We have a big announcement this week! Our own Alloy Personal Training brand podcast co-host, Matt Helland, has invested in the Alloy Personal Training original mothership location. Hear Matt’s story about his journey from personal trainer to gym ownership, and why he invested in the brick and mortar personal training location. The original Alloy gym is over 30 years old and hasn’t had any other owner than Rick Mayo prior to Matt acquiring a stake.
Matt said, “The biggest motivation for me to buy into an Alloy gym is that it is an excellent opportunity to invest in a fitness business right now. The end is in sight for the economic return of the fitness industry with the vaccinations ongoing and the end of the pandemic.”
Matt shares with us his initial journey as a personal trainer experience in a big box fitness facility and how he stumbled upon the Northpoint Personal Training facility, which became what we now know as Alloy Personal Training. Matt’s journey then first took him from part-time personal trainer to become the Alloy Fitness Director at the mothership location. Then he joined the Alloy Personal Training Franchise team as VP of Product Design.
“I started out like most personal trainers in a big club” Matt shared. “Honestly, if you are going to be successful in that environment, you learn how to learn to sell pretty quickly and get results for clients. You had to go out on the floor and just drum up business.”
Matt’s journey from personal trainer to gym ownership began when he worked in a big club for five years with reasonable success, but definitely it wasn’t the best long-term plan for him. He was engaged to be married and started looking for future career opportunities. When he found Northpoint Personal Training and Rick Mayo, there wasn’t a personal training opening. Rick offered a six-week mentorship program and Matt thought, why not? During the six-week time frame, Matt learned more in two weeks than he learned in the previous five years with what Rick taught him with what has become the Alloy Personal Training programs and systems. Rick eventually brought him on part-time as Rick was consulting and starting the Alloy licensing and not spending as much time in the gym. So Matt slowly built up a schedule as the Alloy licensing business progressed and became more involved with full-time training, helping with Alloy programming, helping with licensing, and eventually turned into the Director over the four years. Matt was onboarding new clients and taking care of over 500 members in the gym. It seems daunting, but for Matt it was fun to be in that role where you know everybody’s name and you know your clients. When the Alloy Personal Training Franchise was created, Matt joined the franchise team as VP of Programming.
What made Matt want to diversify and get into brick and mortar ownership?
The decision to own a gym wasn’t overnight and more of a calculated decision. Matt believes in the Alloy brand and results. Plus, the fitness industry has seen a lot of changes recently. Matt saw the timing was right to invest in Alloy, as Rick became more involved with the Alloy Franchise business. When Matt communicated his interest, Rick wasn’t aware of his desire, but it made perfect sense. According to Matt, he wanted to get back into the brick and mortar gym because he loves working with clients and being with them day-to-day basis. It was a win-win for both Matt, Rick and Alloy. Since Rick is spending most of his time in franchising, it became really difficult to run two businesses at the same time. In the gym you can hire managers, but the “ownership” and engagement will not be the same as if you have an actual stakeholder right in that business. Partners require a different level of obligation and relationship than it is with a manager.
The time is right with the strength of the Alloy franchise business models to be ready for the fitness business resurgence. Alloy franchise has two models that allow for it to be an outstanding example for the future fitness industry. The models are based on capacity and keeping a safe, healthy, and efficient environment for clients. The smaller personal training model is based on 1,500 square feet with a 120 to 130 person client capacity. The larger footprint is 2,500 to 3,000 square feet with a 250 to 300 person client capacity. The original Alloy is the larger footprint. Another partnership Rick has with Anthony Wilkins, co-owner of Alloy for Women, is the smaller model. Alloy can help franchisees navigate how to manage processes, systems, and relationships from our own experience. Having the two corporate locations allows us to provide a sound example and test new ideas and technology for our franchises. For example, if a potential Alloy franchise investor doesn’t have time to work in the gym, maybe because they have two other businesses or the investor isn’t familiar with the fitness industry, Alloy can provide the ideas on the best way to structure the business.
Tune in to this episode to hear Matt’s exciting journey and what being an owner-operator for the original Alloy gym means for him. Matt advises anyone that is considering the personal training to gym ownership or interested in diversifying an investment portfolio, to take the steps to create the opportunities.
- Matt’s amazing story from how he found Alloy to where he is now (01:23)
- How Matt became a director of fitness at the mothership location (04:01)
- Fast forward to being a VP of program design at Alloy Franchise (08:11)
- Why Matt Approached Rick for a stake in the gym (09:03)
- Why it’s an excellent opportunity to invest in a gym right now (12:50)
- The role of the operating partner in a partnership (15:41)
- How we use our corporate locations to test new ideas before rolling them out to franchisees (17:50)
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