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Cody Sweet | Owner of Sweet Fitness Kickboxing

Building a 700 Member Fitness Empire in a Partnership Business

Cody Sweet | Owner of Sweet Fitness Kickboxing

Building a 700 Member Fitness Empire in a Partnership Business

Cody Sweet | Owner of Sweet Fitness Kickboxing



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Show Notes

On this episode of The GSD Show, Cody Sweet breaks down how his partnership business model helped him reach a capacity of 700 members at Sweet Fitness Kickboxing. On top of that, Cody gives you 3 keys to turn unawares into long-term members.

If you’re wearing too many hats in your fitness business, a partnership business model could be a good option for you to get more members, more money, and more minutes.

From Bangkok to… Chino, California? (2:32)

After years living in Bangkok, training at, managing, and running the marketing for various Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu facilities, Cody decided it was time to come home to Chino, CA. 

“I went to college in Chino and thought it’d be a great third-tier market to open my own studio. Outside of one or two major franchises, it’s an underserved market,” he says.

Cody opened Sweet Fitness Kickboxing in 2018, but he did things differently from other gyms and owners… 

Why Sweet Fitness Kickboxing is a Partnership Business (5:00)

If he wanted to, Cody could’ve taken the time and effort to learn operations and high-ticket sales, instead, “There are already people who crush it in that space. I’m a builder and marketer, that’s my strength.”

Know Your Strengths

“I don’t want to be a day-to-day operator,” Cody says. “That’s why I found operational partners and hired managers who are tigers and get after it. I’m not an executive and I don’t want 100 locations.”

Cody proves that there’s not just one path to success for gym owners. You don’t have to be everything to everyone in order to be successful.

“I want to scale this partnership business model where I can retain control at 67%+, enjoy time with my family, and eventually build my dream gym.” (more on that later).

Know Your Ideal Life (7:21)

Sweet Fitness Kickboxing is opening a second location 90 miles away from Chino.

While it’s nice to be able to do that, “That’s another reason I don’t want to be the operator. I don’t want to drive 90 miles every week to check-in. That would take away from my family time.”

Instead, Cody hired a manager to run the second location. “She’s a tiger. With skin in the game and her work ethic, I have no doubt she’s going to crush it.”

Are you hiring the right people? If not, check out this FREE training on creating your ideal Employee Avatar:

employee avatar free training

Cody’s Unique Partnership Business Model

Here’s where Sweet Fitness Kickboxing does things a little different from others. “I know this isn’t how most gyms do it,” Cody says, “but we set it up to work for us.”

Only $99 per Month (10:00)

Most studios charge a minimum of $130 per month and raise prices as they grow and hit capacity. As they should. Cody’s method works for his studio.

“We charge $99 per month on a 12-month agreement. They have the option to do $125 per month on a 7-month agreement, but most people choose the 12-month one,” he says.

The 12-month agreement is key. It helps lower attrition. Unless the member has a medical reason or they move, there’s a cancellation fee.

If you’re struggling with member retention, here’s another great episode to check out.

The Underserved Market

Because Chino isn’t a booming area, Sweet Fitness Kickboxing saves money on rent each month.

On top of that, their classes max out at 32 people in the space, with fewer trainers needed to run them.

With operational costs low, Cody’s able to charge less and take in more revenue. Plus, with his partnership business model, he doesn’t have to carry the burden of the day-to-day.

“It really is a win-win,” he says.

After having kids, Cody wanted to get back to training. Even with owning his studio and being involved in other businesses, he got fit again and started working towards his black belt in jiu-jitsu.

“I realized that I wanted to be a superhero to my kids. That meant being fit, strong, and capable. It also meant having my businesses where I want them to be.”

The Fitness Business Dream (30:21)

“While I love the boutique style, my dream is to own a massive fitness center,” Cody says. “I want it to be right here in my community.”

“The goal is for it to be something like no one’s ever seen before,” he says. “That’s what excites me and fires me up. I’m not money driven, I’m experienced and excitement driven.” 

3 Undeniable Ways to Succeed with Your Gym (Partnership Business or Not)

Whether you run a partnership business model or not, here are Cody Sweet’s top 3 keys to turn unawares into long-term members.

#1 Lead Generation (32:51)

“You need a constant flow of leads and you need an offer that gets them to come in,” he says. For Sweet Fitness Kickboxing, this offer is their 7-Day VIP Package.

On top of that, they put this offer everywhere. In every ad campaign, on their website, and all over social media, this offer is omnipresent.

#2 Follow-Up & Schedule

“We send a text immediately after they sign up for the 7-Day VIP Package,” and here’s the thing, this isn’t automated right now. They do this manually.

“There’s one goal when a lead comes in,” Cody says, “book the appointment.”

And by that, he means that day. If it’s a Wednesday morning, which class in the evening do they want? If it’s a Sunday night, which class on Monday works?

#3 The Godfather Offer

Once the lead comes in for their appointment, Cody’s team over-delivers on the experience.

“After their first workout with us, we stack the original offer with our Grandfather offer.” This, of course, is an offer they can’t refuse.

If they sign up that day, the $149 registration fee is waived and they get all the gear they need: Gloves, wraps, a shirt, and more.

“We want it to be a no-brainer for them right then and there,” he says. “Plus, the operational cost of the gear is only $28.”

Stack it even more and double your return on every new member with this FREE Referral System:

Point of Sale Referral Systems free training

Is the Partnership Business Model Right for Your Gym?

Where do you need to delegate? What could you offload to a professional while you dominate with your strengths?

One way to find out if a partnership business is right for you and your gym is to connect with successful fitness business owners.

The best place to do that is in the Mastermind Program at Loud Rumor. Not everyone gets in though. This is where the absolute best gyms come to grow. Learn more about it and apply today.


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