Here's another Results University Biz Owner of the Year essay, submitted for consideration, by finalist Ben Fogel of Epic Fitness in Millcreek, Utah.
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This past year has given every single business in this group so many challenges. I feel that I should be the 2020-21 Business Owner of the Year because of the way my team and I addressed and overcame these challenges. With Utah gym closures in effect back in March and April, we immediately were able to pivot from in-person training to remote training and therefore maintained 95% of our client base.
Even though our doors were closed, we used that time to revamp and prep Epic Fitness for re-opening. We updated and reworked all of our systems (SOPs) with COVID safety protocols & guidelines, trained our staff on new procedures, offered added benefits for renewing memberships, plus implemented fun ways to keep our members engaged while training remotely during the pandemic. Once our doors re-opened, we easily pivoted right back to in-person training inside our 10 new individual training pods. We now offer a combination of both styles of training and have kept 95% of our members over the past eight months.
Being able to pivot and take our entire coaching operation remotely and online within 48 hours of being closed, and me personally not actually coaching ONE person in a class or session during this time. This was all about being a leader and having a great team to lean on. All thanks to the RFU strategies to be working "ON" my business, rather than constantly "IN" my business. If I was forced to work "in" my business, I would probably be OUT of business!
Leading the way in the group into what pod-style training would look, feel, and operate like. I think I was (luckily) one of the first gyms able to re-open. With the strategies that we all brainstormed together in the RFU group, I was able to strategically be in a position to hit the ground running, and successfully show the group how to open safely during COVID. (Still ZERO cases inside our gym after THOUSANDS of sessions coached!)
BridgeAthletic - Bridge was something I didn't think we would be ready for, but as we all found out, this online component has completely TRANSFORMED our business.
Weekly coaching calls with remote coaching clients. Done in the beginning with ALL of our members, now being done with about 5-10% of our members still. This has kept our community strong when we needed it the most. Without this strategy from RFU, we would have seen many more members cancel.
Highlighting business owners inside our gym, and partnering with them to give our members discounts to their services as well, has served our community in such a great way during the pandemic.
Realizing there is a lot of money out there in your community, as well as federally. RFU paved the way for us to take advantage of the PPP money, but also using my contacts locally to secure local funds (over $15,000) really kept us in a position to continue to grow.
Continuing to PAY MYSELF. Rachel & Alwyn always say, "Pay yourself first!" and I never stopped this, even when the going was tough. I always paid myself first.
We kept our entire staff on, even while we were closed (utilizing PPP funds) and we came out of it with every staff member still employed with us!
Only DOWN 10 NET MEMBERS SINCE JANUARY 1ST 2020!! We are almost down to net 0 - this was the goal back in June 2020. If we can end the year where we started, and leave 2020 with a "Net ZERO" effect that would be a HUGE win in our book.
To be honest, without the monthly RFU calls, the "Friday Happy Hours" and everything else you guys have done, I would say we probably would not even be open at this point. Having a team of like-minded coaches and mentors has really made the difference!
Thank you for this opportunity. I am going to be so much stronger because of 2020, and will be able to weather ANY future storm.
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