Ep 20 – How Sean Carroll & James Batey Rebranded Their CrossFit Gym to Serve Busy Parents … and Grew 140% – Even During COVID-19

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Sean Carroll and James Batey, owners of Rebuild Health and Fitness, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, thought their business relied too much on their own efforts. They were always on the gym floor, or finding and signing up clients, and otherwise IN the business all the time.

The good news was they were making money. But there were no systems and the business wasn’t organized. They came to NPE for clarity, systems, and organization. 

With NPE, one of the first things they realized was their ideal client avatar needed adjustment. Professionals with children became the new client avatar. 

They rebranded the business and changed their programming to provide massive value to professionals with children. Client retention went way up, and they were able to charge more for their services. 

When COVID-19 hit, instead of shutting the business down, they saw it as a huge opportunity. 

They installed a new sales system and made premium offers to their new ideal clients. When Sean and James reopened their business, they signed up 38 people in the first month and their business grew 140% from the previous 12 months (even during COVID-19).

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How Sean and James started their journey as studio/gym owners
  2. The importance of getting a clear vision of who you want to serve
  3. How aligning your messaging and programming to an ideal client attracts more of the best people and allows you to serve them better
  4. How getting disciplined about numbers leads to higher levels of success
  5. How they recognized their strengths and leveraged them as leaders 
  6. How they decided to shift their focus during COVID-19 and took massive actions for re-opening
  7. How having a business coach made a difference in their journey to success
  8. And much, much more … 

Have questions about your business now? Schedule a free ‘Get Clarity’ Strategy Session​

It’s a crazy time for the fitness industry. No doubt you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed trying to figure everything out. We understand your pain and we’re here to help. Learn more about getting the support you need to win by scheduling a FREE 60-min ‘Get Clarity’ Strategy Session now. Here’s how it works, during your session we’ll:

  1. Quickly assess where you (and your business) are right now. 🔍
  2. Together, we identify the biggest opportunities to create an immediate impact on your business and create a strategic plan. 📋
  3. We’ll show you the systems, tools, and coaching you can use to implement and drive results. 📈
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Podcast Transcript

Ric Isaac:

Well, hey everyone, and welcome to another NPE student interview. It is Ric Isaac with you here. I have on my left, Sean Carroll, and on my right, James Batey. Great to have both of you on the call today, gentlemen.

James Batey:

Thanks, mate.

Sean Carroll:

Thanks, mate.

Ric Isaac:

It’s exciting stuff. I know that we’ve had a considerable amount of growth and lots of changes and challenges and successes along the way over the last few months. But why don’t you start off by telling everyone the business name, where you’re located, the model that you have now, and the type of clients that you love serving?

Sean Carroll:

We’re located in Wynnum West, just south of Brisbane. We’ve been operating as a gym for nearly seven years now. We are called now Rebuild Health and Fitness, formerly known as CrossFit 4178.

Sean Carroll:

Over the years, we’ve just sort of tried to position ourselves as the sort of one-stop shop for your sort of fitness needs, taking a very holistic approach to strength and conditioning. We’re just really starting to work towards helping or targeting just busy moms and dads, really. We’re sort of really narrowing in on that sort of market, because it’s the people we deal with most and we get the most enjoyment out of helping.

Ric Isaac:

I love it. I wanted to dive into the rebrand in a moment as well, because clearly that’s a significant move and shift. But before we jump into that, where were you guys from a business perspective before you started working with NPE? And what was the main reason to get involved with us here at NPE?

James Batey:

I think we… Go on, Sean.

Sean Carroll:

We were at a good place, but we were getting to a level where, we’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves and we didn’t know the next steps for us to get, say, from a medium level to a high end business where we sort of both really wanted to go. We were doing lots of little things, but we didn’t know where to start. Yeah, I think we just needed help around systemizing things, getting a clear plan forward, understanding the ins and outs of the business, and just helping us define a few things.

Ric Isaac:

Okay. So the business is going well. Before we go any further, what’s really interesting with you guys, as I discovered when we first had our original conversation and I did a bit of research on you guys, you guys… James, as we’ll hear from your accent, not from Australia. Sean, clearly you are. Where did you guys meet and when did you decide to go into business together?

James Batey:

We just did a podcast on this. Yeah.

Ric Isaac:

Perfect.

Sean Carroll:

Yeah. The Rebuild Health and Fitness podcast, if anyone’s interested.

Ric Isaac:

There you go.

James Batey:

I was doing CrossFit in the city at a gym, and you came down for a competition, right, Sean?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah.

James Batey:

Once and we sort of met at the competition, and we came up to train with you at CrossFit 4178. And then we just got quite friendly from there, from both being injury prone. And then we yeah, played rugby together. Then after that, we played for the same club as well, same position, same club. It sort of just blossomed from there. [crosstalk 00:03:30].

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, we liked-

James Batey:

Like three years ago? Bit over three years ago?

Sean Carroll:

2016, 2017, something like that. Yeah, three or four years. But yeah, we’ve sort of been speaking… We spoke for a while about getting you involved with some capacity, but just couldn’t justify it financially at the time, because you had quite a good job. So it’d be taking a sort of yeah, financial hit to come and work casually for me to try and build something full time. So when we finally made it work, it was just kind of like… Yeah, we just bit the bullet, James took a risk. So far so good.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, that’s good.

James Batey:

I never looked back. It was a good decision.

Ric Isaac:

I love it. It’s great to have you back on. I know a lot of people listening will be thinking, “Well, yeah, why did they decide to go into business together?” and then, “How have they been able to do it successfully?”

Ric Isaac:

I guess that’s part of what we were talking about. I mean, we’ll get to where you guys are now in a moment. But you said, Sean, that part of the conversation, and I remember us originally speaking, the three of us, about that systematization, I should say. It was also about you guys getting really efficient with your roles and not sort of doing the same thing twice, and really assigning clear responsibilities and roles for each other. Tell us a bit more about that from your perspective, James, and what that was like to sort of really get that organized and into more of a system?

James Batey:

Well, we just didn’t really have systems at the beginning. I suppose it was just two lads that were pretty good at what they did at the beginning, and the business sort of grew.

James Batey:

It grew a little bit… I wouldn’t say too fast, but it got to a stage where it was like, “Right, we need sort of help now.” We didn’t have any systems, any procedures, any… We had nothing in place. We were just coaching, so our work-life balance wasn’t great at the same time. We were always on the floor, we were always at the school, and then we were trying to grow a nutrition business in there as well. We were everywhere.

James Batey:

So I think one of the first things we sat down was like, “Yeah, we wanted systems…” We wanted to build the business to a place that if we don’t want it, if we ever wanted to sell it, we could go, “All right, boom. There you go. This is in place.”

James Batey:

I think we’ve worked through that. Honestly, it’s been a journey. And it’s evolved again still. So again, we’re in a different place now, but getting systems and procedures in places were massive, and actually feels a bit more like a business now, if that makes sense.

Ric Isaac:

I remember our original conversations and I appreciate you sharing that, James. Sean, I’ll throw to you now. Because that was one of the things you guys were saying that you grew to a level and you were successful from a financial standpoint, although you weren’t necessarily managing the numbers as well. But you still didn’t feel like you were successful business people because you didn’t have it all organized and it felt like you were both still winging it. Tell us a bit more about that, Sean.

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, it was one of those things like we thought we were doing the right thing by letting people come in, do a free trial, give them two weeks, and then we wouldn’t follow anyone up. We weren’t doing anything around marketing, trying to generate leads, chase leads. It was all word of mouth. And then yeah, I think, yeah, like James said, we just didn’t really have any structural plan.

Sean Carroll:

And then when we got on board with NPE and we went.. I think where it all really kicked off for us was when we went down to the Sydney workshop and for the first time, we were able to get outside the business and work on it rather than just in it. That was something that was probably our biggest weakness. We were always working in the business, not working on it. For us to be able to take that step back and delegate roles a little bit more and make sure if we need classes covered, the other coaches aren’t just asking us first, they were trying to organize things amongst themselves. (7’39)

Sean Carroll:

And then when we were down in Sydney, we really nailed down that AUTO-CLOSER presentation or sales system that NPE teach us. That’s been just fantastic in bringing in people that we want and making sure that anyone who’s potentially toxic to our environment, we don’t need to waste time with them. It sounds a bit harsh, but we’re cultivating a gym that we want people to be a part of. We don’t want anyone taking away from that community. Because one negative person can ruin a vibe.

James Batey:

The big one was realizing who our target market was. Really honing down on who we’re actually trying to get. Because yeah, at one point, you’re going after everything and everyone. So just once you start just nailing down about what you’re trying to get, who you’re trying to work with, things just came so much easier and simpler, and yeah, the process has been great from that.

James Batey:

But that was tough too, at the same time, to say, “All my marketing is going to go towards these people.” It’s like, “Yeah, but what about these people? What about these people? What about these people?” It’s like, “Just concentrate on that.”

Ric Isaac:

Well, let’s pause on that for a moment, because I know I have lots of conversations with people and they’re really nervous about diving into that niche or that niche, as we say in Australia. You guys made a significant shift at that point to really concentrate on that ideal client for you. Were you nervous doing that? Was there some fear that you were going to cut out a chunk of the market if you would have changed your focus?

James Batey:

Yeah, a little bit.

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, a little bit. But it was just-

James Batey:

No, but-

Sean Carroll:

It felt like the natural progression for us, because majority of our members anyway were starting to become or were moms and dads anyway. We were becoming parents. We’re charging a lot more now, but we were sort of in the higher rate anyway within the area. So the people who have decent disposable income for us were busy professionals who were parents. So it just made sense rather than us chasing kids who were in university who will look good on the Instagram feed. Yeah, it made more sense for us business-wise.

Sean Carroll:

Once we got our heads around that and we started making all these sales at our higher rate with the people we wanted, it was just… Yeah, there’s no looking back from that point.

James Batey:

Like you said, it was pretty much our target market anyway, we just didn’t realize it. The majority of people in our gym were that, it just never clicked.

Ric Isaac:

Right. So your marketing wasn’t aligned to who the target market was. You weren’t entering that conversation, their heads, so to speak. It was just more sort of random and unspecific.

James Batey:

Yeah, it was just every-

Sean Carroll:

Plus, we didn’t have any marketing.

James Batey:

Yeah, that’s it.

Ric Isaac:

Got you. Okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the rebrand. So you were CrossFit 4178, as you mentioned, and then you’ve rebranded into Rebuild Health and Fitness. Obviously, that was a shift away from that traditional model as well. Tell us more about that. What was the decision-making behind the rebrand? Were you nervous about doing that? And then what has it been like since you’ve rebranded?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, I think it was a very big step and there was a lot of nerves… For me anyway, there was a lot of nerves behind it, because we originally started as CrossFit 4178. But we always offered more than CrossFit, and it was one of our best and worst selling points. Everyone’s got these preconceived ideas about CrossFit, and there’s the gym up the road that was absolutely awful. People had a really bad experience with it. And then we’d get sort of thrown into that bubble. And then you get the stuff that [inaudible 00:11:30] were doing that were just… You couldn’t control what they were putting out, and sometimes it was really toxic information. Yeah, they were putting out.

Sean Carroll:

So it was just we were offering a lot more, plus we wanted to be able to tell our own story. We didn’t want people to have any preconceived ideas about what we were doing. We wanted to be able to tell that story ourselves and then experience it. Because people always come in and they’d be like, “This is nothing like I thought.” I was like, “Yeah, because we’re fucking better.”

James Batey:

Yeah.

Ric Isaac:

Got you. Did you want to elaborate on that, James?

James Batey:

No, I think that’s it. I think Sean probably… Obviously, he had owned the gym for a long time before I did, so he probably had that bit more attachment to CrossFit, where I was quite looking forward to rebranding. But I think that he did just say most of it, that it’s just being able to tell our story.

James Batey:

We offer so much more. We’ve got sort of physios and exercise physiologists and nutritionists all under one roof. Where you tell people you do CrossFit, they just straight away… You’re just under the same brush, and it’s tough. That’s CrossFit’s fault as well for allowing people to do a two day course and open a gym. Yeah, I think that’s it, the story.

James Batey:

But I think also CrossFit got us to a stage where we built a reputation. So I think we did do it quite smart too. There’s no regrets to that extent. For sure I was happy that it was a CrossFit gym initially. Plus, we still have trained in similar methodologies, but we can just put our own spin on it.

Ric Isaac:

Well, let’s talk about that for a moment, because you just mentioned… Obviously, as you talked about, Sean, you recognize that it was the moms and dads and those sort of busy professionals that you wanted to work with. How has the model shifted for you guys compared to a traditional CrossFit model? You talked about much higher prices and generating more revenue, which allows you to create an even better client experience. Talk to us about that. What’s that sort of model shift been like, and where were you and what is it now?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, I think it’s just, as I sort of mentioned earlier, we’re trying to be a holistic… Or we are a holistic strength and conditioning facility. In the early days, you’re always trying to design lost… I came from a strength and conditioning background.

Sean Carroll:

Anyway, everything we did was still periodized and designed around making people have progress. But I programmed for the athletes that we had, not just the everyday person. And I’d do some programming for myself, but I’d spend all day at the gym being able to recover properly, not taking into account all the other life stresses that people have going on. So now it’s just taking that little step back and being like, “Yeah, we can beat the shit out of people every day, make them jump over benches and all that… Make them chase or…” James says it quite well, I think. Yeah, it’s easy to make someone sweat, but it’s harder to make sort of long-term, sustainable change.

Sean Carroll:

So just changing the program slightly in terms of like there is no need for anyone in the general population to snatch. We don’t need to get our moms and dads snatching. You mention snatching in CrossFit as a way of expressing power. There’s a million other different ways we can do that too, and we don’t need to snatch through that. It’s just risk management. It’s just making sure people know they don’t need to flog themselves every day. If there’s a workout in your wheelhouse and you still want to find a bit of intensity, go for it.

Sean Carroll:

Just communicating with our moms around their menstrual cycle. We just held a pelvic floor seminar that is a topic that doesn’t often get spoken about. Yeah, just the nutrition side of things, sleep. We’re just trying to really look after people rather than make… We don’t want them just leaving, going, “That was a really good workout.” We want them leaving, going, “These guys are really taking care of us and looking after us long term.”

Ric Isaac:

Has the class size and that sort of thing changed or the… Clearly, your programming, as you mentioned, has. Has other elements of the service delivery changed?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, we just put a cap on our classes. We’ve got a rather large facility that we could sort of pack out the square meterage and do it that way, but I’d rather people pay more and have less people in the class to keep the quality high. I don’t want anyone to feel like just a number.

Sean Carroll:

So we cap it at 20. We have one or two coaches on, depending on the day and the class size. But that was always sort of a goal for us anyway. We’ve just set firm limits on it now so everyone knows what they’re getting into.

Ric Isaac:

You mentioned that you put your prices up. I know going through the business modeling tools, we had some questions around, “Well, would the market pay it?” and those sorts of things. James, what were your thoughts when you originally put the prices up and started to market to that more affluent crowd? But then also how much easier has it made it when you know you’re just working with one target market and managing a lot smaller numbers rather than having this much higher volume? Tell us a bit about that.

James Batey:

Yeah, the price rose a little bit. Because when I first came in, we put the price up. When I first came in, I think it was 40 to 50, and we’ve gone up to 70 now for a long contract. So a bid difference.

James Batey:

Also, I think it’s just been a lot more confident in your sales. Every time we were selling, no one was batting an eyelid. And then we’ll go, “All right, we’ll just put it up again.” And then no one bats an eyelid and you put it up again. Again, it just comes to confidence. We believe that there’s so much value in it. So when I’m asking people for that money, I don’t even blink. I think they’re lucky to be getting it. I do think if they get this, then that’s big.

James Batey:

The sales decks and the way that NPE have sort of constructed the sales processes is pretty phenomenal. I have no questions, I’m sure it’ll just keep going up as well.

Ric Isaac:

Well, and that’s an interesting point, isn’t it? Because clearly, and for those who don’t know you and certainly by listening to your podcast they’ll get to know you quickly, you guys are really passionate about helping people. You’re both family men now and fathers in your own right, and you really do care and want to make other’s lives more happy and successful as well. So the price increase has also enabled you to do other things too and reinvest in your own education and obviously create a better client journey. Tell us a little bit about that. What has that extra income allowed you to do and what sort of results has that enabled the business to achieve?

Sean Carroll:

Heaps, heaps. During COVID, while some gyms struggled, obviously, it was different for us as well, but I think nine out of 10 gyms in Australia had to go on JobKeeper. We weren’t even close to qualifying, because we were still able to demonstrate value to all of our members. They could see that whilst we were closed, we were doing everything we can to make improvements to the gym, make improvements to the service we’re offering, and be able to do that quickly because we had money in the bank.

Sean Carroll:

We’ve renovated our offices, now that James is in, to make a really clean sales presentation. I think we’ve invested over $20,000 back into the gym at the start of the year, just to put in this giant ass fan, which was nice. Yeah, all the little things. Just painting, new signage.

James Batey:

Just time away too. We were coaching a lot more, even just a few months ago. It didn’t even click, really. I spoke to Sean about it a couple of months ago. It didn’t even click how less we’re coaching now, if that makes sense. Because it just sort of naturally happened like, “You’d come off the floor. Here, you’d come off the floor.”

James Batey:

I think Sean is obviously busy at Iona. But you coach, what, two, more than an afternoon currently?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah.

James Batey:

Yeah. So I just do three days now instead of four. So it’s just having so much more of that balance and then more time to obviously just work on the business a little bit more. Like I said, Sean’s at home now working and we can do that now.

Ric Isaac:

That’s a big shift, isn’t it? You talked about this, James, a few minutes ago, when you were successful in a way that you had clients, you were making money, you were paying yourselves, but you had no work-life balance. You’ve got two kids now, James?

James Batey:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Ric Isaac:

And you’ve just had your first, Sean?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah.

Ric Isaac:

So how has that changed now, and how is that for you guys? I know we’re going to lose you in a few minutes, James, because you’re going to go on and pick one of your kids up. Which before, was just trying to cram it all in, right? Tell us how that’s changed and how your lifestyles have improved now.

James Batey:

I think it’s just like you just have a different vision now for the future a little bit. You know that there’s time. You know that there’s time off.

James Batey:

Again, yeah, about balance. There’s no Saturday mornings, I don’t work Friday afternoons. So I’m very happy to come to work because I know what I’m going home to as well. I know that every night if I want, I get to bath Alfie and put him to bed, and do the same with Hallie. I think the little things… I think kids just grow up super fast. I know it’s quite cliche, but they do. I think if you’re just working all the hours and all the afternoons, before you know it, it’s gone.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah. Did you want to add to that, Sean?

Sean Carroll:

No, I completely agree. We’ve worked really hard to develop a good balance, not just for us, but for our coaches as well. They know their roles. It’s still a work in progress, but I think yeah, we’re definitely working in… Yeah, not coaching as much anymore. I’ve got more time at home. So I’ll be able to jump off this, hang out with Leo for a little bit.

Sean Carroll:

Last week or the week before I was crook, I was away the whole week, and everything was still able to run without me. Previously, that would cause all kinds of stress on everyone. But we’re in a better place now where we can adapt. I know when holidays come up, it’s just yeah, we’re happy to pick up… If me and James need to pick up a couple extra shifts, that’s fine, because we know it comes around again for both of us.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah. Yeah, I love it. Well look, we will have international listeners to this. Let me just translate quickly. You were talking about the numbers earlier, James. So you were at $42 a week and now you’ve gone to that 70 plus per week, just for those who bill more on a monthly basis. And then for those who have just heard what Sean said, crook means that you were sick, right? You were under the weather. There will be people going, “Crook?”

Sean Carroll:

Got the man flu.

Ric Isaac:

Man flu. No one knows how horrific that is except if you’re a man and you’ve had it. But that’s really exciting, isn’t it? I think that’s something really important that you mentioned there, James, that your view of the future now is so much more exciting and you love going into work and clearly, you guys have got a passion. But now it’s also not running red line all the time and putting yourself under immense pressure and stress. You are able to take a step back and smell the roses a bit as well.

James Batey:

Yeah. I think the big thing was as well, obviously with Sean and myself, is just knowing your numbers better and understanding it. In the past, we just didn’t. We just said, “How much money we got in the bank? All right, we’ll spend it then.” We’ll do something instead of actually having cashflow there and projecting so you can sort of… Yeah, learning the numbers was massive, because we were clueless. We were just bringing in sales. Make a sale and then crack on. You were just spinning the wheel. You were just spinning the wheel, but you didn’t really understand anything bar how to be a good coach.

Sean Carroll:

Retention was-

Ric Isaac:

Well, that’s… Sorry, go ahead.

Sean Carroll:

I was just going to say just on that, retention was massive for us as well. The little things that we’ve learned from you guys to help us retain clients. Because I think before we joined NPE, it was about… We were signing up lots of people, but then people were just leaving every now and then. So we’d end up… It’d be almost one for one. But now, yeah, it’s definitely not that.

Ric Isaac:

Well, that’s the thing. Now that you’ve gotten really clear on that vision, you’ve created that community, and you mentioned, Sean, you refuse to allow anyone who doesn’t want to be an active part of that community in, so there’s no toxicity in there or negative vibe. What would you say that the biggest challenges were for you guys? Clearly, your own leadership has been a significant step up. You mentioned the team and getting them into a state where they feel well looked after and there’s clear reporting structures in there as well. What have the biggest challenges been for you guys over this last period and really sort of coming up to 12 months now in terms of the growth of the business?

Sean Carroll:

Sorry, my alarm is going off. For me, it was probably just getting my head around the numbers, because it was something that I’d never done before. I think like with learning any new skill, that’s where the challenge is. But now it’s just like my Monday morning thing, I go through the CashDash. Definitely gets easier as we go along.

Sean Carroll:

And then just, I think, cutting ourselves a little bit of slack in the sense that we would try and do a lot, and we’d get 80% done in everything. It’s still a battle that we deal with. But yeah, we’d get to like 80% done of everything, then we’d sort of move on to something else. Whereas now, we’re just really focusing on trying to complete the task.

Sean Carroll:

It may not feel like we’re moving at an amazing pace, but when we stop and look back over the last 12 months, yeah, we’ve come so far. I think we were up in the middle of COVID. We were up like 140% on what we were bringing in during the middle of COVID compared to what we were last year, and we were in a really good place last year.

Ric Isaac:

Excellent. Yeah. Yeah, that’s amazing. James, I know we’re going to lose you shortly due to school pick up. What would you say the… I mean, unless you had anything to add to Sean. What were your biggest challenges or what were the biggest lessons learned for you?

James Batey:

I think it’s just understanding your roles. I think that was the big one outside of it. Yes, you coach, but we’re away from it. We sort of had the chat and we naturally fell into it. So Sean will do a lot of the admin side of things and a lot of the numbers. I’m from a bit of a sales background, so I rekindled the love for sales again. Yeah, well, I don’t like not getting over the edge.

James Batey:

So I think just defining roles was a big one. Yeah, that’s been the helping hand. It just makes things easier. Because then if things aren’t done, we know who it’s on, and we can just take full responsibility for ourselves. Makes the chat easier.

Ric Isaac:

I really distinctly remember the conversation when we talked about you guys having a very loose meeting schedule, or schedule for those in the US. By loose I mean there really wasn’t one. It was conversations in corridors. It was just grabbing five minutes here and there. How has that been different from you now that you’ve got those reporting structures to each other, but also with the team reporting to you as well?

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, every Monday, James and I sit down and we’ve just blocked out a slot in the morning for a couple hours where we just sit down and go through the little tasks we need to individually, plus sort of bounce off any ideas or things we need to discuss for the week.

Sean Carroll:

And then in terms of our keeping in touch with our coaches, we’re just a little bit more onto it with our WhatsApp group, making sure anytime there’s a new member signed up, we send them full details about that member. Put little notes in [inaudible 00:28:01] next to their athlete profile, so everyone’s sort of on the same page and no coaches are surprised by anyone who rocks up. So if someone has a dodgy knee, for example, everyone knows who that person is, what they can and can’t do. I think yeah, everyone’s just a lot better at communicating with each other, which was something that we thought we were doing well before. But in hindsight, we weren’t. We’re just doing it a lot better now.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, that’s awesome, isn’t it? I mean, they use the… Well, not everyone knows it, but the TV show, Cheers, where you go on, everyone knows your name. But you guys have gone to even the next level. They not only know your name, but also know your medical history as well. So that immediate client experience, even though they haven’t met the trainer, the trainer knows about them and how to adjust workouts. I mean, that’s a massive increase in service delivery, isn’t it? It really creates that wow factor for the clients.

James Batey:

Yeah, it’s huge. Really is.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, look, I know you guys have had significant growth. You just talked about being up 140% during COVID, right in the smack bam in the middle of it, which most people will find amazing. What would your advice be for others? I mean, clearly, you guys have jumped in. I remember our early conversations about the numbers. Let’s be honest, it was a little challenging at the start there, wasn’t it? To get those-

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, definitely.

Ric Isaac:

… done every week. Because no one wants to do the numbers. I’m sure a bunch of people listening to this will say, “Well, why? Why is it even important?” That’s given you a lot of freedom to have articulate conversations and to be able to analyze where the business is at. What would your advice be for others? People who are either maybe struggling through COVID, or maybe they’ve been on a case for that period, but they now want to and desire to get more work-life balance, and to help more people and to run a better business. What would you advise them on?

James Batey:

Get a coach. Someone asked it on the podcast the other day. They’re like, “Did you think you would be where you are now? And if you could do anything, what would you do differently?” I just said I would have got a business coach earlier. That would be my biggest thing definitely. Yeah, that’d be the biggest thing.

James Batey:

I think some people just don’t want to ask for help or they think they’re going okay, and sometimes maybe they’re not. But I think if you have a coach that’s honest, which yeah, you guys are honest. Sean’s very honest. But it’s just a lot easier. I think it’s just a great investment. Really is a great investment. So I would yeah, get a coach.

Sean Carroll:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that was a big step, but it was one that yeah, I think we both agree and we’re very glad that we did.

Sean Carroll:

And then for me more so from a personal point of view, I think it was just really trying to keep a growth mindset with everything business related. So with the numbers, it’s kind of one of those things where I was like, “Fuck, I don’t want to put in my expenses because I don’t want to know.” Just kind of like ignorance is bliss.

James Batey:

[crosstalk 00:31:08].

Sean Carroll:

But now it’s like if we suck at something, then… And if someone like yourself or Sean, who’s been in the game for such a long time, is telling us to do it, and if we suck at it, then rather than being like, “Fuck, I’m not going to worry about it.” It’s like, “Okay, this is an opportunity. Let’s get better at it,” and it’s going to have a flow-on effect elsewhere. Yet to be proven wrong by that.31’28

Sean Carroll:

I think in the middle of COVID when we’re sitting there and we found out gyms are going to go into lockdown, me and James were sitting in the office and James was a bit stressed and rightly so. He’s like, “We’re going to have to shut down. It’s going to be shit.” And I was like, “This is going to be great. It’s going to be the best thing that happened for us, because we’re going to have time. We’re going to have a lot more time to do all the little things we wanted to do.”

Sean Carroll:

When things opened up again, we had a brand new sales system, brand new office, prices are going up again. We signed up… It was like 38 people in that first month we opened up again.

Ric Isaac:

Wow. Yeah, and clearly, because I know you were communicating heavily with your existing members at that time, making sure that they knew what was going on and really keeping them abreast and keeping them motivated during that period as well, giving them little motivational tips and ways in which they could maintain their fitness and obviously still working with you virtually too. So it’s really been awesome.

Ric Isaac:

I’ll tell you guys, you guys have really stepped into some of those harder things, numbers being one of them. You just mentioned it then, Sean, as well. Not wanting to look at or thinking, “No, that’s all right. We do it fine.” That sort of, “We’re okay.” Well, really thinking, “Well, hang on, let’s see if this is an opportunity to get better.”

Ric Isaac:

And then as you said, James, you can have a coach, but are you coachable? They’re not always the same thing. So you guys have been amazing and you’ve really stepped into some of those areas or opportunities for improvement, and seeing them exactly as that. You haven’t got defensive when something’s been brought to your attention. And as you mentioned, James, we’re honest and sometimes brutally honest at times, because that’s what a coach does, right? You don’t want a coach to sugarcoat things and say, “Well, that’s okay if it’s not.” That’s all part of it. But yeah, it’s been exciting.

Ric Isaac:

You touched on the vision or the future being exciting for you, James. I’ll wrap up on this one. What’s a thing that excites you most about the future for you and Rebuild?

James Batey:

I think as Rebuild, I just think we’re very much cemented now. In our area, I think everyone knows who Rebuild are now. We’re the place that people connect. So I think this has cemented. So then there’s a lot of other opportunities coming off the back of this. I don’t know where they’ll take us, but we would feel confident again in… Say for example we wanted to do another business, we would feel confident enough that we can do that. We’d probably think a lot more like businessmen now, and that’s how I’ll think long into the future. Is coaching something that we’ll do forever? Probably not. But I’d say gym-owning is.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, I love it. How about you, Sean?

Sean Carroll:

It’s hard to say. You look five years ago, I would never picture being in the position we are in now. But I know in five years time, we’ll be in a lot better place than we are now again. Like as James said, just more and more opportunities are presenting themselves to us. We’ve got so much more room to grow and develop in all kinds of different areas still. I think that’s an exciting part. We’re nowhere near the finish line, and we don’t really want to be either. We want to keep pushing forward.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, that’s awesome. I know there’ll be a bunch of people who will be inspired listening to this, because they’re thinking about going through a rebrand themselves or telling their own story, as you guys said, or now thinking, “Well, maybe I should really have a look at those numbers and potentially explore some coaching as well.”

Ric Isaac:

So thank you so much for your time, guys. I know you’re both busy fathers as well as business owners. I love that you’re looking at everything from a business perspective now, and also viewing it as opportunities for growth. We’ve got to mark this spot, because you guys will be doing even bigger and better things and having a bigger impact on the health and wellness of the community that you serve as you go on. So thanks so much for your time, Sean and James. Really appreciate it. Yeah, we’ll keep an eye on you guys and revisit in a few months when the next win has been on board. But congratulations for surviving and growing and thriving through COVID. We’ll speak to you both very soon.

James Batey:

Cheers, mate. Thank you.

Sean Carroll:

Thanks, mate.

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