Tim Garland and Genevieve Rounkles: Transforming Their Business with Madlab
After coaching at their gym for three and four years respectively, Tim Garland and Genevieve Rounkles bought CrossFit Austin in Texas at the end of 2017, a gym that was fairly new to the MadLab Group at the time.
There was a lot of work they needed to do, and they turned to the MadLab Group to help them implement step-by-step changes to improve client retention, average client value (ACV), develop their coaches, increase their coach pay, and, of course, increase business revenue and profit.
In the last three years, Garland and Rounkles have worked with various implementation managers to do just that. And while their annual revenue has increased approximately US$50,000 since 2017, and they now have two full-time apprentice coaches and one part-time apprentice working their way through the ranks, Garland said the biggest difference MadLab has provided has been to change the way they take care of their clients.
“It has definitely changed the culture in our gym to being about putting relationships first. It has definitely brought us together as a tighter knit group, and allowed us to make sure folks are the right fit for our community,” Garland said.
One piece of this puzzle involved switching their client onboarding system. At one point, they put new clients straight into classes—classes that had two coaches, so one coach could focus on the veterans and another on the newbies. This system, however, never allowed one-on-one relationships to develop between coach and client. Later, they tried a small group, semi-private prep program, but still something was missing.
The moment Garland and Rounkles switched to personal training for new clients, relationships blossomed, they said. Not to mention personal training revenue increased considerably.
“The time we get to spend with people from the beginning, as we go through the consultation and through their fundamentals sessions, allows us to really connect with them on a level that you just can’t get when someone jumps straight into group sessions,” Rounkles said.
The addition of hybrid memberships, where clients do a combination of group classes and personal training, has also played a role in maintaining these relationships, all the while creating additional revenue. Further, it has contributed to increased client retention, they said.
“I personally have managed to maintain 71 percent of my personal clients since the start of 2017,” he said, effectively meaning his annual client retention rate is 90 percent.
Mentorship has been one of the other big keys to their success, they explained.
It is also what’s currently helping their apprentice coaches quickly move through the ranks, especially since the release of the latest Professional Coach Diploma Program (PCDP 3.0 ), which relies heavily on apprentice coaches working with certified MadLab Instructor coach Derek Goff.
“Having our coaches work with Derek helps us utilize our time better because they’re working with him and getting all this information and he’s giving them homework. It’s better than when we were just telling them to, ‘Look at these videos,’” Garland said.
“There’s a format and the format seems to be working for our coaches,” he added.
Rounkles agrees: “Having the fast track program available to the coaches coming up under us has been extremely helpful as well. Everyone on our team is on the same page and it makes the path to our bigger goals much smoother,” she said.
After three years of gym ownership, Garland and Rounkles now have the luxury of being able to focus on the smaller things in the business to make it shine even more.
“Audrey (Patterson, Madlab mentor) now helps us with where we can cut things, or how we can better use our funds. Just chipping away at small things,” Garland said.
The next larger step, Garland explained, is to continue to develop their two full-time coaches so one can step into the head coach role and the other into more of a general manager role, to free Rounkles up from the position. And they’re confident they can get there because they have the right systems in place, and the Madlab community in their corner.
“I’m a systems person, so I really appreciate the systems, but also just the connection and being able to bounce ideas around with other people in the group who have had different experiences. It allows us to hone in the learning curve and learn from others,” Garland said.
Rounkles added: “Becoming a Madlab gym is what set us on the path to be able to take over as owners. WIthout having a long-term structure in place. I’m not sure that it would have been as realistic for us, but the support and guidance we’ve received…has been monumental.”