I have worked with hundreds of gymnastics school owners across the world over the last ten years. In order to run a successful gymnastics school and gymnastics business, there are some very important mistakes that you do not want to make. A sobering statistic is that, with a slower economy, most gym owners of gymnastics schools will make the same or less money than if they had the average job.
1. Working Without Business Goals and a Business Plan
The standard rules about goal setting apply to gyms and gym owners as well. Not having a clear vision of the future of your gymnastics school is a definite mistake. It is easy to get caught up in day to day crises, instead of focusing on building the future of your business. Without a clear vision for the future and a road map on how to get there, your chances of becoming a premier, profitable gym owner are unlikely to happen.
2. Losing Control Over Labor Costs
Gyms need to be adequately staffed, in fact, a truly professional gym will have more staff than is currently the norm. But many gym owners lose control over their labor costs, primarily by having too few gymnasts in classes, and either not adding gymnasts or adjusting their staff by rescheduling fewer instructors. Ideally, your marketing program will fill classes, making this is a minimal problem, but labor cost is a money pit for many gyms.
3. Not Marketing Your Program
“Build it and they will come” is not a good strategy for any business. Marketing is what drives customers to your door and is the first step in a profitable financial cycle. Gyms that do not market, or do not market effectively, are at the whim of fate. Find methods of marketing that are effective (cost less than they bring in) and then scale up those effective marketing techniques.
4. Not Investing in Training
It is obvious at gymnastics meets which teams are well-trained and which are not. What is amazing is that many gym owners do not realize the same thing is visible to their customers in relation to their staff training. A well-trained staff is noticeable to every parent who is paying the bills and is a distinct competitive advantage. Finding or creating effective staff training programs has been difficult and/or time-consuming, but is critical to long-term success in your market.
5. Not Having Plan for Gymnast Training and Development
There are a number of proven strategies for developing gymnasts, including our gymnastics success system. Many gyms and coaches do not have a comprehensive training system or training strategies, either for their classes or their teams. Far too many coaches walk into the gym without any planning at all. Just as in any situation in your gym business or life, you, and your gymnasts, are not likely to arrive at any gymnastics goal if you do not have a road map to get there.
6. Not Maintaining Continuous Improvement
Even being the best is not a long-term success strategy. As soon as one gym becomes stagnant in one or more areas, they become vulnerable to their competition, copying what they are currently doing, and then adding their own extra level of service. It is important to develop a system and culture of continuous improvement for all areas of your gym and programs.
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