Guest Post by Bryce Henson
My name is Bryce Henson, I am 29 years old, and a fitness professional and owner of Fit Body Boot Camp Yorba Linda. I have had a career in sales since my graduation from Michigan State University in 2004. Once I relocated to sunny California in 2005; and surrounded by the fit people of our beautiful state; I decided to make health and fitness an integral part of my life.
I was then marketed to by Bedros 🙂 in 2009, upon completing my Certified Personal Training Certificate; but due to some international travels booked which had me relocate to Brazil and then to Hong Kong for a couple years; didn’t act on my interest to pursue a career in fitness. For the time being, I had it slotted in as a life passion and let the desire build.
That all changed when I had my orders to return home. Fitness as a profession came calling and I began my research as I knew I wanted an opportunity much more than just trading dollars for time. I returned to California in August 2012 and had the opportunity to meet Bedros and team just 7 days after arriving home.
To preface, I had spent the summer devoted to countless hours of researching this business opportunity from abroad as I reconnected with Bedros earlier that May for our “intro call” upon my expression of interest in an FBBC Franchise. In fact, coming into that in-person meeting, I had spoken to about 25 owners from Florida to Canada in addition to reading countless pages of franchise agreement material and any literature available on fitness franchises including the 15 DVD’s that Shannon had shipped to me in Hong Kong.
And as fate would have it on that mid-August day; everything felt right and I signed the Franchise Agreement with FBBC and then off to the races I went. I secured my location in September; October the renovations were made and November 5, 2012; the doors opened with about 10 campers that day. GSD.
To say it was difficult would be the most severe of understatements. To give a touch of insight and in looking at the numbers, I boot strapped this business having a mere $18,000 to play with when starting the venture. Considering the franchise fee alone is $9,997 – you do can do the math. 🙂 (Side note – this isn’t something I recommend at all, just giving honest insight).
With that said though, I have kept my sales job throughout the day to support my family not having to rely on Fit Body for income generation up until this point which has been a blessing that I have had this flexibility. But if you take the time commitment into account, 14-15 hour work days have been the standard especially for the first 6 months while getting the business off the ground. And even more specifically speaking, the first 4 months I trained every single one of our sessions (6 per day) while being the janitor, book keeper, marketer and sales associate.
But my “secret sauce” has been my beloved girlfriend, Tatiana, who relocated from Brazil just prior to opening. She has been with me since day 1 (even participating in 3-4 boot camps per day initially to make the facility seem fuller). But only recently has grown much more comfortable in an active and managing role being our Operations Manager and lead trainer. It’s been a huge transition for her but she has been a godsend and a giant reason for our success. Te amo!
Anyway, back to the business model… Undoubtedly, my main attraction to the FBBC Model was that 1) it is proven and 2) supplied Marketing coaching. In my sales career, I was fortunate enough for the Marketing Department to get my phone to ring; my main task then was to close the sale. Being a business owner, both activities of Marketing AND Sales (and an infinite amount of others) are within the realm of your responsibility. So because of my inexperience in the Marketing realm, I found value and looked to Fit Body Boot Camp. And I am certainly glad I did!
And in looking back, this has been the most difficult and yet rewarding journey of my life. I am still only in my infancy; keeping in mind that my number one task every day is to learn! But in a few short months (which were very long months at first) have tasted success and relish the flavor, wanting more. Fast forwarding nearly 9 months and to date: I have 180 clients, 4 trainers, an admin, a hired cleaner and fresh off a $15,800 revenue June.
Looking ahead, I have a long way to go but am so thankful I found Bedros and company (Fernando, Toan, Shannon, Valerie and my man Stewart). I genuinely appreciate all the support so thank you again. My two biggest pieces of advice and “secrets” of the business to future owners would be this: 1) follow the model – its proven 2) work harder than you think is possible. And then work harder – your families livelihood depend on it.
And in closing, to leave you with some inspiration which I feel is my true calling. These 11 sentences perfectly sum up my experience as a fitness professional with Fit Body Boot Camp; giving you an accurate level of expectation.
1. You will feel pain.
2. You will cry before you get it.
3. You will lose friends.
4. Family will discourage you.
5. People will hate you for no reason.
6. You will almost talk yourself out of it 100 times.
7. You will doubt yourself 1,000 times.
8. You will think you are going crazy.
9. You will develop weird habits.
10. You will have to sacrifice money.
11. IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT
Committed to your success,
Owner, FBBC Yorba Linda