As we all learned in business school, 90% of companies that fail, do so due to poor management. That means the other 10% have owners/managers who have figured out how to run a successful business. Everyone knows that the financials have to work, but the other aspects of successful companies are a mystery to many.
Meet one of our clients, OC Fit boot camps (www.iamocfit.com) Owner and Founder, Steve Hochman, started OC Fit to, “help OC residents like you and I get fit, lean and sexy – basically, get our edge back.” The company combines boot camp, kickboxing, resistance training and cardio into one amazing, 40-minute, indoor workout, at their four (soon to be five) Orange County locations.
Here’s why OC Fit is so successful:
Been there, done that! – As you can see from Steve’s before and after photos, he has been in his clients’ shoes, also needing to find a healthy way to get, and stay, fit. He truly understands what his clients want in a fitness program, and can empathize with the emotions behind their decisions to make positive lifestyle changes.
Practice what you preach! – Steve participates in boot camp classes, where he can experience his product first hand, be aware of any tweaks the program may need, and be accessible to his clients who may want to talk with him.
Find out what they want, and give it to them! – Steve knew that his clients wanted a fast and healthy way to get fit, lean and strong. He also knew that traditional gyms did not work for many people. His clients want to maximize their workouts, with the help and support of trained fitness instructors.
The price is right! – OC Fit does something really smart! They frequently offer (both on their website and through Groupon) a $29 deal that gives new clients a chance to tryout their classes for three full weeks, with no further obligation. Although the price of membership increases after that point, it is still set at a competitive level for the product. I was amazed by the enormous percentage of people who become permanent members, after trying out the three-week deal.
Convenience is everything! – OC Fit makes sure that both their locations (Irvine, Tustin, Huntington Beach & Westminster) and their class hours, accommodate their clients’ busy schedules. Classes are held before and after traditional work hours, as well as on weekends.
Under promise and over deliver! – We hear that phrase all of the time in business. If you wonder what it means, here are a few examples. First and foremost, make sure you accurately describe your product to your clients, (both in person and online) and that you fulfill that promise. OC Fit gives their clients a clean location and a great workout as promised, but then adds a few extra perks like parties, fun contests, theme days, nutrition tips and recipes. These little extras don’t cost the company much, but really enhance their clients’ overall experience.
Happy owner, means happy employees (and vise versa!) – It is absolutely crucial to hire the right people. Of course they have to have the proper training, experience and skill set, but there are two other intangibles that are equally important…ethics and attitude! Another thing that truly surprised me was how much the members really like the OC Fit trainers! The employees are the face of a company, and hiring the right ones is vital!
Share the load! – In a growing business, one person can’t do everything. Owners/Managers must delegate responsibilities to their employees. As his business began to grow in size and geographic area, Steve partnered with Jessica Ebrecht, who co-owns and manages the OC Fit locations in North Orange County. Jessica, who shares Steve’s philosophies and passion for the business, is an excellent fit.
Treat them like family! – I frequently notice comments on the OC Fit social media sites where members refer to the staff, and each other as their, “OC Fit Family.” It was so touching to see the pictures posted by a member who was surprised at her 5:30am OC Fit session with a birthday cake and decorations, all compliments of five other caring members of her class! That’s when you know you’ve done something right. There is no greater compliment than being referred to as family, by your clients!
Add on the extras! – Once you have a successful product that people love and are proud to be connected with, add on extra products that compliment your original business. OC Fit offers a line of fitness apparel and accessories in their, “Nook of Awesomeness.” Even the name is a winner!
Spread the word about your clients’ victories! – Ok, this may not be appropriate for every business, but it is definitely a must for a fitness company! OC Fit (with their clients’ permission) shares their victories and success stories on both their website and their social media platforms (complete with pictures.) Sharing their clients’ successes shows the world that they care, and that their product really works.
Be social! – Everyone knows that a great website is a must, but in today’s world, social media is just as important. It’s absolutely necessary to have a presence, showcase your product and listen to and communicate with your clients (and potential clients,) in real time. Having the appropriate social media sites can also help your business rank higher in search results on the Internet. Happy clients are your best advertising. When they share photos and posts, or talk positively about you online, it’s the best advertising you can get! Studies have shown that people trust the word of their peers over that of traditional ads. OC Fit is a great example. Their Twitter feed went absolutely crazy one day, when a client, who just happened to have 686,000 followers, tweeted a picture of himself stating how well OC Fit worked for him. His post was retweeted by a huge number of people who had never even been to OC Fit before! You can frequently find before and after pictures posted on Instagram by extremely happy clients, thanking OC Fit for all they have done to help them reach their fitness goals. Of course there is always old faithful, Facebook, where OC Fit clients chat about their classes, interact with the company and tag their friends in posts to encourage them to join.
Laughter is the best medicine! – I realize that there are businesses in a few fields where this may not apply. With that being said, in all others, make them laugh! A quick break from a stressful day, a smile, a chuckle, all make people feel good. Everyone wants to have fun and be happy. Be the one evoking positive emotions in your clients, and they will relate to your business in a positive way. Example 1A – this hilarious, Marine style video (http://on.fb.me/1iA8vy4) featuring one of OC Fit’s toughest instructors, singing with a tiny kitten on his shoulder! Their clients went crazy over this Facebook video!
Love what you do! – You will spend an enormous amount of your time running your business. You really need to have a passion for your work. If you do, it will seem more like a calling, than a job. Accomplishing the tasks above will be enjoyable. Your enthusiasm for your company will be evident to others. They will be more likely to want to share in it, as evidenced by the success of OC Fit. You are much more likely to be successful, if what you spend most of your day doing, is a labor of love.
Jill Fox – Owner
Fox Social Media