I want to talk to you about something very serious…

I know it’s not like me to delve into politics like this, but I can’t help but notice how the war America is fighting overseas is very similar to the war we’re fighting in our own backyards.

The insurgents in Afghanistan understand that they don’t have the manpower, the military strategy, or the weaponry to win against American troops head-to-head. They can’t just march into our bases and expect to come out victorious. So their only chance is to penetrate local communities and hide within the civilians.
Now compare this scenario with what you’re facing in your community. Think of yourself as a “Marketing Insurgent.” As a small gyms or training center, you can’t expect to go up against the Big Box gyms or national chains that can outmatch your advertising budget and resources. You need to be one with your community.

By the same token, our military understands that it would be disastrous to smoke out terror cells inside communities where innocent locals would be inadvertently gunned down by our troops. So we need to rely on a vast network of intelligence agents and underground informants to make tactical moves, targeting the guilty with small special ops missions or predator drones.
To fight a formidable adversary, you can take a page from the U.S. army handbook. Form relationships with trusted sources. Gain information on your competitors to beat them at their own game. Allocate your resources to target several of the most proven and effective strategies.

Keep in mind that failing at business relationships with your clients and the community at large will put you on the same playing field as the big box gyms. That’s exactly what they do. Just as the American troops wouldn’t want to massacre innocent civilians (like the terrorists do!), we do not want to deliver sub-par, impersonal service (like big box gyms do!)

You never want to pick a fight with a bigger, stronger competitor on their turf. You may get some defectors from the national chain camp, but all in all, you are zeroing-in on people who are looking for a more personal relationship. They want your attention, energy, motivation and results. They like supporting the local “little guy.” Find your best sources of referrals and cultivate meaningful relationships with these individuals. In the end, you’ll win the war – I guarantee it.