The Ultimate Guide To Starting a BJJ Business

The Ultimate Guide To Starting a BJJ Business

Many practitioners may dream of owning their own BJJ studio. It may have started out as a daydream, or as a serious commitment, but everyone who trains jiu-jitsu seriously has thought about having a career in this specific martial art. Before starting a BJJ business, there are many things to consider, such as your total commitment and passion for the sport. Once most of the mental barriers have been cleared out, it is time to start looking at actually building the business.

Starting a BJJ business may not be what it seems from the outside, but it can definitely be rewarding. Transitioning over from your regular job to teaching your hobby is extremely fulfilling, but be prepared to face a few realities along the way. In this article, we will go over some of the top Jiu-Jitsu academy owners, their thoughts on the transition from hobby to business, and ultimately, the top things you should consider to build your dojo and clientele.

| Did you know?
Brazilian jiu-jitsu concentrates on ground combat techniques and submission grips utilizing joint-locks and chokeholds to offset any strength or size advantages. Physical strength may be neutralized or increased on the ground by using effective grappling tactics.

You might also want to read How To Optimize Attendance In Your Kids Jiu Jitsu Class

The Jiu-Jitsu mindset

According to interviews with top BJJ practitioners and academy owners, Roy Dean, Liam Resnekov, Adilson Higa Dorval, and Yuki Ishikawa, they had the following advice for new business owners:

  • You must really love Jiu-Jitsu

Roy Dean began his academy due to his burning desire and passion for Jiu-Jitsu so that he could train in his own style and teach students and training partners in the same way. He advocates that you must have a burning love for this, not a slight enjoyment. He mentions there will be a lot of hard work, 7 day weeks, and many 14+ hour days. Not only will you be training, but you must run your business alongside that.

  • You must develop your own style

Liam Resnekov started his own Jiu-Jitsu academy due to his desire to teach his students in a particular style that he had tweaked from his years as a practitioner. Your first students will come looking for something new and will have many questions about your lineage, style, commitment, and training days/partners. Prior to making the shift from martial artist to business owner, make sure you have something to teach.

  • You need to detach yourself from training to work on your business

Yuki Ishikawa started his dojo as a way to train often. He did not have any clubs around him and wanted to make his own. Of the owners listed here, Yuki actually did not want to start a business at all. He acquired a place to train, and students started showing up. He realized there is a lot of office work involved in running a BJJ business, and that he would often get to train more as a practitioner than a business owner. His advice is that you must understand what you can and cannot do, have the right expectations, and have a team or program to help you when you make mistakes.

  • You must make a conscious decision about making Jiu-Jitsu a lifestyle:

Adilson Higa Dorval opened his dojo in Brazil, the birthplace of BJJ. He had been training since 1992 in US and Japan. In 2009, he suffered a tragic accident and made a strong commitment that BJJ would be his lifestyle and source of income. His advice is that opening your own BJJ academy will be a state of constant learning and that you must always evolve and work on yourself, especially in this industry. When times are tough, only your commitment will pull you through.

How to start your own Jiu-Jitsu business

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. Often, the deciding factor about whether to start a BJJ business or not is not the expenses, obstacles, or challenges, but getting into the correct mindset to make the transition. With that being said, below are the best things to consider when starting your own BJJ business:

  • Location 

It is recommended to start with a small location and grow organically. Find a small space for your dojo and begin building a loyal clientele of close friends. Get to know the neighborhood and be involved in the BJJ scene, as dojo instructors and practitioners will usually keep in contact.

  • Prices/Expenses 

Further to the above, it is better to start small and grow organically. Starting a dojo is extremely costly when going straight for state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Although you may believe your students want fancy things, your initial classes will be small and intimate. This helps to keep costs down and to scale appropriately.

  • Instructors/Team

Hiring another instructor is seldom the choice when first starting out. You want to start your own BJJ academy to train and teach your style. Often, if you find yourself needing someone to teach the class, your staff options are right in front of you. An overwhelming majority of student instructors will be from your very own academy. Consider also administrative staff to help coordinate and cleaning staff to help keep the studio professional and free of health hazards.

  • Marketing 

Build your brand and social media presence prior to investing heavily in paid advertising. As mentioned above, it is better to start small and grow organically at first, as getting your BJJ business off the ground will be extremely difficult if you’re moving too quickly.

  • Scheduling 

This pertains to both classes and employee schedules. Make sure to adopt a solution that is right for you and can be broadcast and easy to handle. When scheduling, consider your own personal time and time to run the business, as burnout can be an extremely unsuspecting, but destructive, force.

  • Awards and accolades

Why do your students want to train with you and not someone more established? Make sure to present your lineage, accolades, awards, or professional fighting/coaching career around your studio, and be sure to answer any questions.

  • Management software

Starting a BJJ business is already difficult, let alone building out an entire team, marketing plan, scheduling, taking payments, outsourcing, communicating with suppliers, and many more administrative and operational tasks. Why not get BJJ management software to alleviate this pressure? Spark Membership is the number one management software in the martial arts space. Try it now for just $1.

The Best Martial Arts Summer Camp Idea To Increase Attendance

The Best Martial Arts Summer Camp Idea To Increase Attendance

During the summer, students have much more time available on their hands to attend and attain their next level of training. Not only this, but parents are often looking for ways to keep their children occupied during the summer holidays so that they can focus on their regular schedule. Hosting a martial arts summer camp not only serves to alleviate this issue for parents but also creates an additional income and branding possibility during the summer holidays. Below, we will explore a great martial arts summer camp idea, and how to keep training fun and interesting.

How can I make martial arts fun

On a regular curriculum, most martial arts studios adhere to a strict training regimen to develop discipline and confidence in their students. As such, children may be used to a more rigorous class environment, and may not consider their training fun. Summer camps provide a great way to not only show that martial arts are a great lifestyle, but they can also potentially attract new members to the camp that will eventually become regular members during normal hours. In fact, you may already be incorporating some of the things that wellness living writes about making martial arts interesting and engaging for children.


This is true not just for children, but for adults as well. In the process of learning, the gamification of activity creates incentives for students to work towards getting better. For example, it is common for children to refuse to do proper pushups or to learn proper stances. A common method of making this fun is to incorporate music and rewards based on the amounts of pushups completed, as well as naming stances after animals and fictional creatures that the student can adopt as their avatar for the class.


 Children need much more attention and validation of their actions to build self-confidence. After all, they have much less life experience and have difficulty discerning between right and wrong. Praise often and praise sincerely, for any little action that was a step towards success.


This can also be combined with gamification to produce lasting results. For example, sparring is a staple across all martial arts disciplines and is something both children and older students look forward to. Further, dividing students into groups and assigning each a color, and having them create a team name and motto will bring a sense of accomplishment and ownership for their team to win.

Best summer camp activities

Turning your martial arts academy into a summer camp can be challenging yet extremely rewarding. Prior to setting up, it is important to properly notify your staff and change the schedule for the new environment. Furthermore, this takes new email notifications, marketing and onboarding, payments, and reminders to both the students and the parents. You must also arrange for after-camp care in case parents are late for pickup. Having academy management software makes this simple. Spark Membership is the best on the market, and you can try it for just $1. Now that we’ve gone over the 3 key things that make martial arts fun for students, let’s go over the best martial arts summer camp idea below:

  1. Themes

Martial arts are usually done in uniform, but summer camp is about mixing curriculum with a fun environment that they would usually have at a normal summer camp. Depending on how many weeks the summer camp takes place, children enjoy having themed days (or weeks). For example, if following a standard 6-week summer camp schedule, every Friday could be a themed day, where students don’t wear their uniform. Common themes include superheroes, animals, video game characters, and movies.

  1. Obstacle courses

Instead of a standard warm-up, some days can feature an obstacle course prior to the day’s lesson. This can also be pivoted into a race and the students can be divided into teams to cheer on their runners.

  1. Wood breaking competitions

This may be something that is found in a standard curriculum to demonstrate the technique, but every martial arts student dreams of breaking multiple cinder blocks with a single strike, as can be seen in popular shows and movies. Encourage students to bring in as many boards as they can break, or provide re-breakable boards

  1. Team contests

This can incorporate many different activities including sparring, kata, knocking over pads/dummies, races, obstacle courses, and many others.

  1. Sensei says

A popular game among students of the martial arts is “Sensei Says”, which is similar to “Simon Says” but only related to martial arts techniques or movements. For example, have your students practice their kicks, strikes, and blocks, but only if preceded by “sensei says”. If not, they are eliminated

  1. Belt “tag”

One student is “it” and places a flag or clothing pin behind their back. The rest of the students will chase the one who is “it” and try to recover the item. Incorporate this with self-defense and grappling to make it a more instructive environment.

You may also want to read What Are People Looking For in Online Fitness Classes.

Halloween Fitness: 7 Best Tips For Your Gym

Halloween Fitness: 7 Best Tips For Your Gym

When thinking about your fitness center, Halloween may not seem very synonymous with fitness. On the contrary, Halloween is close to Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are usually the times people gain weight due to eating more. You will have more attendance on Halloween than on these other family-oriented holidays, so it is important to prepare your gym the right way. Remember that holidays, no matter how unrelated they may seem, put people in a better mood, and are more accepting of deals and promotions.

The 7 best ideas to transform your gym during the Halloween season

  1. Decor

No one wants to ever be the odd one out, and members will start to question why your facility isn’t decorated. The joy and happiness of Halloween often stem back to childhood, of putting on a costume and going trick or treating. The best houses were the ones that got into the spirit and made their house as “spooky” as possible. Fake spider webs, pumpkins, witches, and other goblins and ghouls go a long way to entertaining prospects and current members alike. Even if you do not agree with decorations in a gym, most of your clientele will feel alienated and may not attend during this season.

  1. Costume contests

It is a great start for you and your staff to wear costumes on this day. However, other than the novelty of seeing the team walk around in costume, the feeling will fade fast. To stand out, encourage your members to wear their costumes to the gym on Halloween as well. Although this may not seem like a great idea at first due to the nature of workouts, costume contests are extremely popular ways that incentivize people to attend and dress up.

The power of costume contests is that they can be incorporated into your current classes, and you can draw a winner as often as you’d like. This builds a sense of culture amongst your community, as your members may not have expected to have such a fun activity at their gym of all places. This also sets up an opportunity for referrals and social media posts, which will increase your brand recognition, retention, and sign-up rates.

  1. Halloween themed workouts

Image Source: Achieve With Athena

Halloween is an opportunity to become someone other than yourself, and your members can embrace this no different from other organizations. Halloween fitness workouts and challenges are extremely effective in encouraging members to start or participate in your current subscription and class environment. Set up Halloween challenges beforehand, such as a 30-day challenge on October first, so that Halloween day can be more of a rewarding experience and a time for celebration. Halloween workouts include pumpkin smashing, “spooky” skull crushers, “spider” squats, and your cardio classes could incorporate popular music such as Thriller and Monster Mash.

  1. Treats

Everyone on Halloween will expect treats – and the gym is no exception. Instead of making this a fun-filled day of candy and sugar, you can use this time to promote your club with merchandise and promotional bags and items. You may also have your own in-house juice bar or protein station, so thermos bottles, protein bars, and small smoothie shots would be great alternatives to candy. You can also use this time to encourage members to bring a friend to trick or treat, and then take the opportunity to offer them a trial of your gym at a later date.

  1. Halloween movies

Your cardio section, free weight zone, and bodyweight training area are all large spaces that often already have a TV playing the news. If not, you could always roll out a TV cart to play classic Halloween or spooky movies, but be careful not to play any horror or psychological thrillers. This is a great way to entertain your members and promote awareness of the entire Halloween-themed aspect of your club.

  1. Halloween music

Although mentioned in the costume contest classes above, music is not just for cardio-intensive exercises. A large number of members may take their headphones or earbuds out during this time if your facility is playing classic Halloween hits. This is also good for your members that just like to come in and ignore what’s happening around them, as it will get them into the Halloween spirit and aware of all the activities and promotions your gym has to offer.

  1. Halloween fitness deals and promotions

With everything mentioned above, such as referrals, classes, and handing out merchandise, Halloween is a time to give and receive. Pair these activities with deals, such as new member sign-up rates when guests come to trick or treat, and schedule live training or demo tours of your facility. Offer promotional pricing or free merchandise with sign-up and subscription extension. Don’t forget to have a proper gym management solution, one that can schedule your new members, re-target the interested leads, send out notifications and emails about upcoming classes and promotions, take payment, and coordinate staff on everything that is occurring. Spark Membership is the best-rated solution on the market, try it now for just $1.

Key Essentials of Sports Facilities Management

Key Essentials of Sports Facilities Management

Although the word “sports facility” is all-encompassing, it is both a general and specific term that needs to be addressed. Running a sports facility can include all general sports clubs or even a niche local club that caters to the surrounding demographic. No matter how your sports facility is structured, the way of managing the entire organization is consistent. In this article, we will explore the blueprint that comprises successful sports facilities management and the top 6 challenges that need to be addressed.

What are the top challenges of running a sports facility

What are the top challenges of running a sports facility

It may be easy to get lost in the day-to-day operational nature of your business, but successfully managing your sports facility comprises many things, both from a macro and micro perspective. It can definitely be challenging to maintain a standard of excellence, especially without a proper template or management software. Even with that being said, it is very rewarding to have a business that runs itself and does well for your top line.

Let’s go over the top six challenges below:

  • Managing programs – This includes both member-focused programs, and employee incentives
  • Regulating costs – Ensure that your bottom line is not being cluttered with unnecessary expenses
  • Maintaining inventory – Create standardized and organized methods of stocking so that you are never without inventory, and never in too much surplus
  • Optimizing communication – member communication, employee communication, marketing, and suppliers all must have a proper channel to communicate clearly and timely
  • Time management – the crux of the SMART method is time, a resource that is fleeting and much more valuable than capital
  • Increasing operational efficiency – When a solid plan is in place, continuously monitor and optimize for the best results

Framework for effective sports facilities management

Framework for effective sports facilities management

  1. Structure your programs

This starts with understanding your target customer and their needs and pain points. First, you must figure out who you are catering to, as a blanket approach is not only extremely expensive but reduces the effectiveness of your communication and targeted marketing. Your programs will contribute to the building of your brand, as offering core services in your sports facility will comprise the culture that you are fostering.

When structuring your programs, it is not enough to simply build the program. Introducing a tiered system for athletes of different skill levels and ages is a popular way to offer a complete service to the potential customers in your community. This should be paired with a seamless booking system that also connects to an interactive calendar. Don’t forget to add promotions and referral systems to these programs to add more awareness and create buzz around your brand.

  1. Plan your budget

Your facility may need state-of-the-art athlete training programs and equipment, or it may just function as an after-school camp that is only for young children. Including these two models, and everything in between, allocating your capital is one of the most important functions you can carry out as an effective manager. When first creating your business plan and conducting market research, determine your ideal customer, their income level, and what they are willing to pay in both membership fees as well as private coaching and group sessions. From this, you can determine the level of your sports facility, purchase the correct equipment to do so, as well as build an effective team.

  1. Optimize your space

Even for a large facility, wasting space is a simple, but quick, win for your business to introduce revenue streams. For example, offering specialized amenities, such as squash courts and bocce courts are not able to be used for dual purposes, so more can be charged. However, gymnasiums, yoga rooms, and open training areas can be used for multiple purposes. You can use these spaces for team sports activities, such as basketball and soccer, or even for free weight and bodyweight training. If you ever find yourself short on clientele or owning too large of a facility, you can look into additional revenue streams such as renting out your space.

  1. Organize your staff, and empower them

Building an effective team is difficult, but extremely rewarding. Always start with the members that you have, and empower them. Find out their biggest pain points and address them. Empowered and happy staff will always bring happy customers and members. Offer great compensation, and incentives and always make sure their goals align with that of the organization. People don’t leave “bad” jobs, they leave bad management.

  1. Address your costs

If you find yourself generating much more revenue than your competitors, but somehow always short on cash flow, you may have an expense problem rather than needing to create extra revenue streams. When addressing your cost of goods, it is important to evaluate your business as a whole rather than to start cutting essentials. For example, businesses often look at their wages and marketing costs when first evaluating their businesses, but that may be the reason your business is successful. Commonly overlooked problems are rents, energy costs, overbuying stock, and the light bill. Sports facilities have an extremely high energy expenditure, for example, so look at powering down during warmer days and conducting classes outdoors.

Tie it all together: Management technology

Developments in technology have made it possible to run your sports facility while cutting the learning curve, as well as tying your entire operational structure together. Invoicing, bill payment, marketing, retargeting, communication channels, branding, scheduling, and many other activities are difficult to keep track of if they are done manually. An effective solution is to obtain sports management software that is custom designed just for this reason. Spark Membership is the number 1 leading management software on the market, which lets you manage your sports facility in the comfort of your smartphone. Try it now for just $1.

You may also want to read How To Reopen Your Gym During The Pandemic

How To Hire A Personal Trainer – Best Practices

How To Hire A Personal Trainer – Best Practices

Best ways to hire an effective personal trainer

Maybe you are at a point in your business where you are looking to expand your services, launching your business and needing your first personal trainer, or everything in between. Regardless, prior to hiring a personal trainer, your core services should be put in place. Equipment, memberships, schedules, and locations should already be established. If you’ve come to this point, and are ready to assist your members with more personal coaching on their goals, you will need a trainer that can take your gym to the next level. In this article, we explore best practices, what people look for in a personal trainer, and the top ten best interview questions.

Hiring a personal trainer and what to look for

According to Jamie King, founder of the Fit approach, gym members are looking for a trainer that:

  • Is certified by the appropriate regulators
  • Has experience and a matching personality
  • Develops their program according to a tried and true philosophy
  • Has a great reputation for getting results
  • Tracks your progress and adjust as necessary

In a summary of the demographic study by labor board zippia, there are currently 133,181 personal trainers in America, with over half of those openings per year in the country. Due to the recent shift to remote work in the pandemic, there is high demand and a major shift to personal training as both online fitness and traditional gym training are growing. All this to say, there is no shortage of qualified candidates who have the experience you need to start booking clients.

 When looking to hire a personal trainer, the top 5 criteria of how to hire a personal trainer (other than proper certification!) you must consider are:

  • Culture

Personal trainers are humans first, and as such, can be hired both in-house, on contract, or on a freelance basis. Because of this, they rarely hide their personality. This is good news, as you can properly gauge their culture during the interview and probation period. If your gym caters to less experienced people, and has a generalized approach to fitness, with a staff that has a sunny disposition, you may not be looking for an aggressive and abrasive trainer that pushes people to their limit. Consider your brand and public image, and if this trainer can fit that mold.

  • Communication

This not only means communication with the client but also communication with management. A great personal trainer will update you on the fitness progress of their clients, their goals, and the adjustments and programs they have made to suit their client’s needs. In a front-facing role, a great communicator will reduce the chance of injury to their client when attempting or adjusting exercises. When communicating with the back-end, great communication ensures operational excellence.

  • Knowledge

Contrary to popular belief, a personal trainer must be extremely well-versed in biology, Kinesiology, and other related disciplines. They must know the parts of the body and how certain exercises will affect a client, and if there are others that are more effective. Furthermore, they must have a wide breadth of knowledge on various workouts to suit their client’s needs.

  • Experience with critical situations

It is no secret that the health and fitness industry poses certain inherent risks, such as injury and medical conditions. Not everyone that the personal trainer will be working with will fit the narrative of a young and otherwise healthy person who is looking to lose weight. Personal trainers receive many clients that are looking to reinforce recurring injuries or to lessen the effect of a medical condition.

  • Etiquette

A personal trainer is not the typical employee, they are akin to an account manager. This means that although they may be working for the gym, the clientele works directly with the trainer. On top of communication and proper negotiation techniques, a personal trainer must be trained in customer service and etiquette. There is a certain decorum when working in a position of authority, and professionalism needs to be adhered to in terms of scheduling, communication, and polite/professional behavior.

Top ten interview questions on how to hire a personal trainer

Now that we’ve taken a look at what clients want, and the standard your trainer should be held to, we will translate these qualifying questions into a professional interview that will help to shine a light on whether the trainer is a great fit or not. You will need someone very intrapreneurial and who has a proactive spirit in growing their client base so that you can maximize profits and satisfaction but also comply with the rules established by the gym and report progress. This is where having gym management software is important, as it will assist in the hiring process, but also build out your platform for scheduling, payment, staff management, marketing, communication, and much more. Spark Membership is the best on the market. try it now for just $1.

1. With the many clubs to choose from, what attracted you to apply to be a Personal Trainer at my Gym?

2. What was the motivating factor to becoming a personal trainer? Were you initially taking personal training as a gym member?

3. Tell me about your coaching style, and the types of clients you have worked with.

4. Are you ACE, NASM or NSCA certified? What other certifications or classes have you taken that you feel are relevant?

5. Tell me about a time you were dealing with a difficult client. How did you resolve it?

6. How do you stay current with industry trends?

7. Tell me about your proactive marketing. What is your plan on building a client base at my club? Do you already have a following?

8. If a client has an injury or medical condition, but insists that they would like to perform a high-risk workout, how would you handle this situation?

9. Tell me about a time a program had to be changed, why did it need to be changed and how did you do it?

10. Do you have any questions about management, clientele, or my studio in general?

The Best Gym Challenges That Will Keep Your Members Motivated

The Best Gym Challenges That Will Keep Your Members Motivated

It can often be difficult for members to find the motivation to work out. It is not uncommon for many people to purchase basic gym memberships at specific points in their life, only to have obstacles presented to them along the way. Some make commitments to health and fitness during the new years or because of recent fads, and that excitement of starting something new fades. This can present a problem, as your clients will not attend their regular gym sessions and may slow down or regress on their goals. A recent dedicated research study shows that providing an entertaining and challenging atmosphere is a great way to increase attendance and motivation.

What is a gym challenge

Group of people doing fitness challenge

Simply put, a challenge is usually a way to have the person being challenged achieve their goal in a certain timeframe that they may not have thought previously possible. Gym-goers often do not have a specific goal, as “lose weight” and “look good” are extremely vague ambitions and do not dive deep into their health and fitness expectations.

By pinpointing a specific goal for your members, you can take a more structured approach to fitness goals and eventually stack these challenges together to create a lasting habit. Remember that the objective of these challenges is not necessarily the result but showing members that results are achievable. Members should feel empowered after completing the challenge to regularly keep up with their new successful regime and consult their team if any modifications should be made to the progress.

Benefits of gym challenges

Group of people doing fitness challenge
  • Accountability 

Gym challenges are often done in a group setting. A group is where accountability lies, as group members are less likely to let down their team members than they are to let themselves down. The potential ridicule, awkwardness, and slow progression will hold members accountable for their actions. You may begin to see faces around the gym that you haven’t seen in a while, as accountability will force you to take responsibility for your actions.

  • Praise and encouragement 

Building on the above, progress will naturally come when someone feels more accountable for their health and fitness. Not only will team members praise and encourage each other, but you and your team need to recognize the strides and improvements of your members.

  • Building community 

Gym groups will often pair like-minded people together to work towards a goal. Relationships and culture will be made along the way, promoting and fostering an inclusive and fun environment. If your members feel a great sense of accomplishment and community, they are more likely to stay.

  • Brand recognition and retention 

As your community grows, so will your retention and referral rates. Due to price, people don’t leave, and they leave toxic or neutral environments. Ensure you have proper member management software to onboard and schedule new and existing clients.

What elements are members looking for

An excellent gym challenge incorporates three elements: A specific goal, a timeline to achieve it, and how it will be achieved. For example, prevalent fitness challenges include a 30-day timeline. This could be for bodyweight training, Yoga, CrossFit, weight lifting, or specific exercises such as plank and pushups. Thirty days is an excellent timeline as it may show some minimal results, but more importantly, it develops a sustainable schedule to adhere to.

5 best gym challenges to keep your members motivated

  1. Cycling challenges

Gym members using  stationary bicycles

This can be both on stationary bicycles at your fitness Centre, or at home to be tracked with an app. Hold members accountable and encourage them to group up with other members if possible, as it will benefit them greatly.

  1. Running/step challenges

These have become especially popular during the pandemic, as walking and running can be done anywhere, and pedometers are free on every smartphone. Tracking is made easy, and accountability can be done as a check-in for every session.

  1. 30-day challenges 

As mentioned earlier in the article, 30-day challenges are extremely popular, not only for their short timeframe of results but also for building a lasting fitness schedule and healthier eating habits.

  1. Yoga challenges

Another exercise and discipline which has gained popularity in our newer, remote environment is Yoga. Yoga classes can even be held online and are location agnostic. Accountability can be taken in every class or every scheduled group lesson.

Yoga is one of the world’s oldest known physical practices, dating back over 5000 years. This is a physical, mental, and spiritual exercise that is practiced by an estimated 300 million people worldwide today. Yoga, coupled with meditation, has been shown in studies to help slow the aging process.

  1. Rowing challenges

A group of people rowing

It is widely known amongst gym professionals that rowing is the most effective compound cardio exercise as it involves a full-body workout of all muscle groups. Pairing this with a 30-day challenge should provide more positively shocking results than a standard 30-day treadmill challenge.

Creating and keeping track of challenges can be difficult, as reminders need to be sent out, payments need to be processed, new clients need to be processed, and staff needs to be allocated accordingly. Spark Membership makes this a breeze, as it will automatically retarget your members, schedule classes, send out reminders, manage your staff, and much more from the comfort of your phone. Try it now for just $1

Building A Reputable Gym Identity With Fitness Branding

Building A Reputable Gym Identity With Fitness Branding

What is fitness branding

branding board

Designing and building a brand is more than just the visuals associated with it, such as graphic design and logos. A brand is just that, it is how your customer or potential customer recognizes and perceives you. A brand is overall powerful, as it is the way that customers, employees, and overall what others think and say about your business when you are not in the room.

Branding comes from the word “to brand”, which originally meant marking products or livestock so that it was recognizable to others.

Do I need fitness branding

Fitness branding is needed just as any other aspect of your business is needed. A strong company cannot remain strong without recognition and perception. Your brand’s perception must first be established, and then, will match the expectations associated with it over time. This is also extremely necessary for your marketing efforts, as it will be extremely difficult for your marketing team to create messages related to your business if your brand has not yet been established. Your brand will transcend all media when done correctly.

How do you create a fitness brand

As mentioned above, a good fitness brand needs more than just the visuals associated with it. While it is extremely necessary to have a striking color palette that stands out, creating a good fitness brand is a combination of your identity, your messaging/marketing, strategy, and the culture you have developed across both your customer channels and your work environment. Below, we’ll talk about what is included in a great fitness brand.

What makes a great brand

The most important aspects of a great brand are your culture, how you are perceived, and the ease of messaging in your marketing. If we take the marketing aspect, for example, your brand and messaging need to be displayed as often and on as many media as possible. Think about the last time you were watching a video or show. You may have gotten a commercial or ad about a product, and skipped over it. If over the course of a few weeks, you are retargeted with the same ad every few hours, you may decide to finally look into it, or at the very least, you will react when someone else brings it up. This is the beginning of building recognition. Once your brand is recognized, you must nurture it and develop a great culture and strategy associated with it, so that others are not disappointed – your messaging must match your reality.

Examples of great fitness branding

  • Spartan

There aren’t many people that haven’t heard of the popular Spartan Race, the world’s largest annual obstacle course that is difficult to complete, let alone win. What many do not know is that Spartan is also a fitness brand that develops effective diet and nutrition plans, and has a large line-up of products and merchandise. This is an example of a great brand, as they focused on a culture that builds a “warrior” mentality with their very difficult obstacle course, which is synonymous with their name “spartan”. Due to their brand recognition, they can sell products, services, and merchandise with ease as it matches their lifestyle.

  • 24 Hour Fitness

On the contrary to the above, the 24-hour fitness brand is one of the most successful and popular gyms in America. They have a completely different style than Spartan. However, it is still extremely effective and should be used as an example that there are more ways than one to build your brand. 24 Hour Fitness wants to be affordable, attainable, easy, and available everywhere you are, and at any hour of the day.

Fitness branding framework for success

Your fitness brand can be established in five steps:

  1. Develop your ideal customer template

Map your ideal or target customer with a focus on every little detail. Things to include are age, gender, income level, free time, hobbies, dislikes, and likes.

  1. Identify their top 3 pain points

When you’ve correctly identified your target customer, identify no more than three pain points they may have, and how your product or service helps to alleviate this. It is important not to target too many small problems but to tackle a very large one with great efficacy. For example, your gym may specialize in remote and at-home yoga classes. This would be a great service for middle-aged parents with an extremely busy schedule that may only have a half-hour to spare for their fitness. Identify, target, and improve their quality of life.

  1. Conduct research on competitors, and customers

Your competition can be your strongest ally, as it shows what is included in your market, and what is lacking. If your product or service is different or presented in a different way, customers would gladly come to join your gym, or even leave their contracts when it comes time for renewal.

  1. Design your visual

When designing your visual, it is more than just creating a logo. It must be memorable, recognizable, and distinguishable from other brands. It must be something that you place on all channels, including uniforms, social media, and your building. This includes font, logo design, colors used, images, and a branding template guide that can be followed for the future. Having gym management software makes this difficult task easy, as it promotes across all your channels, does your re-targeting and marketing, establishes your brand and logo placement, and automates your email and schedule sequence. Spark Membership is the best on the market. Try it now for just $1

  1. Live and breathe your culture

Taking into consideration all elements presented above and throughout this article, it is important to incorporate your brand into every messaging and daily operation of your business. It may even be beneficial to introduce it into your personal life as well. Customers should never wonder what you are all about and what you represent. In time, they will just know by glancing at your brand, even if you are not there.

You might also want to read Everything Gym Owner’s Need To Run Outdoor Fitness Classes

How To Properly Manage Your Fitness Facility

How To Properly Manage Your Fitness Facility

What is a fitness facility

Fitness facility

Generally speaking, a fitness facility is an establishment for the purpose of offering services and products related to health, wellness, fitness, and other activities. The most common is the standard gym and includes such niches as boxing, sports, martial arts, and gymnastics. You may be looking to start and maintain your fitness organization, and this article will explain the best tips for keeping your growing business.

Exercise for the goal of training to improve strength, speed, and endurance may be dated back as 600 B.C. in ancient Greece.

Why is management of a fitness facility important

Fitness facility

Management, in its essence, is about ensuring the proper conduct and going concern of your facility. Managing your establishment can range from simple tasks, such as members’ day-to-day activities, but also incorporates more time-consuming tasks, such as cleanliness, equipment maintenance, staff management, and financial capacity. Routine maintenance of your facility is paramount not only to the equipment but also to the health and safety of your members and staff. It is also essential to remain compliant and preserve the correct licenses associated with your business’s smooth operations.

How do you manage a fitness facility

Managing a fitness center can be a difficult task, and many things go into the maintenance of your establishment. Whether you are building your facility from the ground up, launching a new building, or improving your current space management, below are some tips that will positively affect your decision-making process and focus on the areas that matter most in your fitness center.

  • Dedicated staff

As a business owner, you may wear many hats. It is crucial to choose a dedicated and loyal team to help you on your journey towards success. Building a well-functioning gym cannot be done if the team building is dysfunctional. If you are starting from scratch, properly vet your candidates during the hiring process. This means not only requiring the necessary experience and certifications but also asking scenario-based behavioral questions as well. Don’t forget about your current staff members. Implementing regular training, praise, and employee incentive programs will keep your team engaged and ready to serve their members better.

  • Engaging fitness programs and services

Fitness centers that only offer one-on-one coaching or equipment-related subscriptions will face a very tough business model when looking to expand. To create a successful facility, you must implement services, classes, and programs that your ideal members are looking for to increase attendance, the share of wallet, and brand reputation. Examples of such services are group training, personal training, and specialized classes. When looking to decide what type of programs to offer, first implement the basics, make sure to pay attention to member feedback, as a majority of your demographic may be asking for certain classes. For example, Yoga is popular amongst middle-aged, white-collar women.

  • Routine maintenance

Members and staff aren’t the only aspects of your fitness center requiring upkeep and attention. Your facility will be held to the highest standard by patrons, partners, and employees alike, and, as such, your gym must be synonymous with a healthy and ambitious environment. Proper maintenance of your equipment and air control is of key importance to the health and safety of your members, as well as regular inspections.

Overall, the most important part of your maintenance routine is cleanliness, especially during our current world events. To ensure your staff’s capacity isn’t overburdened, it is common to outsource your cleaning needs to Express Home Maids, which provides affordable and amazing cleaning service compliant with COVID-19 standards.

  • Smart design and development

When first entering a place of business, the first impression made upon you is the layout of the foyer, and further, the design and landscape of the building. It is easy to become disoriented in a place that is not conducive to its business and negatively impacts the customer. Much is the same with a fitness center. A warm reception area, designated spaces for workouts, lighting for your classes, and the overall aesthetic of the gym need to be taken into account. Furthermore, staff must be properly trained to conduct tours and must know at all times which equipment is located in which area of your facility.

  • Management software

The most important aspect to the management of your facility must be your technology. It is difficult to properly maintain your facility if you are unaware of what is happening and cannot be around to inspect everything personally. This is where having management software comes into play, as it can help with member management, staff recruiting and monitoring, payment collection, marketing, scheduling, promotions, upkeep, and many more aspects which we have touched on above. Spark Membership offers all-in-one software that can be accessed from the convenience of your smartphone, all for just $1.

Best Tips On Running Self-Defense Schools

Best Tips On Running Self-Defense Schools

The self-defense industry can be extremely lucrative. In a study conducted by Grand View Research, the self-defense industry in America reached over 2.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow exponentially each year. Not only are people of all ages looking to attend classes to better prepare themselves for dangerous situations, but it increases discipline, fitness and is a great way for others to interact with each other and build lasting relationships

The question becomes, how do I start successful self-defense schools? Below we will go over the best tips for launching your business, and further, the easiest and most effective ways to market and promote your potential students.

Launching your self-defense classes

Launching your self-defense classes

Self-defense schools can be run as you see fit, but it is important to get the necessary business and self-defense licenses that you would need to operate your day-to-day business. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Get the necessary licenses

This varies with each person, but research is required depending on the type of discipline you wish to teach, and what area you are located in. It also depends on the scope of your business. If you are planning on keeping this a small and private 1:1 coaching team, you may not be as regulated as a national franchise.

  1. Register your business

Check federal and state records to decide on a naming scheme for your business. After this is done, officially register your business and choose a corporate structure. This can include a corporation, LLC, sole-proprietorship, LLP, or partnership. If you plan on keeping this a small and private venue, consider simpler structures such as sole-proprietorships and partnerships. Corporations and other larger structures will be more suitable for advanced tax planning and bigger organizations. Consult a legal professional if you are ever unsure.

  1. Don’t forget insurance 

Business insurance is something that can be easily forgotten but is extremely important. In the extremely unlikely event of a dangerous situation occurring, you may be legally and financially responsible to fix a situation. This risk is increased in the nature of your business, as self-defense classes generally introduce contact among members and students.

🔔 Businesses require business insurance to assist cover the expenses of property damage and liability claims. Without business insurance, owners may be forced to pay for costly damages and legal claims made against their firm out of pocket.

  1. Build a solid business plan

The American small business association has provided a step-by-step process to create a business plan here. Although it is not necessary, it is highly recommended for organization and funding purposes.

Establish A Great Team – Small business owners experience a lot of burnout when first launching their business. This can be a normal occurrence, as when starting your business you wear many hats. Burnout is not sustainable, and you should be looking to transition from working IN your business to working ON your business as soon as possible by building a loyal and dependable team.

📢 A solid business plan not only assists entrepreneurs in focusing on the particular procedures required for their business ideas to succeed, but it also assists them in achieving both short-term and long-term goals.

How do you promote self-defense classes

How do you promote self-defense classes

Generally, self-defense classes are different from martial arts disciplines. The classes are solely for protecting oneself against dangerous situations, rather than an organized curriculum of levels, belts, creeds, and katas. This means that you should not look to brand yourself the same way that the martial arts industry does. Here are some helpful tips to properly market your business.

Building an effective website

Whether done in-house or through a contractor, it is important to build an effective website that demonstrates your brand in a great light. Your website will be the first point of contact for those that come to learn about your business, so make sure it’s vibrant, easy to use, answers most common questions, and has an intake form.

Get on social media

This can even be done before registering your business, setting a business page on your socials. What’s more, people love personal brands and engaged owners when first launching their business, so remember to also cross-promote with your personal page as well. Your inner circle will usually be your first customers, so make your posts informative, engaging, and friendly.

Choose your ideal customer

Self-Defense is a broad term, and many business owners make the mistake of setting up their business to intake as many people as possible. On the contrary, deciding on a targeted niche early on and creating that intention will bolster your business. For example, your self-defense training could be registered to teach new police officers to get them trained for the academy or on-the-job. Make sure to research any certifications you may need.

Get their attention

Where are your ideal customers spending their time? Social media may cover most of us that view our phone screens, but the message isn’t as effective due to the amount of information we receive on our phones. Advertise in places your ideal customer frequents, such as gyms, grocery stores, community centers, and targeted marketing.

Automate your marketing and follow-up 

Setting up an entire marketing plan and method is extremely difficult, and even more so, scaling it up when you’ve finally figured it out. Furthermore, a large percentage of revenue is lost due to a lack of follow-up. Spark Membership is the number 1 member management software. Promotions, marketing, follow-up, scheduling, staff management, and payment are all combined into a mobile app. Try it now for just $1

Promotions and deals

Everyone loves a good deal and has a sense of getting more from their money. It is difficult to gain traction when first starting out, so offering promotional deals to new members is a great way to get attention, and hopefully, close your first few clients. Some other ideas include referrals, discounts, bundled deals, and promotional events.

How To Easily Maximize Your Capacity For Adult Martial Arts Classes

How To Easily Maximize Your Capacity For Adult Martial Arts Classes

The top reasons why people join adult martial arts classes

Martial arts rose to prominence in America after World War 2, as officials and government advisors saw the need for a disciplined combat system to train soldiers in close combat when faced with dangerous situations that do not call for loud or ranged weapons. As a martial arts gym owner, it is important to remember the origin of how this came to be, as the word “Martial” pertains to military training. While most martial arts schools cater to families and children, adults make up a larger and growing demographic of the market.

According to research, the top reasons for adults joining martial arts classes were fitness, self-defense, and discipline. For those that are not looking for a traditional gym and workout environment, seeking alternative choices, such as martial arts, dance and group classes are a great substitute and have a ready market at hand. Furthermore, many adults that attend follow available due to the improvements they’ve seen in their children’s discipline and confidence, or have studied a form of martial arts themselves when they were young and would like to further that training now that they have more independence and resources available.

Promoting adult martial arts classes

Advertising classes for adults should not be any more difficult than promoting other demographics and counterparts. The most important thing to remember is that your branding should match your ideal member, and focus on targeting those pain points rather than catering to a general audience. If you are already catering to young and teenage children, you can easily pivot to the parents and offer special promotional deals and classes so that they can try out your services before making a full transition.

Most martial arts classes demand a significant time investment at multiple hours of the week to advance to the next belt. While it may be easier for children to be dropped off and picked up outside of school hours, adults are busier and more concentrated schedules. Before beginning to market your services, setting up a proper onboarding and intake infrastructure, combined with flexible scheduling should be established so that adults can make proper advancement towards the next dans, stripes, belts, or levels

💡 Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have long debated which combat style is the most dominant. Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Karate are the principal fighting techniques featured in the UFC.

Ways to market your martial arts club to adults

  1. Focused targeting

Keeping in mind the statistics presented at the beginning of the article, your message must incorporate the top three main pain points: Fitness, Discipline, and Self-Defense. This means that not only must the messaging contain all three of these solutions, but it must be targeted to the specific niche that requires this solution. For example, self-defense may be easy to promote to children in alliance with anti-bullying measures and organizations.

However, self-defense is a more sensitive subject for adults. A state study concluded that women felt more confident and were able to defend themselves after completing a form of martial arts. It is important to incorporate this in your messaging.

  1. Where is the attention

World-renowned disruptor and marketing genius Gary Vaynerchuk always mentions in his talks and interviews that the purpose behind marketing is finding where your ideal customer spends their time and attention. This is where creating an ideal consumer checklist becomes extremely important, as you can figure out where they spend their free time. For example, when targeting parents of your younger students, a great first place to advertise would be at the entrance to your dojo, with clear promotions and messaging. Other places could include more traditional gyms and health services, such as dietitians and physiotherapists.

  1. Partnerships

As a seaway to the above, creating partnerships and referral programs with other businesses related to your niche can create a symbiotic relationship of referrals between each other, oftentimes without the need for monetary compensation. This can be taken a step further and incorporated into a wellness or class program at workplaces and other gyms. For example, many benefits include health and wellness allowances for certain workplaces, so scheduling a program and demo class can attract those employees to attend your classes to spend their health and wellness credits.

  1. Get social

Did you know that 85% of Americans have a smartphone and 97% have one form of a cell phone? This means that every adult that is sitting in your dojo or looking for your services is searching for them online. If you are not regularly posting on your pages, asking for reviews and testimonials, and are not placing engaging videos of your classes, you may be missing out on an enormous revenue stream.

  1. Automate

Once you develop a marketing strategy, the best thing to do is automate and scale it while analyzing metrics to make informed decisions. This also means coordinating staff, incorporating new payment messages, scheduling new classes and members, and developing and onboarding infrastructure. This shift can be extremely daunting without a proper system in place. Spark Membership is the number one martial arts and member management full-service software on the market, and you can try it for just $1.