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Steve Pirt Explains How to Communicate Effectively With Your Franchisees

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Steve Pirt is the CEO OF Friction Free Fitness and previously the National Director of Franchise Operations for UFC Gym.

He joins us on this episode to talk all things franchise. Steve gives us some great insights into how large franchises operate, how to communicate effectively with franchisees, and the importance of a proven playbook, especially in a fitness industry transformed by COVID-19.

Episode Link

This episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and anywhere you get your podcasts.


Kevin: How is it going everyone and welcome to The Fitness Founders Podcast. I’m Kevin Mannion, VP Marketing here at Glofox. This week we talk to Steve Pirt, the CEO of Friction Free Fitness and former Director of Operations for UFC Gym. We take a deep dive into how large franchises operates, discuss how to communicate authentically to franchisees, and explain best practice for building and sticking to a playbook. Let’s get started.

Okay, Steve Pirt, welcome to the show.

Steve: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity. 

Kevin: Yeah, great to have you and definitely somebody with your experience is I think going to be insightful for our listeners here today. Maybe let’s kick off by telling everybody just a little bit about yourself and your background in fitness industry. 

Steve: Sure. I’ll be concise with that. I started in fitness in 2000. Back in the day 24 Hour was my origination in Northern California as a trainer. I’m pretty optimistic. I was a patron, I was working out, I was a wrestler, just trying to figure out what I was going to do. Just finishing up college and general manager tap me in the shoulder and said he would pay me to work out with his clients. I really didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t if it was a proposition or I didn’t know it was a job offer at that time, so it was little awkward. But from there I took off and really just fell in love with the process providing illuminations to people’s lives through awareness, and in content, in giving people confidence through action, and just kind of work my way up the chain. Organically I moved to the fitness manager, became fitness manager of the year, a couple of times at 24 Hour Fitness. I opened up clubs and just really started to enjoy building teams and kind of that exponential growth of sharing knowledge, creating systems, and collaborating with people, and really taking people’s capabilities. Again, through action and systems showing them that they could create a career for themselves and change people’s lives. And then the next path of the course naturally was sales manager, and then general manager, and district manager, and then area manager, moved to regional manager, all these while moving through a few different brands. Each time really being sought out to do what I love doing which is taking challenges, and in growing teams, and solving issues through collaboration of people and passion. 

And then, my most recent stint working in the industry was the Director of Franchise Operations and Technology with UFC Gym which was a fantastic journey. That was about a 2½ years into diving into a piece of the business that was new for me which is franchising. Now, here I am as CEO of Friction Free Fitness. We’ll talk probably a little bit about that later hopefully. But we are focusing on technology, and operations, and design concepts that come together to really build and remove menial task to build these new opportunities for our industry. 

Kevin: Nice. I know in your role now you are still talking to a lot of gyms, talking to a lot of people in the ground. Give me some quick thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on the fitness industry so far and what it’s been like. 

Steve: Well, what can I say, COVID has been terrible. We can stop at that and then go. But I basically look at this, Emerson said, I strongly believe that with each adversity lies and equal or greater opportunity. So that’s not to dismiss the fact that this has been terrible, not to dismiss the fact that this has been tremendously, natively impactful for not only obviously us as operators but owners and vendors, I mean, the whole supplying chain, members. But on the upside, I also see a lot of opportunity and that opportunity lies in the fact that our industry was an industry that I think very comfortable and very fat with what we’ve accomplished in the last 25-30 years. There’s been a lot of successes but really not a lot of innovation and that’s not just technology. I’m talking about the way that we move people through buildings, the way that we design the experiences that we have, lifting is lifting and fitness is fitness, but overall not a lot of innovation. 

In the last few years there’s certainly been some momentum. We’re seeing some major brands coming out that have brought technology and others around it, Orange Theory, and Peloton, alright. But still pretty slow when it comes to innovation adoption. What I see is COVID has really sped up the appetite for this innovation and people are hungry. I say appetite, because they are hungry. I can hear it. I can see it. Capital is coming in at a time where people are getting really tight on cash, and they are really just trying to move the needle. I saw this after 9/11. I saw this after 2008, 2009. Every situation has been different obviously and its challenges and its origins but the outcomes has almost been similar where on the flip side the industry is very resilient. I’m not going get into obviously the medical components or COVID is this or COVID is that. But I think the awareness has certainly been heightened to the fact that obesity, the lack of movement, poor nutrition. All of these have significantly contributed to COVID-19 especially when it comes to the mortality or even being severely sick, so here we go and how we are going to solve this. I’m looking forward to being a part of that and see how all the innovations are going to flood in to move that forward for all of us. 

Kevin: Yeah. Okay, I think those are some really good points. We’ll move on I think to the main topic I’m really interested to talk about today which is really around implementing a franchise playbook and specifically communicating that to your franchisees and getting adoption for that. Steve, you’ve got obviously tons of experience in this area. My first question is how do you get franchisees to follow a playbook? 

Steve: That’s the million-dollar question, well, maybe more than million-dollar question depending on how big the network is obviously. I’ll start with this, it’s challenging, and to say that it’s not is an unfair statement. I hear this a lot from people in the industry, “It’s hard. It’s difficult.” And you can sell that away and say it’s not and then come up with a sort of key things there that you can address and say, “Yeah, it is.” I heard this from my peers a lot, and it’s true. Fitness is simple but it’s very hard. The reason that it’s hard is because you have to be very consistent. You have to be authentic. A lot of times pretty much like anything raising a children or what. It is easier to tell them one time or two times and then expect adoption and follow up and compliance. Just like children, franchisees, don’t always follow that line. So how do you do it? I think it really comes down to three things and this is from my personal experience. Each might have their own unique contributions but I think it has to come down to authenticity, communication, and curiosity; and here’s how I break down all of those. 

I’m a big believer that you have to seek to understand before you seek to solve, right, 7 habits of effective communication. Here it is. And so when you walk into a room or a network of fitness professionals, coaches, or trainers, or franchisees, if you are not trying to understand what their pain points are before you open your mouth and say that you have the solution, you are immediately going to miss the mark. That trust is going to be broken. It’s not even going to be established. And without trust, I don’t care how smart you are, I don’t care what plan you have, I don’t care what playbook you have. If you can’t get your audience to tune in because they don’t have a personal connection to it, just like a member who doesn’t have a connection to a facility and stops using it, they are going to leave. I found the playbooks are as only good as the author. It better be relevant, it better be current, it better be clean, and concise, and it better be proven. I’ll refrain from brands but I’ve seen dozens, and dozens of playbooks in my career. Unfortunately, a lot of playbooks are passed around like hotcakes, and they are plagiarized, and copied. Not always but enough for me to obviously make mention on this podcast. 

Franchisees are smart just like our customers are smart. They are going to understand that if you are speaking to 2008 financial crisis in 2019 some things up you haven’t done your homework, and this content that you are spouting out to them doesn’t matter. So you better be on your toes and if you are going to educate franchisees and expect them to follow in compliance on a playbook it better be proven. The educator, they got to be relentless about over communicating following up on expectations. You can expect playbooks to just be sent out after one day of orientation in a 3 ring binder with a nice font on it and expect everyone to get excited. Things are going to collect dust, right, and then if that collects dust you are going to run into all kinds of challenges. I’ll go into challenges, but you ask the question of, “How do you get that to collect first?” You got to be [unclear – 10:10] about the communication. How was the playbook now put together, what’s the content in it? Then how is it conveyed and educated, not the first time, but weekly, quarterly, monthly. And not just form one person. How many voices can you get the room to touch on that playbook? As the master educator for UFC Gyms, it wasn’t one voice during 5 days of education. It was a collaboration of many voices, many authentic voices. World Champions in mixed martial arts, and some of the best marketing specialists, all collaborating together and sounding in unison with different viewpoints of course but all aligned and prepared to give a confident message to the franchisees. But then also, able to receive and react to their questions because they have authenticity to be able to do so. That make sense? 

Kevin: It does, yeah. What are you looking for in a franchisee when you are having those conversations? How do you know it is starting to stick and that you’re going to have people following this playbook versus throwing it on the shelf?

Steve: That’s a good question. You know, everyone has their own styles. I’ll leave it that. And for anyone who’s worked with me or still working with me would follow baby chuckling in this point. I tend to find the bully in the room. This has always kind of been my thing working with coaches, thousands and thousands of coaches. I look for the know-it-all. I look for the bully. You don’t always get one but when you do it’s great because once you can call them out in a way that’s not uncomfortable of course. You’ve got to be professional. But you have a franchisee who comes in, who’s been the system 10 years, and they are restarting or they are going through a process or someone who owns 20 locations in another industry. They’ve got 20 pizza joints or something like that that are coming in there is some ego involved. Making sure that you address the fact that you respect what they are doing, you respect the reason they are there, but you really need them to demonstrate that they have the competencies in order to go out and win. 

Ultimately, the message for me has always been about remove ego, remove any other part of the process that gets in the way of the fact that why we are here. We are here to be in a business to ultimately do what? Be profitable. And the only way you can do that in my mind is if you earn the right through your customer’s validation. That can be done in many ways but I believe for the most part in fitness it is simple. You run a clean, friendly, well-managed facility with great experiences, and you keep your labor less than your pay and then your incoming revenues and you’re going to make money. That’s why it is simple but it is hard because it takes people, and a plan, and consistency, and processes to do that. But the mindset for me is really getting people to say, “Alright, remove what you think you know. Don’t discount what you do know, but let’s start to prove to each other that we can go through it.” I always tell people no matter how high you are going in the chain, no matter what title you have, have conversation with franchisees or your team members like your client, and you are the coach.

Kevin: Yeah. We spoke to Paul Bedford, he is a real expert in data and using data to show people what the best practice is. I think talking to you, you are also bringing I think when you are talking to these groups you are keeping an eye on personalities. Where does data come in to your coaching. 

Steve: Well, data is important and it’s relevant. But, again, it’s only important if your audience is willing to receive it and if they are able to trust it. Most of the times I find people aren’t willing to… They are not necessarily trusting the data. They are trusting the person who is providing the data. So if you can create that environment of trust, and collaboration, and communication first then brining in data is very important. I’ll keep it simple. You don’t want to dilute people with a ton of data. 

I’m definitely well aware of Paul’s work. He is amazing when he does. But in order to extract data you have to have people input data on the first place. And so for me, the data points would be more focused on what do people are really trying to achieve in a business, right. What are some of the benchmarks for success? Establishing basic KPIs, when I mean basic, I’m talking about 7-10, in really getting franchisees because ultimately that’s what this conversation is about. For me a lot of success comes from mindset and preparedness from the franchisees perspective so that they can go and they can apply the processes and procedures of the franchise to their teams. I found in the beginning, as I was doing my discovery process, that most franchisees didn’t take the time for themselves to set those minimum expectations. It would probably blow you away that, I mean just the UFC Gym, 9/10, maybe 8/10, right. Probably you’ll say, “Where’s that data coming from?” But let’s say the vast majority of franchisees would call me and complain about staff, or challenges, or issues, or problems. I would stop them and say, “Not a problem. Let’s look into that but let’s start with your first. How many [unclear – 15:26] have you set for your goals this month?” The vast majority did not a relevant answer, and these are smart people. These are people who put a lot of money and time investing in their business. So if they have not taken the time to set that expectation for themselves, not only, how are they are able to set the expectations for others or hold others accountable and you kind of see where the origin of the problem lies. A lot of times people would want to spin around on some of the secondary, tertiary challenges but really it’s about bringing it back. So, to your question, I really didn’t have a lot of influence on who was coming in until maybe a year ago. It was great. We all started to get together and say, “We can probably bring in a better quality of franchisee not only for our sake, for the system, but also for the sake of the franchisee.” What are the aspects and the qualities that we need? I found it to be collaborative, have good communication skills. We certainly wanted franchisees to have some basic experience and people management since this is a people business. A lot of franchisees didn’t have that which was kind of surprising to me. 

Kevin: Yeah. Tell me, just to paint a picture I think for people, how long does it take you to onboard a franchisee? Is it that you can do it in a few days of a boot camp and then they are away do their own thing for a year or are you calling into them every week or what does that look like? 

Steve: That’s another great question. I think that’ still, the jury is still out on that one so to speak. I think a robust onboarding process in person is essential to create that trust, that proximation, that handshake, that exchange of energy, information whether you go to them or they come to you, but really that kick off moment. But I also believe that the onboard process starts the moment they sign the FDD, right. If a franchisee is signing an FDD and then all they’re doing in communication is speaking to construction, or their attorney, or the person who signed the map on the franchise agreement for the next 6-9 months, well that’s a lost opportunity; versus implementing someone who we would have like operations specialist or just someone who had the ear of the network and could just have a nice consistent touch point along the way and if there are outliers or challenges to have that reference. So to me that’s when the onboarding starts. The moment the FDD is signed, how are you building trust, and also how are you getting them to comply, right. How are you ringing the bells? Just like a client we need to also as franchise or we need to be able to train and teach our franchisees how to be good franchisees. It’s not just going to magically happen because they have money and they sign on a document. And that takes time, and little wins can add to big changes, alright. The 5-day or 2-day experience that you are talking about, it’s good. It is certainly essential. But it pales in comparison to the months of process I call the battle, right, putting all your money, working with construction and labor, and all these different things, in hiring people, and also going to train people, and I got to deal with payroll, and I got to figure all of these things out. If you are shoulder to shoulder with them in that fight when they come out and open their club, it’s a boot camp that’s engrained just a different type of relationship. 

Kevin: Yeah. As long as there’s trust. 

Steve: So to me that would be the most crucial aspect and a lot of times I see franchisees miss that. We’ve signed them, cool, unto the next one. We’ll get to you when you open, we will come to your club, we’ll do a 2-day dance, put up some balloons, let’s get on and here we go. 

Kevin: What are the problems that typically arise with franchisees not following a playbook? How do you go about solving those? 

Steve: Yeah. Well, I think the problem is they can be fairly obvious, right, taking shortcuts, the dug it too quickly. I think that’s a common problem not following the playbook. Poor communication inside the clubs between teams and fitness professionals, and sales professionals and creating a divide. Lack in preparedness for team members is certainly one of those. That all leads to diminish trust and diminish enthusiasm which leads to poor culture, and then you got poor member experience, and ultimately bad paychecks. And then you have to divide that from that creates the frustration of, “Well, this doesn’t work. This system doesn’t work.”, “This franchise doesn’t work.”, “I’ve tried everything and the system is broken or the franchise is broken or fitness is broken.” And then the divide gets wider and wider and wider because this is very personal. The thing that I found with franchisees versus the corporate entities is it’s very personal. It’s people who put their life savings into this sometimes, most of the time in fact. And when you have a bad month you feel it and you are talking to your wife about it and you are thinking about what do I do. And you can see it in their eyes it starts to cascade. Confidence goes one way and lack of confidence goes the other. So not running a playbook starts to edge that out and it can become very deadly to the network and the system. 

Kevin: Yeah. I’m sure you’ve seen these thousand times but what do you do? 

Steve: You got to be aware of it first. I think so much comes down to awareness. If you are not aware that there is even a problem in the first place. I know that is so obvious but that can be so. It’s so easy to just go about the business of franchising which is what signing up more franchises, and then high fiving the top 10%, excusing the way of the bottom 20%, and then letting the middle, 30% if my math is right, kind of go about their business and call you when they need something. Right, no call is a good call I guess. That is deadly in my opinion to a brand and to a business. So you’ve to be relentless about awareness and how do you that? You’ve got to poke, you’ve got to prod. I call it turn on the lights and when that happens the roaches scatter or the people stand up and say thank you for illuminating me. That takes boldness and action and you can’t be lazy in that process. And for a franchisor that takes resources. It takes the right people, the right amount of people, and you’ve got to trust them to be able to go out there and really kind of, I guess you could say, look under the hood from time to time. But once you have awareness, it’s so much easier to come to a solution. Right?

Kevin: Yeah. Tell me about one of the more, the most, difficult conversation you’ve had to have with someone in this situation?

Steve: Specifically, where they are not telling me the playbook.

Kevin: Yeah, the hardest conversation, one of the harder conversations that you have to have.        

Steve: Without role playing it, sure. I mean, I can think of quite a few unfortunately. But on the flip side most of them turned out to be positives. Again, it’s about awareness and then bringing it back full circle. It’s understanding the complaint first and foremost. What is the challenge? Typically, it’s lack of productivity. It’s lack of engagement from a frontline personnel let’s say. My general manager is not doing what I need him/her to do. He’s not getting the results. He’s not doing the memberships, and the processes, and they are lazy, and they are terrible to organization so my labor is all over the place. That’s a good example. 

Okay, well, it’s not about pulling up the playbook because if I manually went to the playbook, most people would say, “Okay, thanks for the rules and regulations I need a ‘real world’ solution.” Again, you got to stay with your authenticity but it is about asking the right questions. Again, seek to understand before you seek to solve. It’s a relentless process in my mindset. And so the question back to you would be, “Okay, let’s break down the top two or three biggest challenges that you can identify very specifically and then I want to backtrack it. Have you given the right training and education? When was that given? When was the last time it was provided? How are you setting up your systems of accountability? And are you removing all the barriers out of your general manager’s way so that they are able to be successful. Yes or no?” 9/10 or 10/10 the answers are typically no to all of those. Instead of beating them and telling them we have all the solutions, again, it’s that collaborative conversation and saying, “Alright, let’s go through each one of those and see if we can already find the game plan that we’ve already come across.” In my experience a lot of times I’ve across these situations. That’s one of the beautiful things about fitness. 

Only four types of people can come into… There’s only four possibilities that come into a gym, right. You can come into a gym and you have a membership that’s in good standing, you can come into a gym with a membership that is in arrears, you can come into a gym with a profile and appointment set, or you can come into a gym with none of the above. Those are the only four possibilities, and I can prepare my team to receive and respond to all four of those possibilities with the right amount of work, hiring the right people, and have them do the right things. It’s not an ER ragged out to be prepared for everything and anything, right. And right now, hey, I’ve got nurses in the family, and doctors. They’ve got to be prepared for everything – gunshots, car accident, burns, terrorism, COVID, you name it. Well, we need to be prepared for four types of people coming in the door. What I’m saying is with the right preparedness and understanding of what our mission is and who is coming in the door, we can build systems to be able to do a really good job with that. And so to answer your question, the answer is not always the playbook, the answer is the process. A lot of times once I’ve discovered what the challenges I encourage coming back to the playbook. And it’s for two reasons; one, to validate if the playbook is sound and we can use it as the guidelines to move forward and then we can communicate. If that’s the case, great, now I have authenticity and ability to bring more into the plate, marketing can now come in, where they didn’t trust marketing in the past, so it’s a bridge of trust. Or the opposite may happen and I’m willing to experience this which is we discover in that conversation that the playbook is not authentic or we miss something, and that’s okay with me because it’s part of the journey. But we can still discover that and say, “Not a problem. Guess what, let’s can come to a solution and we’ll revise the playbook. And thank you franchisee in this process with me, we can apply this now to other franchisees in the system because, guess what, you have this problem, everyone else has this problem.”

Kevin: Yeah. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. I think the big takeaway for me is really hearing them out around how they perceive their challenges and maybe bring it back around to your playbook and your process rather than beat then over the head with the playbook. It’s a simple lesson but it makes a lot of practical sense for in nearly all walks of life. It’s really good. 

Steve: What would you do if you were a coach or a trainer and you are working with a new client of 35 years of age who was 280lbs. and 5’4” and came from a pretty sedentary lifestyle, right. You’re going to take time. You are going to give them small wins. You’re going to be patient of process but you’re going to be relentless in ensuring that you’re going to progress and move forward. There is a plan and there is a play because 9/10 that situation came from the lack of having a plan or a play. It’s not different at least in my experience and in my mind. It’s no different.  

Kevin: Yeah, I agree 100%. Okay, so one last question then on the franchise front is a lot of people are working remotely now and there’s going to be restrictions for a while. What is your take onboarding new franchisees in a remote setting? 

Steve: Sure. It can be done. It has been done. It should be done. You got think from franchisees perspective what is my ROI for taking myself and my top performers out of the club for 2-5 days in order to go to our headquarters, in order to be educated or learn content, whether it’s going to be relevant or not, to then go back and run my business. That has to be considered. Right? Pre-COVID that was a very expensive endeavor for any franchisee. And I think there is a lot of success to be have when it’s remote. In the last 60 days, I’ve been able to provide complete 5-day management institutes to teams in Asia and in the Middle East, and I’m not doing anything special. I’m seeing so much coaching and training. It’s just about having a plan, communicate the expectations to the teams so that they are really prepared to participate. I was really shown that way really on in my career. I was fortunate enough to have some great mentors, and even more fortunate enough to actually pay attention and listen to it. But prepare your participants. And if you prepare your participants and you give them an understanding of what’s coming and less surprises you’re going to be able to have much more of a collaborative process. I find that the onboarding process is much more successful when it’s a collaboration versus a dictation. 

We’ve had some challenges, the countries, 80% of teams didn’t even speak English, so we’ve got some language barriers. We’ve got some cultural barriers. It’s 3 in the morning my time, and it’s 9am their time. But that being said, if the team understands why they are supposed to be there, there is buy in to the fact that the content is going to be relevant to them it goes back to the playbook. And every minute of their time is going to be respected and we’re going to get nothing but a healthy collaboration of fundamentals, feedback, Q&A, opportunities to role-play, whatever teaching style you have, then it can be just as successful as being in person. Now, I will say that having an in person experience, there is nothing really like it, right, to be able to exchange that energy. I’m an energetic guy. There is a lot of people in the industry, I would say the vast majority are very energetic, but it’s not essential. 

And so to say it’s one of the other, well, that argument is done. I think it’s been proven. It’s the same thing we are talking about when it comes to [unclear – 30:09] fitness right now. It’s not one of the other. How do you build a collaboration of opportunities to provide the best content possible to get the desired outcome whether it is for at home fitness or it’s brining on franchisees? And then just have fun with it, that’s the other part. Right now on the podcast I’ve got my kids downstairs and here we are but we just got to be able to smile and have fun with it. Sometimes Zoom goes down and sometimes it’s not perfect.

Kevin: Nothing you can do about it. 

Steve: That’s right. You can prepare but you just need to roll and adopt. I think people’s attitudes have really followed into with that where it doesn’t need to be, you know, the Oscar’s where everything has to be perfect and staged and you’ve got to wow them with their presence when they show up. It’s about are you really prepared and is the content coming out in a way that it sets them on their path to be successful. 

Kevin: Yeah. Well, I think we are all adopting, so things we thought we couldn’t do remotely we are doing now. And it’s the same for all lines of business.   

Steve: It’s funny you say that because that’s actually what got me into fitness in the first place and it’s what kept me in the industry for 20 years now, and will keep me here for the rest of my career. That actually is the aspect that I love. It seemed a lightbulb go on in people’s eyes. I don’t care if it’s a sales manager, or a GM, or a franchisee, or an executive. The moment they realize that they could do something for themselves or take action, whereas, a few seconds ago they didn’t think they could. I had an influence in that process. I just love that. We have a unique opportunity that do that in this industry. Teachers can do it and there are others obviously industries but this happens to be the platform that I love. I love that you mentioned that. 

Kevin: Yeah. So to wrap up then, this industry that you have so much experience in, specifically, where do you see it going in the future? And specifically, what should franchisors be thinking about in the long term? 

Steve: Wow! Those are two pretty large questions. Where it goes in the future? It really depends on how far in the future we are talking about. I’m the last guy to be some sort of ball predictor. I’m hyper focused on this next stage of coming out of COVID, and I typically don’t use the word should. They are important for me. There is a lot of assumption in it. For me, I’m focused on providing innovation through technology that for the most part are found outside of the industry, applying the right type of operations with that technology, and then bringing in design concepts mere all three of them together into a marriage that allows franchises, and corporate operators, single boutiques to really provide what we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years’ experiences. But really be able to do it in a meaningful and unique way. And so that’s my focus, that will be my focus, and we’re really needed in that process. I think that if I were to encourage franchises to do one thing, it would get back to being authentic and really being customer centric. Go the Amazon way. You’ve got to be relentless about your customer. Know who they are, serve their needs, try to eliminate as many pain points as possible through technology processes and your design build out. 

Kevin: Yeah. I think simple but wise words there. Okay, so my last question then is what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the last couple of months?

Steve: Biggest lesson that I’ve learned or maybe the biggest lesson that I’ve been reminded of is that this business is about people. And the way that people are treated will resonate loudly in their validation of your brands. Period. End of story. That’s the way that organizations have laid people off. That’s the way that organizations have communicated to team members or franchisees during this process. It’s the way that people have really made really challenging decisions. I haven’t had to lay off 10,000 people. That would be gut wrenching and excruciating. I couldn’t imagine. I have never been through that process. But I’ve learned that even through those difficult challenges people who take actions to again create positivity and show face, and show love for this industry and their brand, maybe proud. And then on the other side of it, I’m seeing examples of the other. The lesson that I’ve learned is this business is still and always will be about people, technology, lighting, flooring, concepts, programming. All those things are tactics. But the overall strategy is get people to move and believe in themselves. And if you can be a part of that process go validate what you are doing through rewarding you and through incentives and saying that we want a member. 

Kevin: Okay, wise words. We’ll limit there. Steve, before we go just tell everyone a little bit about Friction Free Fitness and how they can get in touch. 

Steve: Sure. You can get in touch at [email protected]. Obviously, our website is, and essentially what we are is an international consultancy firm that is partnered up with some of the best providers of what I call experiences in the world. We surely international and we’re able to go in and revise technology, operations, and design concept to build out a true ecosystem. And that’s what we’re passionate about. Not just implementing one or two pieces of the puzzle but really revising and reinventing the way that you look at your entire journey. Not just your guess journey but your team member journey. And wee have found efficiencies in that process and mitigated franchisors and mainline owners to say, “Hey, how do we get through and navigate the challenging aspects of migrating CRMS or how do we get through the aspect of vetting all the different providers that provide lead nurturing or heart rate gamification.” So if those are out there and who are listening right now, we’re saying, wait a second. We have been looking to innovate or change or we are not satisfied with our systems, or it’s clunky, or we are not getting centralize data coming through into one hub. We don’t understand behaviors after point of sale. These are things that we are just relentlessly pursuing to solve and we are having a lot of fun doing it. Again, it’s a collaborated effort. In that effort, I have to mention, Glofox has been an amazing partner in that process and has been doing some great work, not just getting access to payment processes in countries that did not open up internationally before but also being able to immediately go in and change languages and some of the other aspects that you guys knew and able to provide. It’s been very impressive to see. 

Kevin: Yeah, thanks for the shout out. Okay, Steve Pirt, well thank you very much for coming on the show. 

Steve: I appreciate you. Have a great day. 

Kevin: Thank you. 

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Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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