Lessons from the Rex Roundtables: What We’ve Learned

Lessons from the Rex Roundtables: What We’ve Learned
By Eddie Tock, CEO, REX Roundtables

By Eddie Tock, CEO, REX Roundtables

REX is a global organization that runs mastermind groups for club business owners and chief executives

Working smart in challenging times—this seems to be the secret sauce of REX Roundtable members in recovery from pandemic disruptions. When we collected data, we learned that by the end of 2021, the recovery rate of North American REX members was 85.2%. It is even higher today!


Before compiling this data, if you had asked me what the figure would be, I would have said 60–80% as the range, not the average.


Because of the culture of continuous learning and challenging each other to get better, many REX members have followed several of Ram Charan’s rules. (Ram Charan is perhaps the most influential consultant alive, and counsel to top companies, CEOs, and boards.) Here are just a few for you to think about:


  1. Keep investing in your brand! Continue to fund new products, services, and renovations that strengthen the member experience and your bottom line for the long term. The disciplined leader who invests in the future now has a chance to really make huge gains on competitors.
  2. Invest in your people. Reward them, not just with money, but with recognition as they face new challenges. Most of your team are likely doing more than they ever have before.
  3. Communicate frequently, intensively, and honestly. Your staff will appreciate your candor as you seek their input to address difficult times.
  4. Refocus your budget priorities. In good times, you manage P&L, and in tough times, you manage cash and receivables, so focus on the latter.
  5. Help your members recover. Your members are hurting, too. If they’re experiencing financial distress, they’ll reduce their involvement with your club. Consider programs and offers that will help reduce financial pressure on their budgets. (For instance, REX members were all given free access to Les Mills Virtual to pass on to their members free for the first few months of shutdowns.) Even if these gestures don’t make a huge difference money-wise, just making the effort will go a long way with customer loyalty. They’ll remember it.
  6. Cut costs selectively. Avoid across-the-board budget cuts to balance your ledger. Scrutinize your costs and identify budget items that deliver low ROI. (See my CBI article from April 2021 for more on this topic.)
Two Keys Areas to Address

It was interesting for me to notice that the clubs that came back stronger during reopenings had these two strengths in common:


  1. They sold on the quality of their services, not price.
  1. They committed to developing programs on mental health, wellbeing, and stress management.


While much of our recovery has been regional, these lessons have helped many clubs bounce back more quickly.


To find your own formula for success, you need to ask yourself: How smart have we been working? And what are the next steps we have to take to elevate us to the next level?


Bring your key thinkers together. The research shows over and over again that when a resilient group of people think through their reactions to a high-stress situation, they are much more likely to survive it successfully. That’s been the key to the success of our REX members, who have supported each other on weekly Zoom calls throughout the crisis.


We began meeting in person again in late 2021, but however you do it, try to find a way to network and communicate with other business owners. We’re all in this together.

FIC December webinar

Eddie Tock, CEO of Rex Roundtables, will close the successful 2023 Webinar Series for Fitness Industry Council of Canada this Friday, December 15th at 1:30 PM EST with a not-to-be-missed session on “Secrets from the Rex Roundtables. Register now at https://fic.fliipapp.com/user/register/buy_event#3950

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