I Am About To Contradict Myself
Strange as it may seem, this is a rebuttal to my previous post about boosting revenue. Yes, increased margin is good, but too much of a good thing can take your gym off focus, especially in the early days. Some of the most successful companies have the simplest offerings, i.e., they stick to what they do best. In that post, I gave a list of different things that gym owners and managers can do to boost revenue, based on the various points on the profit and loss statement and how you can leverage them to improve your cash flow. It was like financial jujitsu if you will. Before you get to that point in your gym business journey, you will need to get some of the basics out of the way.
Boosting Revenue By Doing What You Do Best
So, now I am going to turn around and make an argument for not doing any of it. Yes, that’s right. Why would I do such a thing? There is a case to make for just keeping it simple and doing the one thing and being insanely great at it. Accounting principles are vital for business in the long term, but you need a business that attracts customers in great enough numbers in the beginning.
The principle of keeping it simple is perhaps not as contrary to the principle of boosting your revenue in actuality. The refined accounting analysis that you need to get a boost in your revenue is something that you might want to delay until you have other, higher priority activities out of the way. It is more about a principle that you should deal with first: It is the concepts of lean startup.
The Lean Startup Principle Of The Minimum Viable Product
If you are a young entrepreneur or you have just started to build your membership base, the only thing that you should be thinking about is how to do that one thing that you do, and to do it better than anyone. In fact, there is a business startup principle in play when you do cut back every excess item and focus on doing one thing. This principle is the minimum viable product, which is the range of goods or services that you can deliver to start building revenue.
As your business grows, it will depend on your ability to have a clear concept of the experience that you are providing to your members. By focusing on the key things that matter most, you will be founding and growing a gym business that is high quality and where you can quickly respond to challenges such as the loss of key personnel by stepping in to fill the role until you can find a replacement. You will also gain the respect and admiration of members and employees if they see that you are the person who can save the day or expedite during busy periods.
OK So Maybe Not Totally Opposite
The secret behind all of this is the power of the division of labor. The big box gym chains can afford to have diverse offerings because they are so big that they can split up all the different tasks and have specialized roles employees. The staffers that take on each role concentrate their efforts and supply one function very efficiently.
When you are just starting out as a small gym business owner, the way to capture some of the efficiency of the big box companies is to eliminate everything but that one simple concept, the minimum viable product or service that enables you to get the best result for your energies. Only after you have built up to the point where you have divided up roles in your business and begun to delegate the everyday customer-facing roles that you will be able to start doing the sort of financial analysis that gives you a boost off from within your balance sheet.
Fagan, Lawrence. The Insights Of Bruce Lee. October 6, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2931-the-insights-of-bruce-lee/ (accessed July 19, 2015).
—. The Secret To Boosting Membership Revenue. March 31, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3754-the-secret-to-boosting-membership-revenue/ (accessed April 21, 2016).
Norris, Dan. The 7-Day Startup: You Don’t Learn Until You Launch. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.