Their rent is probably higher than your revenue…
Buenos días Gym World,
In my experience, scalable coaching gyms run a simple model.
They have four locations in Manhattan and pay $70k a month in rent.
But fear not, they generate about $300k in monthly revenue, so their landlords are getting paid on time.
Dan and Kyle previously shared their content strategy on Gym World. It’s one of the best I’ve seen.
But today we’re breaking down their entire business model.
The Fort started with smaller gyms (under 2,000 sq ft) and recently added a 5,000 sq ft flagship location.
They provide a premium experience for people who want to do real strength training. Their facilities are outfitted with Eleiko equipment, and they only use kilo plates and dumbbells.
The Fort offers small group training and nothing else. Each session is capped at four members who follow a standardized program, tailored to suit their abilities.
While similar gyms have groups of six or seven, Dan believes four is ideal for recreating a personal training experience. It keeps everyone focused and allows coaches enough time to give clients the attention they need.
When we spoke in March, Dan mentioned leveraging Facebook and Google Ads. Since then, they’ve cut down on Facebook Ad spend and increased their Google Ad spend to ≈$250/day. They focus on terms like “personal training” and “gym near me.”
💡 Dan finds Google Ads generate higher quality leads.
Additionally, they invest $10k/mo on organic content—delivered mostly via Instagram.
Here is a sample video that explains the gym’s current training phase cycle.
It creates a seamless experience from what you see online to what you experience in the gym.
Memberships at The Fort are based on:
- how often you want to train each week, &
- how long of a commitment you want to make
Programs are either four or 16 weeks, and 90% of their clients do 3 sessions a week for $720/mo.
💡 New Yorkers are used to paying a premium price for a premium service. Other gym owners who run a similar model in suburban areas charge anywhere between $300-$400.
The sales process
The Fort follows a 3-step sales process. It starts with:
- A 10-minute introductory call: Either Dan or Kyle will chat with leads to hear their goals and figure out if The Fort is a good fit.
- A tour of the gym: This allows people to get a vibe of the space and its community.
- A 2-week paid trial: Prospects pay $360 for 3 sessions/wk to ensure it’s the right place to train. It’s the same as their top-end offer.
Post-trial, prospects can choose to either pay monthly or commit to 16 weeks upfront and get 10% off.
The Fort has multiple touchpoints throughout the trial, including:
- Following up after the 1st and 3rd sessions, &
- Setting up a membership call after the 5th session
They also do small but thoughtful gestures for their members, such as:
- Handing out free t-shirts
- Giving handwritten cards, &
- Signing a plate on the wall after reaching certain milestones
It’s these simple nurturing strategies that keep members hooked.
Dan believes building a clear culture attracts the best staff and makes hiring easier.
Whenever the staff can see themselves in you, that’s really helpful.
He sets a good example by being present in the gym and often hires members because they:
- Are trustworthy
- Embody the gym’s ethos, &
- Represent The Fort well
His team focuses on coaching without worrying about programming or selling. They work 4-8-hour shifts and get
- Paid time off, &
- Medical benefits
which are less common perks in the industry.
TL;DR: takeaway for gym owners
The Fort offers a simple service at a premium price.
Many gym owners ask, ‘What more can I add to improve my gym?’
Yet, they should consider asking: ‘What can I remove to enhance its value?’