Jonathan Slain, Fitness Together
Jonathan Slain began a new career in the health and wellness industry 7 years ago, when he left his career as an investment banker to open his first Fitness Together franchise with his brother-in-law, Michael Hall. Over the years, they have owned as many as 5 facilities at a time; today they operate 2, both in northeast Ohio (Hudson and Chagrin Falls). Open from 4:30 am - 9:00 pm, Jonathan’s facilities focus exclusively on one-on-one personal training for well-established executives and professionals. Fitness Together personal training sessions are customized to meet each client’s personal goals, but typically start with a 15-minute cardio warm-up, followed by a 45-minute functional training workout with one of the company’s certified trainers. The facilities have been quite successful. Slain attributes the growth to a unique definition of success, as well as focus on core values.
Jonathan’s Success as a Fitness Together Owner
Jonathan’s experience in the financial industry led him to define business success for his Fitness Together facilities based on session volume, rather than the more traditional revenue or membership model often used by gyms and health clubs. “If you focus on how many sessions you are producing each month, the revenue will follow,” says Slain. By focusing on session count instead of revenue or membership, Jonathan has achieved amazing results at both locations:
- Over 16,700 sessions trained in 2013
- 2 - 3 times as many sessions as the average Fitness Together facility
- 20% session volume increase (2013 compared with 2012)
- Ranked #1 out of 200 Fitness Together facilities across the country (Chagrin Falls location)
- Ranked in top 15% of Fitness Together studios (Hudson location)
Jonathan’s Fitness Philosophy
“When it comes to fitness, there are no quick fixes or easy solutions. And as with any goal you set, the key to achieving success is focus, hard work and accountability,” says Slain. Other great tips from Jonathan include:
Be the best at what you do – “Do 1 thing, and be the best at it,” suggests Jonathan. He says that he’s experimented with a variety of different service offerings, and the business performs best when it’s focused on being the best within a specific niche.
Live your culture and values – Your corporate culture and value system define your business and help you make smart decisions. Jonathan’s company values being hardcore, loyal, nimble and evolving; these core values are integrated into everything his company does, from hiring employees to promoting the business.
Hire the right employees – Clients and members develop a bond with their personal trainer. That means you’ll need long-term, loyal employees if you want to improve your client retention rate. For best results, choose employees who align well with your company’s culture and core values, and then review, reward and fire them based on those values.
Use creative promotions – Jonathan takes advantage of every opportunity to brand and promote his business, but he makes sure his investments produce results too. His silver bullet is the “Personal Trainer in a Duffel Bag” promotion, where he fills a bag that features his logo and business information with about $100 worth of functional training equipment and a gift certificate for 3 personal training sessions. About 3 or 4 times a month, he donates these to local non-profit silent auctions or other charitable events. Not only does this approach generate goodwill for the company, but also it introduces his business to a steady stream of new people, a high percentage of whom turn into regular clients