Joe Sanok is an entrepreneur and consultant who runs the successful blog Practice of the Practice. Joe is an expert at helping small businesses start, scale and succeed.
In this episode Joe tells us about transitioning from an employee to a business owner, finding a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur and knowing the right time to take your business to the next level.
You can find Joe at www.practiceofthepractice.com.
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Kevin: How is it going, everyone! Welcome to the Fitness Founders podcast. I’m Kevin Mannion, VP Marketing here at Glofox. This week I talk to Joe Sanok who is an entrepreneur and consultant who help small businesses start, grow, scale and ultimately succeed. In this episode, we talk about transitioning from being an employee to owning your own business, finding a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur, and knowing when is the right time to take your business to the next level. Let’s get started.
Joe Sanok, welcome to the show.
Joe: Thanks so much for having me, Kevin.
Kevin: It’s great to have you here, Joe. Let’s get started. Tell me a little bit about what you do and your background.
Joe: Yeah. I get to help small businesses get bigger mostly in the healthcare space but business is business. It applies across the board so I know your audience will get a lot out of this. But most of my work is helping people that are starting, growing and scaling a healthcare private practice, so that could be a counseling practice, it could be a massage therapy practice, chiropractors. But then I also help them get to the point where they are scaling outside of their own time to launch big ideas like podcasts, e-courses, keynotes, TED talks and things like that.
Kevin: Okay, that’s very interesting. Tell me a little bit around people that are just getting started with their business, very first steps. What are the two or three mistakes that you see them making?
Joe: Yeah, so every phase of starting a business is going to have different assets and different purposes during that time. And so when you are at the startup phase usually time is your biggest asset because on day one very few people are lucky enough to have a whole client load of people that want to work with them, so really time is on your side. It’s when you can be super personalized. You can create your biggest fans of your business. It’s when you can go above and beyond in some ways that when you are scaling, growing rapidly later on that you just aren’t able to do. And so really that’s the time that you want to be listening to those first early adopters. The very first people that join your business, the very first members, the very first people that just are raving fans for you, you want to listen to them and get to know them so that you can replicate the way that you speak to them. Because the pains that they come with and the way they describe their pains is great copy for your website, how you talk about your business, how you explain the transformation that happens. So when you first getting going you want to have a basic direction of where you are headed, basic framework. But a lot of people spend so much time on creating the product that they don’t listen to the audience.
And so I would really encourage people at the beginning, don’t get too hang up on your exact model unless it is an established model or franchise model that you are buying into where there’s just and establish model that works. If you are starting your business you really want to giving your best shot but then really listen to your audience and see where there’s opportunity to have things that they are asking for.
Kevin: Okay. So you think that sometimes at the very early days this is the time when you can learn most and put in some of the pieces that will be the foundations of your business in the future.
Joe: Yeah. And you really want to look at okay I’m adding hats. At the very beginning you are probably going to wear lots of hat. You may be your own bookkeeper, your own accountant, your own payroll, all those hats. But as we look in going into the kind of growth and scaling phase is we really want to look at intentionally taking those hats off. Because early on, yes, you have the time for that and maybe you also don’t have the startup capital to invest in all the things to be in a well oiled machine of a business, but you as soon as you can kind of rapidly start taking those hats off. So that would be outsourcing your phones to a virtual assistant that maybe you have an agreement that they are only paid for when they are on the phone. So that you are not fielding those calls instead you are working with clients and working in your gym. You are making sure that you are out there networking and marketing in a way that uses your time best. And so initially it may be that that kind of on boarding of new people you outsource that to someone else because that’s not necessarily going to be the best use of your time if you can create a system. And then you want to continue to look at what are the tasks that really are the best use of my time. And then in doing that you are going to start to shed all of those other tasks that aren’t the best use of your time.
Kevin: Okay. I think a lot of our listeners may be making or may have made the leap from being maybe a personal trainer, or working as an employee somewhere to suddenly becoming a manager of a business, or a manager of other trainers. What would you say are the biggest challenges somebody like this faces in making that transition?
Joe: Yeah. I think that when you just work for someone else you can show up, you can do the work. Usually you have gone into that work because of your own personal passion and so staying connected to that is really important. But also recognizing that that one on one or individual work of really can’t be where you stay completely. And so understanding what is it that I have to stay connected to that work I want to still maintain that a handful of clients that I’m going to work with and being able to really develop your own leadership skills within that role. That transition from just showing up and being the physical trainer to work with your own clients versus managing other people is a much different skill set and it is not for everyone.
I think we often feel like there is this road that we’re told that we need to take to be successful. And if you find yourself in those roles and you’re not enjoying it maybe you want to kind of transition differently or find a different model. But if you’re in it and you enjoy it, you want to first start with what are the things that I need to grow quickly, and so probably management skills. How do you inspire groups of people? How do you set a vision that unifies them even though they may be working individually with people or in smaller groups with people? Creating a culture is really important in a setting like that. If you look at some of the most successful gyms that are out there they all have a specific culture. They have a kind of person that they try to attract. And that culture has its own language, has its own feeling, has its own tribe. People feel connected there. I think about where my wife works out. She’s been doing it three days a week for almost a year and they have a great vibe for her where she feels like she is a part of something. And it is for stay at home moms that want to go back and work out, and it’s for these guys who have never really been fit but they are able to do that in a way where it feels really like, “Wow! I didn’t know what I was made of here.” They’ve developed that tribe for their group. And so what does that look like? You know, in this new setting as a leader, you’re going to set that tone and if you don’t set a tone it is going to happen but it may not happen to the way that you want it to. So I would say really be intentional in kind of what’s the language, what’s the culture that you are developing there, and grow through your own learning of inspiring other people.
Kevin: Do you think these initial steps of leadership are something you can learn or something that certain people are born with?
Joe: I mean, I think we all are born with certain skills and our families of origin are going to give us certain skill sets. So for example, my dad was a clinical psychologist, and so some of my earliest memories were having a star chart so that I would go to bed on time. And then when I got enough stars then I earn a little toy sword. And so for me, goal setting and achievement was very much what I as a child felt as love and acceptance and part of my family culture. So when it comes to setting a goal it is really easy for me to set a goal and achieve but I probably missed out on some of the heart side of it, and so I need to develop that empathy for other people. We all have our skill sets that we are born with or that we are developed through our family origin and our life experiences. But your question, do I think that it is something that can be taught. I do think that it can be taught but it is most important to understand what is driving that success in your business and in your career. So is it that hey I just want to make more money? Well, why do you want to make more money? What’s that going to do for you that you can’t have now? And how do we actually have that be something that’s good for the world, that’s good for you and good for your clients rather than I just want to make more money so I can have a fancy car. Or is it that you are passionate about people that have had trouble with health issues and you think that working out is going to really help them. Or is it, when I went through cancer for example, there is a workout program locally here that people that have cancer can go through twice a week so they can be around other people that are doing that, and it is free of charge, The community, there is a grant that funds it, so that’s like their mission and it all aligns.
And so I think having a sense or even just a general direction. You don’t have to have it all figure out or know the meaning of life but to say why am I spending my life, my one life, all this time, all of these resources that I have on this? Each one of us chooses to do the work that we do for a reason. And if we do it just by default that’s not going to make us happy entrepreneurs instead we’re just going to bump along and not really be intentional about what we want to do with our lives. So thinking about why you are drawn to this work and you are choosing to spend the bank of your time of your life here and doing this and for what purpose, I think that’s going to help you become the best leader.
Kevin: Got it. That makes sense. So you’ve touched a little bit on the culture and the brand that you create. Some people say getting leads and more sales is the number one priority for starting a business and that the brand will follow on. Whereas, others say that getting this bran in place is essential for your long term growth. What do you think?
Joe: I would start with people will assume that a specialist can be a generalist but they won’t assume that a generalist will be a specialist. And I say that because if you figure out a small market that really needs you and your perspective they are going to pay more. They are going to work harder and they are going to talk about you more than if you just say I help everybody.
There is a fancy French restaurant. I can see it out in my window. I’m in downtown Northern Michigan in town. There’s this fancy French restaurant. If I went in there and said, as my wife and I are going to date, you know, I don’t feel like having French food tonight. I want a really good burger, and it wasn’t on the menu. If I didn’t get kicked out by the chef, if they made me that burger it would probably be one of the most delicious burgers I’ve ever had. They probably use like smoked cuda, they would put some spinach in it or some fancy mushrooms, so the specialist can become the generalist. But if I went to a regular burger shop and I said, hey I want some [unclear – 10:18] That would not be good [unclear – 10:20] So if you can focus in on a small market and understand who you want to serve that’s going to open up doors. And so do I think branding is more important or do I think finding leads? If you are just trying to find leads that are general you are really wasting your time in my opinion. You need to say who is the type of person or the type of people that are here and more importantly who are the type of people that are not here. If you can define that that’s matching your brand but it is also helping you with finding leads. Of course you can’t have a business if you don’t have leads, but you want to have qualified leads. By the time they are calling and they are wanting to work with you here you should have a really high conversion rate. And so if your first month, you know, for every call every other person is coming, okay your conversion rate is 50%. Okay, how do we get that to 60%? How do we test that? How do we do some A, B testing? How we are to talk to people? How do we offer maybe a free program or a low cost program and analyze these things so that we get the right people in and people self select out that they don’t even call you if they are not going to be a good fit for you. That somehow you created a brand and culture that excludes as much as includes. That’s how you build a successful practice and a successful gym.
Kevin: Okay, that makes a lot of sense. So you are advising all sorts of businesses, local businesses, on marketing. If we focus a little bit more on the lead generation. What are people doing now to generate leads? Are they writing blog posts, are they active on social media, have they got sophisticated page ad campaigns? What’s the most effective channels right now?
Joe: I’ll tell you what I see people doing and then how they miss the opportunity with that. I see a lot of people that will be doing Instagram stories, Instagram videos. There is a lot of fitness people especially on Instagram because it is so visual. It is a great platform for your audience to be on but it often ends there. They don’t then have a clear call to action as to what someone wants to do next.
So say you are teaching someone 10 specific squats that are going to build a specific area of the legs. You should have a very clear call to action as to what they should do next. In every step of our marketing, if someone says, what next? You should have a clear answer. And so someone watches an Instagram story that you put up or an Instagram live, what next? What should they do next? Well, I want you to go give us your email on this page because I’m going to send you five longer videos to walk you through exactly how to do this. So I am going to give you a cheat sheet that you can take to the gym and for the next 8 weeks you can write down your progress. Or something that goes beyond that little bit of information. So then, if someone is smart enough to get them unto an email list because you want to get them off of the platforms that you don’t control. You don’t control Instagram. The more that you are putting time and money into social media and growing that, yes it is going to help you but they make money off of making you pay to reach your audience, and so everyone is not going to see it. And over time what is going to happen is you’re going to spend more and more money to reach your own audience. So you really want to get people off of there as soon as possible into some sort of platform like an email list.
Now, people will argue, you know, till the cows come home whether or not email is dead. Email is still one of the most effective ways to connect with people. There is a lot of great platforms out there like convey your, they can also do like micro learning through phone and through text. So finding some way to provide content to say what’s next. So then someone downloads your cheat sheet for legs. They say, “Wait, this was awesome. What about my arms, my back, my shoulders? What about my sex life? What about my eating habits? What about the rest of my holistic being?” Well, we want to then have a next step for them there and that’s where you can either become a paid product or you can become a call to action to come into our gym. It could be a call to action to come through an e-course or a live webinar. That’s where your own personal preference comes in, where you’re good at. I want to see people do that as much as they can full till, and then when that stops working then start adding things that you don’t like. So there’s people that maybe they are a little more introverted. They don’t want to be on camera. They don’t want to be on a webinar. Okay, do long form blog post, do long form e-courses, build out things that you don’t have to be in front of a camera. Or maybe there’s people that do enjoy being in front of the camera and for speaking and coming up with ideas, they are great with live Q&A and thinking on their feet. Well then let’s do more Facebook Lives and webinars and things like that before people come into the gym. Knowing that the core product that we have is coming into our facility, or joining our e-course, or hiring us as an online coach; finding a way to then have that call to action. But then that’s still where people often, they get them in, okay they sign up for a monthly membership or new years they sign up for their annual membership but they never come in. We want to say what happens right before someone a sign up for that but then also what happens when they outgrow it. We want to always have a next step to help people get to that next level. So the people that are brand new that coming, how do we make sure that they feel good when they come in? How do we make sure that we retain them as customers? And we know how long your average customer is. So when someone signs up for a membership, do they come in average of four months? Do they come in average of six months? How do we add months to that and survey people to say, “Hey why are you leaving? What could we do that would offer more value for you to stay for six months instead of four months? And then the people that are coming every day of the week, how do we give them that more kind of elite one-on-one training? Get them into groups for the people that are really going big. How do we create a culture even within that culture? That’s where successful businesses continue to grow is when someone can say after each piece of content what’s next and you can answer it with let me hand you this next piece of content.
Kevin: Okay. I think what you’re describing to me you could describe it as a funnel – marketing funnel, or sales funnel, where you are getting people in at the top off maybe a video on Facebook. But you are not just putting that out there blindly, you have it set up in such a way that once they watch this video there is a next step like download this piece of content or sign up for an email. And in doing that you are getting people closer and closer to making an actual purchase. Is that a good way of describing it?
Joe: Yeah, I would agree with that as a funnel. But I think a traditional marketing funnel is just one specific direction where you start with the email and it automatically goes into the video, and then it goes to the e-courses and then it goes to the purchase. I would want to have little bit more nuance in that. And also I think especially people that this is maybe a newer way of thinking. They think, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know how to set it all that up. That’s just overwhelming.” I want people to start with okay I’m not on Instagram, what is the first reasonable small step that I can take towards moving towards a funnel? And so maybe I’m going to do at least one Instagram story everyday when I’m in the gym. Okay, awesome. And then after you see that kind of go in then what’s that next step? I’m going to then create an email course.
So being able to say what can I do in these next couple weeks that’s going to move my business forward. To me that’s more important than sketching out an entire funnel. Now throughout that process we want to be also looking at the numbers to see what’s working, to see what post are getting rated higher, what hashtags we use, the ways we talk about it, what emails are opening more. And then we want to really talk to people and say, “Okay I have a hundred people on my email list. Now, I want to figure out what’s next. Can I talk to you for 15 minutes about an e-course that you might be interested in, or a seminar I could do at the gym, or an eating partnership that I could do with a nutritionist.” To really pick the brain of your audience and then have them help you create the next step in the funnel for what they want.
Kevin: Got it. But you are always thinking about this next step. Whether you have it or not you are designing things so that you eventually will have these next steps to lead you to a sale.
Joe: Right. So when we start the Practice of the Practice, so that’s the website (practiceofthepractice.com), initially I knew I didn’t want to put a ton of work into just sell some very small priced item, and so I started with offering one on one consulting. And it was about three times my counseling rate. And so I knew I would be getting more and I knew I needed to have about four people on a monthly plan to be able to bring in the income that I wanted, so I started with that. Now there are tons of people that were below that. They’re like I can’t afford that and I didn’t have anything to down sell them to. But I knew if I just got a handful of people then that could basically fund everything else I did. So I had free stuff and then I had this really elite consulting. So then I built out an email list and so it was something that people paid, they paid $17 for it, and it was a yearlong email where they got a weekly email on how to start and grow a private practice. So when someone signed up I didn’t write all 52 emails. The first person signed up and I kept writing the email in front of them so every week I had to write at least one or two emails. So I might write four emails and then I put in my calendar “in four weeks make sure you write more emails”. And so that first person was getting these emails written throughout the year and so then I could sell this thing for $17 which for my time for that first person was a ton of work but at least I had people then that were coming in. And now that it is written it is completely passive income, so then I fill in the gap between a $17 product and a thousand dollar a month product. And then start saying okay if someone doesn’t want to do one on one consulting maybe they want to do a small group, a mastermind group for me and maybe that’s a small group in the gym. If they don’t want to do that well then we have a membership community and so that’s a monthly membership and we’ve got several hundred of people that are in that. They don’t want to do that then they go back to the $17 thing and if they don’t want to go do that then I have tons of free stuff that’s going to help support them. So over time you start to fill in those gaps where you have people saying, oh I just can’t do this level I want to down sell to something else or I don’t like this level I want more individual attention and then you start to add things above it as well.
Kevin: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. I think it brings us on to the next stage of the conversation here which is around growing an established business or growing a business that’s already off the ground. How do you know it’s time to invest in growing your business?
Joe: Yeah. I think you want to look at opportunities that are low hanging fruit in front of you first and foremost before you dive into something new. Most entrepreneurs want to add a new offering to their business. They want to add something; they want to have whatever is shiny in front of them. And I would actually encourage them to look and see where people are already kind of paying money. Could you raise your membership rates? Could you talk to your current clients about what they would like in addition? So for example, that might be, okay you are paying this monthly fee or would you want to pay for an additional coaching once a month that’s on a Saturday? Do you want to have a nutrition plan be part of it? What are the up sells that can be going on with the current people that are there without finding any new clients, and talk to what needs people has. I’m sure if you look at any of the people you are already working with and just either give them a survey or said, “Where do you feel stuck in your workouts? Is it nutrition, is it at home, is it coming more often or less often? What do you wish we offered here?” I bet if you talk to 20 people you would get so many ideas of how you could double or triple the business just with the established clients. I would start there then I would also look at especially the owner in highest grossing people that are doing the training, how can you replicate them. And so what often happens is you have that one trainer that’s really good and then all of a sudden they want to go start their own gym, and then you lose this great talent. How do you keep them in house, give them some leadership, help them make money off of training other people there methods and have them kind of move from just being an individual to being a manager. You want to try to replicate the people that are doing an amazing job and have them teaching other people, so you want to enhance the systems internally. There is this great business concept call Lean Manufacturing came out of like Toyota, and all these other places where you’re looking at all the fact everything from why do we have people fill out a paper application. You know, there is time to staple, and to print, and to file, why don’t we switch over to something digital. Where are places that you can cut, where are the things that are repeated that shouldn’t be repeated, where are places that we can have more efficiencies that’s going to increase your bottom-line as well. And then after you do those things which aren’t necessarily the fun things but they boost the bottom-line then you can start to enhance and add extra services, extra locations. You want to have your system locked down so if you do extra locations or if you add additional services they can all fall to a system that’s pretty locked down.
Kevin: Yeah. And I think usually when people start to grow a business like that they end up hiring more people, maybe hiring managers to roam that other location. What qualities would you look for in a manager for a business, be it a fitness business or any business?
Joe: I think you need to first look and see if you want to kind of upgrade someone that’s already on your team that you really trust and understand you. That has a benefit for sure because they already get the culture, but sometimes having someone from the outside, they can have that new location have a little different feel can be good. So you are going to want to weight that out, also, especially when you are opening a second location. You want to put at least two-thirds of your time into that other location. And so before you launch that you need to make sure that your current you are spending less and less time there and it’s really on cruise control. Whether that’s through the managers you have, the systems you have, kind of the internal clients you have buy in and have a good culture. And you want to bring people in to that new location they can have it fill like it’s a continuation of the other location.
Cusco does actually a great job of this. They opened a new Cusco here in northern Michigan and that’s probably a year ago or so but they brought in I would say two-thirds of the people that opened that store were from other Cusco locations. That they moved up to northern Michigan for 6 to 12 months. And so they already understood the culture. They jumped in because they know how to run the store and then all the new people that are joining they are like, I’m already a part of this culture. This store just opened and it feels like a Cusco. Well, yeah, because you’ve got a bunch of Cusco people working already not brand new people that are green.
So you want to take that same approach and have it be that you and the managers are really hands on with the new location. It is so much easier to set the tone from the beginning as to how you want that second location to be than it is to try to clean up later on or not to have your eyes on that manager. You know, we want to be able to just hand over the keys and hope that someone’s going to just run it like we’ve already set it up but it is really not going to happen. You need to be hands on. You need to be watching. You need to be involved as much as you can. And then once you’ve done that the third location gets easier, the fourth gets easier. You then have someone that has maybe been your person that starts up each location, so they become your startup person, and then you’ve got your operations people. That then makes it that you can continue to grow because you’ve created the system that’s easy to replicate.
Kevin: Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe one of the byproducts of growth like this one a personal level is your work-life balance can become uneven. What are some of the tips you have for dealing with pressures of growing a business and all the stresses that that involves?
Joe: Yeah, so if you set up your business so that you are necessary to it it’s very hard to get yourself out of that business. And so I would say from very early on when you’re moving from that start to growth phase, start to remove yourself from the business intentionally. And how do you that? You start the system very clear boundaries. So for example, it was probably three summers ago, with my two businesses I have practice the practice, the consulting business, and then I also have mental wellness counseling which is a traditional counseling practice. For one summer I decided to do an experiment where I said every Friday I am going to start taking off and I’m also going to take off Saturday and Sunday. And so unless there is an emergency don’t contact me, I’m not going to be checking email, so then I by doing that have to setup some systems. I can’t just kind of blow people off to email me. I have to have system set up so I had a virtual assistant that checks my email. She would text me if there is an emergency. And by the end of that summer I realized I was making more than I had before when I was working 5 days a week as well I had three day weekends every weekend so I decided to keep that. So then the next summer I did the same thing only for Mondays, and exact same thing Mondays and Fridays. I wanted those off. 4-day weekend every week just work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So set some very clear boundaries around that. Now what happens is the flaws naturally expose themselves as you pull back. When you stop putting out the fires, the fires take off, so then you have to ask yourself, what are the systems that can affect this? So for example, just this morning there was a lady that emailed me and said, “I thought we had a 10 o’clock free consulting call. Where are you?” And it wasn’t in my calendar and I said to my assistant, I just texted here, and said, “I need you to look into what happened here and to report back to me not only what happened but please work with that client and tell me how we are going to avoid this in the future.” So she dug into how it had happened and how the emails happen so we created a new system so that doesn’t happen anymore. I don’t want nonchalant people. That’s not good. And so when those flaws expose themselves realize that when you’re working with your assistants, when you’re working with your staff you have to have feedback be a constant part of it. It can’t be an annual review. It has to be something that you’re going through all the time. And so stepping back, slowing down, to me that is where your biggest ideas come from. You know we think about if you are in the shower or if you’re on a long drive with the radio off, those are the times that our minds wander and we have this enormous breakthrough. Steve Jobs, he would do this walking meeting all the time. It distresses you. You are out in nature so you are naturally going to be more composed and think better about things and have bigger ideas. Winston Churchill, he had a non-negotiable afternoon nap. When Timothy Ferriss did Tools of Titans he found that the majority of CEOs have a daily meditation or a daily habit of meditation. We know that when you slow down that’s when the sparks of innovation come. And that’s what separates a mid level manager from an owner or a visionary is that they are the ones that can have those breakthroughs and then they are going to set that time apart. And so I would actually say that whole work-life balance you have to have as much time away from the business so that when you are in the business your vision is very clear and very big.
Kevin: Yeah, that makes sense. The way you described it it’s all about removing your grip on the business slowly so that you can see what breaks. But maybe you take your time doing it so things don’t collapse, but you have to have the courage or you have to be willing to take your hands off and spend a few days out the office. It helps both your staff mature and also helps you take some time to come up with the next big idea.
Joe: Yeah. Mike Michalowicz who wrote Clockwork and Profit First. He talks about how you should be able to take a month off and still make money. And so around Christmas I took three and a half weeks off and I think I got four texts from my assistant of things that I had to do. Yeah, it took maybe 15 minutes for each of those things. But one hour of work over three and a half weeks that took years to get to that point. But you can start to kind of dip your toes in that by taking a specific day off or having certain days that your phone is on silent, and you don’t listen to podcasts, and you take time with your family or take time doing something healthy for yourself so the business doesn’t become that thing that’s going to fill all those voids inside of you.
Kevin: Okay. That’s actually very good advice and very interesting. Joe we had a couple more questions really on the growth. My last real question is around risk and how should people think about risk? Should you have a large appetite for risk when you are scaling a business or how do you get the balance right?
Joe: I don’t ever want a business to affect my family in a negative way. And so there are times when your family situation is going to make it that you want to have very little risk. So I had a full time job at a community college for a long time. It provided health insurance to my family, and I had my side business of doing the podcast and the counseling. At that point in life risk was not a priority of mine and I knew that I could have scaled faster but my daughters will have heart surgery, I had cancer during that time. It was important for me to keep the risk low and I have my wife feel good about staying home. And so I think in the situation like that I was pretty risk averse. Now, I end up leaving that full time job which was one of the highest paying types of counseling jobs in our area for this whole podcasting thing I do now. That was a big jump, but I ran the numbers. I kind of look at, well, best case scenario if things continue on this trajectory and these things that I’m launching launched really well. What’s the opportunity here, so that’s kind of the high end. What’s the low end and pretty the worst case scenario but realistic. Not terrible but what’s the worst case scenario? So finally I have x number of clients per week paying this. You know, okay, we can’t go out to use much, we can’t go and have as many vacations, but we’ll still make ends meet. Okay, what’s probably the realistic middle there that’s where we’re probably going to land. And so I start with that when I think about risk. But then, you know, especially in your industry there is a lot of startup cost. If someone wants to just start a gym, you know, buying that equipment, buying the marketing often times they have to finance that. And I would view that as, okay if I have to finance $100,000 for this and that breaks down to x number of dollars per month. How many people do I need to have then to join this gym and at what time. Well, with a lot of projects I would recommend that you try to pre-sell memberships; that you try to gauge interest ahead of time. I have this whole IDEAS framework that we’ve developed where it spells out IDEAS. I is Intention, so you are intentional on your time. We talked about slowing down. The D is to Design, do a basic design of what you think your project is. The E is Experiment, and that’s something many people forget. They just start a gym and buy the equipment and they don’t do any sort of testing to track to the community. They don’t get some hype beforehand. They don’t do any fundraising. The A is to Accelerate, and so when you see things working put money back into that because you then aren’t paying taxes on that money because you are putting it back into your business, at least in our structure here in the states. And so then you’re growing the business tax free. But then the S is the part that most people miss and that’s Scaling. And as soon as possible you want to take off those hats. Get other people that grow with the business, so maybe use 1099 contractors to get a percentage of what they bring in versus a W2 employee. That can be a really effective way of doing it based on your state of course of course talking to your accountant and attorney.
Kevin: Alright, okay. Well, Joe, some of the stuff has been very interesting and I think especially on the scaling front. Great food for thought for somebody who’s looking to take their business to the next level, so first of all thank you very much. Before we say goodbye can you tell us how people can get in touch with you? What you are up to right now and what sort of people you would like to talk to?
Joe: Yeah. I would say anyone that wants to take their business to the next level. I’d love to connect with them. Our website is practiceofthepractice.com even though we primarily focus what we are teaching around private practices. You can just put private health practice in your head or you can say gym instead of private practice. What we are teaching applies to your market as well. As well we have almost 400 podcasts now that are all about starting, growing and scaling your practice in your business. So just search for Practice of the Practice in your favorite podcast player and if you think that would be a fit to work with you or someone from my team just reach out to us.
Kevin: Okay, Joe, it was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much.
Joe: Thank you.
Kevin: Thank you. Bye bye.