If you build it they will come … or you hope. But rather than hoping (not a strategy they say), wouldn’t it be infinitely better to start a studio from day one with hundreds of people lined up to get in and ready to go?
And wouldn’t it be even better if those hundreds of people were already paying members before the doors are opened for the first time? And wouldn’t it be better still to have a strategy to keep adding members and perpetuate growth? I think everyone would agree that is the best-case scenario and the precise position that Irina Kapetanakis found herself in as she went about starting her first Rumble Boxing franchise in Hoboken, New Jersey, just outside of New York City.
We caught up with Irina via Zoom to hear how she approached this first franchise, what her experience has been, and understand what her plans are for the future.
How did you get to 400 new members before you’ve even opened?
Irina: I'll be honest – most of it was done by Aurora powered by ClubReady Managed Sales Services! (Laughing) I actually have to say that. I think that the location played a big factor in the receptivity because it was very close to New York City. There was a lot of brand recognition and people knew the brand. I didn't have to educate the audience so we could spend time discussing membership options and things like that. It was definitely a different type of sale, but at the same time, commendable in terms of the work that was done by Louie (at Aurora), who was just absolutely phenomenal to work with. I can't say enough good things about him.
What factors do you feel drove the success?
Irina: I think lead quality really matters. If that's not there, it doesn't matter if you're the number one salesperson on the planet, you're not going to get them to convert. But with the strategy being set and continuously tweaked and looked at – that’s what matters the most. I come from a background of sales. I look at that and I see a true sales machine because that's how a true salesman operates. From a sales perspective, it was phenomenal.
As an Owner, How Important is ClubReady to Your Operations?
Irina: I love ClubReady. It's turned into my lifeline for everything. ClubReady is amazing. The reporting tools have helped me a lot just as a business owner, looking at it from a different lens than maybe my GM does. There's a lot of things that I run reports on that are extremely helpful to me to be able to see. With a click of a button I can see certain revenue reports that I need to even for sales tax filing and silly things like that. I need to have access to information really quickly. It helps me do it in a way that's very intuitive. I think that it's easy to use and has a lot of power to it in terms of the things that you can do with it. It's an amazing platform.
What are your growth plans?
Irina: I bought three, franchises so I'm going to be expanding to two other locations within this area. And then, I’m going to see at that point. I may expand to other areas, but I'm going to wait. As this expands across the country and the brand gets more recognition, I think other areas of the country will be ready for it. We’ll see how these three go first and then see where I go from there.
How do you use ClubReady?
Irina: I love the widgets. I love being able to customize my screen and having things pop up that I want to see right away when I open it up. There are numbers that I want to see consistently, every day, over and over that I'm constantly checking. Having those widgets, I love. I also love the ability to really break things down by filters. There are ways that you can filter information, whether it be on your members, or your prospects, that allow you to really get a more targeted list. So as I look to do certain promotions, events, and other things, I can put together a list of people that I feel would make the most sense for it, or that would be the most interested in it.
Also it’s helpful in figuring out from an outreach starting point who we need to contact. Maybe someone hasn't come in for three weeks or has been canceling a lot of appointments lately. We can customize our sales approach to pick up the phone and say, Hey, I noticed you canceled a couple of classes, is everything cool? Is everything okay? What can we do to help you? That personal touch matters to people. I think that the way you can look at things in ClubReady, really allows you to keep that personal touch when you're talking to people. Once you're managing four or 500 members, it's hard to keep that all up in your head. Having a system where very quickly you can figure all that out is important.
What’s the number one thing you’d recommend to someone starting out with plans to scale?
Irina: I think that flexibility in customization is critical because everybody's territories are not the same. A franchise is meant to look the same in different parts of the country. But what makes up that franchise is not the same. And so we tend to put everything into the same size box. When it comes to your sales approach, your business software, how you're looking at your members and prospects, and even your approach to business, it has to be different in every location because the membership makeup is different. The flexibility and the strategic approach by Aurora was critical because every territory is different and no one's going to have the exact same response.
Being able to work with a team that's willing to adjust and move and knows how to do that is critical. The software too – there's so much to it in terms of what you can do. I think that's really important to have that in all in one solution. That's my lifeline to everything that's going on in my business. As an entrepreneur it gives me the ability to analyze my business all the way down to, like, who's not coming to class and, you know, who's, you know, defaulting on their month or whatever, little, little things that you, maybe your manager would look at are front desk staff, but all the way up to some of the bigger things that I'm dealing with, I can see it all in one place. So that's really important too.
Going the Distance
Opening a franchise or any business is an exciting proposition. Knowing where you want to go is the key to laying a foundation for success. That foundation should include a strategy and tools to help you execute, as well as feedback and reporting tools to monitor your progress. From managed sales services to reporting, see how ClubReady can help you grow and scale your fitness business.