By: Melissa Knowles
How many times have we seen that member or client who comes to the club religiously but still can't seem to make any progress? There they are every day, pounding the weights and killing it on the treadmill, and yet, they look exactly the same. No weight loss, no change to their physique, no discernible progress. All of my personal trainers out there are already screaming at the screen, "It's their diet!" What's the saying? "Abs are made in the kitchen." And it's true, you can work your tail off (or attempt to) in the gym day in and day out, but if your nutrition isn't dialed in, in the long-run, you're doomed.
Now, think of your back-office services exactly like your diet. Much like a diet they don't have to be very great to get you by. You can have an under-qualified team member or members handling important functions like accounting and HR, and things will get done, eventually, and maybe not correctly, but they will get done. A diet of cheeseburgers will keep you alive-- at least for a while. But how much better does your body run when you feed it healthy food from all of the necessary food groups? How much healthier is it? How much better is it able to perform?
What about if you just have a diet that provides all of the necessary daily protein, but fails to ensure you're getting all of your veggies? That's like having areas of you back-office under control while others flail in the wind. Maybe the guy doing your books is top notch, but your customer service team leaves something to be desired. Points for hitting a home run in one area, but that's still not a recipe for long-term growth and success.
An unbalanced, unhealthy diet can leave us lethargic and lacking energy. So what do we do? Caffeine! Except in the fitness business our caffeine is the constant sales special push to get the cash up and plug any holes in our monthly revenues. Much like caffeine, a sales push should give you just that, a little push. It's not intended to create the entire momentum needed to drive a business forward.
Broccoli, brown rice and a grilled chicken breast are hardly as easy, delicious, or cheap as the dollar menu at the drive-thru, but they're a much better choice in the long run. Look at what you're asking of your business and how you're fueling it to perform. Are your back-office services healthy? Can they help support your business goals? Are they balanced or are key areas lacking? Are they simply getting the job done and getting you to the next sales cycle? Or are they solid and able to support further growth and progress?
Consider what you're fueling. Much like a professional athlete requires superior nutrition compared to the novice, a professional fitness business requires professional back-office staff and services to meet its true potential.
Finally, just like a major modification to your diet can seem impossible at first, business office changes and improvements can seem daunting. It really is just about taking an assessment, deciding to make a change for the positive, and staying the course once you hit your stride. It only takes that first step.
If you feel like you're making all of the effort on the front-end, but are missing the results on the back-end, send me an email. I'd be happy to take a look at your set-up and see what we can do to help. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Knowles serves as the CEO for Gym HQ. With over a decade of industry experience, her knowledge spans many areas: strategic operations, development of staff training materials and programs, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, fitness department overhaul, client retention systems, and corporate management. She’s especially well versed in all operational and HR focused areas; and she holds an HR certification through SHRM. What makes her uniquely qualified as an industry leader is her time spent “in the trenches”. Melissa is a graduate of the University of West Florida and holds an MS in Exercise Science and a BS in Sports Medicine.