Asking Yourself the Right Question(s)…Retention

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I follow some groups that are devoted to running a gym and a gym business.  At least once a week, the following question or some slightly different variation of it comes across the wire:

I have a coach that is now going to open their own gym, should I let them continue to coach with me or let them go now?

What follows that is usually a justification on how great a coach they are or fear that they are going to poach existing members and take them to this new gym.

But from where I sit, I think that is completely the wrong question that you need to be asking as someone who owns or operates a gym.  The correct question that you need to be asking yourself is not about whether to continue allowing them to coach, but rather what is causing them to want to open their own gym (in the same town…if they are moving out of town that is a completely different story and you should be willing to help them be successful!)

But step back and think about it…

Something is happening that is causing this person to want to take on a huge burden and millions of challenges to do the same thing that they are doing now.  They will now have to deal with leases, employees, insurance, taxes, marketing, client retention, and the list goes on and on and on…

So what is going on that is causing someone to want to do this?

Are they doing it because they think that they can make more money that way?  Is that their motivation, then I ask what are you as an owner doing to give your coaches the opportunity to earn the money that they need to be successful and content.  Are they being given opportunities to make income through developing specialized classes, private training, weekend classes?  How does one earn bonuses or what incentives are there?

Do they just not like the way that the programming is and believe that they can do better?  How can this be addressed?  Do you as the lead programmer inform them as to what is going on and the goals of your cycles?  Are they being kept in the loop adequately?

What most of it will boil down to is what principles guide how things are done and how informed and included is your staff.

I am not here to tell you how to do things, unless you want me to…but to think differently.

Because you have to start to realize that retention of your coaches and the building of your team is just as valuable as retaining your clients.  Your coaches are going to know about the ins and outs of your clients and when they walk away, they don’t have to say a word about coming to the other gym…people will follow.  And that is because we are in the business of caring.  We are in the business of betterment of life, and we are in the business of making people want to trust us because we care.

That includes working with our coaches and anyone who works for us.  So, by that, I encourage anyone to look into and make sure that they are leading their team and not just managing it.  Don’t run your place based on fear, but rather by putting in the work and showing your team that they matter to you.  Give them the opportunities to excel and grow.

For a great place to start, search youTube for Simon Sinek, read his blog or order one of his books.  If you want to see yourself and your business be successful you have to invest in your people first and wait a little longer to see the rewards.  You have to be the patient one.  Build up your team, give them opportunities for growth and then see what happens!