12 Mar Episode #324: Keith Trawick, CIO, StretchZone
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore wanted to officially announce the release of Time To Win Again: 52 Takeaways From Team Sports To Ensure Your Business Succeess. I wrote this book over the last year. I think you’re going to love it. Good to great meets wears Waldo pick ’em up for your team. Time to win in 2022. Happy to come to your club, your studio, your company, and talk about ways we can optimize business and win going forward. Go HALO!
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on HALO Talks, NYC. . .negotiating for 20 years with Keith Trawick agent, we have finally secured this interview. He was one of the original pioneers in the technology side. He’s a trusted advisor consultant and friend of integrity square Keith Trey. Treywick welcome to the show.
Keith Trawick: Thank you, sir. I’m glad to be here.
Pete Moore: You’ve been hard to give. It’s been hard to get, let’s start off with your bio and tell us about your trajectory in this industry that is now called HALO.
Keith Trawick: All right. I’ll, I’ll have to yada, Y a lot of stuff, but just know that I started in this industry as a commission, only salesperson and Powerhouse Gym in Augusta, Georgia
Pete Moore: Learning it from the ground up, baby.
Keith Trawick: Yeah. And so there is there is nothing like learning the industry versus, you know, cleaning toilets and learning how to sell memberships and take people on a 10 circuit, you know, workout and just learning it from the ground up old school.
Pete Moore: Yep. So from there, what, what, what got you into the tech side? Did you see things that could be automated? Obviously now your brain is basically like a super computer that you’ve turned into code. But how’d you get into the technology side and obviously you didn’t have, you know, computer science training. So tell us about how that went.
Keith Trawick: Yeah. So, you know, back in the day, this was before windows. So if you were to have a computer at the front desk and a computer in your office, right. You’re, you’re running coaxial cable, you’re, you’re getting these things called fantastic. You’re trying to hook this stuff together. You know, the first camera we had to take pictures was a real like beta max home movie camera, right. On a big swivel. And so you know, you go through that and you’re you look around at other industries and you’re like, there, there’s got to be a better way. Like these people are struggling with just basics. Yeah. So I just developed a passion for trying to solve those problems.
Pete Moore: Gotcha. So talk about your path with some of the companies you worked for. Yeah. When you started eye fitness and said, okay, look, I understand the special sauce because I remember when you started that company, you basically said everything about member management is inside out. Correct. It’s got to start the member and everything emanates out of that member relationship. That’s obvious now, but it wasn’t obvious then. So talk about how you kind of became somewhat of an evangelist, if you will, you know, an entrepreneur like myself kind of convincing people that the internet was not a fad and some of the companies you’ve worked with and, you know, some of the things you’ve learned over time.
Keith Trawick: Yeah. So I, I think, think the first real company that I started working with kind of officially was a Fillion out of Houston, Texas. And so I was a customer of there and to really kind of learn that software, learn how to add some things to it, to around it, to make it better. And so with my friendship with those guys, they asked me to do some consulting projects and to help them out and, and crunch fitness was one of their clients. So they sent me to New York and I’m meeting with the owners of, and managers of crunch. And through that whole process of going from a single mom and pop manager to an organization that has multiple locations and divisions in there, I realized that all of the existing software out there was a single location centric and very member centric.
Keith Trawick: And when you just got a gym that has a membership, well, that kind of makes sense, but then you start looking at an enterprise. Well, what if they also have training packages? What if they have other ancillary services? What if they have other things? And, and one of those services go bad. What if they want their corporate to pay 50% of their dues? And you start answer from those kind of questions and you realize, you just can’t do it with a member. Right. Right. You got to have an agreement centric software that can manage all of these different services. And so that’s when I started eye fitness and trying to answer those questions.
Pete Moore: Yeah. That’s great. So, you know, rolling forward to the last, you know, five years, and I mentioned to a private equity guys, you know, you didn’t go to our SA and he is like, what was your biggest takeaway from SA? And I said, this is the first year that the software companies had a larger physical and networking presence than the fitness equipment guys. So I feel like everything’s kind of now tipped to understanding that software and data and intelligence runs the business, the hardware needs to fit into the intelligence instead of the intelligence needed to fit into the hardware.
Keith Trawick: Yeah. I, I think that’s exactly right. I, I think for me over the last few years, but especially this year exactly. You say it was really evident that they, the whole legacy billing companies versus software companies that, that whole, you know, thing is over, right. It is one company and everything integrated. So, you know, for me, it was, it was it’s interesting to see those companies and how they’ve involved and how private equity has come in and, and really professionalized what was just even a mom and pop company with the, the larger ones.
Pete Moore: Yeah. So you’ve worked with several multi-unit companies, franchisor, franchisee, core corporate rollouts that have had private equity. I was in private equity for a period of time and private. Equity’s all about, I need the data, I need it a certain way. I want to look at it all these different ways. So what are some of the things that you’ve learned that you’ve kind of gotten ahead of that you demand out of a software to actually have it give you the information you need to optimize the business?
Keith Trawick: Yeah. I think one of the things that we’re struggling with now is a lot of the companies out there in my opinion, are trying to be too much and be too many things to too many people. And the, the kind of joke that I use with, with guys like you is if I put a hundred, you know, club owners in a room together, and I said, tell me what a member is. I’m going to probably get at least a hundred answers of what a member is, right. And when you start talking about delinquencies and are they active members and delinquent members and frozen members and all of this stuff. So for, for me, what, what I think is, is important where the software companies are trying to go and have to go, is allowing organizations to have their own definitions and, and enact their own business processes around those definitions.
Keith Trawick: So for instance, you know, how you manage freeze and how you manage winbacks and how you report on that and account for that, and how you hold yourself and your staff for progress. Do you have, you know, positive member growth or do you not have positive member growth? Well, I can vary that a lot by just changing a few definitions. So allowing organizations, their, their ability to have that is, is really important. And so when you see a lot of software companies focusing, all these other ancillary stuff, it becomes really hard when the basics are really complicated to over, across a lot of industries.