The Number One Way To Tank Your Gym (or any service based business)

February 18, 2016
TLDR;
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While this scenario is common to many gyms, it also can be seen in many high growth business situations in any industry. It goes something like this:

  1. You open. You’re excited of the possibilities to come! You’ve prepared for years for this moment, and here you are!
  2. Clients flock to your business. They love the open space, the wide open availability and schedule, the clean shiny equipment and the fresh paint on the walls.
  3. Your growth outpaces your expectations. And between you and me, your expectations were lofty. But hell, you did it with no end it sight. People are happy with the entire package of your gym; You are king of the city.
  4. You hit some snags, but recover. Part of growth and helping a lot of people include some snags. You mis-schedule some coaching shifts. A key coach gets tired of the hours and leaves abruptly. It’s part of the game and you deal with it as needed.
  5. Your main product offering is starting to max out and now your members (and you) are looking for more. Some look for olympic lifting classes. Others want yoga. A core group needs some competitive training, while still more are pressuring you to install showers. In a short span of time, you bite off all that while also deciding to launch a corporate wellness program and finally do that retail area you were thinking about since day one.
  6. You don’t back these endeavors with the proper time or resources to succeed. Combined with your quick growth and seemingly unstoppable success, you made some decisions that you felt would help your clients. Blinded by your immediate success and due to the fact that you have launched all these initiatives in rapid succession, you cannot back them with the resources and time needed to let them organically grow to be successful.
  7. You crumble under the weight of being spread too thin. Without the proper resources in place to support all the new product lines and upgrades, everything begins to suffer. You and your coaches are inundated with questions and complaints from once happy clients. Your coach morale goes down. Your once flourishing client base is now looking at gyms across town who seem to “be more in touch with what they need”

Of course, this model does not apply to everyone out there. But by and large we witness time and again companies buckling under the weight and pressure they have created by spreading themselves too thin.

Usually this is done fully in good intent to serve your customers with the most comprehensive offering of services and amenities you possibly can. Every gym owner wants to provide the ultimate learning and training experience for every client they can.

How To Avoid or Fix This

Do you feel yourself going this way? Don’t fear you’re not alone. Look here - there’s even big some really big companies that find themselves in this situation.

There’s a way to stop this from happening in your gym.

  1. Say NO. The first step in avoiding this is learning how to say “no”. It might not be what the clients want to hear - but your first and foremost job is to protect the integrity of your business.
  2. Give Your Projects Time. New projects will require time to mature. If you rush them along, not only will you likely be launching badly designed projects, but you’ll be putting stress on every aspect of your business when you need to divert additional attention there.
  3. Measure Twice. Cut Once. If you are going to launch a new program, make sure you plan it out in DETAIL. Think thru all the potential pitfalls and make sure to realistically assess how much strain this will put on your core business while it’s in it’s growth stage.
  4. Expect Snags and Plan for Them. Build in some contingency plans. Make sure you cover the staffing of this program completely and don’t assume a coach will never take a vacation. Understand coaches will quit. Have a plan to shut it down if you need to.
  5. Do Fewer Things Really (REALLY) Good. People won’t come to your gym from across town if your known as a pretty good gym. The will, however drive across county lines for the BEST. I personally live near The Gracie Academy and I know of people who drive 25+ miles in Los Angeles traffic to train there (driving past 20+ other competitors).

We’re No Strangers To These Concepts

The 5 bullet points listed above on how to stay clear of tanking yourself are a part of our DNA. If you’re a PushPress client, you’ve likely been told “NO” to a killer idea you had.

This is not because we’re egomaniacs who like to shoot down good ideas.

This is because we’re protecting our house. We seek to do a few things and be the best at them.

You see: you and us, we’re very much the same.

We both run a service based company and we both try to make our clients the most delighted clients on the planet. Stay on point, and you will do just that.

Drift too far, and you risk it all.

pushpress.com

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