Travel paths are a theme commonly used in restaurants that begins with the outside of the store, and ends inside. You check on your parking lot, the exterior experience, make a list for maintenance if signs are tilted or damaged, or you take out the outside trash barrel. You should have a travel path plan set in stone as the owner to ensure everything is running exactly like you want it to.
Travel paths are a system you can create and pass down to management, front desk staff, and should be carried out multiple times a day to ensure every client has a similar experience with your establishment. This is what you should have on your daily travel path list.
Ensure Your Gym is Clean and Ready for the Day
Is your store ready for the day? If you’re in a strip mall or another shared location, make sure that the outside is clean (even if it’s not your job). It reflects poorly on your business when other shops have cigarette butts and debris in the parking lot.
Make it as inviting as possible. Your travel path should start with the direct areas that a customer interacts with. Start the day as if you were on their journey.
Begin with the parking lot, then make your way to the outside trash barrels, and the front door. Does the glass need to be wiped down? Are there fingerprints? Check the handle to make sure it isn’t wobbly, check the vestibule or entryway to check for dirt and leaves.
Walk through your store as if you were inspecting it and grading it at the end. Once you get to the front desk, check if the merchandise is in an attractive position. Is there enough lighting, or did a bulb go out? There’s a hundred things you can look for depending on your setup.
Check Schedules and Assign Any Additional Tasks for the Day
What’s on the docket for today? If it’s a normal day, look for who’s scheduled to come in and make sure their posts are ready for them to get started. Nobody wants to come into their post being messy or disorganized.
If there are special tasks for the day, delegate them accordingly. If there’s new merchandise coming in, find a time for your front desk staff to put it up.
If maintenance is coming through to look at the treadmills today, make sure to account for it. Get the daily items in a list in the front of your mind so you can prepare for them accordingly.
Inspect Digital Marketing Efforts From the Previous Day
Digital marketing is a core part of any business in today’s day and age. There’s a lot to it, so let’s point out what you should be doing.
- Check Ad Campaigns: If you’re running advertisements, whether they’re video or text-based, you should check in and see their progress. Look for click throughs, landing page visits, and see how effective your overall campaign is.
- Social Media: Social media is required for any successful business nowadays. While Google can blacklist a website or choose not to index your webpages, they can’t hide direct traffic from social media sources.
- Website: Check your site for any forms that have been filled out, visits, and see how your traffic is doing on its own. Your digital marketing efforts should include some amount of online content on your website; check how that’s doing.
- Reviews: An underrated way to market your business is to respond to reviews. When someone looks up your business because they saw it while they were driving by, they’re going to look at the public reviews section. Just about everyone does. If you’re actively responding to customer reviews, both the good and the bad, it gives them plenty of reason to trust your business.
- Marketing Your Content: You have content on your site, your social media, wherever it may be. Now you have to find a way to market it so that you’re not just a PPC ad on a Google search result. Post about it in your newsletter, perform guest posts, and find like minded online communities where you can share your content.
Digital marketing has many facets, it’s always evolving, and it’s never easy. That’s even more of a reason to stay on top of it and make sure you’re visible to an audience you may otherwise be invisible to.
Plan Out Next Day’s Marketing Efforts
Now it’s time to plan out what you’re going to do with tomorrow’s marketing. Are you going to write a blog post for your website? Get your next email newsletter ready? Marketing is a constant uphill battle. Consider these activities to help you with your marketing efforts.
- Write down ideas for blog posts and articles as they come to you (keep a note app on your phone in case you come up with ideas while you’re out on the floor).
- Take a picture or screenshot of any competitive marketing adverts and graphics you see.
- Check competitor blogs and social media handles to see what they’re posting, and how well it’s doing.
- Use Google Trends for local trending searches that you can find a way to link to your fitness-related content. Create posts centered around it on your social media pages.
- Draft social media content. It’s always best to sleep on it and review it in the morning to see if it resonates with your target audience.
- Engage with communities centered around CrossFit, preferably local. This can help you market your own content and build brand awareness while also attracting new clients.
Think about the fact that people change their interests, and that thousands of people are getting access to the internet for the first time every single day. We’re far from having a full global network, so you’d might as well create and market your content today to mark your place in the fitness world.
Remember that marketing includes SEO, and without content, you can’t be found through SERPs. Your marketing efforts should involve SEO-friendly content that you can then market through other channels as an add-on, but SEO is a long-term investment that everyone can benefit from. Don’t let it pass you by.
Interact With Clients Throughout the Entire Day
Walk the store. Spot clients that you’ve seen before, and unless they’re in the middle of an intense workout or you can see they’re wearing earbuds, greet them and smile. Use the same tactics that you should be teaching your front desk staff for customer service.
Remember that you will be seen as a beacon in your gym. People always want to talk to the man or woman in charge, and may strike up conversation with you. It’s a necessary part of maintaining your clients' appeal of your gym.
Especially with CrossFit, the community element is important. Catch clients on their way into a class and greet them, be seen at the front desk when there’s nothing imperative for you to do for a brief period of time (such as before a meeting). Make sure you’re seen and clients understand that you’re the North Star of your gym.
Check on Any Reports or Customer Complaints from the Previous Day
Your front desk staff should be trained to take down any notes from upset customers who need an issue resolved. It’s important to take care of these and preserve all reputation for your business. Bad encounters happen, so check and see what previous encounters were documented, and find out what you can do to resolve them.
You can’t fix every problem, but it would be good to at least lay the problem to rest in any way that you can so that you aren’t stuck with a larger problem later.
Customer relations are always going to be difficult, and we say it time and time again, but word-of-mouth marketing is the strongest form of marketing that exists. It always has been. Do what you can to at least resolve an issue to a neutral standpoint instead of risking poor word-of-mouth press later on.
Go Over Your Books and Budgeting
No day is complete without checking in on your finances and reports. If you’re doing everything on paper, this might take you quite some time to accomplish.
Using a management system like PushPress generates information for you, so you can check in on your sales, and recurring memberships, and check to see if you’re hitting your current goals.
This would also be a good time to check in on memberships that haven’t been to your gym in a while. This can help you foresee revenue drops in the future, or you can send notifications or emails to those members to help reignite their interest in exercising at your gym.
Take time to look at and readjust your financial planning. We have an entire guide on financial planning for your CrossFit affiliate gym and how often you need to reassess it to stay on top of your finances. At least gathering your sales and membership data doesn’t have to take ages, it’s just a matter of how you apply it to your financial planning.
Check-in With Staff and Offer Assistance
During your daily travel path, you should check in with your staff. They likely don’t want to bother you with small problems, but those problems are much bigger to them than they are to you.
Be present. Be at their station, check in with them, and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help. It’s important for any leader to be seen doing the “grunt work” with your staff members.
Beyond public perception, it’s never a good idea to tell someone how to do their job when you don’t know how to do it just as well. It’s a common issue with micromanaging: nobody wants to be told how to do their job from someone who they consider to be out of touch with their position. Make sure you can empathize with the struggles they’re facing and provide solutions to them. You have to be valuable to your employees the same way they have to be valuable to you. A paycheck is guaranteed; good work needs to be influenced.
Keep Records on Team Performance and Address Issues as They Appear
At the end of the day, it’s time to record how it went. Did you spot any discrepancies that you want to address in the next meeting? Write it down.
Now is your chance to note points that you feel are lacking in your business and make an eventual action plan to make changes.
Staff members do not want to be told what they did wrong every single day. Instead, record information and plan to address it properly once a month (as long as it’s not too urgent, that is). From there, you can schedule monthly meetings with your staff and they’ll know to expect these notes in every meeting.
However, for issues that you don’t want repeated the next day, you should address them immediately. If you noticed one of your front desk staff wasn’t being as cheery as they could be, bring it up at the end of the day. If your trainer had an attitude during a class, bring it up. Don’t let the big things slide, and address the micro changes less frequently.
Keep Your Gym in Ship Shape at All Times
You know what to look for, so get used to your travel path, tweak it as necessary for your specific establishment, and then create a system so that you can teach others how to do exactly what you do. It will make a world of difference for how you manage your time, and how your employees manage the gym while you’re indisposed with other tasks.