As a manager or owner of a small business you never have enough hours in the day to do all of the things that need to be accomplished. Work will pile up rapidly.

How do you find a way in to the jungle that demands that you figure out what truly needs most of your attention?

Having the right gym management software system does help, but there’s also one interesting insight to look out for in the stats.

The (Gym) Insight of Vilfredo Pareto

Possibly you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule. The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) is 80/20known for his work that characterized economic behavior. What he established was that the richest 20% of the population owned 80% of the resources. It doesn’t have to be 80/20 exactly, it might be more extreme: 90/10 or even 95/5. The 80/20 Rule has since been found many places in nature and society, from the sizes of meteors to the sizes of human settlements.

In gym management terms, it means that something like 80% of your results will most likely come from 20% of your efforts. It also means 80% of your effort goes into solving 20% of your problems. If you are aware of this 80/20 relationship you can use it to tackle your challenges effectively and seek out the opportunities that are going to bring in big rewards.

Build Awareness Of Your Strengths And Weaknesses

You’ve got to be able to see what’s going on to do anything about it.

Looking at the sales commissions of your trainers, is there a pattern?

Does it look like a small part of your staff is making most of the sales?

If that is the case, it may be because the minority of your trainers brought sales experience with them from previous careers. Once you know about it you can implement training and mentorship programs for the less confident sellers.

The 80/20 Rule can also work on the downside. Look out for things that take up your time but aren’t really a good use of your attention as the senior decision maker and owner. Things like pursuing non-payment by members and troubleshooting administrative issues.

Analyze Your Activities With Suitable Software

The 80/20 Rule turns up in a lot of different economic activities. Don’t be surprised to find it in an analysis of your gym’s performance statistics. The natural distribution of resources and performance can look a little unbalanced when you first see it. However a real opportunity may be sitting in your business records waiting to give you a competitive edge or immediate savings.

Take a look at the reports you get from your gym management system and see if anything stands out as a Pareto distribution. There may be some activity or selling point that is more productive than others. That would be something to build on. There also may be something that sucks up resources and delivers a very poor return. In that case you may want to decide to drop that activity.

When you find a distribution like this you can use it to see what options are becoming available to you. I like having options and the most fascinating thing about them is they can be so unexpected. A careful analysis of stats occasionally turns up a gem of an opportunity. For example, you might discover the hidden management potential of a staffer or a particular class that gets great attendance at a very low marketing cost.


Being alert for how the 80/20 Rule can turn up and cluster your returns on investment or your time spent fixing problems can make you aware of structure in situations that otherwise look chaotic. This insight will make it a little easier to play to your strengths and balance out your weaknesses. Find the 80/20 Rule in the data of your gym management system and apply it to your investment of time and effort. You might even get a rapid return for your effort.


Over to you…

Have you evaluated your fitness business with the 80/20 Rule?


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