Ep 17 – How Tim Frey Ignored His Critics, Changed His Model, Raised His Rates, and Had His Best Month Ever – During COVID-19

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Tim Frey, the owner of Helix Gym, Perth, Australia, had signed up with NPE and nearly doubled his business in the first 3 months of 2020, to $12k a week ($48k/month). The success felt amazing and he was ready to keep growing. 

Then COVID-19 hit and the government declared restrictions, throwing the fitness industry as a whole and his gym in particular into chaos. His business model had included a powerful experience of group training classes of 40 people or so, with lots of music and energy. With the new distancing requirements, he was only allowed 9 people in the gym at a time. 

Listen now to hear how Tim: 

  • Transitioned his business model away from group training and into semi-private training involving 9 people at most.
  • Changed his pricing so that fewer people would pay more money and increase profitability.
  • Increased client value so that clients would be willing to pay the premium rates.
  • Got help with sales from his staff, because he could not manage all of these things and sell at the same time
  • And much much more. 

Finally, when Tim came up with an action plan, he had to overcome the objections of … well, almost everyone else except his head coach. 

He took a leap of faith and went for it. He changed his business model to semi-private with 9 people in the gym at a time; he raised his rates 30%; he trained his staff on the sales process; and he increased value to clients. 

Result: After a couple of months, things began to rapidly improve. Tim’s business had its best month ever, and Tim didn’t do any of the selling. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How Tim overcame his fear and focused on the sales and the numbers during COVID-19
  2. How he transitioned from group training to semi-private training
  3. How he created more value for his clients (which became a vital turning point for the business)
  4. How he trained his staff members on the sales process and hit his best month ever in sales
  5. The importance of practicing faith no matter what your peers say
  6. How he raised his rates and communicated with his clients and staff
  7. Why his leadership development as a fitness business owner had such an impact on his business
  8. Why it mattered so much to have a coach who has achieved success and knows how to overcome similar challenges
  9. And 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:

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Podcast Transcript

Ric Isaac:

Well hi everyone, and welcome to another NPE interview. I have with me today the one and only Mr. Tim Frey. Great to have you on the call today, Tim.

Tim Frey:

Thanks for having me, man. Excited to share, and hope I can give some value bombs to the viewers, the gym owners, personal trainers, wherever you’re at and whatever you’re doing I’m sure I could help you out with some stories.

Ric Isaac:

Well, you’re certainly the man with the experience; we’re going to dive into that more as we go along. But before we get into that, where are you based out of and what’s your business model, Tim?

Tim Frey:

So I’m in Perth, western Australia, most isolated city in the world they say. Business model is a small group, semi-private style strength and conditioning. So think like collegiate USA strength and conditioning, we kind of run that with a general pop flair in Perth.

Ric Isaac:

Gotcha. Right. I mean, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of what you’ve just described there, but you’ve had a shift in your business model recently, too, which we’re going to talk about as well. Before we dive into that, where was the business before you started working with NPE?

Tim Frey:

Before we started working with NPE, it was… I remember looking at my profit and loss, and it was a couple of years where it was pretty similar. It was like three years it was pretty similar, and I was like, you know what, maybe I need a coach, a really good coach at that. And I was like, well, I had a really good experience with NPE last time we worked together. Sean and yourself were great coaches, so I just thought maybe I’ll reach out, have a chat with you. Things were good, and then automatically when I did the business assessments, I noticed there was heaps of flaws in my business from a sales point of view, marketing point of view, system processes, procedures, which was good to kind of just be like, “All right, this is the problems. Here’s the solution. Sean and the NPE crew can definitely help me out with those.” So then plugged away those. When I can do something, I go pretty hard at it, so I had most of the stuff figured out pretty quickly, and then the coaching since has been pretty good.

Tim Frey:

But yeah, since then we went crazy. I think we were with NPE for three months before COVID hit. We were going nuts. I think we nearly doubled the business in that three month period. We were getting towards some really good big numbers each week. I think before COVID, we were doing about 12K a week, which was big for where we’re at for a small kind of smallish facility in Perth. And then yeah, COVID-19 hit and everyone got kicked.

Ric Isaac:

It was a big challenge. And obviously we’re still in it, still working through it. You mentioned there, obviously that you had that huge growth. And I remember at the time, one of the significant things that happened was to really upscale your team on their ability to show people the value and get those really committed clients. Can you share a little bit about what that was like, training on the sales process?

Tim Frey:

Yeah. So NPE have the AUTO-CLOSER, which is a really good sales system which we’ve adopted. And also the videos on training and sales. Because the bottom line was that I can’t call 150 people for inquiries; it’s got to be outsourced to the team. So was kind of uploading the team in the sales process, how to do it, objection handling, all those types of things so they can handle it. So currently my business, I don’t do any sales at all at the moment, and my team run all the sales. We had our best sales month ever last month, and I didn’t do any of the sales. And that was all just down to training the team to make sales, and NPE’s system helped me out with that heaps.

Ric Isaac:

So I’m sure a lot of people just spilled their coffee or their tea. So let’s just go back over that again. You trained the team, and as we know in this industry, not a lot of trainers are passionate about selling. A lot of them have got issues or concerns or beliefs that are outdated about that. So you’re able to get your team to really take on that role, and have a really good go at it. And now you’re not doing any of the sales and you had your best sales month ever last month, and you were not involved in any of the sales. Right?

Tim Frey:

Yeah, 100%. So I handle more of the marketing stuff at the moment. I trained on my head coach in it, she’s quite passionate about it. I put in a commission based structure into it. So for every sale they make, they get commission for like our intro deal, and then on top of that they get, of the reoccurring revenue they get a split of that as well. So there is a financial incentive of it, and then obviously we’ve set targets. So if we hit each target, they get incentives, incentives, incentives.

Tim Frey:

I guess, yeah, they’re very passionate about the product as well, which helps heaps. So we had head coach, trained head coach in sales; she helped me train out to our C coach; and then we hired a sales guy who’s commission only. So we have three people that make sales now, so if anyone goes down, we can still handle the quality of leads that we need to grow. Because as everyone’s aware, fitness businesses’ true growth, the number one thing is to make sales. Even if we have a 5 to 10% churn rate after a year, all our clients are going to be gone on that and we’re going to have to replace those clients to even just maintain.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah. Well, that’s a big one. And we talked about, you know, you mentioned the AUTO-CLOSER sales system and how it’s really aligned your team, because they’re passionate about the service, but they also now recognize that that’s about inspiring potential clients to make that commitment. So you end up with a better renewal process and they stay for longer, but you’ve got a great community as well that are all really committed to getting the results.

Tim Frey:

Yes.

Ric Isaac:

It’s just fantastic.

Ric Isaac:

So we talked about COVID, obviously that hitting and throwing a bit of a spanner in the works. That’s caused a lot of businesses to really reassess the service delivery and what they’re looking to do and how they’re looking to do it. And you yourself, Tim, have gone through a bit of a metamorphosis, if you like, in terms of that model, and you’ve changed the way that you deliver the service. Tell us more about that, and what was the catalyst to make that decision, and then how has that process been?

Tim Frey:

When I first moved back from the States, it was like six years ago, I started with NPE shortly after that, and I was training like one person at a time; two on one, three on one, four on one, five on one, six on one, seven on one. And then I moved into a big gym and then all of a sudden it’s 20 on one. And then we were packing our classes. 20; the next class has shown up, we got 40 people in the building at the same time. And then it’s just nonstop like that. It was pretty mental.

Tim Frey:

So it was a lot of group training, we were running quite a complex model. And we would just go to a point where it was like crazy music, drum and bass, shirts off, people go nuts. We still do that stuff, but I thought to myself, it’s like, the quality of what we do can’t be shown me because there’s too many people, so we can’t coach that many people anymore for the product that we wanted to have. So the metamorphosis was… I was like, cool.

Tim Frey:

So the new restrictions had come in and we were only allowed to train, with the square meters which we had, we only trained nine people. So I just rebuilt the gym, got everything set up, nine squat racks. We’ve got enough weights for nine stations. Everything was about nine. So max capacity now is nine people per class from 20. And then we’ve changed from large group training to small group, semi-private depending on the session and who’s in it. Along with that, we run open gym, 24 hour, you can come in and do your own thing on top of that as well, just as an extra value adds. And then we increased the price by about 30% on most memberships. Which has been good, and it’s allowed us to give more value to the client in terms of coaching. The coaching time has essentially doubled, which has been definitely a good thing.

Ric Isaac:

It’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Because the volume aspect of a larger group training model is certainly appealing, whether it’s sort of… I know yours wasn’t bootcamp style, it’s much more coach-specific and that, but it’s a challenge in this current period, isn’t it? Because with the restrictions that are in place and reviewing models and as you said, which I think is a key point there, the quality of coaching can’t be what we want it to be, and that specific adjustment and technique and motivation and queues, et cetera, doesn’t allow you over the lever. So it’s a big shift, though. I mean, it’s a shift for your team, it’s a shift for your existing clients too. Tell us more about that process and how it worked.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. Just on that, so with large group training, you just get lumped into the bootcamp, F45, CrossFit, like that kind of category, and we were so different to that. I thought we were different. The market probably said we weren’t that different, but now we are different because we [inaudible 00:08:51] way less people. In terms of the shift for the team, to be honest, it was chaos at the time. I mean, I announced it and everyone was freaking out, man. Like, my head coach was probably the only person that was backing me in the process, and was like, “Yeah, we can do this,” and everyone else, like my clients, like my family, my friends were like, “What are you doing, mate? This is not going to be a good move.” And then I just stuck to my guns. Practiced faith, had some courage. One of the NPE co-principals did it. It was an absolute… Yeah, I’m probably not going to swear on this, but it was chaos at the time. For the first week, there was some stuff that went on.

Tim Frey:

But yeah, it was a big shift. Classes were a lot quieter. Obviously we had a bit of turnover at the time. Took us probably about 10 weeks to really get back on our feet after that big loss… well, not big loss of clients, but lots of clients, to get us back up to the revenue levels we were at previously. But now we’ve rebuilt. The systems are good. The margins are good. The processes are good. The amount of people in classes is good. So from a business point of view, it was a good thing to do, but I definitely did chop off my leg for a second there and hope it grew back. And it did grow back, which was fantastic.

Ric Isaac:

I really appreciate you being so open with that as well, because a lot of people don’t make decisions because of that influence that you mentioned; your family, your friends, those outside saying, “No, no, no.” But I love how you brought in the success principles in terms of having courage and practicing faith. And it was a bit scary because clearly you did lose some clients, because it’s a shift, and as you mentioned, I mean, you increased the prices by 30%. It’s a big chunk there. So this is all during COVID, right? So without the [crosstalk 00:10:37] coming down, you’re remodeling.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. We’ve reopened, and we had so many clients that we couldn’t even… Sessions were so busy because everyone was off for like eight weeks or something and then they wanted to train, and then we could only have nine people in a class anyway. And then the money amounts wasn’t right. And then Sean, the owner of NPE was like, “Dude, you just got to do it.” And I was like, “Oh man.” I didn’t want to do it. I had anxiety, wasn’t sleeping; it was scary as… And then I did it. But yeah, pure chaos.

Ric Isaac:

Well done. Because look, it’s a shift that, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of businesses are looking to do now, because as you quite rightly pointed out, the churn, people are going to leave. And you’ve got to just ramp the marketing so much with a service which isn’t as personalized, which is why a lot of people are moving to that small group, that semi-private model. And clearly from an administrative point, you’re dealing with less than half the number of people, so it’s a lot less work and management, right?

Tim Frey:

Man, it has been fantastic since we did it. Like, it was great. Usually I’d get a couple of shitty messages on Sunday, people like, “Oh, I’m not feeling it. I want to cancel.” Like blah, blah, blah. Anyone that stayed is an absolute legend. Haven’t had a single cancel since we implemented it, haven’t had a single message of anyone… Everyone shows up, attendance rates are awesome. Everyone’s happy. There’s good vibes in the gym. None of those bad clients that you typically get with a lower price point service, which is great. I knew they were all going to go, which was kind of relieving. But yeah, it’s been probably one of the best things I ever did for the business.

Ric Isaac:

So let’s just recap on that for a second because it is important numbers here. You’re going through the COVID situation. You’ve been compromised in terms of the type of service that you can deliver because of government mandates. You’ve recognized that you wanted and needed to make a model change anyway. So you’ve moved to a maximum of nine per class, delivered a much more premium quality of service. You’ve increased your prices by 30%, and you lost a chunk of clients but you stayed true to your vision. And you’ve now come out the other side with far less headaches, better quality clients, more committed clients, and the community’s even stronger, and your revenues jumped up to back to where you were prior to the COVID [crosstalk 00:13:01].

Tim Frey:

Yeah, we’re getting close. We’re getting close. Yeah. The sales numbers are coming in. But we’re converting just as many sales now as we were previously pre-COVID, and that is where the 30% increase in price point… The only people that were pissed off were current clients on grandfather rights and that weren’t really committed anyway.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, and that’s a hard one, isn’t it? Because a lot of people know that, or they feel that they need to put their prices up, they need to charge more, but there really is that worry that you’re going to lose everyone. From what it looks like, you lost some of those who weren’t a good fit anyway, but now that you’ve got the sales system in place and your team are using it you can show anyone the value, and you’re getting that much more committed clients.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. I just printed that our client list, and then just went through and highlighted the ones that I knew would be 100% in, and then I just color coded it. And then I had like a ‘we’ll be okay’ number, ‘we’ll be good’ number, and then ‘we’ll be really good’ number. Yeah, it was near the bottom of that. But you know, we were okay. We survived.

Ric Isaac:

And it’s a significant shift, isn’t it? Because you know, it’s an incredibly challenging period. And some of the people listening to this will be wondering whether they’re going to make it out of this COVID situation, and whether it’s actually going to keep the business afloat. Whereas, as you said, you’ve got the right margins, you’re rewarding the staff, the staff are on board with the new model, everyone’s delivering a better service, and your reputation is growing in the community as well. So what were some of the lessons that you learned from going through that model change, Tim?

Tim Frey:

I’d say, just make sure you’re a premium price service, because you will avoid the bottom feeders and headaches. I’ve never had dramas from people that were in the higher price point memberships. They were always way more chill with everything, and they were way hassle.

Tim Frey:

The other lessons probably would be, open communication with clients, and just being as transparent and upfront as possible throughout the period. I was very transparent with my members through the whole period. I basically just told them this is not going to work and we were going to go bankrupt if we had to keep doing the same thing. I think in these times it was important for us to be transparent.

Tim Frey:

The other thing was just to show leadership, because in a time there’s a lot of sheep. Not everyone wants to be a sheep, but people want to be sheep. And you need to be a leader, and there has to be a leader in each community. Generally people are looking towards the owner and the coaches for you to be leaders, if they don’t have leaders in their life. And then leadership, for me as the owner of the business, was super important to my staff. I usually just go head first into things and then everyone else just falls behind and things just work out. So that’d probably be my top three.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, love it. And it’s great to have that awareness as well about your own role in this, because it is a scary time in people’s, in everyone’s communities, right? There’s a lot of people leaving with that stress, worry and fear. And there’s a lot of people thinking, “Well, I can’t grow my business right now because people won’t pay that sort of money in terms of the price.” You know, those who have got an existing bootcamp model; what would you say to them, for those who are fearing that they couldn’t put prices up otherwise they wouldn’t be able to attract the right people, or enough people?

Tim Frey:

People that are fearing it… Yeah. Just do your calculations and worst case scenarios, and if that works out. But generally, if you’re providing enough of a service and value to people, it’s going to justify it, especially with the relationship component. So, you know, value equals client experience plus results plus relationship. You can have a really good relationship, you are getting results, and there is a client experience; the value is up, and that could justify a higher price point. Depends how you word it and do the wording and communication with your clients, et cetera. But it’s definitely in terms of, you got to do business for your clients, but you got to do business for you as well, and if the money math doesn’t work out for you, what’s the point of having a business?

Ric Isaac:

It’s a great point. And obviously you recognize [inaudible 00:16:59] had to change, and you did, which was awesome. Your staff are obviously on board, they’re well trained in the operations. You mentioned that you’re doing more of a marketing side of things. How important was it to reanalyze who your ideal client was and make sure that all of your messaging and content was appealing more to that higher level client, the client who spends more with you?

Tim Frey:

Yeah, it doesn’t… In terms of our messaging, I just, I go through the client avatar sheets with NPE, and then I’ll write out our two main demographics, so it’d be the male and female demographics; just their pains, gains wants, needs, desires, what they think they need, what they actually need, and then basically we would craft our marketing message around each of those. One of my coaches handles our social media, and I give him both those sheets and then he has tasks and stuff that he needs to complete per day, according to our target market. He will go and do the social media and then I will write email, copy and ad copy and those type of things to those.

Tim Frey:

But generally the way our stuff is branded, it’s more like a performance kind of thing. Like, snatch, clean, muscle ups, handstands, those sorts of things. And then the imaging around our copy is performance with [inaudible 00:18:16] people. So people can see that it is a little bit different to what is out there at the moment. I guess with the premium feel and look does come the price tag, and I think most people are quite aware of that.

Ric Isaac:

Because it’s an interesting one, isn’t it? A lot of people in time of crisis, instead of being brave and as you did, analyze the numbers and the business, they’ll now get very nervous and they’ll want to pull back. How many people who have decreased their prices right now?

Tim Frey:

Bad move.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah. Lost as many clients as you did because people get fearful, and now they’ve got a business which is racing…

Tim Frey:

To the bottom.

Ric Isaac:

To the bottom. Yeah, exactly.

Tim Frey:

That’s it. Knowing your numbers, the KPIs and monthly metrics and that kind of stuff, if you know the money math of the business, and what the profit is, and what’s going out and what’s coming in, then it’s much easier to make decisions. I think like you guys say, with business owners that don’t know how much is coming in, how many leads, sales, prospects, all these sorts of things, you’ll be stuck in a boat without a paddle, because you have no idea. You’re flying blind.

Tim Frey:

And in these situations there’s so much pessimism out there that people are going to be thinking the worst anyway. Even without actually knowing the true numbers of things, you could probably going to think it’s way worse than it actually is, and then that’s going to guide your decisions. Because I know that’s… Like, before I get on my team meeting every week on Monday morning, I do our numbers and I’m like, “Oh, that was a much better week than I thought it was,” because just the natural pessimism of the time at the moment. But yeah, things are generally going to be all good once you analyze the numbers, or you know where you’re at.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, it’s a great point that you make there. The other one too is the staff. A lot of people are fearful that they’re going to lose staff… And that’s not during a COVID situation; that’s part of the problem, but just in general. You talked about getting the staff really engaged with the numbers and the business as well. Not that they know spreadsheets and that sorts of stuff, but you talked about having those commission based incentives depending on what the business does for success and how you’re sharing. Can you just tell us a bit more about that?

Tim Frey:

Yeah. So in terms of numbers, we do go through numbers every week. We have our Monday morning meeting at 11:00 AM. All staff are on it, it’s a Zoom meeting. I’ll go through the KPIs of the business and individual KPIs of every staff member. So it’s like, number of clients, sales, trials sold, trial value, ad spent, cost per lead, all those type of things so everyone’s aware of the fluctuations and how we did. And then I’ll rate last week on an A, B, B+, C+ kind of level, and then we’ll go through the individual KPIs.

Tim Frey:

In terms of the commission structure: so they’ll get… all that onboarding is done in six week blocks. We have a full onboarding process for six weeks for our new clients. Let’s say it’s the first initial assessment, then they’ll have their nutrition assessment, two week check-in, four week check-in, six week check-in, and then that’ll be the accountability coach for that period. They’ll get a fee for signing that person up, and commission, and then they have the opportunity to on-sell them into a three, six, or twelve month membership, where they’ll also get a commission for as well, just depending on which one the person joins up for. They’ve got two opportunities for each person to make a sell and then any referrals they get off that person as well. So they get their wage, or they get their hourly, or they get whatever they’ve got, and then they’ve got other opportunities depending on how hard they want to work for making money as well.

Ric Isaac:

It’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Because a lot of people are super fearful of sharing numbers in the business, because they think that the staff, if you’re successful, then they’re going to demand more money or there’s going to be a revolt, a mutiny on your hands. What did you find with becoming really transparent? You mentioned being really transparent in communication with your clients, but how’s that been for staff, especially with the numbers?

Tim Frey:

Yeah, it’s been fine. I guess it depends on the staff. There are certain types of people that want more. I guess I’ve got no problem with giving up a percentage of the business to a good coach or staff member or someone that wants to take it a little bit further. Having a small piece of something huge is fantastic is better than having a small piece of… or a big piece of something small. So I’ve got no problems with that.

Tim Frey:

For me, my biggest thing is having something that changes a lot of people’s lives. You know, we want to change 10,000 people’s lives. I know I can’t do that by myself. I know I need a team to do that, so I’m willing to give up pieces of pie. My coaches and team, they’re not stupid. They know that it’s cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars to open this facility and it’s taken me 10 years to do it. Like, it’s not an overnight thing. And then on top of that, they’ve got to learn sales, marketing, finance, tactics, all those types of things on top of it.

Tim Frey:

But yeah, like being transparent has been, it’s been good. I don’t tell them the exact number that we make, but I say, “Here’s our clients, here’s our trials.” They could probably work it out or get close to working it out. But on that, business has so many expenses, like a brick and mortar facility. People can do the money math and be like, “100 x 100 means he’s making 10 grand a week. So Tim’s taking home 10 grand a week!” But people aren’t that’s silly. They know that there are lots of outgoings that go in there.

Ric Isaac:

I think that’s really impressive. And obviously you’ve created a community, not just amongst your members, but that smaller community amongst your staff. Everyone’s supporting everyone, as well, and you’re all working towards that common goal, and you’re clear on what that is. And like we know with fitness, right, if we don’t have a goal to work towards, what are we really doing? It’s all a bit aimless. Whereas when you’re sharing those numbers every Monday everyone knows what you’re trying to achieve, and I think that’s a great, significant adjustment in the mindset of a lot of business owners.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. We have our 2020 goal, which we tick off every Monday. We’re like, “Cool. We’re at X number and we’re going for 198 members on this service.” And then every week we’re ticking it off, we go through the churn rate. Who left? Why they left? Is there anything we can do to keep them? You know, those type of things. I feel like speaking those things out with my coaches is much better than just holding it in and talking to the brick wall, because business is super lonely and you’ve got to have people to talk to and share the passion with.

Ric Isaac:

100%. And as you quite rightly pointed out, to make the difference in the community that you want to, in terms of the health and wellness, you can’t do it on your own. We’ve got to make sure we have the right people on board, and it certainly sounds like you got that.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. 100%. Transparency is key for me.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah, and that’s an interesting one too. I mean, you mentioned a couple of things, and it’s quite obvious why you are such a good leader, because you’re also prepared to be vulnerable as well and say when you make mistakes, which then creates a nurturing, supportive atmosphere and allows other people to feel okay when they make mistakes. Because we’re going to do it, right? It’s all going to happen at one stage or another.

Ric Isaac:

So all of that being said, I mean, there is still a lot of fear and worry and stress in the industry as a whole and individual business owners right now who are worrying about whether they can actually make it work, and certainly thinking about whether they need to change their model, and how do they need to make those shifts, but very fearful of doing it. What would your advice be for those who are in our industry now and have an existing business, and are struggling either with the situation that COVID placed on them, or maybe they were even struggling before? What advice would you have for them?

Tim Frey:

I’d say talk to someone that’s not in your circle of friends and has no emotional investment in you or your business. Getting outside advice is going to be key for that. All the time when I’m looking for advice on a new project or my business or something, I try to look for someone that’s not in my circle of friends, or my girlfriend or my partner or whatever, because there is such an emotional attachment to the business that you’re not going to get a logical answer. Fitness businesses are the most emotional businesses ever. Everyone has a feeling about it, and you definitely don’t want to talk about feelings when you’ve got business, because business is data, number, sales, profit, loss, all those types of things, and they’re not an emotional topic.

Tim Frey:

So my number one piece of advice for anyone if they want to make change is talk to a third person or an outside consultant about it, someone that’s been there and done that. And there’s plenty of fake gurus out there, and let me tell you, NPE, not a fake guru. They will give you some unbiased advice on what they think is best for your business, which is good. Even if that’s not it, talk to someone that’s doing business in something else that is not related to your business at all. That’s also probably someone good to talk to.

Ric Isaac:

Yeah. Great advice.

Tim Frey:

One successful… Sorry. Don’t talk to a failing business.

Ric Isaac:

That’s a key point. You wouldn’t want to get trained by someone who’s overweight and has poor dietary habits and those sorts of things. The same when it comes to business, you work with those that are successful. [inaudible 00:27:12].

Tim Frey:

What would you add to that, Ric? Sorry.

Ric Isaac:

Ah look, I mean, I think that’s a great one. I think you mentioned it earlier. People need to have courage and practice… Sorry. Yeah, have courage, practice fighting. You know, we need to make sure that if our existing model is not working, we’ve got to have the courage to review it and think about how we can do things in a different way. We have a lot of businesses who are coming from that bootcamp, that CrossFit, that larger group model, and they’re realizing that right now it’s either not doable for them to do that due to the COVID-19 restrictions, or they actually realized that it wasn’t working well anyway and they were just doing it because they didn’t know what else to do.

Ric Isaac:

So I think you’re absolutely right. Analyzing those numbers is critical, and knowing what is your break-even, what does success mean for you, and what would put you in the red as well, and then set that right agenda and move forward with the right tools. And as you mentioned, the right support and coaching. You know, it’s amazing to me how many coaches… because we all, we coach our clients, but how many of them don’t have a coach themselves. When you look at the most successful people, Anthony Robbins has a coach, you know? Everyone who is successful has that, which is a big thing, too.

Ric Isaac:

Well look, it’s been awesome watching your growth and development, Tim, and you as a person, as a leader as well. I know you’ve had some stressful times there too, especially [crosstalk 00:28:42].

Tim Frey:

Chaos. Chaos.

Ric Isaac:

Which a lot of people, it would have knocked them for a six basically, and thrown them off track. But you stayed to your beliefs and you looked for support from those people who weren’t in your immediate circle, and that obviously helped.

Ric Isaac:

Really appreciate your time today and being so open and sharing with others. There’s lots of people who will be super inspired by this because, they are really struggling and they often don’t know what is the issue and, “Where do I need to make the change?” So to see you and to have you as a success story during this period. Just one last question, actually, before we go, I mean [crosstalk 00:29:24].

Tim Frey:

I was going to add something as well.

Ric Isaac:

Good on you.

Tim Frey:

If there’s a problem, look within, because the answer is always within and you know the answer. Deep down, everyone knows the problem, and everyone knows the answer, and everyone’s got the solution to whatever problem they have.

Ric Isaac:

Well said. Sometimes we need to dig real deep, don’t we, to actually get to look at things that we don’t necessarily want to.

Ric Isaac:

I was just going to ask one last question before we wrap up. So there’s businesses, obviously, that have made a shift in this period, and yours is one of them. You had to make that pivot, and you did, and you’ve done it successfully. How do you think this has positioned you for when the restrictions change, and when things sort of open up again and that fear in the community maybe isn’t as prevalent? Do you feel like you’ve, because of the lack of competition for one, but do you feel like you’ve put yourself in a ready position to now grow to the next level and go way beyond what you were doing prior to COVID?

Tim Frey:

All things are pointing that way. Currently I just, I’m thinking week by week rather than month by month, because to be honest, man, I’m in Perth and it’s almost like the virus hasn’t been here. So we had mild cases, not much going on. And then we were the first day open, probably like one of the first places in the world from lockdown to when we reopened, and ever since then, we’ve had three cases. So in terms of the economics of business, and obviously when the economy does well, people spend money and then we come through, but then when economics are bad, it’s more a free market, so people are going to spend money, but they’re going to spend it in better places.

Tim Frey:

So I feel like it hasn’t affected us too much. In terms of going forward, we will be in a great position to go forward. I think taking ownership and action, right now is the best time to do it. So if there’s going to be a change, you might as well do it right now rather than just waiting until things start blowing up, and then you’re building a house on shifty foundations. But yeah, I’d say like, getting it done right now is probably going to be key. And it’s put us in a good spot, definitely, but I’m not sure on the actual effects of it because Perth has been a haven.

Ric Isaac:

Well, it’s interesting. As you know, because of the nature of the coaching and being that group environment, that there’s others who have made that shift and change as well. You know, I think [Raffan 00:31:46] and [Lockland 00:31:47] from Creature Fitness, and the Mind Muscle Project, and then there’s been others as well who have made a shift, you mentioned F45 as well. And it’s interesting how those people are now coming out of this in an even stronger position in the market, because the competition, some businesses have closed and the restrictions on some of those other facilities have meant that they’re out of business now.

Tim Frey:

Time will tell. We will see. We will see how it plays out. I mean, there’s probably a few gyms around us are closed, but I think they would just… With all the government support and that, they’re just hanging in, they’re just going punch by punch for the moment. We’ll see when the support runs out who’s there.

Ric Isaac:

Well, we were talking about that, weren’t we, before we sort of jumped on camera here. And it’s going to be interesting to see who comes through this, because I think it’s given the industry a huge shake up in terms of health and fitness. And there’s some people who maybe weren’t doing things very well, who were just hanging in there, as you said, and it’s going to really prove those who are absolutely committed to making this a career and the business a successful one and having an impact they want, so that’s awesome.

Ric Isaac:

Well look, thank you so much for your time, Tim. And just before we go, we missed it at the start, but you mentioned that your business is located in Perth. And what does that business name, Tim?

Tim Frey:

It’s called Helix Gym, H-E-L-I-X, gym G-Y-M. I was going to say J-I-M. No, Helix Gym, traditional. www.helixsp.com is our website, and we’re on Instagram @helixgym. That’s probably where we’re most active. Check us out. Read our copy. See what you think. See if we hit those target markets.

Ric Isaac:

Well, that’s great stuff. I mean, look, I’m sure there’s a bunch of people be jumping on now and then Googling it as well, because we all need good leaders and good examples of success. You’re certainly one of those! So thank you so much for your time, Tim. It’s been awesome, and we’ll look forward to continue to coach you, to make sure the business gets you to that lifestyle that you and your partner and that fairly monstrous dog of yours wants.

Tim Frey:

Yeah. Thank you so much. It’s been great.

Ric Isaac:

All right, we’ll speak to you soon, Tim. Cheers.

Tim Frey:

Cheers.

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