Adding Value in the Distressed Gym Industry with Jason Rule

Adding Value in the Distressed Gym Industry with Jason Rule

Jason Rule of Driven Nutrition joins me for today's discussion. Driven Nutrition focuses on being a support for affiliate owners and helping them reach success. The same relationship affiliates offer to their members. Making sure to deliver value to affiliates and their members by providing the best possible supplements is an equally important component of Driven Nutrition.

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Mike: One of the things that I really appreciate about you is just how thoughtful you are. not only in Business but in life, but you’re a really genuine, authentic guy who there is no, there's no bullshit and a, that's something I really, really appreciate and you really care about the customer and the way that you approach the industry is different than anyone I've ever met before. and so you definitely have something really special. And what I'm curious about today is because the majority of your business has been the Gym Industry and a lot of, which is it mostly boutique gyms, you would say CrossFit gyms, things like that

Jason: CrossFit gyms, Mom and pop or functional fitness type of stuff. really no, no. no traditional type gyms. people get in their pump out in front of mirrors. That really isn't our jam. It's more community driven type gyms.

Mike: Cool. Yeah. So I didn't know if you'd expanded or not yet. There's a catch-up for us because we really hadn't talked that much. we, we touched base, maybe once a year or something like that, that was like, Hey, or are you still alive? Cool. All right. What's going on? yeah man. What's changed? Or what have you seen change? I mean, it's such a broad question. The last two months all the gyms had to close, right? Like every, every bit of Your.

and all your customer's basically we had to stop doing Business, in, in one way. But are they still doing business in another way? What’s going on in there?

Jason: Yeah, they are. actually we got, we were in a unique situation because we started testing out of the systems that allows us to post in masse for Driven. So I want it to be able to get our, social media content posts about six months in advance. We have to be able to focus on…

Mike: I'm going to say one thing, because we're getting this, cause you start to get in the details already is Jason helps gyms make more money. He does. He mentioned this already, but I want to make it a really clear and, and does it by teaching you how to sell retail, how to do retail, specifically supplements and has an entire supplement line that's specifically geared for that industry, that boutique Gym. Yeah, right. Yeah.

Jason: Been on a couple of podcasts. I'm one of the worst shameless self promoters I think of all time because I've gotten on a couple of podcasts in people have been like, we didn't even tell people how to find your company. Like how do you want to tell people on your website? I was like, yeah, cool. That's fine. So yes to, to dive into that, a little bit of backstory, we're essentially a retail consultant wrapped around the sub in my company. Our North star is, does it help the gym owner does help the member's and is that something that we have the capacity to do a meaning? Do we have the bandwidth or the technology to be able to execute on it?

And so about 60 days before the COVID crisis hit, we had started perfecting being able to post on our social media six to eight months in advance so we can go and focus on something else. So we..

Mike: Started cutting out months in advance. Yeah. Wow.

Jason: It’s really boring, dude. I mean it's protein, it's creatine, it's amino acids. We've got 70 some odd products and it's just a matter of there's only so many things that you can say about it that's new. And that's really part of my problem, I guess with the supplement industry or any ways is everybody always, something's always latest and greatest. So getting that content out there, that was important to us and then we started like, okay, what if we started doing this for some of the gyms we're work with? So we took a, a, a pilot program together, a 25 gyms where we started posting on their behalf Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And it's so back to your point about what we do, we teach gyms how to sell supplements much in a way that's congruent with their culture, with our ethos, right? So it's not salesy. It's not Hey, buy $300 with a shit.

So the messaging that we put out there for gyms was very consistent along those lines. Because what I'm overly sensitive about is us posting on a Gym’s behalf and doing something that is going to, make the Gym look bad because then that reflects poorly on us and gym owners talk. So it was important that that message thread stayed consistent in terms of its integrity.

And lo and behold, that is the system worked out great. We saw a big boost in terms of, sales. Ah, not only, and in the gyms, but also online. And one of the things that I didn't mention is we have affiliate links for every one of our gyms. So we have on boarded and now I think just under 1700 CrossFit gyms.

Mike: What Jason means by this is getting a affiliate links so it doesn't mean they actually have to buy that product inside of your shop or your store. If you refer a client into the site and you get a commission on that.

Jason: Right. And so initially, initially it's set up a 30% revenue share. I'm not a big fan of, some companies come out and they do, we're going to give half of our profits. Well fucking define profits. Like who sets that are like put a dollar amount on it and just leave it there. Then that way it's transparent to the customer as well as to the Gym. I don't like surprises. So that's set up by default a 30%. And if it's a gym wanted us to post on their behalf, we bumped that margin to 40% so its to the point, very quickly we got to where we're a four or $500 payouts per day

Mike: Which is actually a really nice, because most Gym owners, right. The social media is a pain in their ass. I hear it is regularly, it's like I don't know what to post any more content. So you want to be posting at least once a day. I know for the Strong Coach Instagram account, we are posting three times a day. The volume does matter to a degree.

Jason: So it's that, that's the goal that we're trying to get to Mike with the same as what you're doing with Strong Coaches. So we're stacking, we're going six months out, eight months out, but then we know that we're doing that in the morning and then we're stacking it in the afternoon and then we're going to export import and then we're going to stack one more on top of it. So that's kind of our process. Our, our goal is inside of about six months to get to where we have three posts every single day. So I love, I love that your doing that. But yeah, it's, it's, so for, for gym owners it was a time saver. They didn't have to produce the content, they didn't have to come up with it and it really isn't that original.

I mean there's only so many things that you could talk about with protein, creatine amino acids, a preworkout you need to go damaging. You need to get the messaging that's on point with the person you're talking to. We also wanted to reward the gyms, an extra 10% that were allowing us to post on their behalf at 30%. We were just emailing, we had automation set up to where we emailed those posts and the images out to the gym. But like, like you, like if you could, the coaches you work with, if you could say, Hey, get out of the way.

I'm just going to do all of this work for you. I'm going to give you an amazing freaking results. As a business, you're going to be more successful because, they're going to get not only the amazing, the results, they're going to be likely to send referrals and I mean they're, they're excited cause they get money. Right. And they've got members buying a product.

Managing Inventory For Gym Owners

Mike : Yeah. I remember when I was a gym owner back in the day, it was rough, man. I don't remember like inventory was the bane of my existence. I, it was, it is like one month we'd have all the supplements. Yeah. And then we'd have none of the supplements. We'd run out of T shirts we'd run out of like all anything that we were selling. It was not a gym membership. We were going to run out of it because the, the, the, my wasn't on it. Of course.

Jason: I was like always want to call tee-shirt and I was wanting like these awesome supplements for the actual execution piece. man, I was a week, I was a week in that area. And, I, I love that. I wish there was something, I, I remember trying to work with companies to do, just get some affiliate links like what you're doing, but then really never panned out very well. I get the back in 2010, 2011 just the technology wasn't there. It wasn't, it wasn't normal practices to do things like affiliate stuff or supplements just yet.

It was still fairly new. yeah man, like, so it's cool that you have this backup thing where people, the clients can go order online obviously, but how do you, do you teach the Gym owners how to manage inventory appropriately? Yeah, we teach them, phrases like par value, right? So a coffee shop or that means, okay, so here, so here a value part, a value. So imagine, imagine your a chef at a restaurant. You go in on Sunday and you check your part at you.

You say, OK, how, which, which basically has it has tomatoes and then it has lined for how many you need, right? You know that you're going to need 12 tomatoes to get through the week. So that's your par value. So then you put in your count of how many, how many do I have? So I have to, it's that, that tells you that you need to order a 10. So that's how the restaurants keep hopefully doing a good job of keeping food in stock. It's called par value. so what we do is, whether they use in Zen pine or a push press is taking a look at a report over the last two weeks, 30 days, and say, okay, how many have you sold?

You need to keep that many on stock because if not, you're gonna lose money. People are gonna go online, they're gonna order it. I'm going to go to our website or the Amazon store. Yes, we actually charge you a little bit more on those, on those in Amazon and on our site. And what we encourage gyms to sell it for because we want the gym owner be able to say is not the value of being a member. We want to save you some money on these products. That's always nice. It always sucks when you're trying to sell something and someone can go buy it somewhere else cheaper. Right? Yeah. Yeah. I love that. When I own the, the retail, a sublet store's like, it sucked people going on bodybuilding.com and buying it over buck my cost.

Why Driven Nutrition Started

Jason: And one of the things that's frustrating and, and that's one of the reasons that we develop Driven seven years ago we wanted it to be able to set gyms up to where they had the margin, where they can start building the inventory based off of the profits of the products they sold.

So their not always having a good start over. So if a Gym is running that a 30 or 35 or even a 40% profit margin, they've got to sell to have to pay for the one that they use personally. That's a broken business model. so if your making enough money, if you're making enough margin, not the product you're selling, it's not hard to keep stock. It just comes down to what's the system you need. If you are not making money, it's impossible and it's not a good idea to even keep stock because you know its gonna grow legs, you're going to have a product that's going to open up or just get trashed.

Um, and then you have a retail game that is losing money and then in two weeks and for weeks your having a part with $800 out of your own pocket. So having a good margin, being able to keep stock and I encourage them to set up a second account for retail alone.

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