If you own a fitness studio, odds are that you are either a one-person show or you’re operating incredibly leanly with a barebones staff. Your studio is your passion, and it can be hard to relinquish the reins when you’ve been doing it all on your own. But for your sanity, and to allow you to focus more strategically, it’s wise to consider investing a little money and/or time to move some tasks off your plate. You will find that you can make more money by hiring someone so that you can shift your energy to more revenue-generating ideas.
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is a great place to start with delegating if your budget is tiny. VAs are typically nimble and can accomplish a wide variety of tasks, but their strengths lie in administrative tasks. If you invest in one thing, spend the money to have a VA help you with all of the tedious tasks on your list that don’t require your strategic brain. This may include scheduling your own calendar, ordering supplies and managing simple Q&A with clients, leaving you to work on training your staff and brainstorming how to grow your business.
Even if you have a finance or accounting background, turn this over to someone outside your business. It will help you gain clarity by having someone on the outside who can dig into spending, tracking and analyzing.
You’re likely in your studio or gym from sun up to sun down — and if you see trash on the floor or fingerprints on the mirrors, you may be the one cleaning them up. This is another task ripe for delegating. For example, take a page from the yogic playbook and consider the idea of a ‘Karmi Yogi’ — that is, students who will help you clean the studio in exchange for a free membership or discount. You’ll likely still hire a cleaning crew on a semi-regular basis to do a deep cleaning, but you can leave the smaller stuff to your volunteers. This may include sweeping, mopping, surface cleaning and general tidying up around the studio.
Website and branding
Your branding is the story you’re telling about your studio through your website, email, social media and within the four walls of your studio. We recommend not trying to do this yourself, even if you do have branding experience. Your branding team/individual should be able to help you tactically with a logo, website and in-studio branding (i.e. your sign, how your name is displayed within your space, etc.). They can also help you define your brand to determine the tone of voice, language and graphic elements to use in PR, marketing, social media, partnerships and more.
Nobody knows your brand like you — but managing a brand’s social media is a job in itself. As the digital landscape gains momentum, an online presence becomes key. Consider delegating this task to an experienced professional, a social-savvy acquaintance, or even a volunteer with some digital know-how. Depending on your budget, goals and the size of your studio, you might want to hire a contract for five to 10 hours a week to manage your social media. This can include everything from content creation to community management (interacting with clients, potential clients and influencers) to customer service. Done well, social media can create a buzz and elevate your brand for less than you’d spend on advertising.
There is a myriad of tasks that keep the doors to your studio open day after day that you don’t need to be doing yourself. If you don’t already have one, hire a studio manager to help you keep the trains running. They will oversee the day-to-day operations of both your staff and the studio. For staff, this might include scheduling, running payroll and helping with any tech issues that may arise. In the studio, your manager may be ordering supplies, handling basic payment of invoices and serving as your public face for basic customer service inquiries. While it may seem like a large upfront cost, letting someone else front the operations-based weight can free up more up essential time and energy on your side.
It’s never easy to change your routine — but as a fitness business owner, delegation is the only way to grow.