If you’re reading this, I can safely assume that you’re a gym owner. First of all, good for you. It’s a tough gig trying to provide for your family while trying to help and change lives having your own business. It’s an incredibly fun and rewarding lifestyle. The connections that you get to make with people each and every day and the relationships that you get to build on a daily basis are priceless. It makes opening up the doors at 4:45AM all worth it. Second of all:
It’s not as hard as you’re making it out to be.
That’s right. I said it. It’s not as hard as you’re making it out to be.
Before you flood the comments and my inbox with how you’re situation is soooooo different from everyone else’s and about how you’re putting in 80 hour weeks each and every week (spoiler alert: you’re not… but that’s for a different article), read this whole thing.
I’m trying to help you. I understand this gym owner life and the frustrations you have.
I know that there are days that I can get completely overwhelmed with how much I think I have to get done. I coach a ton of classes, and in my off time banging my head against the wall wondering what the hell I’m supposed to be doing.
I feel lost.
Do I do some retention work?
Do I run some Facebook ads?
Do I create a social media schedule?
The lack of direction can consume me, and I feel like a failure as an entrepreneur and business owner.
I know you’ve felt the same way… but we don’t HAVE to feel like that.
Here’s how I want you to approach your business moving forward so you can come to grips with the fact that, while important, your business is just not that difficult.
This CrossFit business model is pretty simple. All you have to do is get some things done each day to keep the ship sailing. We can break them down like this:
- Daily tasks
- Weekly tasks
- Monthly tasks
That. Is. It.
Your business is just a big task list. Think about it for a second.
What has to get done DAILY?
- The Box is opened and prepared for classes.
- All classes are executed by professional coaches.
- Gym has to get cleaned.
- Member services (sign ups, cancellations, holds, inquiries) have to be handled.
That’s it. If you did nothing else that day, it would still be considered a successful day. Classes went off without a hitch, the gym was cleaned, members were attended to, and the gym was opened/closed without issues.
The day to day of a CrossFit gym is pretty dang simple.
Where do most of us get bogged down? The WEEKLY tasks. Why? Because we don’t know WHEN to get them done.
Let’s think about all the things we have to get done each week.
- Running your weekly reports (attendance, overdue bills, absent members, etc)
- Retention and outreach to members
- Manage Coaches and their responsibilities.
- Manage operational systems (trash taken out, cleanliness, facility maintenance).
- Content creation (blogs, videos, pictures)
- Social Media (Hopefully you’re scheduling these out)
- Programming for next week
- Weekly email to staff
- Track inventory in pro-shop
- Private sessions with clients/members if applicable
And I’m sure there are some other things you do weekly, but not daily, at your gym. Any of these tasks could be a pretty big time suck if we let them…. But If we take a look at the task list above, there are quite a few of those things that are massively important, but things that don’t have to be done every single day.
Content creation is one of those things. Instead of stressing yourself out trying to create content every day, why not carve out a 1-2 hour block of time to try and get 7 pieces of content ready for next week? And then instead of trying to remember to post them each day, carve another hour from a different day to schedule all of these posts to go out automatically on Facebook?
We’ll come back to this. I want to move on to the MONTHLY task list.
Let’s think about all the things we have to get done each month.
- Pay rent
- Pay utilities
- Pay all other bills
- Pay our coaches (because I know you’re paying your coaches…)
- Run monthly reports
- Schedule coaches
- Order necessary inventory
- Book/Schedule community events
That’s pretty much it. The first 3 on the list should all be on auto-pay anyway, so you really don’t even have to do that. You’re really just looking at payroll, reports, scheduling, ordering, and scheduling/booking community events.
Soooooo, where am I going with all of this?
Let’s take some action…
I want you to organize and structure your days, weeks, and months based on this list. Set your daily tasks, put a weekly task on each day to go with your daily, and sprinkle in your very few monthly duties. This is going to give you a few things immediately:
- Clear organization of what you need to get done each day.
- Clear direction on what needs to happen throughout the week.
- Clear output oriented structure. Instead of thinking how much time you’re putting in, you just have to get stuff DONE.
- Ability to clearly delegate tasks to staff or virtual assistants
- Permission to take some time off and relax.
Number 5 is a big one. We NEED time off. We need to allow ourselves (and give ourselves the permission) some time to lounge on the couch… but it’s hard to do if we always think we have something to do. But on Wednesday, if you get all of your content created and programming done, and then there’s nothing else left on the list, what’s stopping you from kicking back and relaxing?
Absolutely nothing. You know you got your shit done. Enjoy your life.
Ok, ok, back to how we do this.
It would take a very long time and far too many words to explain this, so I’m just going to show a sample few days for you right here (feel free to rip this and use it yourself).
Basically, decide what has to get done every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Everything can get done in these days. Do NOT work on the weekends. Take some time off.
(This is just an example… not the gospel)
- Every Monday, I will accomplish the following:
- Coach scheduled classes
- Member services that arise
- Daily Clean of lobby/gym
- Attendance Report
- Retention/Member Outreach System
- Every Second Monday of the month, I will accomplish the following:
- Schedule coaches for following month
- Every Third Monday of the month, I accomplish the following:
- Take inventory/stock and reorder product if necessary.
- Every Tuesday, I will accomplish the following:
- Coach scheduled classes
- Member services that arise
- Daily Clean of lobby/gym
- Content Creation
- 1 Video
- 1 Blog
- 5 photos and captions
- Every Third Tuesday of the month, I will accomplish the following:
- Schedule next month’s community event
See where I’m going with all of this?
If someone handed you that Monday list, you could definitely get all of that done, right? Of course you could! You’re a badass! You opened up your own gym, changed a ton of lives, and grew a business!
Imagine if you had a list like that for every single day of the week?
You can. It’s easy.
I want you to take action on this. Here’s how you move forward:
- Write down everything that has to get done every day.
- Then, write down everything that has to get done every week.
- Then, write down everything that has to get done every month.
- Create a google doc or word doc with 5 different pages, each one will be titled the day of the week.
- On each sheet, the initial daily will look exactly the same (coaching, member services, cleaning), but this is where you plug in your WEEKLY tasks. Each weekly task varies in its time/energy demands, so place these accordingly so that you can get them done.
- On each sheet, also place your monthly tasks. These should say something like, “Third Tuesday of the month.”
- Print out all the sheets, and put them in a binder.
- This binder is now your boss. Check in with your boss every day. Make sure you get everything done for the boss.
And the good news? When you’re done with your work, the boss says you’re done for the day. You can relax. You can play with your kids. You can go see some friends (remember those?). You can go on a date with your partner.
You can do whatever you want to because as long as the work gets done, everything is going to keep moving forward.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re starting to see that this business is pretty simple. You just have to get your tasks done each day, week, and month, and you’ll be just fine. Oh, you want to take Friday off? Cool! Get your Friday tasks done earlier in the week and you can take Friday off.
Pretty cool, right?
No more “80 hour” weeks.
No more banging your head out of frustration.
No more feeling lost.
You have your lists. You have your tasks. You have your duties.
Now go take action. Execute the lists. Change lives. Enjoy YOUR life with a perfect week, every week.
Let us know if you need any help. We’re always here for you.
Author: Clark Hibbs
Clark is co-owner of CrossFit Yellow Rose in Houston, Texas, with his wife Rachel (a.k.a. The Boss Lady). In their short time being open, they’ve already grown the gym to near membership capacity, taken multiple vacations, and enjoyed the financial benefits that a profitable business can provide.
He’s also the Afifliate Solution coach for North America and is available for Private Coaching. More info HERE.