How to handle a pay raise with gym staff in a challenging economy

I speak with many gym owners and operators who have concerns on how to hand out pay raises when times are tough. Although… difficult times can be nothing more than an excuse not to offer a pay raise even though there’s merit. My answer normally will surprise the concerned gym owner when I tell them my solution to pay raises is the same no matter if it’s good times…or not so good times.

Gyms need talent. There is a shortage of talent. Talent will cost money otherwise you will lose your best people to other industries.

As we all know, sales can have a way of being a moving target…so if you continually compensate your staff around a fixed compensation plan, you are setting yourself up for a fall. I like to see gyms offer some form of a guaranteed opportunity, but with plenty of upside based on production and job description.

· You have a budget, right? Give staffers responsibility for certain line items. Say the budget for towel service is $2,000 per month…any savings they can generate in that line item would result in a 50% bonus off the total savings. So, if they save the club $500, they would receive a $250 bonus. It’s a win-win.

· Additional compensation does not have to come in the way of direct dollars. Work a half day on Friday, but receive compensation for a full day.

· Make childcare available for a reduced cost or even free. This offers a potentially significant savings for the employee plus the added bonus of convenience.

· Where it’s possible, offer flex-scheduling. This is a nice perk for those who have children or simply like the idea of beating rush hour traffic.

· Everyone is in sales…or they should be. Have a commission plan for every employee in your club. And then teach them how to promote and sell.

· Offer more training and continuing education that’s job related. Help make them more valuable to you…and increase their confidence and self esteem at the same time.

· Have a monthly contest. Of course, a sales contest would work in many departments, but you could also have a cleaning contest based on daily inspection scores. How many more memberships would you sell or how many members would you retain with a cleaner facility?

· Combine duties. When someone leaves your company…instead of hiring someone else, take a look around, maybe you have someone who deserves more money and they can pick up some of these duties. The club will save and the employee will get an increase.

· A common mistake in evaluating compensation is to view the employee as an expense…if you can learn to view the employee as your most valuable asset, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

· A final reminder…the most expensive person you have on staff is the lowest paid person who’s worth it.

Now, go give someone a raise!

An Outsourced CEO and expert witness, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site

Fitness Center Promotions: Increase Membership with an Open House

Organizing an open house is a great way to bring in potential new members, and hold onto your current members. You can target your audience, and address some of the main obstacles that hold people back from purchasing a fitness center membership. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Why Have an Open House: People sometimes hesitate to join a fitness center because they’re concerned about the monthly expense, and they may have had a negative experience with high pressure sales tactics in the past. An open house is an opportunity to offer special discounts, and get people familiar with your facility in a fun and friendly way. You can cultivate your current members too by inviting them to participate in the activities, and bring guests.

Promoting Your Open House: Your event will be more effective if you get an early start on planning. About 2 months lead time is ideal for layering various promotions including flyers, posters, direct mail, and social media posts that ask guests to pre-register. Depending on your capacity, you may also want to put out balloons and signage around your entrance to encourage drop in visitors on the day of your event.

Designing Your Open House: Introduce people to your club, and make it fun. Offer free mini events and classes, healthy snacks, and special prizes. Give people discounts on retail items, as well as memberships and class packages if they sign up that day. Have trainers and other staff on hand to greet visitors and chat.

Follow up Activities: Your open house will give you valuable data to collect and analyze. You can use it to find out more about who your best prospects and customers are, and refine your plans so your next open house will be even more successful.

We help current and potential health club operators to succeed in a highly competitive and wonderful industry. Contact us today to learn more about improving your bottom line profitability.

How to Hire Quality Staff for the Gym

Managing a gym is more than making sure the gym is filled with people. Of course, the ultimate goal is a high membership count and ensuring the club is a profitable business but it takes quality management to get there.

In order to manage a quality gym, hiring quality staff is essential.

Staffing can be one of the most difficult parts of managing any establishment but it is possible to put together an unstoppable team. Make sure you are hiring because the applicant is the right person for the job, not because you want to hurry and fill the position. Onboarding is costly and when the members see high turnover it can reflect poorly on the establishment. People may wonder what is wrong with the management or leadership at this club… why does nobody want to work here? But the reality of the matter is, the right people were not hired for the job.

Screen Resumes

Before calling applicants in for interviews, spend time screening their resumes. Avoid candidates with high turnover showing on their resumes. For example, if an individual worked 8 jobs in one year, chances are they will not stay with you longer than a few months. If you find an applicant that jumps jobs but you are still interested in interviewing them, it is okay to call them in but be sure to find out why they left their previous positions. It is also okay to conduct phone interviews before face-to-face interviews, it could potentially save your time and theirs.

Interviewing Applicants

This is the time you will be spending with the applicants, so do yourself a favor and make time for your interviews. Interviewing person after person can be draining and sometimes seem hopeless, but the right person is bound to find their way in front of you eventually, so be ready!

During the interviews, pay attention to their attitude and confidence. There may be instances where they are working alone in the club. Do they seem responsible and trustworthy?

Find out what influenced the applicant to apply to your gym. Be sure to provide them with a clear rundown of the job responsibilities and a day-to-day visual. Be honest about the job description and pay structure. They may decide it is not the job for them and this could save you time in the long run.

And sometimes you just have to follow your gut and intuition. If on paper they seem great but in person you know they are not the right fit, keep interviewing until you find the right person. You are managing the gym for a reason, you got this!

Once the right candidates are hired for the job, you can move along to managing your team and structuring your club. Remember that building a strong and solid team is the first step to a successful venture. For additional guidance do not hesitate to contact us!

Reasons to Invest in Health Club Sales Training

Owning and operating a fitness center can be a very profitable business. However, in order for it to be successful, you will need to have a staff that is able to sell the products and services that you provide. For any fitness center that is struggling to improve revenue, a great option would be to invest in a health club sales training clinic. There are many benefits that come when you invest in health club sales training for your employees.


One of the main benefits of having a training session for your sales staff at your health center is that it will help to motivate your employees. Like at all businesses, sales staff at fitness centers can get complacent. A sales training session will focus on improving motivation and getting them to improve their sales results.

Learn How to Sell Specific Products and Services

Another advantage of investing in sales training for a health club is that they will teach techniques of how to sell specific products and services. A fitness center is unlike any other business and customers have a variety of needs that vary from one person to the next. The training session will help sales professionals learn how to better assess the needs of customers and how to sell services that will help them to meet their goals.

Receive Feedback

Another reason why you should have a sales training session completed for your health club is that you can receive real-time feedback from employees. A sales training session will give employees the opportunity to discuss challenges that they have had with sales as well as suggestions for what additional revenue sources could be provided. This can help you to receive great information and suggestions that you would not otherwise receive.

If you are interested in seeing an improvement in sales at your health club, contact us to learn more about how we can help.

Gym Sales Training

Our powerful sales training program will motivate your sales force and generate a greater profits. We’re the sales training leader in the health club industry. Contact us today! or 800 929 2898. #gymowners #fitness #crossfit #cryotherapy #kravmagaglobal #kravmaga#personaltrainers #kickboxing #mma

5 Tips For Building Your Team Of Gym Employees

Your team of employees can be the difference between a mediocre gym, and a GREAT gym that gym-goer’s love coming to, and refer it to all of their friends and family. That’s why it’s vital your team is trained to help make your gym the best it could be.

Here are five ways to build a great team for your gym:

1. Choose The Right Employees

You want to build a team of people who are passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. Having experienced and interactive trainers who know how to explain gym equipment is needed to maintain safety and helpfulness for members. They must also have some level of athleticism so members trust your gym’s professionalism. Most importantly, you want employees whom are enthusiastic and happy to help, because their attitude will leave an impression on gym members. So before you hire any new employees, know what qualities you’re aiming for.

2. Go Over Your Gym’s Manuals

Don’t skip on providing training and employee manuals for all staff members. From the basic ground rules for the gym, to specific role responsibilities and best practices, you want your team to be on the same page. Preparation and training will go a long way. Don’t be afraid to set up role play and questionnaires for employees, or require shadowing for new staff.

3. Automate Simple Tasks To A Gym Software

Make it easier for your employees (and gym members) by implementing a gym software that will take care of member account management, scheduled classes, billing, and inventory. By automating tasks that a gym software can manage and organize, your employees will have more time to focus on more important projects, as well as their customer service.

4. Schedule Team Meetings

You can build up team morale by having a regular team meeting with your employees. This is a great time to discuss weekly highlights and progress, concerns, current projects and promotions, and to set any new goals. Make them feel involved and valued by encouraging participation and input. Always try to inspire their morale by reminding them of your gym’s mission and goals, which is to help people get more healthy and active!

5. Offer Incentives For Your Team

Having employees work with no incentive but a paycheck will not build a team that will go above and beyond for your gym. Offer incentives to work there like a discounted gym membership, free healthy snacks, opportunities for promotion, and throw in a team dinner once in a while.

Employees who feel appreciated and passionate about working in the fitness industry will make for a better gym team, and a gym that customers want to keep coming back to. So make sure to do what you can do build a great team. To help you out, contact us today.

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