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The #1 thing top studios realise that has the power to lift every success metric.

Yesterday I caught up with Jess the legend from F45 Wooolllooommmoooollloooooooo, one of the world’s TOP F45 studios. We check in on each other as we have done since pre shutdown, swapping notes, bounce strategies and yesterday was giving our brains a chance to take a break.

We’ve both been running HARD and FAST embracing this situation as best we can…I’ll get to the main points we spoke about in a later post, but for now the thing that struck me that was so obvious to us was the core principle we both shared that has helped us navigate through this situation with clarity, and kept our teams and member community spirit high.

And it seems to be the #1 thing that most other studios seem to forget. And that is…

What business are we actually in?

Because it’s not the fitness business.

Well, if you want to believe that then let’s take that a bit further. If we are just a fitness business, then it means you’re basically selling a workout. And if that’s all it is, people could’ve done cheaper group workouts this whole time for 1/10 of the price. And whilst those of us in the F45 world have an outstanding product I believe in, it may be what bought people to our studios, but it’s not why they stay.

PLUS, if it was just a workout, it’s easier to price match. Conversions are low (or industry ‘benchmark’, which is low in my opinion), and engagement from your team and members is probably lower than it could be.

So here’s the secret:

We’re in the relationships and accountability business. We just happen to run fitness classes.

Read that again, and think about it.

What would you do differently now?

Ever heard of a company called Zappos? They’re a massive online shoe store mainly in the US with revenues in excess of $1 billion annually, and in 2009 Amazon acquired Zappos for around $1 billion.

Hang on, so what does shoes have to do with our gyms?

Well, if you hear anything about Zappos from a Zappos customer, chances are it will be positive. There are dozens of stories about their outstanding customer service, including delivering flowers to a customer whose mom passed away and talking to a customer for over 8 hours (a record that now has been broken).

It should come as no surprise that 75% of Zappos orders are from repeat customers.

The founder, Tony Hsieh hopes that, down the road, people won’t even realize that Zappos started by selling shoes. They want to be known and remembered as the best customer service and customer experience company.

Their culture is built on a central tenant:

“It’s not about shoes. Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.” -Tony Hsieh

Boom. I love that.

I’m telling you, your studio can be so much more powerful if you focus on the relationships and accountability you can provide your members. Go further and deeper into that then you’ve ever done and I promise you good things will happen:

  • Stronger culture and mantra amongst your team
  • Which flows into a stronger community
  • Higher member and staff retention
  • Stronger leadership from YOU, and clarity to navigate strategies and decision making
  • Conversions will sky rocket
  • And you’ll do less shit no one cares about (because it doesn’t matter for the business you’re actually in)


Take it, run with it, think about it, if you need a hand to build this into your team or to get your head around it, shoot me an email [email protected]

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I know the deepest, most intimate problems that fitness studios deal with… because I’ve owned, operated, scaled and sold gyms myself. Twice.

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