Home » Episode #419: Anticipating the Next Big Idea-Staying Ahead in the Fitness Industry With Jarrod Saracco

Live from the floor of the March 2023 IHRSA Trade Show in San Diego, Pete Moore sat with long-time fitness industry veteran Jarrod Saracco, Founder of the Health Club Doctor, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the industry. This wide-ranging conversation touched on a ton including the importance of finding qualified and committed employees, and what are some of the key metrics to be aware of around unit economics. 

Jarrod also offered some great advice on understanding the marketplace and the needs of your customers before building your business. If you're looking for the next big idea, you don't want to miss his tips on how to stay ahead of the game! On recruiting, he states, "One of the biggest problems in the industry, and I think in the world right now, is finding qualified employees. It's disappeared . . . some people don't want a real job. They don't want to come to work. That's a big problem."

And because Jarrod has served in nearly every position one can have in a fitness club, he's keyed into the "smaller" things as well that, unfortunately seem to have also disappeared. He's a fan of the personal touch and adding some personality to what you're doing. He states, "If you want to use Chat GPT, or you want to use AI to write messaging, that's fine. But you better edit it and put some personality and love into it and still pick up that phone. The effort sometimes is worth a heck of a lot more than the outcome."

This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the future of the HALO sector! 

Some key moments: 

[00:01:49] Fitness career at 16, now consulting entrepreneur.

[00:03:16] Transition from training to consulting, learning daily.

[00:07:04] Advisory and consulting roles explained briefly.

[00:09:41] Challenge: Finding qualified employees in HALO sector.

[00:17:20] Gym rescue and full-service concept completion.

A few key takeaways: 

  1. Finding qualified employees is a big challenge for many companies invested in the space. As an employer, it's important to constantly be looking for dedicated and qualified employees who can grow with your company.
  2. To be successful in the sector, it's important to understand the marketplace and the needs of the demographic before building a facility or concept. Identifying and solving the problem in the marketplace is one key to success.
  3. Passion fuels the industry and new ideas constantly emerge. However, it's important to evaluate the viability of unique business concepts before investing in them.
  4. If you're seeking advice from an advisor, it's essential to conduct your own experiment before seeking outside help. Figure out what works for your business and what the "special sauce" is before seeking advice.
  5. Continuous learning is crucial in the industry. Attend trade shows, invest in personal training and group exercise classes, and seek out opportunities to learn from clients and other professionals in the industry.

Click here to download transcript

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