Daniel Nyiri is the founder and CEO of 4U Fitness, a personal training studio franchise in Florida that uses a full body electric muscle stimulation program. And he’s a serious fit pro.
He reads 8 books per month, is a best-selling author, has been featured in incredible places like Gym Owner Monthly, “The Doctors,” Men’s Journal, and more, and he has his own podcast coming soon.
But Daniel didn’t always have this success. In 2011 he moved from Hungary to the U.S. with just $150 in his pocket. And now he has a 7-figure fitness business with 3 locations (St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Orlando) that has seen huge growth since they first opened.
His St. Petersburg studio has seen a 450% growth from last year to this year. This location sees a minimum of 20% growth each month, and sometimes it’s as high as 50%.
So we interviewed Daniel to find out exactly how he was able to completely transform his business and achieve such huge success and growth so quickly.
Q: When did you open the St. Pete location?
A: We opened it about 2 years ago, but the 1st year, I opened it with basically no money whatsoever. So the whole 1st year, I didn’t have any advertisement, I was negative $20,000 on all of my accounts, and I literally went door-to-door. I knocked on doors to get people to come in, I went to grand opening events at companies and introduced myself and tried to bring them in in order to be able to pay the bills.
So that was basically the whole 1st year, just struggles. Then the 2nd year was when we started talking to you guys (Loud Rumor). We launched a campaign just for our Tampa location because I wanted to start small.
I understood that you guys were able to deliver tons of leads with our amazing product and your amazing service combined. So we started with Tampa and we had a huge jump all the way from last year to this year and we still jump each month.
We literally just finished a system about 3-4 months ago and then started advertising in St. Pete. So St. Pete just saw a huge jump because we started that location with you guys too.
For the Tampa location, we started advertising with you guys a year and a month ago. The Tampa location was my 1st one, which was 5-6 years ago. But I didn’t start the advertisement with you until last year.
The Orlando location is doing great too. For all of them, we have lots of leads coming in.
Q: How many team members did you have when you opened the St. Pete location and how many do you have now?
A: 3 including myself, that’s it. When we opened St. Pete’s we only had 3 total for 2 locations. I even worked as a trainer at that time. I drove back and forth. Now we have 15, and now we’re hiring again for 4 more people.
Q: How have you been able to get your location in front of more people?
A: We do Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube campaigns with you guys. We shot a lot of videos and pictures for advertising in the area, which helps to build the brand because people will see us somewhere and say, “Hey, you work with that shocking suit!” or something like that because they’ve seen our videos and pictures.
The other thing that helps is that we have over 300 5-star reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and all these websites. Anytime they search for us, we come up 1st because of all the reviews. People read them and say the reason why they picked us is because of our reviews.
We have our referral programs, so clients also refer their friends and bring in their husbands.
Q: How have your podcast and book helped you?
A: The one that we have currently for clients, prospects, and trainers is all about 4U Fitness and the life change that you’ll go through when you join. Nina [Daniel’s wife] is the host of the podcast and it’s really about the full transformation for the clients.
I have my own podcast starting soon. It’s going to be more about the business side combined with my book for personal trainers, business owners, and for personal development.
It’s one thing that I read 8 books per month to build my knowledge, and not just read it but actually use what I read. And that’s what the podcast is going to be about – I want to teach people how to take what they read, remember it, and then actually use it because it’s going to change their life and business dramatically, just like it changed mine.
My book has also helped me dramatically because I get speaking engagements, people reach out to me, and it provides additional income.
I meet so many people and they always say that they have no time whatsoever to read books. They always tell me they don’t have time, and I’m like,
“If you don’t have time to educate yourself and stay ahead, you’re going to be left behind soon.”
Q: Once you get in front of more people and they start expressing interest, what does your sales process look like? How do you close your leads?
A: Our sales process is really long. I wanted to build a system around dealing with leads because I mean, anybody can hire you and get leads. You guys get us tons and tons of leads, but what are we going to do once they come in? And that’s the problem I think most fitness studios face, so it took me some time to build the whole system around it.
We literally changed our employee policies, the way we hire people, their job descriptions, what they’re getting paid for, their bonuses… We completely changed our whole system because of you guys – in a good way, not in a bad way.
We have this 7-11-4 strategy. You need to give your prospective client 7 hours worth of data and information – that could be video, pictures, consultations, trials – on 11 different occasions, on 4 different platforms.
So that’s how we do our free trial offer that we have with you guys. By the time they actually come to the point where they’re ready to purchase something, they’ve already been through our 7-11-4, so they feel really comfortable buying something from us and that’s why our closing rate is actually pretty high.
The other part is during the consultation, for example, they come in, we just ask questions first and understand what they need. We fully analyze the client to make sure they’re truly a client, ask them the right questions, then make it our mission to sell them on all our services.
But if we cannot have them, we say this is not for you, and this is not for us. And we recommend them to another studio. This actually happens quite a few times. This way we only take the people we can truly have, and we do everything in our power to sell them with us.
This includes stuff like using the same body language that they use and the keywords that they repeat. We explain every single question that they have, then we push them to our next trial, which is a full body assessment. So we have a consultation, a physical strength assessment, and then finally they are able to try our revolutionary device.
By the time they get there, they’re so excited to use it because they couldn’t the first 2 times they wanted to.
Q: What are some things you credit for this huge growth?
A: The amazing systemization … My Chief Operating Officer is just amazing and she systemized the whole process so we can actually see leads come in in real time and call them back as soon as possible. All of the trainers and employees are able to see live updates and comments on the leads that come in, such as if someone called them back yet and what they talked about.
The second is the systemization where we completely separated the people’s roles, like who does the consultations, who does the calls, and who does the trials. They’re being graded, just like the movie Moneyball. That’s how I hire people, too. I select whatever I see in them that’s best. That’s what they’re going to work on. So if it’s sales, it’s going to be 100% sales. They could be really bad at training and it doesn’t matter because they’re really good at sales. We don’t cross over and I think that helps a lot.
I would also not be able to do this without my amazing team. They work day and night for the bigger picture. Everyone understands our core values and our big purpose, vision and mission, so each person knows their part and works toward it. All I have to do is guide them. If they fail I take 100% responsibility, and if they succeed I give them 100% credit.
An A-team is key, so spend a lot of time building it. One additional thing is that I am lucky I married the best woman I possibly could. Not only is she smart and beautiful, but she works next to me and understands if I don’t come home till 3:00 am. She is the foundation of our C.O.R.E. program, which allows our clients to get amazing results.
Q: What were your biggest struggles from growing so fast?
A: With big growth, you have big problems. We had to start hiring so much faster and we have a huge hiring process which takes 3 months. So I would say that trainer development was the biggest issue in the beginning because we didn’t have time to teach them right because the clients were just signing so fast.
Second, the reception service. We started getting like 700 calls a month from receiving 80 or 90, so that’s a huge jump. So when you get a $1000 bill for the phone in the mail, that’s a huge surprise and the other thing is that you cannot deal with these calls.
The calls were just coming in and the receptionist picked them up, but we didn’t have anyone else to handle it. So I, the CEO, had to step back and just literally take phone calls all day to be able to schedule them and book them until we finally hired people to be able to handle that.
Q: What’s the #1 advice you’d give to people if they want to see growth similar to yours?
A: They really need to work on their hiring process and the systemization of people. And they must actually hire people because they cannot do the jobs themselves. They cannot wear all the hats, they really need to hire the right people and delegate in the right way.
I would recommend to read lots of books on leadership because they’ll really need it once they get that growth. Listen to the customers because the customers start to talk to your trainers and eventually they start to complain. You really need to address those complaints or they’re going to leave.
As you can tell, Daniel’s success is a result of all of the hard work and time that he’s dedicated to learn and create effective systems for his business. We love working with him and the 4U Fitness team. Do you use any of the same strategies that he does? Let us know!
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.