The fitness industry is an ever-growing industry. For aspiring entrepreneurs, it is a lucrative career option that allows them to be a part of this booming industry. It has not only given entrepreneurs a platform to see their dreams turn into reality, but has also given them the opportunity to make people healthy. Pickup USA Fitness is one such brand. Led by CEO and Founder, Jordan Meinster, PickUp USA Fitness is a brand that is looked up to when it comes to complete fitness solutions and a sound entrepreneurial future.
Jordan Meinster joined Aspioneer for an interview to talk about their journey to success, and how his high-growth fitness brand is delivering solutions to fitness lovers and entrepreneurs.
Aspioneer (A): Can you tell us something about your brand, its products, and its services?
Jordan Meinster (J): “PickUp USA Fitness was founded in 2011. As of May 2022, PickUp USA has awarded 44 franchises and has locations open or under construction in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Denver, Shreveport, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and Philadelphia. PickUp USA Fitness clubs are full-service, basketball-focused gyms and have full fitness areas with weights and cardio equipment, as well as multiple basketball courts with Dr. Dish shooting machines. The services we offer are exclusively focused on basketball and include PickUp basketball with referees for adults, basketball tournaments, group basketball training, private basketball training, youth basketball development leagues and programs, basketball camps, and other basketball-related programs for youth and adults. The purpose behind our services is to create ‘A Better Way to Play’. We also have group and private basketball training available for our adult members. Our youth programming includes basketball camps, basketball development leagues, and group and private basketball training programs. The goal is to bring a one-stop-shop basketball gym to the communities we serve.”
(A): What makes your training programs so effective? Any best practices you can share with us?
(J): “Basketball training at PickUp USA Fitness is nationally recognized for the quality of our trainers and the programs that we implement. It starts with the trainers. A training program is only as good as the trainer administering the sessions. We take our time vetting and recruiting trainers at our clubs and select top candidates in each market. Many of our trainers played college basketball, and many played professionally. After the trainer is hired, they complete several levels of internal training and certifications before working with PickUp USA clients. This includes basketball training techniques as well as specifics on administering PickUp USA’s propriety training programs. PickUp USA operates gyms across the country and our clients include beginners to high school stars, D1 athletes, and NBA players. Our training programs often include a waitlist, and that is a testament to the amazing trainers and facilities that we have across the country. When it comes to basketball training, PickUp USA is at the top.”
“A big part of our culture is letting people be free to experiment. Failure is not frowned upon. We innovate a lot at PickUp USA, and sometimes ideas don’t work out.”
(A): How do you handle the competition? What gives you an advantage over them?
(J): “PickUp USA has competitors that range from local basketball trainers to community centers to large big-box gym chains. The reason we have been so successful is we are the first and largest basketball-focused gym chain in the country, and we stay focused on doing one thing and doing it well – basketball! If a consumer is looking for basketball facilities and services, they have options in every market that we’re in, but with our focus on basketball, we have a competitive advantage over other gyms that are less focused, and basketball enthusiasts choose us for their training, games, and fitness. Specialization wins in the fitness industry. We live and breathe basketball, and no one does it better than us.”
(A): Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How have technological advancements made your programs more resourceful?
(J): “Gyms and basketball are inherently low-tech, which to us is a big advantage over other businesses that can become obsolete with technological changes. That said, we do utilize technology at our gyms with our proprietary queuing system – The Casey Queue – to organize games, member leaderboards, Dr.Dish shooting guns, Vertimax trainers, and other basketball training equipment. Our fitness rooms are also state of the art. Our partnership with Core Health & Fitness has us at the forefront of the fitness scene with the latest weight and cardio equipment featured at our clubs. Our member management software also allows members to check-in, update their billing, schedule training sessions, book visits, track their workout history, and integrate their workouts into other fitness apps that also connect via Bluetooth to our cardio equipment.”
(A): Culture is the soul of every business, and the success of your organization shouts out that you do something different than others. Can you throw some light on it?
(J): “The corporate culture at PickUp USA is very entrepreneurial. We hire extremely hard-working people that are 100% dedicated to the mission of our brand and to helping our franchise owners succeed. The majority of our corporate team are internal hires that came up through the ranks at our gyms. They know the brand inside and out and know how to teach our systems to our franchise owners. A big part of our culture is letting people be free to experiment. Failure is not frowned upon. We innovate a lot at PickUp USA, and sometimes ideas don’t work out. We learn as much from failed pilots as we do from successful ones. This is how I manage my team and how our relationship is with our franchise owners. We don’t micromanage. We find people with a shared vision, we pool our resources and provide world-class training, and we let people spread their wings and grow their portion of the business. It’s an amazing environment at all levels of our company. Everyone is bought into growing this brand. We all work hard, and there is a true team atmosphere at PickUp USA. I do not doubt that this is what has led to our success as a company over the past decade.”
(A): Brief our readers about your franchise selection process. How do you groom your franchise partners to deliver the same quality standards that PickUSA is known for?
(J): PickUp USA is very selective in our franchisee vetting process. We typically award one franchise for every 100 inquiries we receive about our franchise program. We have a very deliberate process that starts with our Franchise Development Manager, Grace Ronquillo, conducting initial phone calls, sending information packets, and handling the front-end of our qualification process. The strongest candidates are awarded franchises. We’re not looking for the person with the most money or the person with the most stacked resume. We want hard workers that are all-in on the PickUp USA concept. Those that are determined to put in the work and believe in our concept always make good franchise partners for us. The franchisee then works with our VP of Franchise Development, Gary Mazakian, to go through a comprehensive discovery process. We do lots of remote training, in-person training at our headquarters, and substantial amounts of training onsite at our franchisees’ locations. We have ten years’ worth of operating experience, and our training modules ensure that this knowledge is successfully transferred to our franchise owners and their teams. This is a big reason for our success and the track-record of fast starts that occur at our stores. After the initial training, we remain in close contact with our franchise owners. We have dedicated support reps available 365 days/year for our franchise owners and we have an industry-leading ratio of support staff to franchisees. We spend a lot of time doing refresher training with our franchise owners and their teams. We believe that the level of support we provide has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and franchisee profitability, and we allocate substantial resources to our support services.”
(A): Where do you envision Pickup USA in the long run and what are your future goals for it?
(J): “We are most excited about our youth basketball programs. We have started to gain traction in this area, and we have a lot of exciting initiatives we are piloting at our clubs soon. Our adult programming has always been a big piece of what we do, and we continue to innovate these services as well. For the young, we see a largely untapped market, and we are relentlessly developing services to cater to this growing customer base. We are expanding fast, but in no way will that take our focus away from quality and ensuring that PickUp USA is the premier basketball destination in every market that we serve.”