Last year, we shared the story of how Firass El Fateh moved away from personal training and “babysitting clients” to becoming an OPEX-licensed gym, OPEX Abbotsford in British Columbia. A new gym owner at the time, El Fateh started with just 12 individual program design clients.
Where is he one year later?
We decided to ask.
Today, El Fateh has 53 clients, who pay $300 a month for an individual program and monthly consultation sessions.
He also has three on-floor coaches he’s currently developing to become OPEX Coach Certificate Program (CCP) coaches. One of them is currently going through the CCP and will soon be starting to build his own book of clients, El Fateh explained.
El Fateh admits the first year of owning a small business has been busy and challenging, but having OPEX in his corner—and a system he believes in—has made all the difference in the world.
“They’re there for me all the time,” he said of OPEX HQ and the greater OPEX community. “If I need anything, I know I can always reach out.”
El Fateh said he leans heavily on his “good buddy,” OPEX COO Carl Hardwick. The two of them speak on the phone or via Zoom calls on a weekly basis, often about marketing and client management, El Fateh said.
“From a client management point of view, Carl has helped me a lot—like how to juggle so many clients along with everything else that goes along with running the gym. He has really helped give me different systems to be as efficient as possible with my clients,” El Fateh said.
As a result, one of El Fateh’s biggest wins in his first year has been his client retention, which currently sits at 93 percent
(If you have done any research into client retention in the fitness industry, you know anything above 70 percent is incredibly high.)
“I was aiming for 95 percent, but stuff happens that’s out of your control and so I’m happy where it’s at,” El Fateh added.
Looking back on his first year in business, El Fateh said he’s also happy with his growing referral network.
“Most of our new clients have come in through referrals from current clients, so our overall growth has been really encouraging,” he said.
More than anything, though, a year into owning a gym, El Fateh said the biggest win is the confidence he has knowing he’s on the right path.
His goals for his second year of business are to help his CCP coach build his own book of clients and to increase his gym’s total client list to 120. He knows this is possible because he has OPEX in his corner.
“Having OPEX behind me is the biggest help because I have had systems that work in place from Day 1, so I don’t need to second guess myself, El Fateh said.
He added: “I’m confident in our on-boarding process, I’m confident in the consultation process. Confident in TrueCoach. All of the OPEX systems just make everything so much more seamless for the business owner.”
Learn the fundamentals of the same OPEX systems that are contributing to El Fateh’s success in our free coaching course, The Professional Coaching Blueprint.