My Online Fitness Coaching Business Hit $1M ARR [Update]
This is a follow up story for TeamFFLEX. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Ryan Milton and I am the owner and founder of TeamFFLEX.
We coach professional athletes, Npc and Ifbb competitors, Hollywood actors, professional musicians, and everyday people all around the world.
Since we last spoke my business is now breaking a million a year.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
Since we last spoke, TeamFFLEX has continued to grow and expand. We now have more coaches on the team and many more clients.
Month after month, we have continued to grow and expand leading us to right now (literally as I write this) finishing our best month financially of all time.
I don’t have any new fancy tips or tricks that will be your “cheat sheet” to success. But what I can tell you is that “laying the bricks” has been the biggest way for TeamFFLEX continued growth.
The last time we talked, I spoke heavily on how the content was our flagship to generate new business and new leads and nothing has changed.
Today even now I spend the bulk of my time delivering our service to our clients and otherwise creating content for free that will help anyone who sees it. Another big contributing factor to where we are now was adding more coaches to the team to help with client load and further delegating much of my day-to-day processes to staff that can accomplish near identical results.
The system that I built single-handedly in the beginning now can operate much of the day-to-day without my direct involvement which allows me to spend more time being a better coach and creating better content and that’s huge.
In our 1st conversation, I did mention how I did not rely heavily on paid advertising and marketing to get new business and continue to grow and that is still today the truth. I have yet to make any serious efforts at creating ad campaigns and marketing to generate leads. The best marketing for this industry I do still believe is word of mouth and being known for the quality of services offered. Anyone can pump some money behind some ads that make people buy. But I constantly ask myself instead of finding a way to get more leads specifically, how do I improve the quality of the services we offer? By improving the quality of services offered and finding out how to do even more for the customer will always lead to more leads, more customers, and then also a better experience for all current and new customers.
Literally unplug. Turn off the news, Turn off the social media, reset your mind and get back to work. When times get tough, work harder. When you get worried, work harder. When you doubt yourself or the state of everything else, work harder.
One thing interestingly enough I have now been working to do now is: reduce the amount of content we do, but improve the quality. Initially, as I was growing and scaling my business the content was absolutely key and critical to get the name out there and let the world know what we were about. I used to do youtube videos every day, podcasts every day, social media posts on all platforms every day, live streams, interviews, and whatever else I could do to get the brand out there.
The content became creating content for content creation purposes which overtime I felt I was giving less than my best on. When I started to realize this was happening I immediately decided then to scale back the amount of content I was doing overall and instead make a strong effort to make every single piece of content done to serve a deeper and more specific purpose. This meant better actual pieces of content themselves but also more in-depth captions and just overall better for the viewer. I think it is really key when creating content to keep in mind your audience all the time.
What do they want to see? What do they want to hear? What can you do to provide that value to them. It is easy to get lost in content creation by just doing what you may want to do or what you may want to see. But if you don’t keep in constant perspective what the person digestion the content will see then you content will never be as good as it could be.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
In the past year, it would be hard to say that the pandemic and everything surrounding it has not been a huge obstacle for every business in the world.
Fortunately for us, we have been doing online training for years and years before any of this happened which still allowed us to deliver our services without issue. We did still however have to pivot our focus to more home-style workouts as gyms closed and also continue to develop and create new programs and products that our clients and customers around the world could use to continue to grow.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned throughout the last year has been that you should always be aiming to review and improve whatever it is that you do in your business. Review what you personally do, what your employees do, what your business offers, what services and products you offer, everything. Then decide if it could be better. And if it can be, aim to create that. I have done this countless times since the start of my company and I just recently yet again did this review and changed for the better many things and even added services I wanted to offer in the beginning but didn’t have the ability to support at the time.
Every time I take time to review what the day-to-day is and if our systems can be improved I come up with something that improves not only the function of the business but also the function of the employees, the client experience and that just makes everything better for everyone. Never be afraid of change. Never be afraid to make changes and experiment to see what could potentially be even better. Another thing I do want to mention that I think is a super valuable skill to have or learn is the ability to have super discipline to get your work done through all the noise that happens in the world.
We live in a crazy world these days where there are so many things that can derail your progress or distract you from focusing on your day-to-day. It's important to remember that losing focus on your business and your customers even for a short time will have lasting effects. If you find yourself getting distracted, if you find yourself losing your discipline to do your work - unplug. Literally unplug. Turn off the news, Turn off the social media, reset your mind and get back to work. When times get tough, work harder. When you get worried, work harder. When you doubt yourself or the state of everything else, work harder. All the hard times and things you could be worried about will eventually end. And if you spent your “down time” focused on working to become better and go further then you will certainly come out of it on top.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
(In the next 5 years my goal is to scale my business 10 times what it is now. 10 times more customers, 10 times more coaches, 10 times more revenue. I believe that from a perspective of systems and what I have built with my business everything has reached a spot now where its all about expanding further and growing. This market of “10 times” may sound like an arbitrary number but really to me its the marker I use for everything. Some would say they hope to improve and scale X amount using strategic graphing strategies and projections but for me, I know that if I aim to do 10 times more even if I don’t hit that number specifically I will be far further than if I sat down and looked at a 50% potential increase on some projection model.
I am excited to now scale TeamFFLEX faster and further than ever before delivering our customers and clients a truly world class experience with better coaching, better programming and better client satisfaction. In the short term, my goals now focus on creating better promotion and better actual marketing for my company. I believe now with how far I have scaled this organically the next step is to get our name and what we do out there even more with successful marketing. My goal with marketing however is not to specifically increase sales. My goal with marketing will be to increase the number of people we can help with our services we offer. I started this company with the idea to help more people than I could in the day to day job. And that vision has never left. I want to help as many people as I possibly can. Long term with the growth of my coaching team and expanding our operations I hope to be able to help millions and millions of people.)
Have you read any good books in the last year?
One of the best books I have read recently is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. This really opened my eyes to stoicism and the stoic way of life. How to better control your reaction to the world around you and how you perceive it. I strongly suggest this book to any entrepreneur as this is especially important in today's world.
Another book I constantly re-read and have again this last year is the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss. This book really does emphasize on improving your systems, finding ways to delegate, stop wasting working for your business and instead learn to work on it. Its a very good book to reread time and time again because by the time I hear it again it has new relevance to the growth that has happened since.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
If you are struggling to grow your business look at these 3 simple things 1st.
1 - How can you improve your product or service.
This has to be the biggest and most beneficial thing you can do when trying to grow your business. By improving your product and or service you are going to by default come up with ways to scale and find more customers. You may just find some things that are not working and you want to get rid of or find new things you can add in that will attract more potential customers. By improving what you do, it will always lead to more people wanting to purchase or be a part of it.
2 - Your business structure - start to review everything.
Your day to day process, what you have your staff do, what payment services you use, how your website functions, the processes you use for creating content, everything. Then spend time brainstorming how you can improve those systems and functions to work better for you. In our rapidly developing world there are many hacks and new things being created everyday that can help you improve or even automate these systems.
Instead of manually creating every social media post you do, learn how to use a scheduler that you can lay out a week of posts with. Instead of manually adding clients and customers into your system use programs that automate that option etc. A huge mistakes I see entrepreneurs make is assuming “nothing can be better”. This type of mindset will always lead to being stuck in a cage which will limit your growth. Understand that your business and your systems can always be better. So make them better.
3 - Realize that your potential is actually limitless and then practice that every single day.
Our mind is our biggest limiting factor. What we think day to day does determine just how far we can go in any part of life. If your brain and mindset is constantly being poisoned by the negativity of the world and your thoughts around what your potential is then you can never reach the goals and heights you dream of. Get your mindset to a place where you literally believe everything is possible. You literally believe you can achieve and accomplish everything you set forth to do. Get your mindset into a place where you truly do feel limitless.
That type of mindset is what has created everything you deem “successful” in this world from the 1st airplane that was ever flown, to the next big thing nobody has thought of yet. Any limitations you live with are ones you have chosen to accept. Create your own reality and become everything you are capable of.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Recently, I have been getting a crazy amount of requests from other trainers in the industry for internship/mentorship. I am accepting potential applicants for this position.
I am also hiring online coaches around the world. Our online coaching platform allows you to work from anywhere in the world and scale your clientele and income as far as you would like to take it.
If you are interested in either position please email me your resume and a bit about yourself and what you can bring to the team at [email protected].
Where can we go to learn more?
- Website - TeamFFLEX.com
- Instagram - Instagram.com/teamfflex
- Youtube - Youtube.com/teamfflex
- Facebook Facebook.com/teamfflex
- Email - [email protected]
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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