Health Club Employee Management

Reposted from www.abcfinancial.com

Every two interactions a member has with fitness staff in a given month results in one extra visit from that member the following month. It is essential to understand the correlation between employee turnover and member retention. Members value engagement from staff, and the staff values happy members.

Retaining and engaging employees is as important as retaining members. Many costs are associated with hiring and training new employees, so keeping the high performers in order to minimize hiring and onboarding costs can save your facility serious money and a lot of headaches. Here are some tips to keep employees engaged while boosting your facility’s efficiency:

1. Create a thorough onboarding process.

Supply employees with all information needed to prepare for the job: introduce them to the tools and team they will work with, and orient them to the facility. This process should be stan­dardized, making it repeatable and reliable. When new employees are trained at the discretion of whoever is working that day, significant details could be left out. Helping everyone stay on the same page builds trust among your employees while relieving you of actually training new people yourself.

2. Invest in employee education and training.

Similarly to the onboarding process, weekly staff meetings — as well as training sessions on gym equipment, software, and POS systems — keep everyone aligned in terms of club goals and how to use technology. Employees should also be familiar with new workout routines and techniques so they can help any member that might need assistance. The ability to recommend specific classes or trainers based on desired goals gives employees a greater sense of knowledge and credibility to members. This education creates more inherent value in whatever role that employee has and also instills a greater sense of trust between the member and employee. Members should feel confident that most questions they have can be answered by the staff at hand.

3. Offer employee incentives.

Reward employees when they do a great job. This incentivizes them to continue striving above and beyond and demonstrates that you recognize this behavior. How you measure the benchmarks for rewards is up to you. Consider things like the number of new members signed up or positive reviews left online or in a suggestion box. If this is clearly spelled out to employees, you offer them a clear line to rewards. These prizes should not be given out randomly, but rather enshrined in a well-defined and circulated document. You’ll be able to tell if this works by analyzing the metrics that the awards are based off. If your employees truly feel incentivized, you’ll achieve those goals much faster. Also, if this ends up costing your gym more than it produces, consider revisiting how you reward employees. Cash is always nice, but free membership packages or gift cards to local restaurants might prove more sustainable.

4. Test employees’ knowledge.

Quiz employees regularly to ensure they understand all processes and procedures thoroughly. This can be done through multiple choice quizzes or in-person roundtable discussions. Give them the opportunity to ask questions in weekly meetings and provide their feedback for overall facility improvement. Sometimes a shy employee might not bring up what he does not know for fear of losing his job or your trust. Encouraging a welcoming environment of learn­ing without stigma will eventually create an educated workforce unafraid to ask a question or speak up when something is not clearly explained. You can also reward employees for their knowledge of your gym, as mentioned before. Be sure to keep tabs on the people trying to learn the most. The more your staff knows, the more helpful they can be to members.

5. Adopt a Member Focus Approach

Adopting a member focused approach, offering different experiences, products, and services to different customers based on their individual needs, is a key ingredient and philosophy for success in the health club industry today. This approach puts customers at the center of business strategy, places an emphasis on customer service training, and aims to maximize the lifetime value of health club members. The lifetime value of members being one of THE most important key performance indicators in the health club industry today. Do you want to get your staff to adopt a more member-centric approach in your health club business?

6. Create a Personalized Member Experience

Consumers in general along with gym and health club members expect personalized communications and services tailored to their individual preferences. Personalization in the health club, gym and fitness industry c needs to go beyond basic tactics like addressing customers by their first name in emails or providing one size fits all workout or exercise programming. Creating new fitness solutions and messaging using technology helps to Hyper-Personalize Health Club marketing and services.

  • Genomics to Personalize
  • 3D Body Scanning
  • Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics

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 at:www.fmconsulting.netorwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

Jim Thomas Personal Mentoring and Coaching for Gym and Health Club Owners

The #1 thing that has grown client clubs has been my personal mentoring and coaching program.

I take only 10 total clients at any given time. No more.

To qualify you must be 1) like minded and we have a palatable chemistry; 2) you must possess a winning attitude; 3) you must have a strong work ethic; 4) and you must be coachable with a willingness to step outside your comfort zone; 4) you must be ready to take your business to the next level.

This is the difference when you are starting your own gym or if you’re trying to grow your business or get your existing gym back on track. The problem is that it can be impossible to find someone with the industry experience to take you under their wing and mentor you. To guide you; to tell it like it is and say “no!” Don’t do that, do this instead….that’s what I’m here for. While we share the “how to’s”, we help you effectively apply success principles yourself.

“When The Going Gets TOUGH The Smart Get Help” Package; $2,750/Month (6 month minimum). Other packages available.

Program includes (1) one-hour one-on-one conference call once per month. During this call we will go over all the pain points in your gym and create an exact plan for you to follow. At the end of the call you will be assigned homework items that are scheduled before our next call.

Weekly Check-ins; Once a week I check in on you via email. During our one-on-one conference call due dates are set for your homework items and every Friday I check up to see if you’ve hit any roadblocks or if any new issues have arisen.

Plus The Occasional “Power Call” as required when things come up that need to be addressed

Jimthomasondemand.com access. Get training and advice from me on our online platform.

Fill out the form below to submit an application.

We only take 10 total coaching clients on at any given time, so space is limited.

Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll email you back within 48-hours to let you know if you’re a good fit for the program.

Coaching spots are limited!

Please note: this is a minimum of a 6 month commitment.

Click here: I’m Ready to be Coached

To qualify you must be 1) like minded and we have a palatable chemistry; 2) you must possess a winning attitude; 3) you must have a strong work ethic; 4) and you must be coachable with a willingness to step outside your comfort zone.

Thank you.

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 at:www.fmconsulting.netorwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

 
 
 

When is the Best Time to Sell My Gym?

So many gym owners are crazy busy putting out fires and running the day-to-day operations of their gym that they typically do not give much consideration to this question (until it’s too late). Before selling a gym, there are many factors that need to be addressed. However, if you do these things right and you can maximize the return on your gym.

In a perfect world, the best time to sell a gym is when the gym is performing well and not when it is trending downwards. However, there are certain things gym owners can do to make their business as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

To build value in the gym, take some time to review the following:

  • Standardize documents and company procedures
  • Eliminate any liabilities or liens and resolve any litigation (if you have any)
  • Investigate the transferability of leases, vendor contracts, etc.
  • Be sure all equipment is in good working order
  • Consider securing key employees with employee agreements
  • Eliminate non-performing employees from the payroll
  • Give you gym a face lift (paint, carpet, drive up appeal, etc.)
  • Be sure your books are clean and information can be verifies

Consider taking the following action to free up cash flow:

  • Reduce any unnecessary inventory
  • Collect on any outstanding receivables
  • Attempt to renegotiate any vendor agreements to more favorable terms
  • Review any owner discretionary spending
  • Be sure financial controls are in place

In addition to setting a future target date to sell the gym, gym owners should ask themselves what they want to get out of the sale of the business.

Do you they just want to finance their retirement?

Is it important that their son/daughter remain with the gym?

Can they gain any tax benefits by financing part of the sales price?

Do they want to ensure the new owners will treat their members with the same level of service?

Make a list of priorities and seek the advice of gym business professionals to ensure there are no surprises during the gym transfer process.

Confidentiality Matters

Once a decision has been made to sell, a gym owner should be conscious of the need for confidentiality and non disclosure. Any leaks about the sale of a gyms can cause fear for the employees, suppliers, landlords and banks. Great care must also be taken to assure that your competition and members do not learn of the planned sale.

You competition may (and will) sabotage a gym by leaking the information to employees and members. Key employees may start looking for other jobs. Members could be concerned about how the gym will perform under new management and may seek to join other facilities.

If any one of these were to happen, the value of a gym could be significantly decreased. The name of the gym and any detailed information should be disclosed only after it is determined that a potential buyer has the skills, experiences, financial capability and leadership required to run the business being considered. In addition, ALL potential buyers should be required to sign a non disclosure agreement stating they will maintain confidentiality on all information discussed.

Conclusion

The early planning on the sale of a gym will generate the most value and will likely expedite the gym ownership transfer. To summarize, focus on building market value and improving cash flow, prioritize the terms of the sale, seek the help of gym business professionals and maintain confidentiality.

Now, go sell your gym!

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 at:www.fmconsulting.netorwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

Do You Need An Expert Witness In The Gym Industry?

The primary function of an expert witness in the gym industry is to express his independent expert opinion based on the information that is provided. An expert can be employed in different capacities for example at arbitrations, tribunals, and litigation. A witness is a person giving sworn evidence to a tribunal or court of law.

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a qualified expert witness is someone who has knowledge, skill, education, experience, or training in a specialized field. These qualifications are generally also required of expert witnesses in state courts

A gym industry expert is someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in the industry. … An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study.

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

Reasons to Buy a Gym Today

Many people dream of owning their own gym, being the boss, setting the rules, controlling their lives, and earning for themselves. Starting a gym can be difficult. You have to spend a lot of time and money coming up with an idea or service; testing it; developing its production or operation, marketing and selling it; hiring people; finding a location; sourcing equipment and vendors, and attracting new members. Many of these start-up frustrations are bypassed when you buy an existing gym. There is no better time than today to pursue your dream of owning your own gym.

Why should you buy a gym?

1. The gym has immediate cash flow from day one.

You start earning as soon as you sign the purchase contract.

2. Existing membership base is already in place.

Start-up ventures sometimes fail because new members do not come for some time despite the initial investment and the work you put in. Contrast this with an established gym that has a loyal member base. You should keep your members by maintaining the status quo for some time before introducing any changes.

3. The risk of the gym failing is lower.

Buying an established gym with ongoing cash flow, proven systems, a known brand, existing members, and a good reputation is less risky than starting a new gym.

4. People know the gym brand and logo.

You do not need to introduce the product or service because the public is already familiar with the brand or image of the gym. The gym name and logo are integral to the value of the gym.

5. The gym has a reputation in the market place.

A gym with a good reputation and a popular product or service is a good buy. A positive reputation in the market is a product of years of work.

6. Customers know the gym location.

It is to an advantage to buy a gym in operation for some time in the same location.

7. There is less need for training of employees.

The current employees are familiar with the internal workings and systems of the gym. Make sure that the key gym employees who are well trained and knowledgeable in the operations of the gym will remain after the sale. They will guide you through the transition.

8. Marketing, sales and operating systems are already in place and working.

It took trial and error and many months or years to fine-tune the sales and marketing, order of procedures, accounting, payroll, operations and inventory systems that are behind the success of the gym.

9. Financial assistance is available.

An established gym is usually offered better financing terms by banks and by suppliers. Even family or friends may be willing to finance part of your new venture, or the expansion of a gym that has proven itself over time. Existing gym purchases are considered safer investments whereas start-up gyms are deemed risky.

10. Interest rates are low.

Most financial institutions offer low interest rates now that the dollar is weak. Established gyms with good credit are getting good terms.

Achieving financial independence and pursuing your passion are two more reasons why you decide to start a gym. However, buying a gym requires capital, time, hard work and handling some risk. Are you ready to own a gym?

Are you ready to buy a gym? Click here.

An Outsourced CEO, 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 orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

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