Make no mistake, being a business owner takes a lot of self confidence and belief in what you are doing. No matter how confident you are, it’s still vital to keep your gym on track by asking yourself the following questions. These aren’t meant to sow self-doubt, but rather, to help you and your business grow stronger.
Do I make time to work ON my business as much as I work in my business?
You are the first one there in the morning, unlocking the doors before the sun comes up. And you may also be the last one to leave at night. However, running a business is more than managing day to day operations and being on-site. Make sure you can invest the time it takes to build your business community as well. Networking with other businesses, building a social media following and developing a sense of community is just as important to growing your business as daily operations.
Is my business showing growth?
Everyone tells you to never lose site of your bottom line. It is important, but don’t forget other ways to measure improvement. If you set up KPIs (key performance indicators) early on in your business planning, then it’s easy to measure how you are doing and keep growing.
Can I withstand a newer, larger, “sexier” competitor?
Sure you can! Defining your unique value and differentiating from competitors is a great way to start. While clubs will often try to re-create success, they can’t recreate great people. In this business the person IS the program. Great staff combined with out-of-the-box programming can compete with anyone.
Can I compete with a lower priced competitor?
One of the hard and fast rules of business is…”You get what you pay for.” Never shortchange your loyal members for the sake of a price war with a cheaper gym. It’s wise to honestly face what brings value to being a member of your gym. You may have more experienced instructors, more available equipment or better amenities. Focus on real value. Additionally, we must remember that health is important to people.. Health clubs are not. RESULTS make a member experience invaluable.
Do I have the type of club that people who “don’t join clubs” would join”?
Creating an extended “welcome mat” for members and engaging them beyond the confines of brick and mortar often results in interacting with future members in their comfort zones. Identifying with your community, addressing needs and challenges that exist, and serving as a resource for deconditioned future members places you in a position to “be a phone call away” when they are ready to start.
Do I know where my competitors are vulnerable?
As much as we want to be, no facility can be “everything for everybody” as every facility has its challenges. Keep an ear to the ground. Know your competitors’ reviews on Yelp, Google and Facebook. Identify where your facility can out-perform competitors and focus on what you do best.
What industry benchmarks and KPI’s do I focus on?
Key Performance Indicators are essential in the formula for success with regards to operating a successful entity. What is your revenue per square foot? How do your annual visits compare to previous years. What is your payroll percentage to gross? Truly knowing your business is knowing your numbers.
What management routines do we update annually?
As your club evolves so must the operational systems. Job descriptions should be reviewed minimally every two years as well as basic operational activities such as Manager on Duty protocols, opening/closing checklists, and individual departmental protocols as to bring forth the importance of continuous improvement.
Do I consistently inspect the systems I expect my team to implement?
The best operators and managers in our industry are looking to be challenged. Inspecting what you expect allows you to tweak and develop existing methods of management and create accountability for staff. The synergy between staff and owners and operators should be centered around the desire to be better collectively and individually. This only happens with accountability.
Are my website and internet marketing efforts producing results?
Your website and social media posts provide windows of opportunity for future members to explore and both are integral parts of the member acquisition process. Knowing what is successful, what needs a boost, what messages produce responses, and how many people are finding you is a must to justify this part of your marketing efforts.
Do I have a sales funnel that works?
There are three parts to the sales funnel: Engaging potential members, on-boarding new members, and developing and creating exceptional members. Each aspect of the funnel must be attended to for you to maximize opportunities for member acquisitions.
Do I have a foolproof system for effective on-boarding for every new prospect and member?
On-boarding a new member is one of the most important aspects of creating a culture of inclusion in your club and can impact the length of time a member stays with you. Guiding them and educating them about how to best take advantage of all your club has to offer is imperative to a successful member experience as they attempt to find their place in your community. Learning the member with regards to how to best communicate with them, what their interests and goals are, and exposing them to new and exciting programs all lend to a successful on-boarding experience.
Does my marketing plan cover the 6 essential points of contact with future members?
We believe that there are six key points of contact that ensures your messages are being seen by the surrounding community as well as your existing member base. Internal club communication, external offers, community outreach, staying in consistent communication with former members, and special events all are essential for successful marketing game plans.
Do I consistently hire and work at developing the best staff my club can offer?
Above anything else, an exceptional staff is vital for an entity to be successful. Hiring the best the industry can bring forth results in dynamic and creative programming. Providing opportunities for professional growth within your organization and outlets for staff to feel challenged results in consistency with regards to your team as they will embrace their time with you as opposed to look to leave.
Are you having fun yet and does your club have GREAT energy?
Energy is the strongest ingredient a club brings forth. If it is positive, the culture thrives off it and grows. If negative, it’s human nature to shy away and look elsewhere. We must remember that we are in an industry of smiles, fun, hard work, and activity and projecting those traits go a long way to sustaining excellence.