Working his way through college as a personal trainer not only helped Rick Mayo pay for his education, but it also inspired him to lay the ground work for Alloy, the first-ever personal training center.
What started as a side hustle evolved over the course of almost 30 years into a truly unique franchise opportunity. The finished product is a result of years of learning from major players in the fitness industry and using the knowledge to streamline a bullet-proof business model.
Adding four walls
Mayo put careful consideration into Alloy when he opened the first location back in 1992. “I thought to myself…what if I could take this amazing (personal training) service and put four walls around it?”
Mayo’s instincts were spot on and it didn’t take long to build a loyal customer base and grab attention from the biggest names in the fitness industry.
Starting with a well-known, big box gym, Mayo was approached by fitness leaders to take his concept and essentially drop it into larger gyms and studios.
Others followed and, in 2011, Mayo started powering more than 2,000 gyms and studios worldwide, from Tasmania to Dubai and everywhere in between through white label licensing agreements. Mayo calls the relationship “franchising light.” “We took our business and systemized it in a way that could be duplicated over and over again,” he says. “The result was a really unique business model.”
Our customer base has 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income, yet it’s an underserved market.”Rick Mayo
Mayo’s expertise in personal training led him to serve on the boards for some of the industry’s top players, including Gold’s Gym and Anytime Fitness. “Over the years, I have had a behind-the-scenes look at the industry from many perspectives. I learned what works and what doesn’t,” he says.
Instead of continuing to power other brands, Mayo decided to fully reap the rewards of franchising. He refined his systems even more and created a concept studio specifically for franchising in 2016. Since 2019, in his 28th year in business, Mayo has been offering franchise opportunities.
In short order, Mayo awarded eight locations and is going full steam ahead. “Even though we are technically new to franchising, we have been in business for nearly three decades. We’re not some Johnny Come Lately franchise,” he says.
While there are dozens of fitness franchises, Mayo says that Alloy is completely different than anything out there. “The bulk of the industry uses class-based concepts. Alloy is focused on personal training,” he says. Members sign up for one, two or three sessions a week. At each session, there is one instructor and six members. “We have come up with a systematic way to service people individually in groups of six,” he says.
Mayo describes the workout as “high-level athletic training for anyone.” He caters to a somewhat older clientele—consisting of folks in their 40s and 50s. “Our customer base has 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income, yet it’s an underserved market,” he says. There are lots of personal touches for members, including one-on-one meetings, goal analysis, and even surprise gifts. Mayo says he’s taken the idea from the Ritz Carlton’s model of exceptional customer service. “We’ve even systemized our soft touches,” says Mayo. He attributes Alloy’s amazing retention rate through COVID (97 percent) to exceptional, personalized service.
Making a difference by helping members achieve their fitness goals is what Mayo considers the best part of this business. “At the end of the day, it’s all about helping people. What could be better than that?,” Mayo says.
It’s unique: Alloy is the first-ever personal training center.
There are two models: Franchisees can choose from two sizes and investment levels.
Underserved market: Alloy caters to a mature clientele (40s and 50s) with more disposable income.
High retention rate: Despite COVID, Alloy maintained their impressive 97 percent retention rate. Alloy’s app helped them quickly pivot to virtual training, keeping members engaged through the shutdowns.
Established brand: Alloy has been in business since 1992 and has had more than 2,000 white label licensing agreements.
Loyal customer base: Alloy delivers the accountability customers need, while providing a better fitness experience that improves loyalty.