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Started working out since Kyle Retter was 16 when he was teased about his “kid” gut and haven’t stopped since. Joined the Airforce from 2006-2012 where he was an Avionics Technician on the F-16 platform, then worked IT & Security for a year. Spent the remainder of the years in the aviation world contracting for the Military in the US and overseas and now he works for Gulfstream.
Kyle currently owns and operates an IT/Access Control/Video Surveillance company that has focus in the Fitness Industry where they provide solutions to club owners and other SMB companies. He is pursuing a long dream of him to own a gym. Fitness Premier was the perfect fit and has provided back-end support for his dream. He believes he will open our first gym in 2022, then target multiple areas for expansion in 2023.
Follow Fitness Premier on Facebook.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Fitness Premier”s (FP) culture
- Yearly Goals
- What got you into the Fitness world
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Welcome to Franchise Marketing Radio. Brought to you by SeoSamba comprehensive high performing marketing solutions for mature and emerging franchise brands. To supercharge your franchise marketing, go to seosamba.com. That’s seosamba.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:32] Lee Kantor here another episode of Franchise Marketing Radio and this is going to be a fun one. Today on the show we have Kyle Retter and he is with Fitness Premier. Welcome, Kyle.
Kyle Retter: [00:00:42] Hey, thanks for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:43] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to before we get too far into things, tell us about Fitness Premier Fitness premieres.
Kyle Retter: [00:00:51] We’re a fast growing group workout gym concept where we focus mainly for fitness groups, group classes. We focus highly on customer support and retain ability. We started our brand in 2016. Current locations are in Illinois and Indiana, which we’re obviously trying to venture into Georgia area as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:24] So you’re a franchisee. What drew you to this organization?
Kyle Retter: [00:01:31] Essentially, Jason and his team. I supported them with their I.T. work and I just fell in love with our whole backend team, our corporate team. And I just realized that they were I’ve always wanted to own my own gym and their atmosphere and the way they operate and help the franchisees through all their from step A to Z from just the beginning of signing up with them, opening locations, all that. They’re just always there for you, and they have a strategic model in place that is easy to follow. And I knew they were the right company for me, right? Franchise for me.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:21] Now, you were in the military, right?
Kyle Retter: [00:02:24] Yes, sir, I did. Air Force from 2012 to or sorry, 2006 to 2012. And then I contracted through the military for ten years after that. And then now I’m working on private jets.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:45] So you’re still doing your IT work?
Kyle Retter: [00:02:49] Yes, sir. I own my own company, I.T. Access, control of video surveillance. So I’m still doing that. And obviously, the goal is to move away from aviation and solely focus on gems and the side of things. I’ve focused my entire business to help gyms, actually. I know that there’s not there’s a lot of offerings that I can give, and I don’t. I believe that gyms don’t need a whole sophisticated system, but they need to be protected and helped out just as all small businesses do. So that’s where I focused my area, too.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:36] So you’ve been in it for your career. You were in the military as part of your career, but still playing in the IT space. And then you get out of the military, working it and targeting gyms. I guess as you’re offering serves the gym marketplace, you could have chosen any fitness center to partner with but somehow fitness premiere kind of got your attention. What what about fitness premier kind of was different than the other gyms that maybe you’ve experienced or worked with or worked out in over the years.
Kyle Retter: [00:04:12] Their allowance and their willingness to be open to the franchisee there. They give back in support as far as management training, the financial side, the real estate side, everything but the one thing that when I went and visited them and their the atmosphere of the gym itself, it’s it’s exactly what I wanted. And I used to live in Florida and the local gym there. That atmosphere was very similar for the member side and the the staff side. I would essentially just find myself in that gym for hours just hanging out because I love the atmosphere and being. Part of fitness Premier. They offer that same atmosphere, but they have the back end already in place. They they can help me because when I started it is everything by myself. I did the LC creation, the marketing, everything. It was a long road. I mean, I’m still learning stuff a year later and I just with fitness premier, they had everything I wanted in a gym from operational plus all the back end support as well. And it just it’s not. Like a cookie cutter gem, if you want to say that. It’s very flexible. And the franchisee. Can pretty much set up the gym. However they want to make an alter. If they want to focus toward. More toward some equipment that might CrossFit if they want or if they want to do the basic package. That is normally offered. You can do that. It’s a lot of flexibility that Jason and his team gives the franchisees.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:20] Now, when you started your own business and you didn’t have kind of that support around you and you were just kind of figuring out stuff on your own, you know, the there’s good and bad of that. Obviously, you took the risk to do something like that because you felt you had the skills and you had enough knowledge to be able to pull it off. Then you’re getting in the gym business and maybe that’s not you know, you haven’t been maybe, you know, went to the gym. But to have all of those kind of things that you used to worry about kind of taking care of, you could taken care of for you, makes you feel more comfortable and safe investing in a brand like fitness premier, right?
Kyle Retter: [00:06:57] It does. I mean. I mean, obviously with any business, there’s no guarantees. But they’ve created a create that sense of relief, I guess that you know, that you’re going to make it you’re going to take take all the help that they give you and create something for yourself. And they’re not going to let you fail. I mean, I’ve been told several times there’s no option for failure. Well, they’re going to make the franchisee and GM successful.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:34] So was there any kind of hesitation or was this something that you just believed in the culture, or was this something you went back and forth and you’re like, no, no. And then you talk to maybe your friends or family and you’re like, Hey, what do you think? Like what was kind of the there had to be a tipping point where all of a sudden you’re like, oh, this is you know, it’s not like an impulse buy where you’re like at the store and you’re like, Oh, I think I’ll buy that snicker bar. You know, like, this is a big decision.
Kyle Retter: [00:08:00] Yeah, it was. So, like I mentioned before, I knew what I’ve always wanted in a gym. I’ve been working out since I was 16, and I’ve been to a lot of gyms and I’ve been to good ones. I’ve been to bad ones, but. I knew it atmosphere in the operational style of Jim that I wanted. And as soon as I after meeting the whole team through the I.T. side of it, I. I get a further view of how they operated and kind of jumpstarted the whole idea of opening or franchising with them. But just looking at it, I just had I questioned them one day and just pinged them for some answers and inquiries about how they operate and stuff and what their gyms look like. I looked online and it wasn’t really any. I had no hesitations. I just knew that this was going to be the right fit and I knew I’d have the support that I needed from their teams and is a gym that I really wanted to work it and grow with them. And it was my goal is to my ten year goal is to open ten of these gyms. So it’s going to be a. Good journey ahead.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:26] So what were some of those questions when you were deciding? Because like you were in a unique position, right? Because you were doing work for them from a technical standpoint and you were kind of maybe singing some behind the scenes stuff that a typical franchisee wouldn’t see necessarily. You got to see them in real life and you got to see them, you know, going through a project together so you can see how do they behave? Are they really good people? Like you’re seeing a side of them that maybe a typical franchisee wouldn’t get to see because you were a contractor for them. Right. Doing some work on their behalf?
Kyle Retter: [00:09:57] Yes, sir. So some of the questions I asked them is how the process first would start. Like basically, how do I where do I start in becoming a franchisee? And then it just led on to like, I’m all about safeguarding myself and my family. So I pretty much always have a backup plan. So that was another question is I hey, what happens if if for some reason I do we do sell and what about and what would that process look like basically? They were so confident with their answer. It just made me feel like, all right, we’re not going to sell. There’s no option for this. Some other questions had were. Like the Maine was like has a real estate portion of it work and luckily Jason is. Certified real estate for commercial commercial real estate and that really. Relieves a lot of my anxiety or stress or I guess questions I had because I knew. I mean, he’s he’s he’s an all in one. They’re all in one team. They have a construction company. They have the real estate side of it. They have the marketing side of it.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:25] Was that a concern, the marketing or getting people in the gym? Because there’s there’s a million gyms out there, you know, like how do you find the number you need in order to be successful? Was that an issue for you? Or you just felt like, hey, I can do that part myself? I don’t need them necessarily.
Kyle Retter: [00:11:41] No, because I know how hard it is to market myself in it. So they have a great marketing platform and that’s another bonus and bonus that I really enjoyed from their offerings. They they’re obviously they’re all over the marketing side. I mean, I have I have even opened a gym and at least get an article we posted for, for myself and the future of, of this gym opening and obviously radio talks. And I just it’s been a great, great experience going down that road.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:33] So was there one fear over another that was like kind of the deciding point or once you felt confident, like once they kind of convince you like this is what got your back, then you were like, okay, let’s go boldly forward. And then it was now it’s just a matter of let’s get this thing going as fast as possible so I can get up to my ten that I want to get out of here.
Kyle Retter: [00:12:56] Yep. I say I knew the team already. Yeah. I do have that advantage over most because I was already contracting with them, but all I had was a few questions just to ease my mind and and just to make sure they were the right fit. But outside of that, I have no worries. It’s been a great adventure, has been all the processes are streamlined, the communication is there. So and we’re doing everything in our power to to get a location up. And I know it’s going to happen soon. So as I said again, I was there really wasn’t any hesitation. I just in my heart, I knew that this was the right way to go.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:46] So has there. So you don’t have the location. It’s not up and running yet?
Kyle Retter: [00:13:52] No, not yet. So we’re still in the I guess you want to call a phase one part of it or we have four or five prospects for locations. We’re looking at many different areas around Georgia and even a few in South Carolina that are close by because I’m right on the border in Savannah, Georgia, of South Carolina. So we’re basically we find locations and we vet them and we make sure the community size is where we want to be. We try to target the communities around 15 to 20000 in a population within that five mile radius. So we can make sure that we get the members and acquire the members to be successful. I mean, we don’t there’s a lot of vetting process through the location portion of it just because you don’t want to go somewhere with 3000. With a population of maybe 3 to 5000, and then you only get a small percentage of that. And that’s kind of where we don’t want to do because we know they have expressed through experience that just doesn’t work.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:11] So now the ideal gym member though, is, like you said, there has to be enough of them. What is the profile of the ideal gym member? Is that somebody that is a mom? Is it a, you know, a CrossFit person? Is it a, you know, super fit person? Is it an older person? Like, is there a profile for that ideal premier member?
Kyle Retter: [00:15:33] We cater to all well, no matter the age. What type of fitness you’re into CrossFit powerlifting. We just want to be that gym that can support everybody and we just don’t want to focus just on CrossFit or just on power lifters because it’s a small community. I mean, if you can if you can cater to all of them and create that customer relationship and then those services, whether it’s group classes, team team training or personal training, that’s our goal, is to cater to everybody and offer a service that everybody can use.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:24] So the gym offers all of those things. It offers a group fitness, it offers personal training. You know, if you want to work out on your own, there’s that opportunity. So it’s like, you know what if I need like helping, you know, nutrition, is there a nutritionist? Are there kind of people helping me with my whole holistic kind of fitness in health, or is it primarily fitness?
Kyle Retter: [00:16:48] So some trainers are well equipped for nutrition. I don’t think that we have a full nutrition program. I could be wrong, but if we don’t, that’s something that where we can expand and offer to the community as well. For the other part of the location or per franchisee to some of those decisions get made by them. And then we assess or assess the community as well to see what’s needed in that community. And obviously we offer like the massage tables, massage chairs, and then we have their guns, which can. Help with the muscle growth and just like a massager, a handheld massager for your muscles. And we offer training both as well. Also, all depends on location and the size and our average size or where we want to be is around 7500 square feet or more. That way we can offer everything all in one platform. But there are some communities where we have smaller sizes, so we’re limited to what we can offer.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:22] And you haven’t decided yet because you’re still looking for your spot.
Kyle Retter: [00:18:26] Right now, we’re I want to be in that realm of 7500 square foot or bigger. That way we can support everybody. It also allows you to have more equipment to be able to cater to all members, whether it’s CrossFit or. Power lifters. But the goal is I mean, we’re more of a. Well versed. Jim that. Isn’t focused on just one particular group.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:00] Right. You’re trying to you’re trying to have something for everybody that’s interested in fitness and wellness.
Kyle Retter: [00:19:06] Yes, sir.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:07] So if somebody wants to learn more, maybe get a hold of fitness. Premier, get a hold of you. Maybe talk to you about your experience. What is the best way to connect with them or you?
Kyle Retter: [00:19:20] Their website is the easiest way to connect with them and its premier clubs. There is a chat box that you can go straight to and just type in your questions and you can you can find their phone numbers as well. Or if you want to contact me, be happy. You can call me anytime. 8505859432. I’d love to chat and answer any questions.
Lee Kantor: [00:19:48] And then you’re looking. This location will be somewhere in the Savannah or South Carolina area.
Kyle Retter: [00:19:56] Yes. Savannah or any of the outskirts of Savannah which would be cooler. Springfield, Rincon. And then we’re also looking in Hilton Head, South Carolina and possibly Brunswick, Georgia as well.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:11] Wow. You can build that empire.
Kyle Retter: [00:20:15] That’s the goal.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:16] Well, Kyle, congratulations on all the success and best of luck in this adventure.
Kyle Retter: [00:20:22] All right. Thank you, Lee.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:23] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on Franchise Marketing Radio.