How Does It Look? What Does It Mean? What Needs To Be Done?
It’s a great time to draw a line under the past year by looking at what was good, what was bad and what looks to be changing. I’m not talking about Taylor Swift or politics here, but specifically in the marketplace that you serve as a small gym owner.
I’ve been writing about a lot of different topics this year and it’s worth a review to remind readers of what’s been covered and some key points to take away. This is a list that covers the basic suggestions of what I think that you need to be doing and look at on your path to gym management success.
Implement a gym management software system
If you haven’t implemented office automation and a software platform to reduce the number of hours you spend on paperwork and to do the day-to-day tasks of administering your business, I exhort you to do so. The more time you spend chasing accounts inquiries and missing payments the less you are spending at the helm of your business. The sooner you put in professional gym management software the sooner you’ll have time to focus on developing your business and your people.
Become 24/7 Accessible
One of the great things you can do, if you have the right software, is become 24/7 accessible to your membership. If you haven’t done so yet, look at what potential there is in your market for extended hours of operation. There might be a whole group of shift workers and night owls who’d love to attend after midnight. There are software applications and video systems specifically designed to support remote monitoring and control of member activity.
Connect With Text and Email
Ever thought of starting an opt-in email messaging, text or instant messaging system? These are great ways to stay in touch with members these days. They will do more than a signboard or posted newsletter could ever achieve.
Set Up and Share Standard Policies and Procedures
Every company needs an employee handbook, to give general guidance to employees and get everyone on the same page. Once you have that, create checklists for procedures and activities. Having simple step-by-step checklists to follow when completing an unfamiliar task and making sure that all necessary steps get done is a great tool to help staff work with less supervision.
Develop Sales Skills
Your business will live and die by it’s sales. Institute sales training and mentoring to help your employees learn to close deals. Incremental improvements in selling add up to huge results on the bottom line. Look into what training is available and also which of your stronger, more experienced staff can mentor newer and less productive employees.
Reflect on Trends in Independent Gym Management and Ownership
What’s going on in the business? Has a big name franchise opened a branch uncomfortably close to your life’s work? That may not be so bad if you have a strategy to compete. As an independent, you have flexibility and knowledge of the local market. If your corporate competitors drop the ball and upset one of their customers, that person will likely march over to the nearest alternative (you) and tell all of their friends to do the same. The point here is that you should look at everything as an opportunity.
Develop an Ongoing Certification Program
Your fitness training staff will most likely be a diverse bunch of people. They will be at a variety of skill and qualification levels. Encourage them to develop and continue advanced training and certification in ways that will support your plans, the membership as well as their individual careers.
Look at The Trends – The Highlights
– What do people want? Review reports and journals to find what other organizations and companies are doing around the world
– What fitness need is being under-served in the community? Can you fill it?
– What sorts of niche markets are emerging on the horizon? What do published reports claim is hot?
– Apply the principle of the 80/20 Rule and seek opportunities in the long tail of customer demand
A List Limited Only By Imagination
There are so many other things to do that I can’t even list all of them here. If you’re interested go back into the archives of the Gym Insight Website and reviewing some of the articles I’ve written in the last year and see what stands out as useful.
It’s been a good year for us here at Gym Insight and we are truly thankful for our customers and readers. For the upcoming year I will be writing about as many aspects of the gym management business as I can think of. Your comments, questions and ideas always welcome. Whatever it may be, don’t hesitate to ask me what you’d like to see and read about.
Thank you for your attention over the past year!
Over to you…
What topics or issues would you like to see covered on this blog?
This blog originally ran on 12/27/2013 and has been revised and republished.