Click HERE to watch/listen to an overview of this update
Table of Contents
- Return to Maverick Community update 🏡
- Return to Traction + Updates page to read previous months' updates
- We got the keys for our first location on July 15th and were able to open three weeks later on August 6th. Transforming the space in ~20 days was fun and exhausting. Click here to watch a 50-second video tour of the revamped area (view photos here). Click here to see how the space used to look.
- This Playa Vista location is 7,500 square feet and includes four separate studios for (1) personal training, (2) spin, (3) yoga, dance, HIIT, aerobics, mat pilates, cross-training, and (4) wellness room for massage + physical therapy, acupuncture, nutrition consultations, etc.
- I listed excellent construction referrals in the gratitude section if anyone is looking for a good painter, AC guy, cleaning team, etc.
- We had a successful launch event (press release link) that featured 11 of the best fitness + wellness instructors in Los Angeles. We had ~200 people in the space, and we raised money for a local nonprofit called Free Arts.
- We transformed our largest 1,500 sqft studio into a full production studio using high-end tech and filming equipment. This equipment includes a high-end camera capable of shooting in 4K or 1080p, studio lights to shoot in all hours of the day, sound mixers so that content sounds great for in-person clients as well as for people who are watching at home on Zoom/Facebook Live/Youtube Live, etc., We can also record locally on SD cards (in 4K or 1080p) for post-production so that instructors can use their footage to sell on-demand or to edit for ads or social media.
- Offering filming options allows wellness professionals to monetize their clients beyond the four walls of a studio, and allows us to fill our space for filming during non-peak times.
- Watch sample footage here and here and here (this one is footage of an event with ~40 people - see Instagram post about it here).
- Read our Peloton as a Service post for our thoughts on the importance of digital content.
- We've signed up 35 wellness + fitness entrepreneurs to use our space (view their profiles here). We've made the onboarding process simple and mobile-friendly (https://bemav.notion.site/Maverick-Community-Wellness-Professional-Onboarding-7e1b0a3dcbb74c89aadecb12e72ad6f9).
- We're offering instructors 10% commission to incentivize sharing.
- Our team grew to seven talented team members with excellent experience in sales, marketing, tech, and fitness studio management.
- Our first press hit!
- Underestimated a few important details in the renovation process. Playa Vista is our first location, and we're looking forward to using these learnings for our next site. (1) The amount of work and money that it takes to remove previous tenant equipment and fixtures was 10x what we anticipated. We budgeted to make ~$5K-10K selling YogaWorks old inventory and fixtures, and we ended up having to pay ~$5K to have it removed! Next time, we will ask the landlord for help. (2) The deep clean should be the last step in the process. We had to pay for two deep cleaning sessions. (3) Never trust that the HVAC and lighting are in perfect order when taking over a lease. We had to spend significant time and money fixing both (credit to the landlord who ended up giving us credit for the HVAC). (4) Quotes that are too good to be true are too good to be true - this is in reference to our mirrors and floor installation. (5) Finding aspiring entrepreneurs in the construction space (ex: painters, handymen) are faster and more affordable versus going with an established company. They take more hand-holding but offer more affordable and custom solutions. They are also willing to work hand-in-hand until 3 am for a week straight before launch day.
- COVID (Delta) is impacting our attendance and overall instructor booking. People are nervous, but I'm hopeful that people's fears will subside a bit once children are vaccinated in Q4.
- It seems the next wave of COVID also impacted people going/staying on vacation for August. We are looking forward to the school year starting in September.
- Instructors, on average, need ~six weeks from the time they show interest to the time they put a class on our schedule. Even with our group class offering of a no-risk 50/50 split, we find that instructors need time to switch to teaching somewhere new.
- The best way to contact instructors is via text or Instagram (until Instagram blocks you for one-week from sending mass messages).
- Instructors are overwhelmed with the marketing and sales aspects of their businesses. Most need help with their social accounts, graphic design, ads, content creation and editing, collaborations, sponsored content & product placement, merchandise, digital content sales, virtual training subscriptions, events, retreats, etc. There are significant opportunities for Maverick in the services category.
- The amount of wellness and fitness entrepreneurs is astonishing. We created and reached out to a list of over 400 wellness + fitness professionals working at existing studios and gyms on the westside in Los Angeles.
- This list is just scratching the surface as it doesn't include the number of instructors who left to work for themselves.
- The best equipment is needed to create high production video with quality, balanced audio. We've had to return and test a lot of different equipment over the past month - including four headsets, ending with one that finally could withstand the monsoon of sweat created by instructors.
- Took a spin class at Soul Cycle and was pleasantly surprised to see such a small and basic room that they pack with 60 bikes (<1k sqft). The rest of the 3-4K sqft studio was a mix of apparel and locker rooms. Maverick Community will make much more efficient use out of our studios.
- More studio, wellness professional first concepts are having success. This is the business model of the future. Nurture in Denver, Sqft in San Diego, Silofit in Canada raised $10M.
🏃 Next Moves
- Automating check-in and client sign-up so that no employees outside of cleaning staff are required to operate the studio. We already installed an app access front door (via Nexkey), which allows instructors 24/7 access. While we also plan to offer white-glove service filming and editing service if an instructor wants to produce 4K content with multiple cameras, we will have the tech and equipment in place for instructors to teach/zoom their classes independently without any Maverick employees. We're working on ways to automate the starting, stopping, editing, uploading, and posting of digital content for our wellness professionals.
- Similar studio business concepts, such as Pirate and Sola Salon, use tech to achieve success with very little in-person staff.
- Adding more cameras and production equipment to all studios at the Playa Vista location. Additionally, add two-way capability so that instructors can see clients working out at home.
- Working with influential instructors and coaches to help them create their own teacher trainings. Teacher trainings will build an additional revenue stream for instructors and will create and foster more instructors to teach at our studios. We are looking to start teacher trainings in the spin studio as there is very little competition.
- Testing additional services that we can provide our wellness professionals on top of rent, which will result in more clients for our instructors. We believe our model is the new-age franchise model. Ex: social media management, content creation (filming, editing, photography), brand sponsorships/collaborations, sponsored content & product placement, digital content sales (live stream + on-demand), teacher training creation, custom merchandise/fitness equipment procurement, graphic design, fitness + wellness certifications, bookkeeping, legal assistance, insurance reselling, retreat planning, event planning, etc.
- Inspiration via SignalFire
- Refining our software with Sutra and our website to make it easy for both instructors and clients to book space/classes.
- Creating a wiki of best practices for wellness + fitness entrepreneurs to learn from each other and grow. Inspiration from Chris Moreno - thank you!
- Building more consistency with our schedule by offering group instructors a no-risk 50/50 split trial for three months.
- Creating a brain trust of diverse wellness professionals to make sure all members of our community are well represented and heard, and to gather more information as we move to launch Maverick Forward.Introductions to community centers in SPA 5 or 8 that might like to take advantage of our Playa Vista space. We want to begin serving communities with needs immediately.
- Connecting with community centers and meditation nonprofits (ex: InsightLA) to see if we can offer our studio space in Playa Vista. It is crucial to us that we focus on giving back from the very beginning.
- Reviewing Maverick Forward's strategy (our 501(c)(3) nonprofit). Since building a new studio is expensive and time-intensive, we are thinking about initially focusing on mentoring, training, and incubating aspiring fitness + wellness professionals in underserved communities.
- Follow us on Instagram and TikTok
- Introductions to investors active in the creator economy, PropTech/real estate, or fitness + wellness space. We are looking to kick off fundraising in the next couple of months.
- Introductions to personal trainers, group fitness instructors (yoga, spin, HIIT, boxing, meditation), physical therapists, massage therapists, and other wellness professionals in Los Angeles (focused on the west side - Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, etc.).
- Introductions to digital fitness companies that could utilize our studio space to see their clients in person and/or film content. Ex: Future, Moxie, Obe Fitness, Beachbody, FitOn, etc.
- Advice and guidance if you have expertise driving traffic into physical retail locations. Looking for best practices on how to bring more clients to our instructors.
- Particularly interested in speaking with someone who has experience working with a new fitness studio and running ads (we've spent no ad money thus far - only driving traffic via social). I've spoken with companies such as More Gym Members but was not very impressed.
- Advice and guidance if you have experience with franchises. Exploring similarities on the marketing side of things between franchisee x franchisor and Maverick x wellness professional.
- Introductions to freelance graphic designers.
- Review us on Yelp + Google
- Introductions to community centers in SPA 5 or 8 that might like to take advantage of our Playa Vista space. We want to begin serving communities with needs immediately.
- Introductions to non-profit leaders doing impactful work in Inglewood or South LA related to entrepreneurship and/or fitness.
- Every vendor that worked day and night to renovate the studio space within three weeks. We have great recommendations for anyone in Los Angeles looking for any of the following: painter + handyman + mirror installer + floor installer + cleaning crew (Rony @ 661-593-2985), electrician (Joe, New Line Electric @ 818-926-1827, HVAC company (David @ 818-935-1184), muralist (Lauren @rosemontlane), vinyl decal producer + applicator (Freddy, 818 Printing @ 818-427-1611), fitness equipment distributor (Tim, RX Fitness @ 805-657-6326).
- Bruno @ Nexkey for helping us implement 24/7 access to our door so quickly.
- Kim Le and Zoe Kasiske for PR advice.
- All the brands who sponsored our launch event: Adidas, Manduka, Vita Coco, Runa, Koia, Liquid Death, Athletic Brewing, Loqui Tacos, and Sutra.
- Matt @ Major Leisure for creating awesome and unique t-shirt designs for our launch event. And, screen printer, Jake, for printing on them so quickly.
- Lisa Polanski for gifting us dumbbell storage.
- The team at Prism for believing in the concept and helping us to market our new business to the local Playa Vista community. Thank you Lo, Heidy, B, Stenn, Tammy, Valerie
- Elisa Panik and Veronica Lutz Parmar for helping put together the team member training and cleaning protocols for the studio. See draft here.
- Kelly at Kelly Fitness for helping with the rubber and turf for our flooring and being willing to make deliveries at all hours of the night.
- Gabrielle, Marquita, Tina, and Veronica for joining the team with such excitement. We are thrilled and lucky to welcome you all to the Maverick Community team!
- Brett Greenstein for heading up renovation and design and working non-stop to make sure that our Playa Vista location was ready for our August opening date.
- Tim, Mike, and the entire RX Fitness team for pushing to get our fitness equipment delivered on time and for helping build everything.
- Katie at Foundation Fitness for helping us store our Stages spin bikes for ~6 months while we waited on securing a new location.
- Cate Maiolini for discussing ideas around co-living and the nomad lifestyle and how Maverick Community fits in so nicely. Your excitement and idea flow are both fantastic.
- Rachel Lea, Josh, and Madison at Sutra for supporting our launch event in person and building great software for our business and for wellness professionals.
- Jada Kelly for being our first customer! We so appreciate you being our guinea pig and working together to grow both of our businesses + brands from the ground up.
- Sara Mancuso for always being so quick to help whenever we have questions. Your personal training layout advice was excellent.
- Pixie Acia for your studio layout advice, instructor outreach, and teaching at the launch event.
- Rory Cordial for your physical therapy + massage equipment recommendations.
- Terence Williams & BK for brainstorming ideas around our 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Maverick Forward.
- Lisa and the entire Adidas Runners team for coming to support our launch.
- The following instructors for taking the time to provide us with excellent advice and for supporting our launch event: Brett Hoebel, Aakansha Maheshwari, Alexis Fischer, Aren Wolf, Chris Plourde, Jeremy Major, Rachel McClusky, Grace Lazenby, Alex Cooley, Tarik Woodbine, Ricky Jaime, Tenaya Figueira, Katie Mullen, Sarah Louise Rector, Soha Panah, Kelsey Heenan, Naheed Radfar, Molly Brog, Jesse DeYoung, Alicia ACE Easter, Albina Katsman, Pixie Acia, Terence Williams, English Alexander, Jackson Lynch, Stephanie Palomino, Brittany Thompson, Ryan Kelley, Kellie Fell @ Fit4Mom, Demetra Markopolous, Marquita Davis, Nicolea Pettis, Marley Ralph, Derek Garlington, Shay Scott, Damon Lanier, Monique Bell, Remy Kam, Ferly Prado, Alexandria Kaye, Kyle Boeker, Jill Robinson, Dara Lynne Joseph,
- Jim Crowell for brainstorming the management agreement model, the franchise model, and the experience share on the gym + fitness business as a whole.
- David Borrie @ Pirate for taking 30 minutes to advise on the studio business model. “Get your place as staffless as possible”… noted!
- Oladoyin Oladapo for taking the time to review social media strategy and best practices. The OnDeck community is terrific. Including JohnMark Pero and Jordan Schau for supporting our launch!
- Chris Moreno for discussing management agreement and wiki ideas and making intros to potential future investors in the PropTech space. I also loved this idea: "you win by taking spaces that no one else wants, and this can be directly from landlords or sub-leases with other businesses with too much space."
- Alejandra Mikulan for creating our TikTok strategy and trying to turn Christian and Michael into TikTok stars.
- Nir Livni for being ALL-IN and helping set up everything tech-related in the studio.
- Randy @ Prudential for helping to equip everything we need in our studio, from towels to soap to cleaning supplies.
Single-Player to Multi-Player —> creator collabs and cross-promoting to solve top of funnel and distribution challenges
Wellness Professional > Client: business model based on a key strategic trade-off
Thanks for your support. Please reach out if you'd like to learn more or talk further.