19 March 2022

Crossing your fingers is not a business plan

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, less than 1% of people would want to know when they are going to die.

This is called “deliberate ignorance”.
But, what if by having that knowledge you could change the outcome, and you could carry on to live a longer, more fulfilled, more fruitful life…?

You opened your facility full of excitement and energy. But damn, reality kicks in fast.

Once you’re over the exciting bit of choosing your flash equipment and what shade of duck-egg to paint your changing room, you’re faced with covering the costs – which are almost invariably way higher than you ever imagined.  But, the members appreciate the Farrow & Ball paint versus Dulux, right?

"Deliberate ignorance" is a natural human reaction, but it is one that can only lead to a natural fait accompli situation.  By ignoring or denying what is going on with your business, the outcome is pretty much already decided, and you simply await your day of reckoning.  Hey, you can tell people you "tried your best".

But did you?

In times of emotional turmoil it is hard to be objective.  Try to step back.  Reflect on why you started the business.  You are a great trainer.  People love the service you provide, and it is something that you love doing.

So, what changed?

Scale is what changed.  Managing a training gym with 100-250 members is a totally different thing to ~20 PT clients that you train a couple of times a week for £60+ a pop.  When you have that many members, you are going to have the “whiners”.  No matter what you do, they will whine.  Typically these members are compensating for their own issues.  You need to ensure you continue to provide the very best service to all of your members, not just those who are in-your-face.

You have to accept that you cannot do everything yourself.  You need systems, processes, procedures, automations and the tools to support you.  Amazon wouldn’t be what it is today if Jeff Bezos wasn’t so process orientated.  You simply cannot turnover $88.91B selling from out of your garage, packing every box on your own!

Failure to plan, is planning to fail

As a facility owner, it is essential that you have a plan for your business.  You should plan at least 12-months in advance, with more incremental 90-day plans to support your goals. Review and update the plan periodically – correcting your course, where necessary.

Stop relying on your "magic 8-ball hunches" and crunch the numbers instead.  Analyse your costs, and analyse your income.  What do you need to achieve to be profitable, and how are you going to hit that?  Are you taking advantage of every opportunity open to you?

As facility owners, we are not always natural business leaders.  There is no shame in this.  What is ignorant is to ignore our weaknesses and to do nothing about them.

How to start

Step one is to accept that you are going to fight for your business in a proactive and constructive manner.  You are going to make it work, and it is going to provide you a profitable and happy future.

Step two is to educate yourself.  Not knowing something is nothing to be ashamed of.  Nobody knows anything until they have learned it.

Try to avoid discussion groups that are little more than a toxic echo-chamber full of “woe is me” type people.  That sort of environment will not take you forward, but will just amplify and re-enforce feelings of doom and negativity.

We are in an industry that is presently awash with self-professed "gurus" proffering their different brands of 'snake oil', whilst fundamentally having little bedrock or foundations upon which their service is based. Make sure that your guidance comes from those who are professionally invested in your success, and that haven't simply setup their business as they were struggling to make enough money from their own gym.

SGPT Infinity, from Quoox, is a comprehensive toolkit and community for those trying to establish high-ticket membership, small group personal training gyms. Supported by weekly & monthly calls with our experienced business & industry advisors, SGPT Infinity provides you with all of the systems, resources, workflows, automations and support that you need to make your business successful.

With SGPT Infinity we start with a mutually agreed 12-month plan, and then break that down into 90-day targets. We then work together to meet your goals (supported by new resources delivered monthly) in continuing to grow the success and profitability of your business year-on-year.

Find out more about SGPT Infinity...
Written by Chris Windram.


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