How Much Old School Is Too Much?

There is a certain romance to the idea of a hardcore backstreet gym where you find the driven athletes and bodybuilders. One that’s as run down on the inside as it is on the outside.

You can imagine the grisly old owner-slash-coach taking payments in cash and keeping accounts in his head. Only Hollywood writers and Elmore Leonard could get away with this idea of a seedy and decrepit shed.

The reality is that the club industry is hyper-competitive and if you want to attract the type of consumers who are committed to fitness, you will have to clean up your gym and make all the needed repairs to your fitness club.

Leading Fitness From The Front

One of the first lessons to hit first-time owners is that gym management is a team sport. Everybody has to pitch in for your business to succeed. Also, the more you do yourself, the less you have to pay out to get done.

Some of your most valuable gym membership prospects are the adventurous types who just wander in out of curiosity. These potential new members are open to what you have to offer. However, any trash, disorder, or (worst of all) unpleasant odors will send them back out the way they came in. What people want in a gym is a workout, without distractions or discomfort.

So keeping tidy at all times is a top priority for gyms, and it’s easier to get staff to stay on top of it if they know that:

  1. You will lead by example and
  2. You are watching and expect them to keep your gym clean

Small gym businesses are so intimate as workplaces that owners have to be workers too. When you tidy up, put weights back in the rack, and even clean restrooms, you show that you invest one hundred percent in your success.

Trust me, people who make fitness a career respect a boss who leads by example. The second point is that staff will know you don’t ask any more from them than you give of yourself.

No Leaky Faucets No Broken Tiles

As you probably know, here are reasons beyond hygiene and aesthetics to make all the repairs and upgrades to your facility. The first of these is the legal liability; loose floor tiles, leaky faucets, and poorly secured racks can cause accidental injuries to staff or that disrupt your business.

The risks of slip-and-fall injuries or poorly secured equipment falling on people are too serious to joke about. There are also other, less severe defaults that just reflect poorly on your brand. Shabby interiors, faded paintwork, and tattered posters have to go.

Fresh Eyes That See What To Improve

In addition to the cost to repair or replace, the reason gyms get run down is that the day-to-day routine makes you complacent. If you look at the same decorations every day, you stop noticing them. You end up with the look of abandonment I wrote about previously; you just don’t see your workplace as it decays around you.

It is up to you as a manager or owner to take the time to draw a breath and look at the condition of the club. Try to see with fresh eyes every day. If you are in charge of multiple sites, get in the habit of visiting and inspecting gym facilities for safety and cleanliness regularly.

Gym Management In The Real World

Keeping the accounts in your head and dealing in cash never actually happens. Even if you have the most low rent space and primitive equipment you need more. Running a gym business requires payments by check and far too many membership accounts to be as old-school like that.

Make sure that you have all of the insurance you need to cover liabilities and an accounting system that keeps you organized. For both managing a club and your members, there is Gym Insight, which you can start out with a free trial for fifteen days so that you can get a sense of the potential.

As long as you have vision and passion for the business, the most basic fitness space is all you need to start out. Just make sure that your gym business is clean and safe, that is a necessary condition for your membership will work with you and grow in number, helping you to become a successful brand in the business along the way.

Bibliography

Fagan, Lawrence. Gym Cleanups Make Good Gym Rescues. July 29, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2833-gym-cleanups-make-good-gym-rescues/ (accessed September 6, 2016).

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

—. Save Your Gym Business With A Grant Cardone Style Turnaround. September 7, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3932-save-your-gym-business-with-a-grant-cardone-style-turnaround/ (accessed October 25, 2016).

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

Swain, Michael. Locker Room Safety: Preventing Hazards Before they Happen. June 5, 2017. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2017/06/locker-room-safety-preventing-hazards-before-they-happen/ (accessed August 5, 2017).

Leave a Comment