Many of the problems we run into as gym owners have to do with assumptions about our service, staff, and members.
Those assumptions create massive blindspots that make it nearly impossible to see low-hanging fruit that, if harvested, would dramatically improve the health of the business.
The intention of this experiment is to illuminate the opportunities hiding in the blindspots of your assumptions.
Step 1. Ask the staff, “What do we want our members to say their favorite thing about our gym is?”
Why is it important to start with the staff?
Your staff is the “interface” of your business with your members. The quality of the experience your members have is primarily determined by your staff, and their behavior is based upon their beliefs.
What if their beliefs about the clients and their experience are out of alignment with the mission and vision of your business?
You’d be surprised how often this happens.
Step 2. Ask the staff, “What do you think our members would say is their favorite thing about our gym?”
Every staff member has a different experience within your gym, and they’ll likely have varying answers to this question.
They have differing personalities and will connect better with some clients than others. These experiences will color their responses and expose their assumptions when you move on to step 3.
Step 3. Ask your members, “What is your favorite thing about being a member?”
This is where the rubber meets the road, and it’s the scariest part because this is where you see what’s been hiding in the dark corners of your blind spots. When you make assumptions, you assume you’re right, and you may face resistance to following through with step number 3. That’s ok. Acknowledge it, and move forward.
Step 4. Evaluate any disconnects between what you want, what you’re hearing, why it’s happening, and what to do about it.
Step 3 is the scary part; step 4 is where you get to work.
After you’ve collected all this information, what will you do with it?
You’ll inevitably find some disconnects.
Aspects of the mission or core values likely won’t be making it into the gym's daily operations and standards of behavior; you now have the specific opportunity to remedy that.
Beliefs about relationships with members and how they feel about the business will be challenged; it's your opportunity to double down or pivot as you see fit.
Festering issues you could “smell” but not put your finger on could be exposed; you have the opportunity to clean them up and make it right.
Owning and running a gym is a messy business.
Doing it successfully based on assumptions is nearly impossible.
Use this experiment to challenge your and the assumptions of your staff as quickly as possible.