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How to Find an Operating Location

business coach rehab professional Oct 30, 2023

One of the biggest implementation roadblocks we see for PT’s looking to break free from the traditional clinic is the lack of a space to operate their cash business in. 

This process doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need to know what to look for…and remember, where you start operating isn’t necessarily where you’ll be forever. 

Here’s exactly what to do and look for when you’re trying to find an operating space:

Finding the right location:

  1. Where are your ideal clients? Now this might seem simple, but you want to find a space ideally that is already filled with the client you would want to work with. For me, it was CrossFitters, so naturally, I started my first business in a CF gym. Now initially, I had no office, no privacy, I just found a spot on the gym floor where I wouldn’t be in the way, popped up my table, and got to work - trust me, your clients won’t mind… in fact they might welcome this experience. 
  2. Who already has the equipment set up that would be conducive to getting my clients back to their desired activity? Want to speed up the process of your operating location to avoid the lengthy buildout and capital required to purchase equipment… Too often, we see eager potential business owners hampered by the thought that they need a large load to get started. You don’t need this. You need speed and a reputation to build off of. 
  3. Make a list of 5-10 spots that meet this criteria and go drop in, yes… physically drop in.. don’t call, don’t send an email, don’t send a dm… go be a patron of their business. When you narrow it down to the top couple of locations, maybe you even become a member there. This will build an authentic relationship to grow from, and these are always the best partnerships.

Understand the problem you solve for them:

If you walk into a facility and ask to establish your business there without explaining how your being there will help THEM, you’re setting yourself up for failure. We refer to this as securing the ecosystem of the gym. In a perfect scenario, you want to be integrated with the operations of the facility - a first stop as a value add for new members, maybe by offering a movement screen to each - and a potential stop BEFORE any injured member leaves to potentially see a PT who is against the type of training modality the gym participates in. 

I like to ask the question to the Manager / Owner I am speaking with: 

“So, what’s your process when members who are injured ask to put their membership on hold?”

In many cases, they don’t have a procedure for this, so helping them establish one literally can help them reduce churn and save memberships - that would be a pretty valuable addition to their facility. 

Do you see how this changes the dynamic from WANTING something to PROVIDING something? Powerful flip when you’re looking to integrate into the facility. 

Leveling up what you provide:

Want to speed up your growth in the facility? Coach some classes. Nothing crazy, maybe 1-2 per week - this will elevate your authority in the facility, make it easier for the gym to introduce you to the ecosystem, and ultimately you can phase yourself out when your time is better spent in other avenues. 

Putting it all together:

This formula is fairly simple, and the goal is to help those of you who made it this far to go out there and start implementing your vision. Stop waiting for permission. Stop waiting for the right time (cause it doesn’t exist)... start realizing you’re getting what you’re tolerating in your current situation… and most importantly, start taking action, “future you” won’t regret it. 

Interested in learning how to apply this to your clients?

Click here to find out how!