When television production companies catch onto a formula that’s cheap to produce and popular with viewers, they really work it for all it’s worth. Having an expert, who rescues failing small businesses, is a simple and compelling formula within the genre of reality TV. The premise is usually that a business, in some specific industry, gets help and a makeover just as it’s about to go under.

The super-expert, no-holds-barred host comes in with a camera crew and they proceed, in a period of about three days, to whamp the tar out of Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue saying "Shame on You, Shut It Down Now."the downtrodden business owner. They clear out the staffers who apparently couldn’t care less about their job security, train and motivate the ones that do, clean up and turn out a whole new look, or whatever it takes to get the business back on its feet rapidly.

Do Not Wait For A Gym Rescue

I’ve enjoyed watching these shows a long time and now there’s one coming out that I am particularly looking forward to. It’s specifically about saving failing gyms and, not surprisingly, it’s called Gym Rescue. Gyms and fitness centers are the perfect type of business to do this kind of show. Gym owners tend to be strong personalities and the process, from the battle of wills to the refurbishment on a ridiculously tight schedule, serve to build suspense.

Rescues can be great to turn around fading businesses. But they can undermine the goodwill of your members, particularly if your rescue expert is the sort of shouter that you often see. Also, you have to wonder: How many applications do they receive for each show that they put out? There are probably hundreds. Of course, they don’t choose the one that will benefit the most, but the one that will make the most dramatic television. The answer for the small business and gym owner is to engineer your own gym rescue.

One Thing To Make The Biggest Change

As a vendor of gym management software I’ve had the extreme privilege to look into many different organizations within the profession that I love. I, long ago, came to the conclusion that there are a finite number of mistakes you can make when you are running a gym.

I think it comes down to the most basic values of gym ownership that I like to talk about: cleaning up, building hope and making the human connection. The one thing you can rapidly do for a DIY gym rescue is to have a good tidy up and then make sure it stays clean.

Get your staff together and explain to them that it represents a fresh start. So, to make the quickest improvement to your facility, revitalize your cleanup regimen. Get all of the cobwebs and dust bunnies cleared away. Reprint any ragged notices or signs. Touch up the paintwork. Clean all of the windows and mirrors.

These seem like trivial things but they make a difference. They are the sorts of things that members will notice and appreciate. Also, from what I’ve seen, there is a strong positive correlation between cleanliness and financial success. If you go back to my article about keeping your business clean you’ll find a downloadable file of a checklist about daily gym cleanup routines. It makes it so much easier to get organized and it’s a simple, low-tech solution.

Clean Up With Your Own Gym Rescue

In spite of being a software developer by education, I have a strong belief that the simplest solution is usually the best. There are plenty of processes in gym management that are much easier to do with software but that is because the software makes it simple. Other issues can be solved with a checklist or even just a good talking to.

Very often, a turn-around doesn’t require a complete overhaul. In most cases that I have personally witnessed, the fix was just a matter of fine adjustment, redirection or reorganization. Most employees want the business to succeed and as long as you don’t let problems pile up on top of other problems then you will usually be able to swing it around in the right direction. The key is proactively taking the initiative, figuring out what needs to be done and then doing it.

Works Cited

Fagan, Lawrence. “Gym Rescue” Your Own Gym Without Relying On Randy Couture . June 19, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/06/gym-rescue-your-own-gym-without-relying-on-randy-couture/ (accessed June 19, 2014).

—. Keep Your Business Clean. August 24, 2012. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2012/08/keep-your-business-clean/ (accessed June 19, 2014).

—. The Value of Clean Working. January 9, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2014/01/the-value-of-clean-working/ (accessed June 19, 2014).

 

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