The Gentle Art Of Doling Out The Tasks
There is an old aphorism that a job is like a treadmill, one where you have to keep moving to stay in one place. I would ask you, the reader who is also a gym business owner, whether you intended to form a business so that you could pay a lease on a treadmill and walk on it yourself, all day long? Or was that equipment lease supposed to enable others to pay you to work out on it, to your profit?
Remember the post about learning what to eliminate? Well, reductions are not substitutions but leverage, and to leverage your time and attention as a small gym owner you need to delegate all of the tasks that you don’t absolutely need to do yourself. What are those tasks? Most everything actually! There are only a few critical things that you need to do as the owner. Things like monitoring the accounting controls and setting the direction of your enterprise, based upon your vision and values.
Getting started in business or expanding to meet a demanding goal for growth is a real challenge. Gym business owners face that any time they make a conscious decision to expand or is forced to respond to changing events in the marketplace. Growing a business is hard work and it requires that you, as the owner, rethink everything about the way that you run the business.
If you continue to use the same basic processes and procedures you will spend much more time troubleshooting or doing the repetitive tasks of the business; if you don’t make the effort to train your staff to handle the stuff that takes all of your time. This is delegation and it can save you much time and anguish in daily operations.
Does Your Business Liberate You Or Tie You down?
Presumably you are working to build an enterprise that puts you on a better financial footing and which gives you the time to do the things that you want to do as well as the funds to do so. That requires that you build a machine that works for you rather than puts you on
There are a series of things that must be in place before you can delegate effectively. First you need to have staff members that are ready and willing to take on the responsibilities. You must have a trusting relationship with them and between the different teams. The point is that you push the work down the hierarchy as far as it will go.
Learn To Delegate (and relinquish any control issues)
Saying that you should just relinquish control is a little glib. Anyone who has ever dropped off children on the first day of school understands the angst of allowing your most precious baby, whether it’s a five year old or a gym’s accounting and customer record system.
If the load is shared equitably and as lightly as possible you can make the workplace a fun place. This will also contribute to the atmosphere which nurtures your employees and that will not be lost on your customers. This feeds back upon itself and creates the situation where the buzz for the lack of a better word helps to create a better environment for everybody.
Ultimately this means more customers for you, less worry and the capacity to handle more customers. It helps you carry on whether you make it to the end of the year or not. Remember we are in the business of providing treadmills for others to use, not jealously keeping them all to ourselves.
A Little More Now For Less Later
The funny thing about being overwhelmed and too busy to train your staff is that you end up not doing the very thing that is most likely to your life easier. As Stephen Covey used to say, the Seventh Habit of Highly Effective People is sharpening the saw. That means take time for maintenance and development and you will have more time ultimately to take care of the higher-level aspects of your business.
Also, when you do have the right people doing what needs to be done on your behalf you will help to build a team that the customers have confidence in and that drives your bottom line.
Covey, Stephen R. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York, NY: Free Press, 2004.
Fagan, Lawrence. The Insights Of Bruce Lee. October 6, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2931-the-insights-of-bruce-lee/ (accessed July 19, 2015).
Hengst, Amy. Reducing Workplace Stress. https://www.hrworld.com/features/reduce-workplace-stress/ (accessed July 19, 2015).