This Month In Running a Gym January 2015

This used to be a weekly column, but there were too many weeks when I was just reporting trivial details or sharing personal experiences that have little to do with the actual running of a gym and therefore little relevance to the point of the column. Monthly seems like it will be far more manageable with more relevant information for y'all. So here goes.

Leon and I had a strategy meeting about a week ago. We reviewed the year gone by and established our priorities for the year ahead. I hope you'll understand that I'm reluctant to publicly share our membership and financial numbers from 2014. I'll just say that moving into a new facility and improving it, such as installing shower rooms, is expensive and can really do a number on your bottom line. But we are on solid footing and things are going to continue to improve through 2015.

The main topic of our meeting was looking forward: What are our long term plans, what are our immediate needs, and how do we get from here to there?

Long term plans are highly dependent on personal goals and what we want for our lives. On that note, I gave Leon my six year notice. Lisa and I have always talked of living abroad again, preferably in Latin America somewhere. In six years our youngest, Xavier, will have finished 5th grade at Holy Rosary which has a dual-immersion English-Spanish program. (By the way, if you have a kid entering school, I HIGHLY recommend Holy Rosary. It's the only truly bilingual school in the South Sound, every parent I've met there loves it, and it's only 3 blocks from the gym. And they're accepting applications for 2015-16.) So six years seems like a good time frame to plan for. It also gives us a definite timeline to work from for business development. No business is ever “complete” but if you want to be able to hand it off to someone it requires a high level of organization and systematization. So now I've got my goal and my timeframe. Leon, by the way, doesn't have similar plans, so you can rest assured that he'll still be here plugging away.

Alright, so that established, we turned our attention to other matters. Namely, what are our greatest needs and opportunities? We narrowed things down to four areas: an Operations Manual, a Trainer Development Program, more community development, more opportunities for athletic development. I'll talk about each in turn.

One final thing, since several of you have asked. We are taking apart the structure that is currently the kids area so that we can use it for more training space. The kids area will be moved to the front corner by the glass wall panels. It won't be walled off in the future and for a little while it'll be pretty bare bones. But the thought of not giving kids something to climb and play on just rubs me the wrong way, so we'll eventually install stuff there for them to distract themselves and be active.

By Morgan on Friday, February, 06, 2015