and keep feeding that pig, you got to get some kind of marketing program going and it’s not just posting on Facebook, it has to be a little bit more sophisticated than that. And that is that shift to being an entrepreneur, you’re better off saving your money on equipment, and buying the equipment later. And and building a solid marketing plan upfront.
Dan Uyemura [13:50]
Yeah, and, and I can tell you firsthand, we made all these mistakes twice. Right? So it’s hard because the ego Go drives and you know, like you want to build this perfect gym, and it’s probably some very emotionally driven, you know, picture in your head. You want the most square footage, you want the best equipment you want the, you know, the greatest array of everything that you can have. But the reality is you probably need to grow into it.
Jim Adams [14:20]
Yeah, yeah, because Go ahead, sorry, when you’re looking at it as a trainer, that’s what you see, you see clients, you see equipment, you see facility, but when you look at it as a business owner, you have to see marketing, conversion rates leads, revenue coming in versus expenses, and that’s a whole different paradigm.
Dan Uyemura [14:42]
Right, exactly. So let’s talk about, I guess, planning of a business. So I’m a trainer and I’m pretty convinced that I’m on this entrepreneurial track. And I want to look into doing this stuff. I agree with you, and we take Your advice, I start to build a team, I get a real estate agent, try and find, maybe not a business mentor. I can’t afford one yet. But I’ve got some friends in the industry or in the world who have done this before I lean on them. How How do you go about kind of mapping out the perfect outcome? Or you know, like, I guess I guess the goal. The thing is, I think a lot of people open a gym without thinking 10 years down the road five years down the road, like, what do you want this to become? Right? Like, give me give me suggestions on that?
Jim Adams [15:27]
Yeah, I would say start with an end in mind. And what I mean by that when I opened my club, I started with the idea of, I want to grow this thing beyond me. So I didn’t want it to be Jim Adams Training Systems because when you open up Jim Adams Training Systems, it’s really hard to scale it because everybody wants Jim Adams. And if you really got to grow and scale that thing, it’s got to be bigger than me. So that’s why I named it catalysts instead of putting my name on it, because then when they come in, they’re just coming into catalysts are coming into The brand that I’m building. So you have to think scalability. And the other thing with scalability, you have to think okay, what is my Am I doing memberships I’m am i doing per sessions because most trainers want to do per sessions. And then what they do is they discount they rob themselves by offering discounts when they buy bigger sessions. And why would you devalue yourself like that? You know, if you’re worth 40 bucks a session and small group then charge 40 bucks, you know, and if you want to go membership, which I would recommend, from a business standpoint, memberships make much more sense because then you get that recurring revenue. The other problem with go along with the session packages is that your revenue goes like this. Yeah, you can’t you never know what’s coming in one week to the next or one month to the next. If you do memberships, where you allow them, you know, access to small group eight 12 unlimited whatever it is, then they pay that same fee every month. And then you can track and count on your steady revenue each and every month and that allows you to budget allows you to budget for your expenses budget for marketing, budget for growth. So when you want to get that new slick piece of equipment, you can talk to your accountant and definitely start with your account because the tax man cometh and he will come at the end of the year and say you made this much money so you owe me this much money and you don’t want to be standing there. With your pockets out gone. I you said I made this much money but I don’t have it. So you definitely have to have your your accountant on your team telling you to stash some money away or pay quarterly estimated taxes. Because I can’t tell you the number of brand new studio owners you may get a break your first year because you will operate at a loss. So you won’t owe any taxes but That tax bill will come and you have to budget for it. Because I’ve seen a lot of, you know, studio owners get stuck with like a $20,000. tax bill.
Dan Uyemura [18:10]
Yes. Let’s actually dive into that. Cuz I find that to be a very pertinent and interesting topic. When it comes to fitness I like I see a lot of trainers, and I’ve been pushing this message to that value doesn’t equal cost, right? Like, you might be an expensive trainer. But if I bring more value to your life, it’s a deal. Right? But then if you flip the equation, I’ve met so many gym owners and just people in general who won’t pay for an accountant, because they’re expensive, right? But my argument is, if you pay $500 to save 1000 it’s the value is there. Yeah, yeah. Do you think gym owners should pay for an accountant or how do you navigate that because they are expensive in the beginning cash flow is important. But like you said, it could save you big time. Like, like, you know, when it comes to paying taxes or just building up an emergency fund or whatever, right.
Jim Adams [18:58]
Yeah, I think…the mistake that I made, and I don’t think I’m unique is that again, I was thinking as a trainer and when I started scaling my business, I started making all this money. Well, I shouldn’t say that all this money start coming into the business, and I’m looking at this like, Oh, this is my money. And okay, then I can buy this, I can buy this piece of equipment, I can do this for my clients. All of this not thinking about stuffing any away for taxes. But fortunately, my wife is really good about that. So she told me just to take whatever comes in. If you don’t want to hire an accountant, just take whatever you you bring in your gross revenue, take 20% set it aside. And then that will kind of buffer you for the taxes due at the end of the year or your quarterly estimated taxes. But at some point, as your business grows, I would definitely recommend hiring a An accountant to help you with your taxes because they may wind up. Here’s a perfect example. So I had this accountant who was really hands off and wouldn’t give me a lot of details. And this was end of 18. And I got it. He told me I was going to owe $30,000 in taxes, and I’d already paid some of that and quarterly estimated, but I was looking at $20,000. And I didn’t think that was right. So I got a second opinion. I hired another guy, this part time CFO, Ivan, and he looked at it and he got it down to $9,000. Now, whatever I paid that guy, it was worth it.
Dan Uyemura [20:42]
As long as it wasn’t $11,000
Jim Adams [20:44]
No, it wasn’t even close. Yeah, wasn’t even close. But you know, that guy saved me $11,000 in taxes, so for me, it’s worth it. And for most small business owners, it’s worth it. If you can give you some advice. I mean, it could be something as simple as going From an LLC to escort Yeah, so you’re not a pass through so you don’t get dinged for all of your income that you’re bringing in. But I don’t know that I’m a trainer. I’m not an accountant. And I have no interest in learning account. So I need to hire an accountant.
Dan Uyemura [21:14]
That actually that’s a perfect segue. I will, I will note this, like, with taxes, there’s so many laws that change and so many massive implement implement in locations that can happen from the slightest things. I think it’s always worth paying an accountant. because like you said, you can go from you can shave $5,000 your tax bill by just rearranging the way you file things, right. But that’s a perfect segue into the next thing when asked you, as a trainer, I went through this. You have to do marketing, you have to do sales, you have to learn accounting and bookkeeping, and you have to clean bathrooms and you have to hire people and learn how to be a leader and everything. What do you think? How do you know what you should lean into like me? I’m a tech guy. So building my website was my thing, but for a lot of gym owners, it might not be where do you know like how do you decide what you leave? To invest your time in versus what you choose to be a leader and delegate versus what you choose to, like, be a business owner and outsource, you know, so.
Jim Adams [22:08]
So I, one of my mentors is Rick male. And the guy is smart whenever I’m with him, and I’m taking notes, I feel like I can should break out my crayons because he’s that much smarter than I am. But what he told me is, you should always focus on marketing, because what does every business need to be successful income? And where do you get your income from clients. So you need a steady flow of new clients coming in each and every month because we lose clients every month. You know, whether they lose, they move or they get injured, we lose clients, so you need a steady stream of income. So he always says your first emphasis should be on building a solid marketing strategy. And it’s not just you know, putting ads Hey, Sign up this month for 99 bucks, or if they it’s got to be a little bit more sophisticated than that. So when I first did that I farmed it out, because I wanted to know enough about marketing to where I can have an intelligent decision with my guy, but then I didn’t want to deal with the inner workings of any of the social media, you know how they change your algorithm mode, so I farmed it out and kept an eye on it. And so that’s what we did. We did marketing then after that, when you get all these leads, if you don’t have a system to handle them, then what happens is Things Fall Apart, people fall through the cracks, you know, I would get, you know, call saying, Hey, I called you three times nobody called you back and I’m like, Oh, you know, so if you don’t have a system, you know, to handle all those leads. So I would say marketing and then building a sales system on top of that, so that when all those leads start coming in, you know how to build them and convert them into members.
Dan Uyemura [23:56]
Right. One of the one of the pieces of advice someone gave me when I first started It was you start at the very front of your business, which will be your the top of your funnel marketing and you work your way all the way through your business will go marketing, and then sales. And then quote like for the front end sales and then closing sales and then retention. And you just break your business starting from the beginning. So put so many people in your marketing funnel that your sales can’t keep up, like you said, I didn’t call me for three times then you fix then you fix the sales funnel and then you fix the close rate and then you fix the close rate and you fix the you know, conversion from intro month to you know, long standing client. Yeah, so that I mean, I think that’s a good way to look at it so that just understand you can’t fix the whole thing in one shot. Correct. But you go through the process of refining as you break and refine and break and refine and for the first few years, it’s gonna be chaos. Right?
Jim Adams [24:47]
Okay, chaos, it’s gonna you’re gonna be like a one armed paper hanger. But I think in between that I would throw in there customer experience, because you got to have a positive customer experience. So it’s got to be marketing, sales funnel, customer experience and then retention. Because if you don’t have a good customer experience, then your retention is going to be crap. Yep. So and as, as many of those systems that you can build out ahead of time, you’re going to save yourself. Now you can have all your systems built out ahead of time, but the day you open the doors, those systems will fall apart. Because I I’m a history buff and I was watching this thing on World War Two in the Pacific and Admiral Nimitz said, No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, because should should always goes wrong. So you just got to know that but it’s better to have a plan than no plan. So set up as much of your plan ahead of time. Get as, get some advice, get some coaching on it and set it up ahead of time and then tweak it once you open.
Dan Uyemura [25:52]
That, that quote, reminded me of a famous one that I love that’s very similar in vain but not as historic I guess relevant. Mike Tyson’s everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Absolutely.
Jim Adams [26:06]
Yeah. Right. Yeah, then you got to change, you got to pivot on the fly. So that’s what I would say because you’re always going to be refining your systems and but it’s really important because I think your first hire should be because most people, most trainers when they open up their one man show, like you said, they’re doing everything. They’re cleaning the toilets. They’re wiping down the mats, wiping down the equipment turning on turning off the lights opening and closing. And if you think about it, you because a lot, I talk to a lot of trainers to say, Well, I don’t have a system. I don’t know how to build a system. Yeah, you do. You guys. Yeah. All and every, every time you train a client, you go through a mental checklist, okay, I got to do this. I got to ask him this. I got to check on this. I got to cue this. So you have that system. All you have to do is write it down. Same thing when you open your business every day. You have a system when you call Your business you have, you know this routine that you go to go through to close and to open, that’s a system, you just have to write it down. So that when you make that first hire, you can show them on a piece of paper or manual and say, This is how you open. This is how you train your clients. And this is how you close. And then that’s your first step into managing that first employee. But I think your first hire should be admin. I think it should be front desk, somebody to answer the phones to handle the back end entering clients into push press. So they could you know, make sure that they’re scheduled their build all of those things and have them handle that after you get a little bit familiar with the software and the systems. So they take that off your plate because most trainers just want to train. They don’t want to do all that other crap. So hire somebody to do that for you. And then make sure they’re doing it correctly so that you can focus on what you love.
Dan Uyemura [27:59]
Yeah. They’re probably there will be a Career Career arc or progression. If you’re going from being a personal trainer into a gym owner in the beginning, you’re gonna be super stoked about doing everything, sooner or later, you could probably be overwhelmed and you’re going to start to, I call it buying back your time, like, you’re gonna hire this admin, you’re gonna start hiring other coaches to do some of the coaching, you’re gonna hire a janitorial service, which keeps peeling back more time for you to focus on the business and then you get to make the choice. It’s kinda like the game of life, if you’re a played that. Either you can be like, I’m just gonna train a couple hours a day, and the business is making me money, and I’m making enough money and I get to enjoy my life, or I’m gonna step back and open another gym. And I’m gonna be businessman at the top of the helm, right and just kind of scale these systems out. But one thing that you mentioned actually now that you talked about, I think, is probably the most important thing. Anyone who’s thinking about opening a business to do is to document every system and everything that you do, because you can’t make it better unless you’ve written it down because somewhere you’re going to have like this bullet point of like, when I open I do this and this, and then one day a client can come in and be like, Well, why is this dirty or something and Then you have to insert another little bullet point in between there. Right? If you’re not writing it down, then you have nowhere to insert that and it’s gonna get lost in the in the cracks. Right?
Jim Adams [29:08]
Right. Yeah, you’ll do it one day, then forget about it. The next Yeah, no consistency, there’s no system. And the other thing, the most important thing is, eventually, if you grow big enough, you’ll have to hire another trainer. And so these are these clients belong to your business. And I, I really advocate for hiring employees and not independent contractors, because you want everybody on the same team. And when you hire independent contractors, then you have a bunch of free agents floating around, and it creates kind of a competitive environment, and it can stifle the growth of your business. kind of limited, but if you hire employees and everybody’s on your team, everybody’s got to kind of get in line and toe the line. So I definitely advocate for and employees. But when you hire that first trainer, you don’t want to just say, Hey, here’s this client that I spent all of this money to get that I spent all of this time to sign up. And I want you to train them, and not give them any blueprint on how to train them. And then it causes all the training suck. That trainer sucks, give me my money back.
Dan Uyemura [30:24]
Or On the flip side, they’re gonna have a great experience of that, that trainer, they that trainer feels like they get no support from you. They go to the next gym, and then that client just follows them over there.
Jim Adams [30:32]
Correct? Yeah. So I think you need to give your trainers a blueprint, a playbook. And that’s your system. When you train your clients. You have systems you have this routine that you go through, write it down and give it to your trainers. And then like you said, you can continually tweak it, but if you don’t have it written down, you can’t tweak it, and then there’s no consistency from Monday to Friday.
Dan Uyemura [30:55]
That was doubts. That was the point I was gonna dive into next is like everything from starting bucks to your favorite restaurant. everything that they do is consistent, right? You won’t go into a $200 a plate restaurant, and one night have it be amazing and the next night have it be mediocre because the chefs are just throwing things together however they feel that day. Right? Very well scripted every, like the entire interaction from the front desk to the you know, the bus staff and everything is scripted, right? So it’s consistent, right? If you want your business to have longevity, you you have to have a consistent experience because that’s the experience that your clients are going to come to like Starbucks great or not. I know exactly what I’m gonna get every time I go there. So when I cheat when like I’m having a Starbucks right now, I decided I don’t want to have the best coffee I just want the coffee I know is going to be great or is good enough right now for this you know for what I need. But But on the flip side of that the 200 $200 plate restaurants the same like it’s the st you’re going to have the same experience same steak or same whatever you’re getting every time you go because that’s how they planned it. And if you don’t have that stuff written down and planned out, it’s going to be one day great then Next day, not great. And that’s how you lose customers when things are just like, all over the place. Yeah. And again,
Jim Adams [32:05]
I think regardless of what you want, if you want to be a one person show, or if you want to really scale and grow your businesses have multiple locations, I think you need to have a system for that reason to deliver consistent customer service. So then you can get those word of mouth referrals because those are easy sales. Those aren’t really I mean, if you don’t close a referral, then you shouldn’t be in business because that that that sale has already been made for you buy one of your members. But the true test if you have you have good marketing is if you get people walking in off the street are from directly from your marketing. That’s when you know that you have a good marketing plan. The other thing too for me when I started my business going back to having an end in mind when I opened my business, I knew that I didn’t want to be 60 years. Old training 16 hours a day or even eight hours a day, I knew that. So I started with an in an end in mind, I wanted to scale my business, I want to have a bunch of trainers that were training my clients and I could run the business even remotely if I wanted to. But in order to do that, I had to have systems because I know that I wasn’t going to be young forever. And I want to have a plan for as I age and grow. So that meant I had to have a system that was scalable. And if I want to have multiple locations, before you open your second location, you better have things running smoothly. You better be able to like run your business from your pajamas at home. Before you think about opening a second location. Then you just take those systems in that first location, install them in the second location, make some tweaks and you’re off to the races. Yeah,
Dan Uyemura [33:55]
yeah, what I tell gym owners when they start talking about opening a second location is go on a tour. vacation and don’t check in for two weeks. Right? And if your business is fine when you come back then you can consider opening a second location. If that makes you nervous, then you better figure some stuff out first.
Jim Adams [34:10]
Exactly. Yeah, you got to have it nailed down before you open a second location. Otherwise, you’re just creating two headaches. You don’t want to feel like your business is like this. Just this ghastly beast on your shoulders like weighing you down. You want to feel like it’s, hey, it’s adding value to my life and adding value to my employees lives and to my clients lives.
Dan Uyemura [34:32]
Yep. Yeah, opening a second gym before you have that nailed down is like one plus one equals negative three. You You wouldn’t understand how, how detrimental opening a second gym can be if you’re not ready for it.
Jim Adams [34:42]
Yeah, absolutely. And then the other thing that I want to talk about is in order to have and again, even if you’re a one man, one person team, you got to build one person show running your business. You got to build a team, whether that’s your marketing person your accountant, your admin, or if you have trainers, you have to be able to build a team. But in order to build a team that really is, is committed to your business, you have to be a good leader. And most entrepreneurs that fit that personality profile, aren’t good leaders right off the bat, because they take the attitude of this is my business. I’m going to be here each and every day. I’m not going anywhere. You need to do it my way.
Dan Uyemura [35:32]
Jim Adams [35:33]
Or you’re out. And guess what, people don’t want to work for that guy. Because I used to be that guy. And people don’t want to work for that guy. So you have I had to become a better leader, which means I had to look at myself where my strengths where my weakness is, where do I suck? Where do I shine, all of those things, and then kind of delegate out my weaknesses and then focus in on my strengths, and then empower my team. Give them what They need to success. One of the biggest things for me, it was a guest on a podcast about delegation, because we always talk about delegation, you know, taking it off your plate, so you can focus on the bigger picture. But I would delegate and say, Okay, how do you, this is what I want done, but how are you going to do it? You know, that’s not delegation. That’s micromanaging. So now I say, I want you to, I want you to handle this, and this is what I want to happen. I don’t care how you get it done. You know, but this is what I want the outcome to be. Keep me updated. That’s true delegation, that’s truly taking it off of my plate so I can focus on other things. But a lot of then I did a lot of work, a lot of soul searching, a lot of meditation, journaling, all of those things, to become a better leader because I found out for me, in order to become a better leader, I had to become a better person. And that’s really, really hard.
Dan Uyemura [36:57]
Yeah, my biggest issue In the last 12 months, transformation exactly that like, like, what I’ve learned is a lot of people think leadership is exactly kind of what you said, like, here’s, here’s the task at hand, I’ll go do it. And if they didn’t come back and do it, how I wanted it to be done, or I would have done it, then it wasn’t necessarily done. Right. Right. And it’s, it’s more about empowering, giving your people the space and the resources to, to be to grow, then to become many use, right. And that is hard as an entrepreneur and as you know, a person who, you know, an alpha, right, who were all alphas in the gym space to some degree, and it’s hard to think that someone else can solve a problem a different way correctly. That’s not your way. And that’s a really important point that you made.
Jim Adams [37:46]
Yeah, yeah. Because let’s face it, most of the people that get into this industry, male and female are alphas. And so alphas want to feel like they’re in control. So you have to Have the get them to take ownership of whatever you give them. Like, oh, this is my baby, oh, you want to order supplements, I handle that. And so you come to me. And then that kind of gives them that control. It gives them ownership and then they take ownership, and then they’re in they’re in your business because they care about it because they got stake in the business, you know, Hey, are you happy with the supplement program? That’s awesome. You know, because, you know, they’re thinking, I help set that up. So all of a sudden, they got there in your business. They’re not an employee working for you. They’re part of your team, and they’re vested in helping your business grow and taking care of your clients. Yeah, that’s the difference between like, just being a dictator and being a leader. Yep, exactly.
Dan Uyemura [38:49]
All right, we’re going to do is we’re going to wrap it up with that. I mean, there’s a whole that you just spawned me into thinking of a whole host of other things we could talk about, but I’m gonna I’m gonna have to call it here for the sake of keeping this somewhat short, thank you so much for coming on the podcast actually want to have you back on, again to talk about how to create a podcast for your local audience.
Jim Adams [39:09]
Absolutely, love to. Yeah, that’s my passion.
Dan Uyemura [39:12]
Yeah. So, again, we got Jim Adams here. been in this industry almost along almost as long as I’ve been alive. Three quarters. Actually, I’m 44. So that’s a stretch. But yeah, yeah, that kind of knows what he’s talking about.
Jim Adams [39:27]
Yeah, I’m used to being the oldest guy in the room.
Dan Uyemura [39:30]
How old are you? By the way, you don’t let you look younger than I do. 52 Geez. That’s a testament for staying in shape. Absolutely lifestyle. So we’re gonna sign off here. Thank you again for showing up on this episode and helping gym owners become better business professionals. And we’ll catch you on the other side. Thank you.
Jim Adams [39:49]
Absolutely. Thanks, Dan.
Dan Uyemura [39:51]
So what do you think? Is opening a gym for you? I hope so. Because if so, that’s pretty exciting time to realize that If this is the moment that you want, you’ve made the decision that maybe this is the direction you want to go. There’s no I’m not gonna lie, there’s gonna be a ton of work ahead of you and finding a space and negotiating lease is going to be the biggest problem you’re going to have in the first stages of this. growing a business as you probably already learned, even even doing Personal Training, that’s still a business but growing a business is a series of outgrowing where you are. And in reality, that’s fine because you can’t grow as a person unless you kind of pushing your boundaries. Logan Gilbert talked about that in a previous episode, like you can’t, you can’t develop a stronger back squat or a faster mile if you’re not pushing, pushing the boundaries into that, you know, if you’re staying in your comfort zone, you’re not you’re not growing, okay? So if you’ve decided today is the day you you want to seriously consider opening your own studio or gym. Congratulations. I’m glad that this episode helps. Understand there’s gonna be a ton of work and that people like us You’re a push press or hearing your corner to help you figure that out. Same with Jim. You can find him at trainerjim.net, I recommend you check him out. He’s actually connected to a whole host of people who can also help you in your journey. There’s a lot of us out there who are in your corner and willing to help. And, man, I’m excited for you. So if you found this episode of value, if you think this is something that can help other people in your position, I would super appreciate it. If you could find that little like button, find the subscribe button, give us a five star rating write us a review. Let people know how you feel. Don’t just leave a five star review. Please write some words in there that actually convey what what what you feel about this podcast. We are all working really hard, myself and on and on behalf of Ashley who’s the producer here of this podcast. We’re working really hard every day to bring on the best guests the most insightful people. We’re trying to find people you might not have heard from over and over and over again some fresh faces and some fresh thoughts and ideas. We’re always pushing the boundaries. Because again, just like training, that’s what we like to do. So please give us a like, subscribe to us, make sure you check us out. We aren’t going to start doing a new thing popping these up on YouTube. So if you want to see my pretty face and the guys, the guys and gals that we’re talking to, you can that’s cool too. But until then, Until the next episode that we can catch up again. I hope you guys hit that business hard. If you have any questions on how to open a gym, reach out to some some people in the industry reach out to us in our chat box on push press comm start talking to a lot of people it’s a definitely a measure twice, cut once type situation ask as many questions as you can. I’d advise you to find a mentor as fast as you can rely on the Giants has a saying go walk on the shoulders of the giants who have already done this right and there’s plenty of us who have so until I catch you next time on the next episode. Go to the gym less podcast. Keep on grinding all those businesses guys. See you later.
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