Business For Unicorns

Should You Have Your Prices On Your Website?

We’re having our biggest Unicorn Society retreat EVER this weekend in Boston. If you’re interested in attending future ones, we’re almost ready to unveil our 2023 calendar so our Unicorn Society members can make plans. We go to awesome cities, have great meals and...

On Aging and Leadership

Students of the human brain are aware that different cognitive abilities peak at different times in life. Younger brains are more agile. They have more of what’s called “fluid intelligence.” Younger brains have lots of youthful vigor and energy. They have an easier...

EXACTLY What MFF Spends Money On [Breakdown]

For today’s missive, I wanted to share a video I did recently for my YouTube channel. Have you ever wondered exactly how a multimillion dollar training gym allocates its budget? Click the thumbnail below to find out how MFF spends every dollar that comes in the door!

Make Me Feel Welcomed

Michael here. It’s been a while. Happy September! Let’s chat about first impressions.  Have you ever been to a traditional Japanese restaurant?  Their front door almost always has a bell or buzzer to announce that someone has entered. Then you are ALWAYS greeted by...

How To Actually Get SOPs To Work For Your Gym

This week we’ve got BFU’s “Secret Weapon” Ben Pickard sharing some actionable tips on create clear standard operating procedures. Ben is one of the greatest “systems minds” I’ve ever met in the fitness industry. Give this a read and go take action! Do you ever feel...

31 Ways to Get More Leads

If you’re looking for more leads, there are three ways: Add more lead-generating activities Add more lead-nurturing activities Improve the execution of your current activities Our focus today is the first two pieces. Below is a relatively comprehensive tour of your...

The Thing I Don’t Say Enough

I get stuck in a bubble sometimes. You see, some things that are taken for granted in the fitness business circles I move in. These principles seem obvious to me.  But that’s the Curse of Knowledge for ya. It lulls me into assuming we’re all on the same page about how...

Can’t Afford a Sales Team?

Michael, your friendly substitute teacher here, taking over Mark’s email this week.  Instead of rolling out the a/v cart to play a VHS tape, let’s talk about sales.  Take a deep breath. It’s going to be alright. I promise.  Here’s what I hear all the time from gym...

Biggest branding mistake

Got a quick thought for you on visual branding. Most training gym owners are not passionate about design. I totally get that. But there’s still no reason to make the most common mistake I see in branding. Good branding, above all else, should be CONSISTENT. Pick a...

Time Management, Culture, and More

Yours truly is still adjusting to NewDadlandia, so for today’s email, I wanted to direct you to the most recent video from my YouTube Channel. You see, all of time management really just boils down to five steps. And WOW, am I gonna get a chance to finetune my time...

Email For My Friend Mark Fisher

Since yours truly is busy with New Dad Life, we’ve got a guest email from my pal John Franklin of Gym Lead Machine. Fun fact: John has been a pal of mine and Keeler’s for many years. Before his current business, John ran several highly successful Crossfit gyms in the...

MF’s Latest Keynote Takeaways

We are now two weeks away from baby MFF’s due date. Yowza! With a baby on the way, now’s not a great time for me to be on the road. So it’s pretty awesome that I can now do virtual keynotes from the comfort of my own home. Today I have the good fortune of delivering...

About Us

Since we’re just a few days away from the closing of the Early Bird window for the Unicorn Society’s midyear enrollment… I want to shamelessly talk about the humans who provide the BFU coaching magic. You see, if you’re looking for support in growing your training...

What Should Happen EVERY Session?

Now, we all know that we should have “standard operating procedures” for our training gyms. But sometimes, this can feel overwhelming. Even the term “standard operating procedure” can sound daunting. The good news is that if you do this right, it should be simple....

MF’s Favorite Books for Training Gym Owners

A few thoughts on this list: Want to learn more about how I get through so many books? Lucky you! Since writing the original version of this post, I’ve outlined my entire system in this post HERE (NOTE: This too needs an update, but it’s a solid overview). This list...

Time Away From Your Business…

First off, in case you missed it on the socials, I’m proud to announce I’ve recently become an investor in Alloy Personal Training, an emerging fitness franchise. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I expect to learn many lessons and become even more helpful to...

The Time I Felt Lowest About Myself (and MFF)

I’ve recently found myself digging into the rabbit hole of “mimetic theory” and the work of philosopher Rene Girard. Girard was a professor at Stanford and was a big influence on a few Silicon Valley luminaries. I was vaguely familiar with his work, but after reading...

Takeaways from Miami [Unicorn Society Retreat]

Spending a few days with some of our training gym owners, enjoying Miami, and working on our businesses is more fun than a barrel of monkeys on LSD! In addition to our usual quarterly planning session, this meet-up’s topic was leadership.  As usual, the BFU team...

Easy Actionable Tip [Quick]

Keeping this one super quick today, as we’re in prep mode for our first Unicorn Society retreat of 2022. And that means I’m living dat good Miami life with the other unicorn-lovers! But worry not, I shan’t leave you hanging without any Thursday goodness. Today’s...

10 Ways to Grow Your Training Gym

Time sensitive offers are a great way to encourage your prospects to finally try out — or return to — your training gym. Now there’s a bit of an art to this. We don’t want to “train” our audience to always wait for something special. But a clear call to action and a...

Introducing BFU’s Pete Dupuis [NEW]

Want to share a very important point that came up in our private Unicorn Society Facebook group. One of our members shared this insightful thought in a post: “I thought I was running a people first business. But now I realize it’s been a people pleaser business.”...

The Requirement

I’m not one for dogmatism. But some principles are essentially laws of nature. And if you’re looking to run a successful training gym? Success requires investment. This is true no matter how you define “success.” Want to make a bigger impact with your business? Want...

How Do I Find Good Employees For My Training Gym?

(Diligent readers will note I shared a version of this email over the summer. But since I know staffing is still an issue, I wanted to share it again.) Finding qualified team members is one of the biggest challenges of owning a training gym. And the stakes are high to...

What Kind of Help do You Need?

Welcome to a brand spankin’ New Year. 🙂 As we think about the year ahead, I wanted to drop you a short note and invite you to get crystal clear on what kind of help you need. You see, sometimes, we know the root of a given issue and we know how to solve it. We just...

5 Top Posts of the Year

Have some extra time this weekend to catch up on some reading? Here are some of our most popular posts from over the last year. They’ll help you hit the ground running in 2022! Why MFF Closed a Location [$500k Lesson] - My scars are your lessons! Haha. All kidding  —...

Don’t Drive Angry

Quick thought for you today... If you run a business, I bet that sometimes you have feelings. This is normal. It means you care! And feelings can be helpful signals. We don’t want to dismiss them or attempt to block them out and repress them. That never works anyway....

You May Unsubscribe…

You can usually trust this missive for a weekly heapin’ of actionable fitness business know-how. But long time readers know your friendly author’s commitment to a never-ending liberal arts education. You see, if you want to win at your business — and be the best human...

How Can I Sell Without Feeling Sleezy?

Today we’re going to cover how to sell your services without feeling sleezy. First point: if you’re concerned about this, you probably don’t need to worry. At the end of the day, those of us that are concerned about turning people off or being too pushy usually don’t...

2022

Seems hard to believe. But we’re a stone’s throw from 2022. If you don’t already have a dedicated 2022 planning session in the books, now would be a great time to pencil one in. The Unicorn Society is gathering in Nashville this weekend to prepare for the new year. In...

15 Traits of Successful Training Gym Owners

As we chat with training gym owners for the January enrollment of the Unicorn Society, I’ve been reflecting on the differences between those who just get by and those who thrive.  (Want to learn more about the Unicorn Society? Go HERE.) Listen, this can be tough biz....

36 hours Of Pain

One of the hardest parts of running a business is “ripping off band-aids.” The band-aid in question can be any number of situations demanding a change: A pricing model that won’t allow for profitability A long term employee that’s no longer working out A new hire that...

Simple Marketing Calendar For a Training Gym [Easy]

I hope this missive finds you well and drinking something seasonal including but not limited to a pumpkin spice latte, apple cider, or a pumpkin ale. #basic If you haven’t already put some thought into leveraging Black Friday/ Cyber Monday, now’s the time to get...

Should You Bill Weekly or Monthly?

You know, it’s very rare that I speak in absolutes when it comes to success as a training gym owner.  But this is one of those moments. Virtually all members of the Unicorn Society have made or are making this change. I promise you, this is a move you need to make...

I Changed My Mind

In today’s missive, we’re going to cover five topics where I’ve changed my mind over the past 10 years of running MFF. But first, I wanted to remind you we’ve got a truly awesome virtual event coming up.  If you’ve ever wanted to peel back the curtain and go behind...

Thank you

Keeping today short because I hope you’re enjoying your last week of summer. Long time readers know I’m usually in the desert this time of year at Burning Man. I’m skipping this year’s “Rogue Burn,” so no desert for me, alas. But I’m nonetheless semi-off grid. And I’m...

I Messed This One Up…

Let’s discuss something I could have done better during MFF’s first 9+ years. You see, I will forever identify as an artist. I want MFF to be the most human business possible. I don’t want to overly constrict our operations by forcing people into the straight jack of...

Why MFF Closed a Location [$500k Lesson]

Got a personal story today with some takeaways for your training gym… As a lot of you know, MFF was shot out of a cannon from the moment we hit the ground running. We hit $1m in our very first year in business. And by year four, we broke $4m in a single location.  We...

Should You Name Your Business After Yourself?

Great question. The answer is a strong maybe with a side of “Probably not!” Obvious context: my name is Mark Fisher, and I own a gym named Mark Fisher Fitness, hi, it’s very nice to meet you, thrilled to be visiting you here in your inbox. A question that comes up...

How Many Services Should Your Training Gym Offer?

2. Maybe 3. Ok, great talk, happy Thursday {Contact}! .... I kid, I kid. Well, I’m sort of kidding.  I actually do think “2-3” is usually a good answer in many situations. But you know how I roll; I shan’t leave you hanging without context! Let’s start by analyzing...

Best Market for a Training Gym? (NOT What You Think)

And it’s totally upside down from conventional wisdom. (I’d sincerely love for you to give this a read and respond one way or the other ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO CONFIRM I’M CORRECT jkjkjk.) Ya ready? “The easiest market to build a sustainable and high-margin...

Why Your Marketing Sucks (And How to Fix It)

It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up! Not all of us had the good fortune to receive a BFA in musical theater, the widely accepted gold standard for education in fitness business excellence. *Mark humbly bows to you with a flourish of his top hat* Furthermore, the confusion...

Should You Offer a Free Trial?

Let’s dive head first into this hornet’s nest and answer another of the most common questions in all of Training Gymdom… Should you offer a free trial? Here’s how I suggest thinking about this… First off, we need to appreciate that unless you have some low barrier way...

Should You Increase Rates for Long Time Members?

Yes. Yes, you should! Listen, I’m all about loyalty; at times, to a fault. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned (the hard way), it’s this: When you prioritize individuals over the group, the group suffers, and then it’s still a bad outcome for individuals.  This is a...

Should You Have Your Prices on Your Website?

Let’s talk about prices and websites. The Fitness Business Thought Leader Industrial Complex has many strong — and conflicting — opinions on this topic. Here my personal take. In a vacuum, your best bet is often something like this: “Prices start at X, but depend on...

Number One Missing System…

Today I want to highlight the most common missing system I see in training gyms and micro gyms… And that’s the follow-up. Let’s assume you’ve got... A compelling low barrier offer that makes it easy to get started and removes all risk Communication channels to make...

How Much Should You Charge for Your Services?

If you’re in a market where the other options are low priced, volume gyms where people rent access to equipment. Now we know that’s not a fair comparison; you’re not selling equipment access, you’re selling coaching and accountability