What are your priorities as a finance leader over the next 12 months?
Robbie: Well, I would say that there are a couple of things going on right now. We’re trying to work with insurance companies to get more reimbursements of memberships at the gym. Already there currently are a lot of big carriers that are working on that, and we’re working with them. So, obviously, if we can get to the point where an insurance company, your health insurer, will pay part of or all of your gym membership, that would be an awesome thing for everybody. I think we all win, so I’m definitely working on that.
We have a great, brand-new offering that we are going to be pushing through the whole system. Derek’s new Retro 2.0, I think that’s going to be a huge priority for us. I think that’s going to be a game changer in bringing in revenue and helping our franchisees be even more successful, and our members be hugely successful. I’m really looking forward to that, because I think that’s just a great program and a great thing for everyone.
You know, there’s crazy technology going on the marketing area. And with digital marketing more so than anything, you can actually track direct ROI versus TV and radio, and billboards, where you really can’t track anything, you have no idea what’s going on. The digital space, you can really track your direct spends to direct results and direct ROIs. We’ve worked with a lot of different companies, and that’s been a key financial focus for us. Because if we know that we spend one, we get back three, every time we can do that, we’re going to want to spend it.
And there are so many new unbelievably new technologies in the digital space that we blink every day, we can’t believe. We’ll get 10 calls a day with the craziest things, and we have to listen to everyone, and interview everyone and chase them all down, because some of them are unbelievably, wickedly smart and they work. In the old days, you would be like “Yeah, I’ll get back to you.” Now, it’s that we want to test almost everything these days, because a lot of these things are unbelievable. So that from a finance side, if I can show any of my franchisees spend one and get back three or get back five, I’m doing it.
I think the last other thing is, again, that getting ahold of big data is super important. I think that in the next 12 months, it would be great to get my hands on some help, whether it’s going to be PhDs or MBAs, who understand our data and can mine our data to give us different data points that would be really helpful toward retention, keeping all our members coming, and lowering attrition leaving, having people leave. If we can look at the data— and we have amazing data— and we can start trying to come up with logical reasons when people are going to start having issues, or when they’re really happy, and how to keep people happier and make them a part of the family longer, that’s going to be a big part of what we do.
222: Charting the Entrepreneur’s Path, Robbie Sprechman, CFO, Fierce Brands