As a gym owner, you’re a natural entrepreneur. Capable of weighing risks and making decisions. Yet, diversifying companies or running multiple gyms is a difficult leap — powering through even one gym can seem insurmountable.
How can you run multiple gyms successfully?
To answer this question, we turned to Troy Barnum, who owns two Total Fitness gyms and a successful ATV ecommerce store. He bought his first gym in 2011 after running other ventures. Here’s his key advice. For a full recount of our conversation, go to our “Gym Owners Podcast”
10 Tips for Running Multiple Gyms
1) Expect to work hard.
Barnum puts in many 16-18 hour days. To succeed, recognize how many hours each company requires and work those hours.
2) Schedule everything.
To this day, Barnum follows the axiom, “You have time for what you make time for.” In other words, prioritize tasks, know what needs to get done and stick with the schedule. If something unexpected crops up, manage it according to the plan.
3) Remember basic business principles.
Know your demographics, understand the numbers, and give your clients what they want. Barnum calls this “not sticking to your fitness philosophy.” Adjust your gym to their demographics.
4) Identify your brand and stick with it.
His Total Fitness gyms’ motto is “clean, friendly and affordable.” Those three words drive every decision.
5) The best marketing is word-of-mouth.
Achieve this by taking care of your customers, offering a fair price, and acting reasonable even in the face of difficult circumstances.
6) Cheer on your clients’ passions.
CrossFit fanatics join his gym to diversify their workouts. Although he can’t cater to their niche, he supports their excitement. Most importantly, his gym is there when they grow weary of a $200 a-month membership.
7) Don’t hire someone to run the business right away.
Barnum ran the front desk 24/7 until he knew the gym inside and out.
8) Stay involved.
You’re going to dump money back into the business for a long time before taking a paycheck. Look for ways to share costs across gyms, and search for good deals on equipment.
9) Accept change.
Barnum bought a gym because he loved to train. Soon, though, he found owning a gym and exercising in the same building were often at odds. He eventually put in a small home gym so he could work out without being interrupted.
10) Tell your story.
Good luck with your expanding business. Let us know how it’s going. And, if you feel like you’ve got something to share with other business owners, we’d be happy to chat with you on our Gym Owner’s Podcast. Contact us today!
At Gym Insight, our gym membership software provides a clear, transparent picture into your company’s financials, and offers a platform from which to run your business effectively. Our software is built in-house, by fitness club owners. There are no cumbersome third-party plug-ins or complicated protocols, and it’s available for a single, low monthly subscription price — no hidden fees, no links to your payment processor. Call us today for a free demonstration on how we can lower your software management costs and free up time and capital.