Even though I’ve had some big success with fitness bootcamps and have a very loud voice, I have to admit that running or operating large group classes are not really my thing (if you own any of the personal training business products I’ve produced, you know that high priced semi-private sessions are what I have the most experience with).
But make no bones about it, large group training (ie bootcamps) is the present and future. That’s why when it comes to bootcamps, you’ll see me bring on a lot of guests. Today’s guest is Georgette Pann (creator of SURE RESULTS: THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF BOOTCAMP WORKOUTS).
Georgette is a fitness industry vet who runs five completely outsourced bootcamps, has sold the most bootcamp info products in history, is a Clickbank Top 100 preferred seller, and has a loyal following in the fitness business. She’s been on Super-Trainer before, but if you’re new to this site, it’s possible you still might not have heard of her. That’s why right now I wanted to bring her on here for more info on what she does best:
Georgette, you made a career jump from another industry into bootcamps and became successful at them in a very short time. What attracted you to them. What personality characteristics will let trainers know it’s right for them from the get-go, like you did?
Yes I came from physical therapy and phys ed industry….I always wanted my own fitness business business and saw the need in my area for both a PT studio and fitness bootcamps. Both were “new” to my small city, so the attraction was twofold. It was fulfilling a need as I saw it and fulfilling my own dream simultaneously.
As for running bootcamps, even if you aren’t experienced at it from the get go, if you have the openness to not being perfect and have the “energy” to bring to your camps YOU WILL succeed. These 2 personality traits are a must in my opinion.
You’ve successfully phased yourself out of your bootcamps and have other trainers doing all of the training. What was the hardest part about that?
Believe it or not the hardest part was not finding someone to run the camps. The hardest part was letting go of not being in control and also missing being hands on and teaching the classes myself. They are fun to teach and I miss that part
Finding employees is difficult many times for trainers. That was one of the biggest problems that prevented my business from growing as fast as I wanted it to. Finding the right people and making sure they do the job right. What’s your formula for that?
That is tough … still is … but one method I used was internships. For bootcamps for example, we took campers who had an interest in becoming certified and running camps and trained them for free. We took them under our wing, taught them all we know and do, and it was ultimately a win-win. They are still teaching bootcamps for us years later.
In terms of dollars and cents, what are the figures in a bootcamp that you have to keep your eyes on?
The trainer must look at what is the minimum amount of campers they need to be profitable. For example, if your going rate for hourly training is 60.00 and you run camps 3 x week or 12 sessions per month, you need to work the math. Are you charging 10 bucks per class or 120.00 per month? If so, you need 6 or more to start in order to be profitable (if your hourly rate is 60/hr as in our exampe). These are the first steps you must take in figuring out what you must charge and how many campers you need at minimum in order to be profitable.
Ongoing, as you grow your business you’ll have to look at other factors such as overhead or rent, paying other trainers, equipment, billing time etc and factor these in to your numbers
For all the types of marketing we try, I have a philosophy that every business owner usually finds one marketing channel that works the best for them and can sustain the business pretty much on it’s own. What has that been for you?
Let me put referral and word of mouth aside, keeping in mind they are the top two. We have local papers that allow free ads, events or things to do sections that allow us to put in a short blurb for no cost, that brings us leads as well as coupons magazines (these are local magazines/newspapers as opposed to our regular city newspaper).
In your experience and through your coaching groups, you’ve helped a lot of trainers succeed with their camps, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed a lot of failures – what are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen them making?
Not planning well enough in advance! In fact I can write a whole article on this alone:)
But when you’re thinking of starting a camp or group training, you must plan well enough in advance. Even if you may have the best bootcamp starter kit on the planet, like Sure Victory:) you still need to do your own planning. Here are the specifics:
Who – Who are you targeting? Women? Athletes? Baby boomers?
Where – Where are you holding your camp? Indoors? Outdoors? You need to find a place!
If its a park… do you have permission from local parks and recreation?
If it’s indoors, have you secured a spot? Yoga studio, gymnastic center, martial arts studio,your back yard … etc
What times are your camps and what days are your camps. Are they 3 x’s a week? 2 x’s a week? Are they 6 AM or 6 PM?
How much – What are you going to charge? Like in the example above, you must charge enough to be profitable and competitive in your area.
Do you have your workouts planned? This is my suggestion – plan at least a month of workouts in advance if not two months,written out, meaning on paper.:) Do not wing it.
Now you can start marketing and putting your business model or bootcamp kit into practice.
Some great info from Georgette there.
Do you remember my talk of making your fitness business as brain dead simple as possible? I hope you took it to heart, because business is hard enough without giving yourself any unneccesary work, trouble, or hardship.
Well one of the hard parts about bootcamps is constantly coming up with new workouts. To solve that, check out Georgette’s product, SURE RESULTS: THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF BOOTCAMP WORKOUTS). No sleezy referral link here – just me giving you the heads up on an awesome product.
Thank YOU for having me on your blog..always a pleasure
Georgette rules! Great interview with some very helpful tips.
Thanks for the info. I am thinking about doing a boot camp, good to know all that stuff up front.
“Fitness bootcamps are now the future” – first time I’m hearing that from you. Glad to see you finally got with the program.
(No offense – you rule dude.)
Keep it coming with the bootcamp articles – I can’t get enough!
Thanks for coming back on the site G – looking forward to having you back. To anyone that wants more info about Georgette, be sure to check out her blog:
Good stuff..perfect timing…what about dealing with very beginners?
Great article Kaiser. I’d love some more info on how to market a bootcamp. Would love to see a course from you on that. I just bought THE STUDIO START UP PROGRAM. Can’t wait to check it out.
But like I said, I want to give bootcamps a shot too. I trust your knowledge and would love to get something from you on the subject.
Hey Devon – great job getting the new course. The course does give you some detailed info on how to market a bootcamp. It will show you how to integrate it into your studio system.
But yeah, I will be bringing you a bootcamp marketing program soon. I’m teaming up with some big names on it. Look forward to it next month.