In this interview, Todd talks to us about starting BoxUnion, how he grew it into a profitable business, and how he applied the lessons he learned to over 150 franchise locations with Title Boxing.
As a fitness business professional, Todd has a wealth of knowledge on franchising, ideation, and discovering potential opportunities. In this interview, we explore all the elements of the modern fitness industry that fitness founders need to deeply understand if they want to become successful.
Let’s get started.
1. Find the Gaps
Modalities, or fitness business types (spin cycle, yoga, swimming, etc.) all have their own traditional demographics and, quite often, stereotypes. Often, when people think of boxing, they see an older, larger man – but that isn’t actually the case in many gyms and clubs.
When Todd entered the fitness business world, he took his time analyzing every modality and which one was being misrepresented or underutilized.
In that, he found that one of the most popular modalities, boxing, was too deeply focused on older men and not the rest of the industry. With that, Todd founded BoxUnion.
“What it really was is that it tended to be more male and older than most categories within boutique fitness. We dug into that and what we really saw was that it had to do with what the locations look like. That gave birth to BoxUnion.”Todd Wadler
This was the key differentiator that made BoxUnion a more viable and profitable business than traditional boxing clubs and gyms.
Key Takeaway: Look at your own business model, demographics, and marketing – make sure you’re appealing to the right groups and not overlooking certain age brackets that may be a lucrative revenue stream.
2. Always Be Researching
“It really holds to be able to draw on multiple areas. Not as being the expert in how to build out the space but knowing the right questions to ask people who know how to build out the right space.”
The Top 10 BarriersDiscover more
Slowing Your Fitness
Just because your business is bringing in money and you’re seeing full classes doesn’t mean you have a perfect business model. You need to constantly be researching not just your own fitness style but also every other exercise type you can think of.
Todd and his team took the high BPM music and HiiT style of workout found in other modalities and applied it to the boxing world, making an endorphin-heavy and time-efficient workout that would be widely accessible to a larger audience.
Just because you have an excellent yoga business doesn’t mean you can’t learn from other disciplines or exercise styles, or vice-versa. Try to attend as many classes or gyms as possible, speak to other business owners, and listen to as many interviews and podcasts as you can. Sports science is moving at a lightning pace, with new methods and models being discovered every day – make sure you’re not left behind.
Key Takeaway: Take some time every week to attend a new class, gym, or sporting event. Make sure your focus is not too narrow and that you’re always open to new experiences and developments.
3. Referrals and Community Are Your Keys to Success
“When you’re not selling to them, they want to be a part of it. It was really at that point where we saw and recognized that we thought that we were sitting on something that can really have some legs to grow.”Todd Wadler
Todd and his team took the approach of focusing on the quality of the classes, the exceptional exercise space, and fostering that feel of community. With these three essential aspects, they were able to create a natural referral system that saw their numbers steadily and consistently grow. With social media advertising and other marketing techniques, they would see ebbs and flows. Depending on the success or failure of certain campaigns, their class sizes would fluctuate massively. With the referral system, they were able to create a more dependable stream of dedicated members who did all the publicity and advertising for them.
Key Takeaway: Focus on making your members feel like they are the missing piece that makes your business feel complete. Develop a clear and scaleable retention strategy that allows you to foster that sense of engagement and loyalty before they’ve even stepped into your gym or studio.
Amplify, our automated messaging tool, is a member retention machine.
On average, Amplify boosts lead conversion rates by 250%
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