Meet Brannon Beliso, the martial-arts-badass-turned-entrepreneur superhero. During his lifetime, Brannon has recorded a number one pop hit in Philippines, has won over 100 karate championships, owns an 8th degree black belt, and runs two martial arts schools. Brannon effectively transformed the way gyms approach their customers and employees, and in doing so grew one of the most efficient services in the industry. Read on and learn how he did it.
“You’re not in the shoe business, you’re in the customer service business”
Brannon is a big supporter of excellent customer service and recognizes that putting customer first is the way to go with business. That’s why when asked about his approach to doing business, he quoted Tony Hsieh’s, the CEO of Zappos, famous words: “Zappos is a customer service firm that just happens to sell shoes.”
What Zappos did back in the day, among other things, was eliminate shipping costs both ways. Make the shipping free, Tony said. No no, we can’t afford that, Tony’s managers replied. We will, because customers will be so glad we offer free shipping they’re going to buy more shoes, Tony said, revolutionizing the world of retail.
Brannon Beliso used this philosophy to transform his own martial arts business, One Martial Arts. The entrepreneur recognized that many martial arts gyms were trying to upsell their services and start charging massive equipment fees once new members are signed up, simply because they could. Most members become attached to the gym they go to after a few weeks, and gyms were effectively abusing their customers by trying to squeeze maximum revenue out of them.
The martial arts specialist saw this trend, and decided to run his own gym differently. “I think if we just serve people really well, got rid of belt testing fees, no contracts, no upgrades – none of those things – and from that, we created a business. We make more from a square foot than any top 1% martial school in our industry,” Brannon said.
Service Includes Your Team, Too
Another thing that Brannon emphasized was the importance of taking good care of your team and employees. As great examples of this Brannon mentioned some of today’s tech giants.
“Service is the new profit. Serving people really well – that includes your team. If you take good care of your team, Apple is big on that, I was just at Facebook doing a self defence workshop not too long ago, and that Facebook campus is amazing. Just studying that culture, you don’t even have to punch in. I said ‘let me get this straight – You don’t clock in and clock out?’ They said ‘no, as long as we get our work done!’ They don’t care how we slice or dice it. That’s powerful.”
I totally agree with Brannon here – if you’re serving your team as well as you’re serving your clients, you’re bound to find success.