There are many different milestones that you will progress through as a fitness business owner but one of the most challenging is the moment that you decide to grow your team.
Normally it looks a little bit like this…
You have been rocking out with your clients now for anything between six months and a year. You have been getting increasingly good results with your clients and your diary has been getting more and more crowded.You are so busy that you are leaving home before dark and not returning home in time to watch The Biggest Loser. The middle of your day is full of house-keeping jobs like client contact, program writing, new client follow up and the odd half hour to surf Facebook and stalk your competition (that’s right, Big Brother is watching).
Anyway, business is great but you are starting become a little warn down and you know that if you take a holiday that your income will come to a screeching halt. You don’t want that to happen right now because you have busted your butt to build it up and you don’t want anyone to leave.
What’s the solution?
As much as it may freak you out, now is the time to start building your own team of trainers. In fact, the day that a client tries to book in with you and they can’t get their preferred time is the green light you need to move forward with this.
Any later and you will be saying no to clients and leaving money on the table L
While most trainers who reach this stage have a good understanding that this is the direction that they need to go, it doesn’t change the fact that their business as they know it is about to change.
Many trainers have considerable resistance to this next stage of business and hide in a “I don’t know how to do it” mentality. I don’t buy into that crap so I decided to put together a few simple steps to follow to help you build your own team of awesome trainers (so you can go on that holiday you deserve).
In this post, I am only going to touch briefly on each of the four steps and if you would like to know more information about any of them just flick me a question in the comments section.
Here are the four steps that I see as essential when building a solid team for your business…
Step 1: Systemise your service so your team have a clear path to follow
One of the biggest fears people have when building their team is that their normally high level of client service will be diluted. Using some simple systems you can not only avoid this but also promote new trainers strengths.
- Decide on the preferred role of your team member (do you want them to just be a trainer or have other roles like admin or sales) and identify how you want to employ them (sub-contractor, employee ect).
- Using the roles outlined in step 1, outline what aspects of the role you want to systemise to ensure your business standards are always met.
- For one week, simple record exactly what you do to complete each role in dot point form (include confirmation call, session planning, set-up, service delivery, after session ect).
- Combine these process and put them together in one operation manual for your team to follow.
Tip: Your basic operations manual and system is always an evolving document so don’t strive for perfect on draft one but be open to regular reviews and refinements.
Step 2: Test out a recruitment strategy
Due to the rapidly increasing numbers of new trainers that are graduating from their certification courses, you would think that finding a new trainer for your team would be a breeze. Unfortunately it is not so because you are searching for quality not just quantity. Here are some simple tips to build your dream team…
- Find new trainers through associations with cert 3 and 4 providers, traditional recruitment websites, Facebook and some fitness industry specific recruiting firms.
- Alternatively, you can also find good trainers by hiring from within your business or exploring your immediate network.
- Initial screening and interview process is the most important part of the process. Use a solid screening process to find you your deserve.
- Use employee contracts, trail periods and KPI’s to ensure your service standards are upheld.
Tip: You can teach skills but you can’t change someone’s personality, passion or commitment. Choose wisely…
Step 3: Initial and ongoing management and training for your team
Hiring a new team member is only the first part of the puzzle – you must now ensure that they feel supported and have an opportunity to develop as a trainer. Here are a few simple things to consider when thinking about developing your team..
- How intensive do you make the initial training program? 1 day, 1 week, shadowing…
- How do you measure their development and success (KPI’s, client feedback, trainer feedback)?
- How often to you need to have meetings and on-going training sessions?
- What to do when things go bad?
Tip: Building a successful team member is a two-way street – so both parties need to be physically and emotional invested in the process. If this is not the case, you could have a battle of your hands.
Step 4: Empowering your team and building loyalty
Staff turnover is one of the biggest pains a business owner can have, so it is important you have a strategy to build a strong and loyal team that cares about your business. Think about what you can provide them to assist them to grow within your business. Here are a few starting points…
- Providing additional responsibilities – working to their strengths and passions and
- Incentive scheme (increased pay rate for time spent in business)
- Staff benefits (discounted courses, bringing in professionals to speak)
- Tribe building: social events, physical events, birthday presents.
Tip: A committed and loyal team member is literally worth their weight in gold, so please do not skip over this part. Have a strategy to ensure your crew remain tight and with a strong focus.
Hopefully these tips can help you find a way through the maze that is building your team. Personally I think it is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner and it means that you have the opportunity to get your hands on a little bit of leverage.
Speaking of team building… I have a BIG announcement to make.
As of the first of May, I am expanding my business team and am really excited to announce that Brisbane personal training veteran (and all-round legend) Barton McGuckin will be my new partner in crime.
Barton brings nearly ten years of personal training business success to the table and with a range of personal training experience (and currently running two killer personal training businesses), he is one serious asset and I am stoked to welcome him as my business partner.
What does this mean for you?
It just means that as a team, we will be able to provide you with a broader scope of experience to continue to help you start, build and enjoy your fitness business. So stay tuned for some really cool stuff on the blog over the next couple of months.
Ok – that’s me for this week. Keep fighting the good fight and we will speak again soon.