Peter: This is Peter Keller from Fringe Sport and I’ve got Jared on the line from Move Austin Fitness. Jarrod, how you doing, man?
Jarrod: Doing well. Happy to be a part of this.
Peter: Awesome. Jarrod, I think you were either the first, or one of the first, full gym outfits for Fringe. I remember that we were so excited when we were quoting you and we ended up outfitting you. How many years ago was that?
Jarrod: Almost 5 years ago in 2 months.
Peter: Awesome. Congratulations a little bit early for your 5-year anniversary. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about Move Austin Fitness.
Jarrod: We are a functional fitness gym and we focus on three different cycles: strength, work capacity—which is your high intensity, and your stamina—so your longer duration workouts. It takes about 12 weeks to get through that and that’s kind of our specialty. We have a very focused programming and we just cycle through that with different focuses and ideas that we try to implement if we can improve things doing certain things. And just having fun with that.
Peter: That’s great. And obviously, I know you and Katie really well. It seems like it’s been a great journey for you these past 5 years. For the rest of our audience, can you characterize your gym a little bit more in terms of a business sense? Obviously, you’ve been around for almost 5 years but can you describe your clientele and your area and town in which you’re located?
Jarrod: We are just west of downtown Austin. So we deal with a little more affluent culture—very business-minded people, type A. They’re kind of a no-nonsense, come in, get it done, and get out, get back to their life. So it’s a great part of town to be in. Also sometimes hard to please but they challenge you on many levels, which makes a better gym ultimately. It’s pretty awesome.
Peter: Just for our listeners, you guys are located in Tarrytown, which, like you mentioned, is an affluent little area, very close to downtown Austin. I would say maybe like 2 miles from downtown Austin, something like that. And it is known within Austin of being kind of an affluent area. So would you say most of your clients are professionals who are living there? Are you dealing with housewives, or kids, or all of the above?
Jarrod: All of the above. Our morning are more of the male, then as the mid-morning, it’s more of our females with some guys. Evenings are a mix of both. Then we have kid programs as well.
Peter: What would you say the culture is?
Jarrod: That’s a lot of what I’ve been diving into recently actually. They’re very family-oriented, which really afford them a lot of time to spend in our more like "happy hours" and gym events that we would put on. So anything we do, we try to do more family focused, but they’re very family-oriented. All of our coaches and myself are on a first name basis, lots of high-fives, and more of a very comfortable place that people can come in and feel they’re going to be taken care of, and feel very comfortable, and invited to do so.
Peter: Got it. How would you contrast this with some of the other gyms in the area? Do you think you’ve built that culture to attract these people? Let me know a little bit about that.
Jarrod: Some people joke and say we’re a CrossFit for old people but we’re not a CrossFit gym, but me and my wife came from CrossFit. That’s where we met, was at a CrossFit. So we’re set up similarly to that. Free, open space. Barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells. But we don’t do any Olympic lifting with barbells. We’ll do some dumbbell cleans. We just have a different approach to fitness. I wouldn’t say it’s much different. The close gyms around here do very well, it’s just finding a gym for each other. We worked pretty hard on developing a culture that is fitness for almost everyone. So we have clients as old as 70-years-old that are in our membership and as young as 15, and they’re in the same class. So we try and modify for pretty much everyone, which I would assume most other gyms do as well.
Peter: So how are you attracting these clients? When a new client comes in your door, how did they find out about the move?
Jarrod: I would say upwards of 90% is word of mouth. You can take care of your clients, and them show that appreciation by bringing in friends and family. I’ve done some marketing and very little has been through. I’ve done two rounds of mailers. The first round did decently well; second round zero. Ultimately, a large portion is word of mouth. So take care of your clients and they’ll take care of you.
Peter: Is that something that you’ve worked hard to work on specifically? Taking care of clients and getting them to give you that positive word of mouth?
Jarrod: Yes. It’s something that comes easy to me but it’s hard to pass along. That’s a lot of what I’ve been working on with my newer coaches. But yeah, it’s calling them by their name, remembering their name, asking about their workout, their personal life. I’m big on making them feel welcome and that they’re more than just a number. I want them to feel welcome that it’s their space and show them they’re going to get results. So we do test recaps with them as well. It’s super important. I can’t emphasize that enough.
Peter: So is that something that you’ve systematized or is it something you just kind of drill and train into your coaches? “That’s Doug over there,” or “That’s John. Doug likes this; John likes this,” etc.
Jarrod: It’s a little bit of both. I’m in the trenches right now like putting pen to paper as a process. But another great book for that is How to Win Friends and Influence People. That plays a huge role in creating the environment and how to treat people and add more value to them. But it’s kind of a little of both. I do a lot of hands-on with my coaches and I try and create something that they can follow.
Peter: Awesome. Do you have any systems that you use that would assist your coach with that or is it still being developed?
Jarrod: It’s still kind of being developed. The back end we use, I’m not extremely happy with. It has the ability to do promoted e-mails after they purchase certain things. We’re playing with it now to get some feedback but I don’t know how that works yet. I know some people have had things that were a success in the past with those, where they would get one after their first week of class, then their first month of classes, and how their experience is going. But we’re in the middle of testing all of that.
Peter: Love it, man. I know we’ve only been talking for a brief period but, believe it or not, that’s kind of it. Are there any other tips you would like to share with the audience?
Jarrod: I would get all the processes and identify who is in charge of what, as far as your coaching staff, down on paper. It minimizes questions and gets everyone on the same page to get all the guessing out of it. Everybody knows their role. I think that’s a huge part in freeing up time and clearing up any questions of who does what.
Peter: I love it. So if people want to find out more about you, either as a client, or as a colleague, to chat with you or somebody else in the community, should they just go to MoveAustinFitness.com, look you guys up on your Facebook page? What’s your preference?
Jarrod: Yeah. Either way. Or they can e-mail me directly through info@MoveAustinFitness.com. I’m always trying to learn more from other people and you can only do that by other people reaching out to you, so I always welcome that.
Peter: Awesome. Sounds fantastic. Cool. Thanks so much, Jarrod, and we’ll get this up. And we’re out.