As your business grows and the amount of work with it, it can become difficult to stay on top of everything. If you start to find yourself feeling stressed and anxious, or you’re finding it hard to find time to get away from work, then the chances are your fitness business is running you, and not the other way around. When you reach that point, small victories go unrecognised and you’re already concerned with tomorrow before today’s obstacles have been addressed.
Taking back control isn’t just important on a business level, it’s vital on a personal level. You don’t want your dream of running a fitness business to turn into a nightmare of endlessly long days and more admin than you could possibly have imagined. In this guide, we look into the ways you can avoid your business running you. Follow these steps and lighten the load on your shoulders so that your business’s growth is something to celebrate.
Tips to take back control and run your business better; attract and retain more clients and grow
Taking back control over your business doesn’t have to be a mammoth task. It’s about bringing in some simple changes to the way you organise your day-to-day. If your business is growing and changing then it’s only natural that you as the business owner have to grow with it. These strategies will help you develop as a business owner and as a team leader ultimately giving you control over your business again.
Learn to take a step back and let others help
Learning to take a step back can be difficult at first, but once you realise that you’re not in this alone and there are people around you who are willing and able to help, it becomes easier to delegate tasks and lighten the load on your shoulders. By delegating to your staff and speaking to other business owners or business coaches, you’ll have an endless source of objective advice from people who have been in exactly the same position as you.
Find ways to manage your time
Look into different time management tactics. Make sure your time is used effectively and that you have a set time to call it a day. Implementing some tried and tested approaches to time management will significantly relieve the pressure of organising the day-to-day of your growing business.
The “I-do-it-all” approach is no longer effective or scalable
When it’s your own business, the temptation is to take control of everything. You want to be sure that everything is being run the way it ought to be and that nothing has been left undone. But every growing business reaches a point when the owner has to relinquish complete control. If you don’t, you’ll burn out quickly and your business will start to stutter.
Delegate and trust your staff
You’ve hired your team for a reason, and you need to trust them to be able to help you. Delegating tasks to your team lightens the load for you and also gives them a sense of responsibility and involvement. When you’ve been in charge of everything at the early stages of your business, it can be difficult to admit you can’t do it all anymore. But look at it as a goal achieved. You’re business
Reach out to business coaches for advice
Speaking to those who have experience in successfully growing their business and have tips of the trade will give you valuable, objective insight. Authentic business coaches (and it’s tough to find the best coaches) have faced the same business challenges as you and plenty of other business owners.
They’ve seen their businesses grow from ideas to small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) and many of them have seen them grow further yet. Tap into their experience. The best coaches give matter of-fact-advice with emotion removed from the equation. Having someone hold you accountable for making the changes you need will help you grow beyond firefighting on a daily basis.
Learn how to say no in style to stay in focus
Saying no to anything can sometimes feel awkward, but being clear is key. It’s a skill that all business owners have to learn in order to maintain control over their business. Don’t give a wishy-washy, non-committal response. Your time is precious and you can only achieve so much. If you’re unable to commit to an idea or a task, then be confident in your refusal. Be brief, direct, but respectful. You can always come back to it at a later date if you feel it’s an idea with potential.
Prioritising your time is a key aspect of taking control of your business. Knowing how much you and your team can realistically achieve day-to-day will help you pinpoint the most important tasks. Time management is also about knowing when to stop. Setting yourself a time each day when you have to stop means you’re going to have adequate time outside of work.
Set goals and see them through. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Set firm, achievable goals and check them off as you go. Knowing what you have to achieve in a set amount of time helps to prevent you from skipping ahead of yourself to tasks that can wait. Don’t take on any more than you know you’re able to achieve in a set amount of time. You can also delegate tasks that you won't be able to do to the team member you know are capable of or have the time to take on any extra bits of admin.
Trim lists down
When there’s too much to get done, prioritise tasks. Don’t be afraid to postpone less urgent issues. When you’ve figured out what are the priority tasks, you can create a “to-do” list of tasks that can be approached later on. It’s important to remember that not everything has to be addressed at once. Taking on board that you are allowed to set a time limit on your day will get you out of work at a reasonable time with you knowing that nothing urgent has been left undone and there is plenty of time to get to the less pressing tasks.
Open communication with your team
Knowing what needs to be done and what your goals are means nothing if you don’t keep your team fully up to date with everything as well. Ensuring you have regular and open communication with your team is a crucial part of your business running smoothly. Once your staff know what your aims are and how you want them achieved, they then know what it is they have to do at their end to help achieve those goals.
Keep regular communication open with your team
When it comes to prioritising your communication, you should always think of your employees first. Keep clear and concise lines of communication open with them. From team meetings to one-to-one performance reviews, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face communication. Keep your team in the know by sharing your goals and expectations. It helps them to know which direction they should all be pulling in.
Fairly divide up responsibilities
When you start delegating responsibilities to your team, make sure you keep on top of who has done what and when. Fairly delegating tasks mean that your whole team know that everyone is pulling their weight. You don’t want team members thinking that someone else is getting an easy ride while others pick up the slack.
Make sure your team are happy
You want to keep your team’s goals in mind. Check-in on how they feel they’re progressing and whether their own professional aims are being met. At the heart of your relationship with your employees is giving them the tools they need to progress in their careers but treating them so well that they want to stay. Your staff are one of your best marketing tools. With a massive rise in platforms such as LinkedIn or Fishbowl, job seekers scrutinise companies more than ever before. A happy employee waxing lyrical about working at your fitness business is tantamount to free marketing.
How your software can help run your business
Investing in the right gym management software makes your day to day go much smoother as your business grows by making certain admin processes work more efficiently. Finding systems that automate admin gives you more time to run the day-to-day of your business and less time tied to your desk playing constant catch up with new client information. Keeping track of invoices and revenue reports or trying to figure out which clients have reached the end of a trial is all taken care of.
Use Reports to help you make fact-based decisions
Using the Reports feature in your dashboard gives you information about many areas of your business’s growth and development. From being able to keep track of revenue changes to seeing class attendances, it gives you an objective overview of how things are going from membership to membership, class to class.
This information is helpful to you when you have to make tough calls. You can see what classes are popular and which memberships are being snapped up, and equally, you can see what class types and membership packs aren’t doing so well. It’s this information that gives you the justification to say “no” to ideas that you know won’t work, or to make the decision to drop or possibly just re-schedule a class based on the numbers in front of you.
Create clear calendars for your clients and your trainers
Communicating your availability and your staff’s availability can be easily done by creating a clear calendar. Showing what classes are available but also showing your, and your staff’s availability outside of class time makes it easier for your clients to book one-to-one sessions, consultations, and appointments.
TeamUp’s Appointments feature also makes organising easier for you and your team, not just your members. It cuts out the need for phone calls and emails trying to organise a time. Instead, your availability is there for your clients to see, and they can select their appointment type and which trainer they’d like to work with. You and your trainers know who each session is with, and what appointment type they’ve selected without any back and forth.
Let Zapier organise your customers’ journeys
TeamUp includes everything you need to manage your business and customers. If there are other tools that you’d like to bring into the mix, then our Zapier integration is exactly what you need. Link with over 1500 other systems to build the customer journey of your dreams.
Set up triggers for each part of the customer journey. Whether it’s a confirmation or welcome email, or sending out a free gift such as a company t-shirt to your newly signed up member, integrating your TeamUp dashboard with Zapier cuts out even more admin for you.
To sum up
Taking control over your business as it grows comes down to organisation. First off, address time management. Make sure you prioritise tasks and don’t be afraid to postpone anything that can wait. You have to have downtime at the end of each day to keep performing at your best.
Ensuring you have clear and open communication with your team is essential to make sure you are all pulling in the same direction. It makes it easier for them to know what they have to do to help you achieve your business goals and it gives you more confidence to delegate tasks to them.
Finally, make sure your management software works for you. There’s no point paying a fee each month if you don’t get the features you need with the support you deserve. Your management software is there to solve your admin concerns, not to create new ones.
Find out why other fitness business owners chose TeamUp to help their growing businesses, here.
Thanks for reading!