Tag Archives: gym

Learn to Open Your Own Gym Part II: Marketing!


Open Your Own Gym Part II: Marketing 101

There are two things that have to be done right away, and that is find your niche and target market. Pick a section within the industry that you are absolutely going to master. You should become the go to coach in your area on something like: speed, Olympic weightlifting, jumping, nutrition, weight loss, or whatever. Your goal should be to narrow that niche as much as possible for example if you teach Crossfit, target the people who prefer strength. At Mash Elite Performance we are the experts in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and athletic performance all of our areas go together well. After you choose your niche, then you must define your target market for example children, high school age, young adults, middle age, or older. The niche needs to match the market for example sports performance is great for middle school thru high school age children.

Once you’ve chosen your niche and market now it’s time to sit down and look at your marketing budget. If you have the funds, I would recommend an initial blitz of direct mail, groupon, living social, or any other highly effective advertising source. Direct mail, groupon, and living social are awesome sources because you can see the return come directly back into your facility. I am going to write a whole article about these three advertising tools specifically.

The heart of my marketing however has always been a free source of advertising called Social Media. BECOME AN EXPERT! I am still looking for ways to improve in this area, and I suggest that you never stop improving in this area. The way that I quickly built my business was to give free seminars almost every week. The seminar will give you a focused audience that will quickly learn that you are the expert, and everyone likes free. The first question that you might ask is , “What topic do I choose?” The answer is a topic that will attract the market that you are after. When I first started, athletes were my only market, so a reasonable topic was “How to Improve Speed”. I would target the athletes, the coaches, but more importantly the parents. When you are coaching athletes, you have to have the parents on your side. They have to trust you, and they have to like you. You are going to be a huge part of raising their children.

The seminars give you a lead in to email, call, and visit coaches and parents. I emailed every coach and parent in the area. I then followed up with calls and visits, but I didn’t have to aggravate anyone. I was telling them about something free that would actually teach them something. This quickly got my name all throughout the community, and it brought some key people to my seminars. I used Facebook to do Events where I could invite all of my friends in the area, and I used Twittter to further market the event. I recommend learning to blog, learning to make videos for Youtube, make a cool website, but more importantly blog about topics that teach people something which leads to followers. Your blog, your videos, and everything else should lead back to your website. The website should give a clear and exciting description of your facility, and it should lead to a seminar visit or generate a person asking about your facility. The web between youtube, facebook, twitter, Instagram, and your website is an important puzzle to piece together. I also recommend that whatever you put out into the community that you spend some time making it a quality product. Your blogs and videos will be a reflection of you and your organization.

Last put as much or more time in marketing as you do in coaching at the beginning of your career. Don’t be the person who thinks that they can open their facility and people will come filing in your doors. Hit the streets! Get to know everyone and every business in your area! Definitely get some business cards and fliers, but then get’em in the hands of all the people within a 3-5 mile radius. I recommend setting goals for your daily, weekly, and monthly marketing for example give out 10 business cards per day, hand out 20 fliers per day, send out 100 emails per week, make 10 phone calls per day, have 5 in-person appointments per week, make 5 videos per week, write 6 blogs per week, and two facebook/twitter messages per day. If you follow that plan in a month’s time, you would give out 300 business cards, 600 fliers, send out 430 emails, 300 phone calls, have 22 appointments, make 22 videos, write 26 blogs, and 60 facebook/twitter messages. I hope this blog gets your new facility booming, so you can focus on what you love, Coaching!

If you have any questions about this blog, or you are interested in an up coming Level “Learn 2 Open Your Own Gym” Seminar email me at:


or check out my website at:



Start Your Own Strength Business Part I


On Weightlifting Talk we are constantly preaching “love your life or change it”. My co-host Jon North and I have a little different view on how quick or when to make the change, but we both agree to change it. My other co-host Ryan Grady and I agree that the change needs to be thought out and planned. I get a lot of emails and messages from people wanting to change their lives. I always answer them with a question, “If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life? What is your wildest dream?” Most of our listeners and most of my MashEliters out their respond by saying, “Open my own gym!” Drew and I have been blessed with an awesome group at Mash Elite Performance. These people are without a doubt our family, and some of them have been there from the start. We started in 2008 within a gym in Advance, NC training athletes and adults. We then rented a 400 square foot section out of the back of the gym, but we quickly out grew the gym all together. We then moved to a 2000 Square foot section of a strip mall right beside of the gym. Now a lot of people might say that I am competing with the gym, but neither one of us look at it like that. We are two totally different facilities. The people that come to me are not the type of people that are going to pay $30/month to ride a treadmill, and there people aren’t going to pay $240+ to get jacked by me. We work well with each other. Now we are in a 4000 square foot facility still in the same shopping center, and we just put in a bid for 2000 square feet more. That will be a total of 6000 square feet, and all the while in a small town in North Carolina. Now we have Athletic Development, Smashed Crossfit, Adult Weightlifting, Small Group Training, Personal Training, Kung Fu, Training for Warriors, and a Smoothie Bar with a Pro-Shop. We also have a website with a store providing T-Shirts, supplements, and educational DVDs at http://www.MashElitePerformance.com, perform seminars throughout the US called Learn 2 Lift, provide on-line training, Personal Training via Skype or FaceTime, and perform consultations via telephone. I tell you all of this not to brag, but to let you know what I am going to be teaching in this weekly blog. I am also going to start seminars teaching people how to start their own business if you are interested in one email me at Travis.Mash@MashElitePerformance.com.

In Part I we are going to discuss picking out your location. I have to say that starting in a local gym really helped me build a base of MashEliters, and it gave me access to several perspective clients. It also gave me access to hundreds of parents with children that needed my services. At the time my specialty was athletes and adults that liked training like athletes. I built my business within a business, and it saved thousands of dollars. Most people open a facility, and then they market in hopes of building a business big enough to support their overhead and one day pays them a salary. I opened my business with a steady income of at least $10000 per month, and that really helped ease the pains of opening a new business. I recommend shopping the gyms in your area. The bigger franchise gyms are really hard to cut a deal with, and they want to kill their trainers with a 40/60 split in their favor. That’s ridiculous! The smaller locations are friendlier with trainers, and if you can find a gym that will let you pay a small rent to train your clients, take it. I recommend looking for a $200-600 per month range. If you charge properly, that will be easy to make. I’ll go over what to charge in a later edition. Another big concern should be the area that you the gym is located. I definitely believe in location, location, location! When you are getting started, nobody knows your name. After you are established, you can move almost anywhere, and your loyal clients will follow. If you do move, just look for a location within a 3 mile radius out of respect for your people.

If you can’t find a deal like this, I recommend being very patient in choosing the right location for starting your own gym. I would try to keep the rent as close to $1000 per month as possible because you are going to have several expected and unexpected costs involved which means if you charge $200/person, you will need at least five to just pay for your lease. Remember you are going to have electricity, water, upkeep, insurance, taxes, etc. Try to find an area that is visible as possible, but more importantly in an area that has the median income that will support your business. Once you sign your deal hit the streets and get to know everyone in the community. If you are not into marketing, then I suggest working for someone because marketing is what it takes. Throw free seminars, hit the social media, and absolutely blitz your name all over the place. Your goal should be to have everyone in the area know your name and business. I will go over marketing next time because if you don’t get people in your location, equipment, layout, or programming doesn’t matter.

This is my new passion, so if anyone wants to know more about a “Open your own gym” seminar, email me at:


For More information about Mash Elite, go to: