Why hire a Membership Sales Coach when I already have a Sales Manager in my Gym?

Most health clubs already have a membership sales manager or someone who is in charge of membership sales production in some capacity, so why hire a sales coach for the membership department? Many sales managers are not trained in the subtleties of effective gym sales training nor have they developed the necessary skills and tools to be effective sales leaders. The most common way to hire a gym sales manager is to simply promote your best sales person in the membership department. This logic suggests this person is the most qualified to lead the membership sales team based on their past membership sales achievements. This type of promotion by necessity is common, but not commonly successful. In the process you may even lose your top membership sales performer when their leadership abilities fail to match their sales ability.

The key reason being: Great gym sales people don’t often make great gym sales managers.

Why? This is largely due to the behaviors inherent to traditional individual gym salesmanship. At the risk of generalizing, these individuals can be highly competitive by nature and many can often be found running by their own set of rules when comes to making a membership sale. Many sales superstars can be described as egocentric, disorganized, manipulating, persuasive and let’s not forget charming. Often embodying the true entrepreneurial spirit, the sales superstar by nature will just get out there and make things happen. And yes of course, they may even cut a corner or two in the process. This poses an interesting but challenging dilemma for their gym sales managers or club General Manager.

To promote such individuals to a gym sales manager is to promote the same individual behaviors. More often than not, these behaviors are challenging to replicate successfully without ramification. The decision to do so will play a huge role in developing your gym sales culture. This is why so many gym sales teams operate by the 80/20 principle, with 80% of the membership sales being generated by 20% of the membership sales team and the rest merely making up the numbers. Usually the successful few are doing things very differently based on what they know or have learned in the role through their own positive and negative experiences in sales or in the gym industry. The normally enthusiastic but struggling majority is left to make up the numbers. Gym sales models that demonstrate this type of unbalanced success are clearly lacking the right leadership, sales support and sales coaching structure in their gym.

A gym sales coach’s role in the above scenario would be to coach the membership sales manager and membership sales team members to demonstrate common habitual behaviors and skills across the entire team for optimum membership sales team performance in the health club membership sales department.

Now, go close a sale!

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, an Outsourced CEO, 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 at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor

Why Use a Health Club Consultant, Coach or Mentor?

Isolation

Directors of health clubs and owners in particular, may be gregarious and confident, but they can also be very isolated. There are not many people to whom they can turn for help, often no one in their own organization. Uncertainty about trust and confidentiality, personal competition and the slipperiness of the business ladder often make it hard for an Owner or Director or Manager to turn to a colleague about issues that may put into question their performance or tenure.

A Fresh Mind

Perhaps even more common, however, is simply the wish to consult a fresh mind, someone who brings no investment or position of his own, an outsider who is not involved with the organization, its culture or its politics. An independent consultant can reflect ideas, evoke solutions and support the implementation in a way that few insiders could ever do. Club Owners are increasingly recognizing the benefits and opportunities of exploring new avenues in consultations with a coach scheduled on a regular basis, not just for themselves but for their staff also.

More Productive Management Teams

The same is true for others who find they spend more and more of their time working in isolation on their specific responsibilities. When they do get together, they want their meetings to be as productive as possible, and team facilitation by an independent coach is an excellent way to achieve that. The coach is able to monitor the dynamics of the team and attend to group process while assisting and freeing the team to focus on task.

Fast Track Development of Key People

In today’s health club world management has less and less time to act as mentors to the new blood. Employees are left to cope on their own which inevitably slows down their development. Clubs are recognizing the benefits of engaging experienced people from outside the business to act as mentors to key employees on a regular basis.

fmconsulting.net/contact or call/text 214–629–7223

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 at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Tedious Gym Management Tasks that Can Be Automated

Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

There is no longer the time nor the place for tedious, manual tasks involved in managing your gym; automation is taking its place. Time is too valuable to waste, and with the industry growing at 3% annually, integrating efficiency into your gym operations to keep up with competition is imperative to your success. Even the simplest tasks can be automated to save you time and add a layer of professionalism to your gym. With the advancement of gym management technology, it is now an expectation that processes be completed as quickly and easily as possible.

These five tasks can be laborious if done manually, but if you start to automate them, you’ll see these tasks can be a piece of cake!

Member Check-In

We’ll start with the basics. Checking in members should be one of the simplest tasks of gym management, but lines to the front desk and fitness class rooms can build up quickly. You need to have a fast method of getting people in before that line starts to form, and automated processes can help. One automation tool most gyms employ today is key fobs for check-in. Remember how annoying it was to look up every member or review paper logs? Using key tags, key fobs, fingerprint scans, and pin codes allow your members to simply scan or enter their code and go. It not only keeps your members happy by eliminating the check-in line, but also opens up profit potential for your business. If you no longer need multiple people manning the check-in process, you can have employees take on a larger business role, become a personal trainer, or fill another position that will help to grow your gym.

Payment Processing

Delinquent payments are a nightmare for gym owners and managers. Organizing payments, getting member dues collected on time, and reminding members of late payments are all tedious tasks. But these tasks are also critical to maintaining a consistent, up-to-date revenue stream. With a payment processing system, you can have automated billing, allowing you to focus your time and energy on improving your member experience and club profits. Send automated alerts to remind members when payments are due to reduce delinquent payments. It is also beneficial to have a payment processing system that gives your members the option to customize their payments to set up payments on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Fully automating this process allows you to enjoy a seamless billing cycle.

Reporting for Gym Management

Running daily, weekly, or monthly reports is more useful than you might think because they provide you with the data you need to support important business decisions. Putting together reports manually is time-consuming and is prone to human error, and unless you have someone who is a whiz at putting together charts and graphs, it is hard to really visualize and understand how your gym is performing. Automation speeds up this process and ensures it is accurate so you can be better informed to make the right business decisions. If you are using gym management software, there are several financial reports you should especially be familiar with, but it is also useful to run reports against the goals you have set to see the progress you are making. This progress can be represented visually on dashboards to give you a clear understanding of your gym’s performance.

Scheduling Meetings

If you know you have a meeting that happens every day or every week, do not waste time on scheduling it out each individual time. Even though it might only take a minute or two to schedule a meeting, every minute counts. Your time is spread thin as a gym manager, so setting up recurring meetings saves you the time and the hassle of having to do administrative tasks that can easily be automated.

File Management

Keeping up with customer changes is another tedious administrative task. With different levels of memberships available, customers may switch back and forth until they find a membership plan they are comfortable with. Or they might schedule a variety of classes until they find one they really like. Tracking all of these changes is a huge task involved in managing your gym. However, they can be automated as well. Gym management software automatically tracks these changes for you, so you do not have to worry about whether the membership status you have listed for a particular member is correct. Any changes that are made and any classes that are scheduled are all automatically tracked by your software system.

Gym management is filled with highly detail oriented tasks, which makes owning or managing a gym stressful, there’s no doubt about that. But do not do more work than you need to. Automate your tasks with gym management software so you can spend less time on tedious administrative tasks and more time on focusing on providing a positive and exciting experience for your members!

Learn more about all the ways gym management software can bring flexibility, stability, and security to your gym. https://bit.ly/2AHPYwV

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 at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.

Enthusiasm and Practicality: The Two Elements of a Fitness Center Business Plan

In general, you see that people who are passionate about fitness start fitness centers. This gives them the option of sharing something that they feel enthusiastic about with other people. And it’s true that you can’t run a business unless you’re passionate and enthusiastic about it. But it’s not just passion or enthusiasm which can make a business do well. You also need to understand the basics about running a business. And any business requires a business plan in order to do well. Here are some tips to come up with one:

  1. Look Ahead: A business is not a temporary enterprise. You’re not just doing it for a month or two. You want your business to work for a number of years. So it’s a good idea to look ahead and think about where you’d like your business to be five or ten years from now. Do you want to just be running one fitness center? Would you like to own several fitness centers instead? Do you want to run a gym as well as a yoga studio? Do you want to expand your gym and make it bigger? Do you want to install a pool? These are all great things to aim for. The idea is to look ahead and think of what you would like to do.
  2. Be Practical: At the same time that you’re looking ahead and allowing yourself to dream, you also have to rein yourself in and be practical. If you are running a fitness center in an area where it’s not really taking off, then expanding that fitness center in the same area may not be a great idea. Instead, you could think about starting a fitness center in a different area or trying some other fitness-related enterprise in the same area. Keep an eye on the market. Talk to your customers and get some idea of what they’re looking for. This will help you to give them what they need as time goes on.
  3. Write it All Down: A business plan doesn’t become official until you write it all down. Whether you’ve just scrawled your ideas on a couple of sheets of paper or written them down in detail in a small booklet, the process of writing helps to keep the plan in your mind. You can also share this plan with your employees so that they understand what you’re working towards and come to you with ideas that will help you to get there. And of course, if you have a business partner, you should share your ideas with them and come up with a business plan together

Contact us for more great tips for coming up with a business plan for your fitness center.

How a Consultant Can Help You Evaluate and Diversify/Specialize Your Fitness Center

Nowadays, a lot of businesses work with consultants. This is a great option because a consultant has a lot of specialized knowledge about certain fields and you can benefit from this knowledge. At the same time, you don’t need to keep a consultant on your payroll constantly. You can take their help as and when needed.

The same goes for a fitness center consultant. Since they’ve worked with many clients in the fitness industry, they have a lot of knowledge about what makes a fitness center work. Plus, you can work with them for a short period of time, until your fitness center issue is resolved. The cost of working with them is not going to break the bank and might even help you to increase your sales.

Here are some of the things that a fitness center consultant can help you do:

Evaluate

The first step will be to do an overall evaluation of your services, pricing, equipment etc. The consultant will sit down and discuss the kinds of problems you’re having in your fitness center. Are you just unable to get people to sign up? Do you have a problem finding qualified staff? Is your equipment breaking down every now and again?

The consultant will speak with you and with your staff members. They’ll examine the state of your gym and your equipment. They can even look at your accounting books if you feel comfortable with having them do that. Based on this analysis, they should be able to tell you what’s working and what isn’t.

Diversify/Specialize

In many cases, the answer for a fitness center which is not doing as well as you like is to diversify or specialize. Diversification means that you need to offer more services than you’re currently offering. Currently, if you’re only running a gym, you might want to start offering personal training. Or you might want to start classes in various things like yoga, weight training, aerobics etc. In general, if one thing is not working, you can try various other things and see if they work.

In other cases, you might need to do the opposite i.e., specialize. Let’s say you’re offering a variety of services—gym, yoga, dance, training etc. But maybe only dance is doing really well. So the answer then is to focus on what’s doing well and do more of it. Your consultant should be able to tell you what’s the right option for you.

Contact us for more great tips on working with a fitness center consultant.

Follow These Gym Brokers’ Tips to Get a Good Price for Your Gym

There are many reasons why you might want to sell your gym. Maybe you’re moving across the country and it’s just not going to be feasible for you to run your gym from there. Or maybe you’ve made enough money and decided to retire. Or maybe you found that your other fitness businesses, such as yoga or dance classes, were doing better in that area. So you’ve decided to stick to those and sell off the gym. Whatever the reason, it’s necessary to present your gym in the best way possible so that potential buyers will fall in love with it. And a gym broker can help you to do this.

Equipment Maintenance

If you want your gym to fetch a fair price (or even a price that’s above market value) you’re going to have to maintain it well. If you’ve always maintained your gym in good condition, you won’t have much to do at this point. But if you haven’t, it’s a good idea to go over your gym and check out the condition of all your equipment. Is it in good shape and functioning smoothly?

Do your treadmills or elliptical trainers need to be repaired? Are your weight machines in good shape? Are your free weights gleaming in a row or are they rusted, thus posing a health hazard? You may not want to bother with all these little things, given that you are selling your gym. But taking care of all these problems now will make sure that you get a good price for your gym. When the potential gym owner walks in, they want to see a gym in good working condition, not a fixer-upper.

General Maintenance

In addition to functioning equipment, you also need to make sure that your gym looks overall presentable when a potential owner walks in. It doesn’t hurt to give it a coat of paint, get the windows cleaned and fix any leaks that might have occurred over the years.

General cleanliness is also important. It’s a good idea to get professional cleaners to come in and thoroughly clean your gym. Throw out gym mats that are ten years old and get new ones. Make sure your carpet or flooring are clean. And most importantly, make sure your gym is well-lit and has an active feel. This will help you make that sale.

Contact us for more great tips for selling your gym.

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