Random Thoughts on Running a Fitness Business

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We are going to go a little bit off topic today.

I spend a lot of time talking about training and making better athletes. Each and everyday that is still my goal. If our athletes are not achieving great results then we do not have a business.

We also have a responsibility to provide for our families and grow the company into something sustainable for years to come.

The best part about it is that these 2 ideas go hand in hand. Getting amazing results for athletes is going to ensure that the business will thrive. After that the “business” decisions must be strategic and well planned.

Being Transparent is Huge

My business partner and myself have never pretended to be someone we aren’t. We know our limitations, how we conduct ourselves, and we let everyone see it.

A lot of times when someone hears that you are a business owner there is a false sense that it also means wealthy.

We literally started our business with nothing. No loans, donations, or other funding. Our bank account almost closed when we first opened it because it needed to have a balance in it and there was nothing to put in there.

It helps that we took over an existing business but our company was brand new. So yes, when people see us going around and turning lights off that are not needed they get why.

This transparency almost gave us the feeling that a lot of the athletes and parents were sort of more willing to support us, the coaches. We were the ones that were working with the athletes. They knew us, we knew them, and we built relationships with each other. They can get behind us a lot easier than someone they have never seen before.

Give, but you Cannot Give Too Much

I like to think that we are as flexible as we can be without becoming door mats.

I am a part of a mastermind group and one of the topics that came up was absences and tardiness. Members were discussing what kind of penalties are in place for people who are late or don’t sign up for class.

I don’t like that at all, seems a little bit like a power trip. I get annoyed by it when it happens but I’m not really interested in taking it out on a kid that relies on other people to get them places. If they do not drive, I don’t really see how it is their fault.

The same goes for athletes that miss sessions. We tell them they can come extra times a different week. Our only rule is that no one trains for free. Athletes can come extra times when they miss classes but only if they still have an active membership.

We do not have to do this but being on the other side will leave a sour taste in too many mouths.

Its all about the Benefits

What will the athlete get out of the program?

Most parents and athletes want to get faster or stronger. Sometimes some other words pop up but that is often what we are working with.

99% of people do not care how we get there as long the athlete does, safely.

Focusing too much on the features of the program can leave people wondering if we are going to meet their goal. Explaining how running with good technique makes an athletes faster and using strength training to make the athlete more explosive when they run makes sense as to why we do both.

It is easy to try to talk and talk and talk about the program but that doesn’t help anyone. The parents probably don’t want to hear it and it is a lot of nervous energy to keep going like that.

These are just 3 of the many things I have learned in the 8 months on the job. I realize 8 months is no time at all but the amount I have learned in that time is insane.

Everyday something new comes up and it is just another chance to create a better program for our athletes to succeed in.