It’s not just about what you think the identity of your gym or fitness center should be. It’s more than that. It matters what all of the other people think, the employees, contractors and other stakeholders. The way to guide their understanding is by having a clearly stated, present focused, mission statement.
This is another in the set of articles I’ve been writing about values, vision and your mission. The overarching theme here is getting your business to work as smoothly as possible and for it to become a shared idea. My exact point here, is to have a statement of your present mission, so that everyone knows what they should be doing on a daily basis. You can never assume that the people around you, the staff and trainers you employ, really know what it is that they are supposed to be doing.
The Mission Statement Differentiated
Don’t assume that your people know the big picture or what is actually their place in it. In the second part of this blog series I wrote about the vision statement and how that can guide you on the path as a point of focus in the future. They appear to be very similar. So, what’s the difference between the two?
• Mission Statement – What you are doing today. The mission statement should clearly state the service that you provide, how you are to provide it and for whom you should provide it. The clearest, simplest way you can state it is always the best way.
• Vision Statement – What you ultimately want your enterprise to do.
It’s really important to have a clear and differentiated expression of both mission and vision. They are essential for your business to function as a well rounded and organized business culture. The impact of their presence, or lack, can be felt throughout the structure of your organization.
The company Total Wellness Coaching provides an example of a fitness related mission statement. It is present focused, knows the people it is supposed to serve and relates directly to the values of the organization.
Gym Management Battleground
If your operation is running smoothly and the staff works like a team, there is probably a good general understanding of the mission. If there are conflicts and clashes then there might be crossed purposes, in the form of differing ideas of the mission and of personal agendas getting in the way. The flow, or lack of it, that goes with the alignments or divisions is the result of how well your people understand their places within the mission.
Another thing to consider is that it’s better to do this early in the business life rather than later. You might think that it would be something to put off until you have grown into a larger enterprise. I would advise against that, for the simple reason that the larger the business, the more likely it will be run by committee. The more factions that have to buy into a decision to make it happen, the more internal politics is going to make it difficult to do.
Expressing Intent in The Present Tense
Your mission statement should state the who, why, what and how of your enterprise. It should be written in plain terms, in the present tense and get straight to the point. If your circumstances or business model change, update the mission statement to reflect the new reality. The key is to have a simple up-to-date expression of your present purpose that everyone can grasp onto.
The best thing to do is put your stamp on the company culture and do it while you still can. The more people you bring in the tougher it will be to do. But if new hires come into a company culture that already has a clear statement of the mission, the more easily they will be able to accept that mission and make it their own. If you haven’t addressed values, vision and mission yet, I would strongly suggest you do it now and do it right.
Over to you…
We would love to hear some brainstorming for those who have not secured either a mission or vision statement. Please feel free to ask, share, or discuss here.