For Westchester's GYMGUYZ, A Tried And True Business Model
Local franchise owner Sam Langer bucks the digital marketing trend, focusing on old-school marketing to drum up clients for his at-home personal training service.
Photos courtesty of GYMGUYZ
We keep our fingers on the pulse of new businesses around Westchester—what’s working for them and what’s not, where the ROI is and where it isn’t. And what GYMGUYZ, an at-home personal training service based in Irvington, had to say about getting off the ground (it opened up in March of this year), surprised us.
At first glance, GYMGUYZ appears to market itself like any self-respecting modern business: All the requisite social-media icons appear on the website; there is a Twitter account well on its way to 6,000 followers and a Facebook page with more than 28,000 likes; and in addition to the YouTube account with a long string of videos, there’s an impressive LinkedIn page.
Sam Langer (middle), GYMGUYZ's head coach and owner.
But GYMGUYZ, which was the first franchise spun out of the original Long Island-based GYMGUYZ, does not see the digital elements of its marketing operation as its most important. According to Franchise Owner and Head Coach Sam Langer (who is just 24 by the way, having graduated form the Indiana University in 2012 with a business degree), it’s what he calls “guerilla marketing.”
The success of some businesses, he says, depends on the trust that clients, or potential clients, have in you upon meeting face-to-face. “Anyone can read an advertisement, but when you see someone face-to-face, and they see how passionate you are about what you do, they’re more likely to use your services.” This is especially true with a service that comes to your home.
Langer points to five seemingly simple things that got his business off the ground:
At busy intersections, high-traffic roadways, exits off I-287, corkboards—you name it.
Langer woke up early and hit train stations to catch the early-rising, pressed-for-time commuting crowd most likely to use his services.
A Painted Van
“The van is pretty much a moving billboard,” says Langer.
“We do a lot of outdoor workouts,” says Langer, “so whether we’re at a local park or outside at someone’s driveway, people come up to me and ask about it.” GYMGUYZ offers its first session for free, so people often jumped on the service.
The Tarrytown Craft & Food Street Fair, and similar events in Irvington, Ossining, and Scarsdale, have been great opportunities to do demonstrations and, by extension, meet and connect with potential clients.
It may sound old school, but it’s working. GYMGUYZ has about 50 clients already, a list that includes one-on-one clients, couples, small groups, corporate group classes, and senior citizen homes. They bring all the equipment to you, and classes, which range from strength training to pool workouts, are sold in increments of 10, and the price goes down as you commit to more classes. One-on-ones range from $69 to $88, small groups (two to five people) from $40 to $55 per person, and larger groups form $10 to $20 per person.