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  • Sierra Rathbun

Embrace Fitness as a Lifestyle: Edition 10

Welcome to the 10th edition of the Embrace Fitness as a Lifestyle blog! In this edition, I will be sharing my experience opening a fitness coaching business out of my home gym. Our special guest this week is Andrew Towers, Owner & CEO of GORx Fitness.

Garage Gym Coaching

Side hustle or viable income source? Let's dive into starting a Coaching business from your garage. I started Sierra Whiskey Fitness in 2020 (formerly in 2021) while I was in the military. Since then, I have learned what it takes to be a Coach and most importantly a business owner. Being a Coach was the easy part but learning how to operate a business has been challenging. My MBA definitely did not prepare me on how to own a business. A lot of things have been trial and error finding what works and what doesn't.

Define Your Niche and Target Audience:

It's important to determine who you want to work with and what type of training you want to offer. For example, you may choose to specialize in strength training for women, or focus on weight loss and nutrition coaching. By defining your niche and target audience, you can create marketing materials and develop a training program that will resonate with your ideal clients. The key takeaway here is you will get a better quality of clients when you figure out who you want to work with. In the beginning, I was undercharging and overdelivering for clients that didn't align with my business vision. When you refine who you want to work with, the process is more enjoyable.

My Ideal Client Example:

Who are they?

Experienced female strength athletes who are passionate about achieving their fitness goals and overcoming challenges in and out of the gym. They are hardworking, driven, and prioritize their physical and mental well-being.

Age range:

Typically in their 20s to 40s, but age is not a limiting factor.

How much do they earn?

They have a wide range of incomes, but generally fall into the middle to upper class.

What geographic area do they live in?

They are located throughout the United States in suburban areas.

What are their values?

They prioritize progress, consistency, and discipline in their training. They value challenge, growth, and community, and are committed to becoming the best version of themselves through strength training.

Invest in Quality Equipment:

As a personal trainer, your home gym is your workplace. It's essential to have high-quality equipment that meets your clients' needs and keeps them safe during their workouts. Make sure to invest in equipment that is versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises. Consider purchasing items like dumbbells, resistance bands, power rack, functional trainer, and a bench. Also, make sure your space is clean, organized, and well-lit to create a professional and welcoming environment. I can't emphasize this enough, buy secondhand as much as you can. I have saved at least $2,000 by buying from Marketplace and slowly flipping equipment. I have brands like Eleiko, Kabuki, Rogue, etc that I was able to get for a fraction of the cost new.

Develop a Marketing Strategy:

Starting a personal training business from home requires that you be proactive in marketing your services to potential clients. You can start by creating a website that outlines your services, rates, and contact information. You can DIY or find someone who does this for a living. I have gone the DIY route for 3 years but I am going to hire someone to streamline my website.

Consider utilizing social media to showcase your expertise and attract new clients. Believe it or not, Facebook is where I have gotten all my clients from. I am transitioning more to Tik Tok since I want to focus more on remote coaching.

Finally, don't forget about the power of networking. Reach out to local businesses or community organizations to spread the word. Check out Popl, a digital business card. I found out about this recently from a Physical Therapist I networked with. He tapped my phone onto the back of his and I instantly had his info. You can get physical cards but I found them to be inefficient.

Absolutely DO NOT pay for ads when you first start out. Out of the money I spent, I had got one client out of it. Organic marketing/word of mouth is the best and most cost effective way when first starting out. Save your money and put it towards investing in yourself (i.e. business mentor).

Pro tip: Use ChatGPT to bounce your ideas off of. Often, if I need help refining an idea, I will input it into the AI for feedback. Keep in mind that this is a robot and isn't perfect. It is just another tool in your tool box to help save time and brain bytes. I will usually say something like "You are a social media manager. Review and optimize this caption that is going to be used on an Instagram post. The goal is to xyz" Generally, I get good outputs if I phrase things along the lines of this example.

Interview With GORX Fitness

GORX is the go to all things home gym business related. I first connected with Andrew on Instagram in 2020. I was brand new to the business world and honestly didn't know what I was doing. After a few informal chats with Andrew, I had a good direction of where I needed to go with my business. I started the LLC process and began branding Sierra Whiskey Fitness. It's been really fun watching both our brands evolve. With all that being said, let's dive into the comprehensive guide Andrew has provided during our Q & A. Continue reading to learn more!

What equipment do you need to start a home gym coaching business?

About equipment, what you need primarily depends on the coaching you plan to provide and whether you've built your home gym already. In most cases, people who start a home gym business (we call them microgyms) already have a basic setup. Do you have a decent barbell, plates, dumbbells, and a bench? How about a stable squat rack, cardio equipment, or other accessories? These are all necessary if you are a strength or cross-fitness focused gym.

How do you recommend I price my services?

Pricing your coaching services depends on a few factors, such as your niche, location, competition, and experience level. Ultimately, you should look at your area's offerings and determine how to differentiate yourself. When you've figured that out, set a price that will cover your expenses and give you an adequate profit. But the trick is to sell your service on the VALUE it brings your client. We recommend doing that by value-stacking your services. What is value stacking? It's when you break an offer into parts on, say, a website or social media post and assign a value to each. The client sees the total value of your services and will be more likely to invest in them because you are charging LESS. You can check out our Instagram post on value stacking if you have a few minutes. We break down the idea in a bit more detail.

Are there any legal aspects I should look into prior to starting my home gym coaching business?

Regarding the legal aspect of starting a home gym coaching business, we always tell people the first thing they need to do is reach out to their local village/town administrator. You need to know the rules governing home-based businesses in your area. The administrator will provide you with the necessary licenses, permits, and inspections for your business to operate legally. In most cases, these are minimal and pretty straightforward. Once you've grasped the regulatory landscape, you can focus on setting up your business. Check out our article on forming a home microgym - we compare Sole Proprietorships and LLCs.

Does GORX Fitness offer any services to help coaches start their business?

Starting a business may seem daunting, but you don't have to go it alone. We provide comprehensive online mentorship covering all aspects of setting up a home gym business. From finding and selecting the right equipment to branding, we offer guidance every step of the way. That said, the thing we're most excited to offer home gym owners is our app. It's designed for coaches and home gym owners to manage their day-to-day operations, with features such as booking and scheduling, payments, messaging, and more. If you're interested in learning more about it, check out our website, or feel free to reach out to book a discovery call!

What sparked the creation of GORX?

The concept for GORX Fitness dawned on me while I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2020. I was thinking through ways to make some extra cash and figured there should be an application or platform for home gym owners to rent out their gyms - something like an Airbnb but for home gyms. There wasn't. Fast forward a few years, and here we are - making it easier for people to start, grow, and manage a gym business from the comfort of their home gym.

To wrap things up, here is a great video where Garage Gym Experiment interviewed Andrew. Check it out if you want to learn more!

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