The Gym Owners Blog/Business Optimization/Kicking It Old School - The “Secret Sauce” of Referrals in your Gym Business

Kicking It Old School - The “Secret Sauce” of Referrals in your Gym Business

Thursday, November 23, 2023


Kicking It Old School - The “Secret Sauce” of Referrals in your Gym Business


So many of the gym owners that I talk to each week are drowning.

They barely have the time to do much of anything.

“Sorry man, I’ve just been so busy”
“A coach is getting marries, so now I’m having to cover a bunch of classes”
“One of our longtime coaches is moving away and it’s been crazy”
Between these common scenarios to managing your business, keeping those treadmills running, and churning out burpee counts, there’s one strategy that your grandfather would've sworn by that is missing from your toolbox as a business owner.

It's a solid old school approach that's as relevant today as it was in his time.

It starts with building relationships, real relationships that ultimately leads to the kind of clientele who'll appreciate what you're offering. They pay you for it and they tell their friends.

That is, if you don’t suck at what you do. I can’t gloss over this fact because too many gym business consultants just wash over the fact that you actually have to be good at what you do, love it, and treat what you do like the generation-saving craft that it is.

And as long as you don’t suck at what you do, we can take these old school lessons from grandpappy and inject some serious oomph into your business here in 2020s.

This old school tactic that I’m talking about is the power referrals and partnerships.

Hopefully you have a referral system in place. Something at least. Leveraging the fact that each client you have is potentially a megaphone for your gym.

And hopefully you have an even “higher touch” system in place to leverage your top 20%. Your champions.

I say hopefully because this is the bare minimum. Because at the end of the day, if you're only relying on these kinds of referrals, you're not playing at full capacity.

Now, hold on. No need to scratch your head. This is the whole point of this article and this is what I want to unpack. This is the secret sauce of referrals AKA partnerships.

Just imagine, forming a bond with the local organic food shop owner or the sports physiotherapy clinic down the road, even that classy vegan café your top clients rave about.

You're not just slapping logos on a list in your local market, you're weaving an interconnected network, creating a lifestyle for your clients.

With your gym right in the heart of town square of the ideal lifestyle for your people.
More than a place to work out..
A fundamental part of their lives.

But you can only achieve this with that one ingredient that we seem to have forgotten in this digital age - genuine, face-to-face relationships. It's about taking the time, shaking hands, breaking bread, and forming connections.

That's how you ensure a steady stream of like-minded folks who'll appreciate your gym for what it is.

You see, when you tie the knot with these other businesses, you're not just forming partnerships; you're forming a community. A community that thrives on the same values, shares the same goals, and enjoys the same experiences. And, who knows better about the needs and desires of your clients than these local businesses?

Don't neglect the old for the new. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Reels, Stories, and Tweets can be important. But never forget the fact that the past holds lessons for us. Bring referrals and partnerships to the forefront to the work you do at your spot and watch your gym take flight to heights you've never seen before.

This next week, dust off your grandparents old playbook and start building some real relationships again.

And bring the old school into the world of the new school and see some amazing things happen for you and your business.

- John

P.S. Join The Gym Owners Revolution Facebook Group. Together, working to make our communities and world a better place, one member at a time. Join now at

Untitled design (28) png

Gym Owners Revolution © 2023
Gym Owners Revolution is not associated with Facebook Inc.