As part of our Franchise Success Stories we asked UFC Gym franchisee and business owner, Lee Holland (Norfolk, VA), to share a little bit about how he first became part of this incredible franchise system and what he has experienced as UFC Gym owner over the years.
Please tell us a little bit about your history with UFC GYM. How long have you been with the company?
My UFC Gym started presale in March of 2016. This was my first foray into the gym business.
What first attracted you to becoming a business owner with UFC GYM? What makes a franchise businesses like yours different from traditional SMBs?
I have always been passionate about fitness. I took a hard look at the gym franchise industry and wanted to do something new and cool that didn’t already exist where I live. That’s how I found UFC Gym. The concept of an open gym that combined fitness and MMA classes struck me as an obvious solution to a problem that a lot of people didn’t know they had (i.e. “why am I paying for both martial arts classes and a monthly membership at a treadmill gym?”)
What’s the biggest change over the past year that has impacted the way you market to prospective members?
In all honesty, we haven’t changed much about how we market to prospective members. Grassroots was a focus for me from day 1, and has been a point of pride for me as a gym owner. What we have worked to do is tweak the message, to be sure that we’re reaching the broadest customer base possible. To do that, we have tried to focus less on UFC Gym as a martial arts facility, and more as a facility that can help you reach your goal, no matter what that may be.
From a digital marketing perspective, what role has online marketing played in helping you reach new customers?
The online marketing has helped maintain a steady stream of leads, even in times of heavy employee turnover. It takes new employees to get in a groove of building a solid lead base and learning where to go to find new prospects. A strong digital presence works as an insurance policy for that. It also frees up my General Manager’s time to an extent, because with the digital prospects he doesn’t have to work as hard in grassroots and can spend more time training our staff.
As you look forward, what are you most focused on when it comes to growing your business?
I’m most focused on driving the personal coaching facet of our business. I want prospects to know this is a place where they can get the personalized training that they need, and I want to make sure our marketing reflects this idea.
Any additional thoughts or comments you’d like to share?
I’m very happy with Location3 & LOCALACT, at the very least because you can “set it and forget it.” I know it’s working, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about each day.