You run a successful MMA gym but still want to grow the business. What tactics should you take? What has worked in other gyms that may work in yours? We spoke to one MMA gym owner who is no stranger to success and is willing to share his advice for attracting new athletes of all ages and athletic abilities.
Marc Montoya, the owner of Factory X in Littleton, Colorado is a Muay Thai instructor and accomplished fighter. Marc has been training, fighting and teaching around the Denver area for over 15 years and was given the annual title of “Best Coach of the Year” in 2012 by the Colorado MMA Awards. He also received the “Best Team of the Year” award 2014. Marc primarily coaches the Pro/Ammy Fight team, which includes contracted UFC, Bellator and GLORY fighters, as well as other pro and amateur talent.
Marc has always had a love for sports. He began boxing at a young age and went on to play baseball in college. After an injury ended his baseball dreams, he discovered Muay Thai on TV and was hooked. He found a local gym and began training with some top athletes including Brad Gum, Duane Oscar Martinez and Dave Ruiz, to name a few. He started his own gym that offered training, fighting and teaching, which eventually led to his Factory X gym in Colorado.
Marc currently trains 35 competitive fighters but also shares his love of the sport with less competitive athletes of all ages and athletic abilities. Marc identifies three key ingredients to attract new athletes:
1. Create a hungry but humble culture
The Factory X culture was built by fostering a family-like atmosphere where athletes know to check their egos at the door and dedicate themselves to being hungry and humble, regardless of their backgrounds, status or rank. Marc makes it a point that all athletes at his gym understand that they are ALL learners and teachers. The Factory X motto is “iron sharpening iron, every day.” He stresses the importance that his gym fosters an atmosphere of family- from the high level teams to the athlete who is working to lose weight. “We all started in the same place, so we need to give back and teach not only fighters, but the general public as well,” says Marc.
2. Have one philosophy for all
Marc makes it a point that regardless of your level, everybody in his gym is treated the same. “We provide the same passion and dedication to all the different types of athletes we serve,” says Marc. “This ‘one philosophy for all’ idea also ties back to building a family-like culture.”
3. Share success stories.
It’s important for business growth to show how you’ve helped a variety of athletes reach their goals. From a competitive athlete who achieved a world championship title to an athlete whose goal was to lose 50 pounds, use these stories so potential athletes can see these possibilities in themselves. Also, tout your world-class instructors so athletes know whom they will be working with and what experience they will receive from them.
“Customer retention is so important,” added Marc. “Once you have a customer, you want to make them feel like family and make sure you are helping them achieve their fitness goals. If one of our athletes misses a week, we follow up to make sure everything is ok because they are part of our family and we take care of them.”
Looking for additional tips to keep your athletes coming back to your MMA gym? Download our free Member Retention Webinar to get easy-to-implement tips to help keep your athletes loyal.