It’d been only a month or so since I’d written the newsletter about building out 1 More Rep.
I’d wake up and feel a deep sense of unease in my gut.
Scott, my business partner was doing an amazing job of running Facebook ads and it was driving lots of local inquiries for his boot camp.
We’d set about this journey together, to build a business that could achieve headline success.
I’d known Scott for several years ever since walking past a lively-looking boot camp near my mum’s home in Yiewsley, West London.
I could hear a grey-haired man in fighting shape wearing army trousers as he shouted encouragingly at his troops
‘Come on guys – just 1 more rep!’
From a distance, the ‘Fitness Squad’ advertising stood out on the van as I decided to take a walk over and learn more about the boot camp and Scott.
Little did I know; 4 years later we would be setting up a new boot camp together.
As our friendship and trust of each other had grown, we’d share two duathlons together – there was no question in our minds that building a business together made sense.
Scott had a track record of retaining clients with his boot camp and over the years complained fairly often about Fitness Squad at length – and where and when I could I’d offered some advice.
Their marketing wasn’t up to scratch, they’d done nothing to help grow his client base – it’d effectively been all Scott by himself via Facebook ads.
So when I suggested I could do the marketing for him – we quickly had his van rebranded from Fitness Squad to 1 More Rep.
And so – a great adventure lay ahead of us.
What followed was a flurry of activity –
The website went live on WordPress, then we switched to Squarespace so Scott had the ability to edit the site easily, and in parallel, with this, we got the social media and branding together.
As the first month passed from November 2019 into December 2019 we hit the business’s toughest time of year – convincing people to join an outdoor boot camp in the middle of winter.
It was a tough sell even in the summer.
We had a chap send flyers around door to door – dropping around 800 of them in the West Drayton area which didn’t produce a single client.
We spent £500 on a cold caller as he rang through a whole series of local businesses in a bid to win corporate work.
This didn’t produce a single client.
I’d even signed up to take a £960 personal training course and even flirted with the idea of starting a Fulham-based boot camp.
Neither of those happened either.
All the while Scott was running Facebook local ads as he had always done and it was working – he was generating leads and turning some of those leads into local boot camp clients.
As some time passed it became abundantly clear that working on the corporate angle didn’t provide any real sense of a fixed end goal.
What exactly were we selling? At the white price point? Where did the recurring business come from?
The money to be made came from the actual boot camps themselves and the monthly £39 fee. For this price, you could effectively go to as many classes as you wanted (of which there were 13 a week) every month.
Every week – I’d travel from Fulham to Yiewsley and we’d sit in Costa Coffee for 2 hours as we worked together on the business.
The main interest of Scott was ensuring he could take his boot camp classes to 100 members (we were in the low 40s) – my main interest was understanding how we could scale each and every process.
We discuss SOPs for the classes, build out instructor’s manuals for new franchise members (our planned route to growth), create a newsletter, follow up messages, and more.
Whilst many around me loved the idea of me partnering with Scott to make the business grow there was one notable exception.
A good friend of mine Eric Watson openly told me he didn’t like One More Rep at all. ‘It doesn’t scale’.
He also told me that – ‘your priorities will drive you’.
I’d soon see that on both counts he was correct.
The subconscious thought that I guess existed as I’d think about ‘the next marketing plan for 1 More Rep’ was – how will I actually financially benefit from this?
With my SEO agency and Lead Generation agency, there was a clear track to bringing in an income.
Clients paid us £2,500 a month of which I’d ultimately take home X.
No such model existed in 1 More Rep and all the while I’d built slide decks, ordered stands, flyers, banners, hats, t-shirts, and more.
There was even a Christmas dinner and drinks event which Scott organized.
With all of this – I was firmly embedded as a partner – and on YouTube, you’ll find several videos I put together about our business.
It was only when one day – I realized after spending £320 for a PT course I had no interest in taking – that I did not have enough interest in 1 More Rep.
I cherished my friendship with Scott but saw long-term involvement didn’t work for me.
And so finally, I decided to sit down the run the numbers to play out the possible revenue return scenarios.
What became clear were several things.
As it stood, we’d have to 3-5x the business to even make the profits meaningful because the spend per ‘repper’ was 39.99.
Even if we expanded beyond Scott running classes – as soon as we adopted the franchise model then we’d still only be receiving 17.5% of an instructor’s monthly returns or a minimum of £300 per month.
I couldn’t see a new instructor (and this idea was still one year away – Scott has 3 years+ into running his Bootcamp and he had around 40 regular clients) getting to 50 clients anytime soon. Even at 50 it would bring a total of £2,000 per month, of which 17.5% was £350.
Some of that spend would go back into marketing, let’s say 30% of it – which was £105, leaving £245 split between Scott and me.
£122.50p a month.
When I saw these numbers I finally got the clarity I was looking for. Under the B2C model for 1 More Rep, there simply wasn’t enough income for two people.
It didn’t make commercial sense.
And I was struck by the idea of running a Fitness Bootcamp with a good friend of mine more than I had been thinking about money. But in this scenario, there was actually no money to be made at all.
And so that uneasy feeling that had been gnawing away at me finally had a voice.
This was why I’d been uneasy for the last few months. Without a B2B model in place – which there was none…1 More Rep had no place for 2 founders.
And so I decided to break the news to Scott over Whatsapp:
Telling him lifted a big strain over my shoulders – which in truth had been caused by this realization that without the Corporate aspect of the business – involving two people in the company felt too soon.
Making anything, someway, meaningful would require us to do incredible numbers that there just seemed no scope to do without grit and hard work for a couple of years.
And there were still other things I wished to do.
Thankfully Scott was able to see the funny side of my stupidity but raised the point that…with a tiny bit of planning (the spreadsheet took me around 2 hours to put together)…we could have saved months.
No matter…we’d keep it ‘our secret’. As I have since the 12th of February 2020 when I decided to break the news to Scott.
Several months later, Scott has continued to grow his business and it’s survived and resisted even though the Coronavirus by taking his Bootcamp online.
And as his business continues to grow, and Scott has a newborn baby now, I know his vision has sharpened and his focus narrowed on being able to provide for his family has become the primary in his mind.
So we started the business the same way we parted.
As friends, who like many of us, try and build something together, and like most of us, find that building something together is more difficult than we realized – and that perhaps we’re better all on our own.
And it was with this vision of walking the planet Earth alone that I had flashbacks of nights out in Rio, nights I had spent alone, and waking up in the slums of Brazil…all by myself.
And my thoughts turned back to the land of God.