17 April 2022

Truly understanding your personal training business

Is it dark? Does it taste gritty?

The chances are that you have your head in the sand, and rather than you running a SGPT fitness business, your business is running you!

This is a stressful & unhappy situation to be in, but it doesn't have to be that way...
Putting your head in the sand
Knowing your business and how it's performing inside-out is a critical part of operating an efficient & profitable small group training facility. But very few gym owners have access to the metrics & KPIs (key performance indicators) that they need to run their business successfully.

Do you know what it costs to operate your facility? What is your break-even point? How many monthly paying members do you need to be profitable? What is your profit margin?

Whilst these may be simple questions, they are questions that very few independent gym owners actually know the answer to.  Instead, many prefer to 'operate blind' using the balance in their bank account as to an indicator as to how they are doing.  Then come the VAT bills, rates bills, corporation tax, etc. and suddenly things aren't looking so healthy.

A remarkably high number of independent gym owners also conflate book-keeping with accounting.  Rather than keeping up-to-date 'books' that allow them to reconcile their incomings & outgoings, as well as be able to see their financial position and projections at any time, most prefer to throw their accountants a stack of invoices every month or quarter and have them sort it out.

Modern book-keeping and accounting software, such as Xero, is incredibly small-business owner friendly.  Rather than the systems of old, a modern book-keeping package no longer requires you to be expert in finance, nor do you need to familiar with accountancy specific terms.  Almost all modern finance software also connects to your bank account, making it an absolute doddle to reconcile your bank account with your expected position - making it easy to identify if you have been overcharged, or if you not received membership fees you are due.

Furthermore, by managing your day-to-day books yourself (a daily routine task that maybe takes 10-minutes), you are fully in control and in knowledge of your financial position.  What's more, the chances are that your accountancy fees will reduce as your accountant is no longer having to do so much routine book-keeping work, but is instead focussing on their more specialist skillset.

Managing your fitness business is much easier with the right systems in place.

A book-keeping/accounting system is a specialist tool, but only part of your arsenal of management software. At the heart of your small group training company you need comprehensive gym management software that has been designed specifically for your type of business.

Many gym owners find themselves saddled with a stack of different products, many of which have been recommended by their "business guru's" (largely because it fits their interests). However, these systems are seldom interlinked - leaving the gym owner, manager, and their team an unnecessary wealth of headaches. Even worse, very often these products aren't even designed for the fitness industry - but are instead more 'generic' products that someone, somewhere once used and got locked in to.

On top of these systems then sit "the spreadsheets". Oh, so many spreadsheets!

Typically these are well-intentioned (but largely ineffective) attempts to track things like lead conversions; member attendance; and more.  However, as we all know, these spreadsheets are seldom completed with reliable data - instead often being updated periodically with rough "I think" (from memory) data.  These spreadsheets are then analysed 'within an inch of their lives' and business decisions made, despite the data being wildly inaccurate.

One gym owner likened the use of a business system designed for small group training as akin to having "the bag taken off his head".

Using a management system designed for your business, the benefits can be considerable.  Rather than multiple, disparate systems, you're now operating your business from one central platform.  Not only does this save you time and give you a unified view across your entire business, but often it saves you money from unnecessary subscriptions as well.

By using a system designed for small group training, you negate the need for tedious, manual spreadsheets. Instead, a good system will present you up-to-date KPIs & metrics, providing you a full overview & snapshot of your business at any point.

Not only does such data reflect membership dues and other such financial data, but also an overview of your sessions and their usage. This data is invaluable, and enables you to spot additional business opportunities and to address potential wastage within your operation.

A modern business system designed specially for small group personal training facilities, such as Quoox GMS, is an key part of being able to run your gym effectively and, most importantly, profitably.

Determining & understanding your business metrics, and then implementing systems, workflows, & processes to support your business growth can seem a daunting task.

SGPT Infinity, powered by Quoox GMS, is part of the Alchemy group of products which have been designed to provide your business with the systems, resources, and business guidance to take your business from good to great.

Our team are all experts in their respective fields.  As opposed to be a single 'miracle guru', we pool our knowledge for the benefit of our clients, working alongside them with common goals.  Metrics are the only way you can know how your business is performing, and whether the processes you are implementing are benefitting your facility and taking you towards your goals.

In early 2021, Quoox was asked by one well-known business advisor in the UK to remove the KPIs & Metrics functionality from the Quoox GMS system for our mutual clients. They didn't want their clients to be able to see how their business was performing versus the 'miracle cure' they had been promised. Somewhat staggered by this, we obviously declined.

This is an industry that has, certainly of late, attracted a few 'snake oil salesmen' whose skills extend little beyond their ability to sell new clients their 'magic beans'.  Praying on those in need of assistance, some gym owners find themselves paying multiple business advisors - actually causing their finances greater harm than good.

At Quoox, our watch-word is "integrity". It is ingrained in everything that we do, and is at the very heart of our product offerings.

Learn about SGPT Infinity, powered by Quoox GMS...

Written by Chris Windram.


Quoox provides the system, resources, and practical advice & support that gym owners need to operate a profitable, "high ticket" membership, small-group training gym. Discover the ultimate "SGPT toolkit".
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