Part one of this topic was very well received so I wanted to back it up with a round two. I took a little different approach to this and wanted to pose three questions that I would now ask my younger self when the decision was made to open a facility.
Hindsight is always 20/20- but over the last two years, I have asked these exact questions to aspiring gym owners and they’ve felt some value in them…
Here we go!
1) What is your reason/why?
Cliche, yes. BUT, what I am getting as is this- why are you opening a gym? Do you think you can do it better than your current employer? (out of frustration). Do you have some secret sauce that makes your sessions better than someones perception of Orange Theory? (ego?) Or do you have an full schedule and want to take your business to scale? (expansion).
Seriously, ask yourself why. I was an ego driven and frustrated Strength Coach who thought I could do it better. We all know how that ended….
2) At what point will you be able to promote yourself out of the role as ‘trainer’?
This one typically starts with some confusion. You’re a damn good Personal Trainer, that’s why you’re opening a gym, right?
Not so fast.
If you’re opening a gym so that you (literally, YOU) can train more people, you’re just making a lateral career change that is going to cost you $5,000-$10,000 in monthly overhead to cover.
When you’re writing your business plan, make sure you know at what point you will be promoting yourself from Trainer to ‘owner’.
3) Can you teach?
Another often overlooked piece is your ability to teach your own systems to someone else. Clearly, you can TRAIN and teach a client. But can you teach your first hire? Your second hire? Can you teach someone who is going to be teaching the third hire?
Having your systems dialed in is one thing, but being able to clearly teach them to someone else is another. You would be surprised how many Personal Trainers don’t have their own training systems written out.
Start with that…seriously, that’s the product you are scaling to your new facility. You can’t scale a person - unless you have a cloning machine?- but you can scale the HOW you train part. Build that system, refine that system, and then practice teaching that system.