I don’t want to take anything away from this story by Rob Jones. So I’m just going to hand straight over to him, I’ll see you at the end.
How I (terribly) found my location
Months before my bootcamp even began I was searching for the perfect location. Everytime I headed in, out or around town in my clapped-out van I’d be checking parks and green spaces, picturing myself working out with a group.
The problem was, there were already a ton of bootcamps in my town and they all seemed to congregate in the same parks and seafront spots. But I wanted to be something different. I even wanted to call myself something different from a ‘bootcamp’, but I’ll talk about that another time.
Part of me didn’t want to compete against the other established companies. I thought I’d embarrass myself bringing my tiny new group right next to their burgeoning bootcamps, which seemed chock full of bib-wearing types. The other part of me wanted to set-up somewhere new, untouched by fitness. I wanted to grab myself a niche.
So, I set up in a small park, away from the other bootcamps. In a location in my town I thought there was a need for a bit of outdoor fitness. Oh and it was right next to where me and my bootcamper friends lived – that always helps. I checked with the local council and there was no problem me setting up, so I set a date and it started.
Things went okay, of sorts. But the location just didn’t feel as fabulous as I’d kind of expected it would. Looking back with wisdom (not much mind) the park, although small and pretty, was missing some key all-year bootcamp elements. Plus, a really key one to think about when marketing an outdoor bootcamp, no one could see us – we were invisible to my key audience, bar dog walkers and a few crusty old park-dwelling types. I realised then why no one had set up there and why others had congregated elsewhere.
So, hesitantly, I upped-sticks and moved my bootcamp somewhere else. This time I properly evaluated the future location and it ticked all the boxes. It had space, was fairly flat with decent grassy bits, good street lighting for dark wintry nights and was beside a main thoroughfare so plenty of people could check out my fun sessions.
The location? That’s right, right next to the competition. Thankfully I had a few bootcampers by then so I could put up a good show. It was the best decision I could have made.
How I found my first clients
I made practically every mistake in the book when I started my first bootcamp. But through mistakes come great things, or so I’ve heard…
My group fitness classes began life whilst I was working both at a busy PR office and for the local University as a cardiac rehab coach. A few of the guys in the office had heard I’d just earned my fitness instructor and personal trainer qualifications so encouraged me to start teaching bootcamps after work. So I did.
When I think back at the workouts I created at the start I kinda cringe. They were all so basic and not at all inspiring – just simple circuits with some really strange exercises I’d dug up from old manuals. Week after week my workouts began to get stale and the size of the classes diminished. I was doing something wrong, but what?
I’d also deluded myself that I needed equipment to run a make a bootcamp great. So many people still think that. Purchasing the latest fitness kit doesn’t automatically translate into great class – in fact, in some cases, just the opposite.
Both experience and guidance is what I needed most. So when I finally stumbled upon Kyle’s website, his great books and Garry’s training materials I breathed a big sigh of relief. By that point I had kinda got my a** in gear and was running fairly decent classes, but these guys provided little tweaks and awesome team workouts that injected some serious FUN into my bootcamps – which now ROCK I might add.
Kyle here again. Rob’s story is one of half a dozen starting stories included in my new book, Starting a Bootcamp Business. Rob now runs his successful outdoor training business called StrideFit.
Starting a Bootcamp Business is a manifesto about, you guessed it, starting your bootcamp business.
I’ve compiled my experiences of the past 4 years of running bootcamps and deconstructed it into useful information.
The book is one part motivation, one part how to guide and one part mini business plan.
When I ran my bootcamp, I saw many other group training sessions start in the same park as me and then fizzle out.
I’ve distilled the bare basics of what you need to do to start a bootcamp that will not just be around in 12 months from now but will flourish. Then I’ve carefully edited in a bunch of personal business stories and stories from other trainers.
This book is not meant to cover every possible question that you will have, it’s been written to teach you how to ask the right questions and how to get answers to those questions. Along the way I will tell you what worked for me and what didn’t.
It’s coming out next week on Tuesday (15th July). It’s out now.
And you can get it for free.
Yes, there will be two options for you to get the book. On your Kindle via Amazon or in PDF format via Little Bootcamp Books.
The Kindle version is $1.99. The PDF version – which looks amazing – is Pay What You Want. That means you can enter a price you chose to pay between $0 and $1,000,000 (if anyone is feeling generous) when you get your copy.
Why have I done this?
I believe this book has an important message. I know there are trainers out there who are just starting or who are thinking about giving up and I don’t want price to get in the way of them getting their hands on Starting a Bootcamp Business.
This is the book I wish I had had when I started my first bootcamp.
Don’t miss out on it. Join the Bootcamp Ideas mailing list to be notified when it arrives.
Images: StrideFit Instagram
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.