5 Tips for Fitness Entrepreneurs to Achieve Record-Breaking Pre-Sales

For fitness entrepreneurs, preparation prior to your grand opening is just as important as the work done once open. Preparation is the key to success when starting your business and establishing it in your community.

Being properly prepared is one of my many keys to a strong business as the owner of D1 Training in Naples, Florida.  Preparation, drive, and determination all stemmed from my previous experience on American Ninja Warrior and have created a true ambition to succeed in the fitness and athletics industry.

With my experience and grit, I was able to have the highest member count in the D1 Training franchise system within just three months of my May 2022 grand opening. With 25 years of fitness industry experience, I have managed to open my D1 training facility with an impressive 99 members and have now climbed to 230 members. Most D1 Training facilities have about 114 members. Although word of mouth and social media advertising can help with pre-sales, other things were vital to my success.

Here are five steps designed to maximize pre-sales as entrepreneurs prepare for their grand openings.

1. Connect to the community. Get involved in the community prior to your grand opening. Partnering with schools, small businesses in the area, and forming genuine connections with fellow entrepreneurs will expand your network within the community. This will broaden your reach to potential clients who may not have been aware of what you are offering them as you prepare to open your business. It’s vital to be genuinely interested in helping your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce and get involved in charity events in the area. Always look for how you can serve the community, not vice versa.

2. Tailor sales to clients’ unique needs. With a fitness concept, sometimes a membership isn’t one size fits all. If a prospective client is unsure what they are looking for in terms of a package or membership, work with them to create something that they are excited about and that will help them work toward their specific goals. We combine group sessions with personal training and find a combination that will keep the client motivated and committed. It’s so rewarding to see clients get more excited to return as they see the results of their hard work. A business is only as strong as its customer base so make sure you show your clientele that you truly care.

3. Hire a GM who is passionate about sales and has a presence at your business. A general manager who is excited and passionate about not only your business but sales in general is imperative to success. You, your GM and/or sales team should be onsite as often as possible, even prior to opening, ready to talk to potential clients who may drop in at any time. For example, you can set up a tent outside your location leading up to the opening of the facility, which allows you to connect with people every day who stop by to see what you are developing in the space. Don’t underestimate the power of these grassroots efforts, as they can move the needle substantially during the pre-sale period.

4. Ensure your staff is prepared and set up for success. Although having a GM who is passionate and dedicated is important, having a dedicated staff is also a key component in your business. Making sure your staff is prepared and well-trained helps set up your business for success. A benefit in franchising is having pre-established training programs for team members that have already been proven successful and effective. For non-franchise businesses, it is important to have the right research and preparation done to create employee training programs so your team has the proper skills and preparation. When running a business, investing in your staff is investing in your own company.

5. Establish a brand. A benefit in franchising is already having an established brand in place that can drive your business in the right direction. When working toward a successful opening, having or establishing brand recognition is a guaranteed way to bring in patrons. Branding goes deeper than a logo and design; it entails curating an environment that aligns to your brand core values. Aligning your brand to its core values allows customers to trust that if they choose to be a member, they will always get the same customer experience that brings them back. Members will begin to associate their positive customer experience to your brand.

With the help of these steps, not only can you maximize pre-sales, but you also can establish your training center successfully in the long run. These are steps you can take before your opening, as well as continue long after, to build a strong business.


Alex Nicholas is owner of a D1 Training franchised club in Naples, Florida. He is a former Division 1 football player and participant on the TV show "American Ninja Warrior." D1 Training is a fitness franchise that uses the five core tenets of athletic-based training to help people of all ages achieve their sport and fitness goals. D1 achieves this through three core training programs, Adult, Scholastic and Pro. Each program has subgroups within them and are based on the five athletic-based components: dynamic warm-up, performance, strength, core and conditioning, and cool down. Outside of group workouts, D1 offers one-on-one training. The brand has been endorsed by the NFL Players Association as an approved training facility and is a preferred partner of the National Academy of Sports Medicine. With more than 60 locations open and more than 120 in development, D1 is delivering on its goal to train athletes who are dedicated to their fitness goals.