So, I found a great gym here in Cebu. It’s called U Shape Up. The equipment is modern and the gym is very clean. The staff is very nice and it’s close enough to my house. There are closer gyms but this one is way nicer. So, I went as a guest and that cost me about 120php ($3) per visit. The monthly fee was going to be 800php ($20). So I convinced the owner, Dharryl, to let me do a website for him in exchange for a free membership.
His biggest competitor is the gym I used to go to called Hot Rocks. Hot Rocks is much closer to my house but the equipment is not as good and the facility is kinda dirty. Hot Rocks does not do a very good job of keeping the gym clean. And with people sweating and such all over everything, I just had to go.
So, I designed a website. I did the SEO on it and I added a Google Map. The site was all my own work and I openly admit that my team is way better at this than me. But for this gym, the design is good enough. And for no costs, it’s a great deal for the gym. And since there is only one competitor with an online presence, they immediately (within a few days) started showing up on the first page of Google. They got about 100 visitors in the first month. And now after 4 months, they are getting 140 visits and about 80% of them are new visitors.
It usually is not this easy. But most businesses here can’t afford a website at all and have no budget for this kind of marketing. So, I get the equivalent of $20 a month in free gym time. It’s enough. And for the cost of one free membership to me, U Shape Up is getting lots of new members from the website. Dharryl says people come in, they’ve seen the website, and they don’t need a tour. They just sign up.
I can’t promise you these results! And I can’t afford any more $20 a month clients. But it is was very rewarding to see great results so quickly. Do a search in Google for “Gym in Tabunok Cebu”. They should be there and on the map.
So, what was “the catch” in all of this. Well, it was easy because few small businesses have websites. They simply can’t afford them. So, I end up doing it cheap and as a favor in exchange for a free gym membership. But it is an unsustainable business model for me. But it was fun and rewarding to help them. Overall, a very worthwhile project.
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