5 Signs You Need More Structure in Your Fitness Business

by | Aug 1, 2016 | Articles, For Business Owners, For Fitness Pros, Stage 3 | 2 comments

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2024)

Do You Need More Structure In Your Fitness Business?

If you own a personal training studio, boot camp or gym your day probably looks a little like this:

5am – Wake up
5:30am – Rush to the gym to open
6-9am – Training sessions
10am-12pm – Deal with all the fires you need to put out like billing issues, client troubles, staff questions, etc.
12pm-1pm – Workout
1pm-3pm – Try to squeeze in writing programs and doing some marketing
3pm-4pm – Small break…oh wait, there’s more fires to put out!
4pm-8pm – Training sessions
8pm-10pm – Catch up on work, reply to some emails, try to get home and head to bed

That’s how it was for me too at one point. It was a constant scramble to get training sessions done, write programs and answer client questions. That left ZERO time to work on marketing or growing my business.

If you’re suffering from a lack of time and a little frustrated with having to put out fires in your business all the time, you probably need more structure and better systems.

What Are the Signs?

Trouble doesn’t simply appear in your business. There are signs that tell you what’s wrong. If you’re a sharp business owner with the right strategy, you can use these signs to help you solve the problems for good.

Sign #1: The business owner is solving every problem.

If you, the business owner, is solving every problem and dealing with every issue that comes up in your business, then you need more structure.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be times when you are the decision maker for a problem. And if you’re the only person in your business, then you’ll have to make these decisions. But if you’ve got an administrative assistant or a team of trainers working for you, they should be empowered and equipped to solve problems on their own.

Solution: Create an organization chart.
By creating a visual image of your business and the chain of communication as well as roles and responsibilities of each member of your team, it will be clear who owns the key areas in your business.

By establishing clear ownership, everyone on the team will know who to go to when there is a question or an issue (hint: that shouldn’t always be you!).

Sign #2: You’re spending more than 50% of your time on tasks that don’t require your skills or knowledge.

As the business owner your team and your success depends on you being able to steer the ship. That means you have to spend time on the vision for your business and creating the strategy to help you reach that vision.

If more than 50% of your time is spent on tactical level stuff like booking sessions, doing simple follow up calls, building websites, posting your blogs, confirming appointments, handling billing questions/issues, etc. then you’re throwing money out the window.

You can easily hire someone, even outsource most of this online, for $15-20/hour to get back some of your time. The things you should focus on as the business owner:

  1. Marketing and sales
  2. KPIs
  3. Managing your team
  4. Key client relationships
  5. Quality of your product

Eventually you may even grow to the point where you hire managers and trainers that will manage your training processes.

Solution: Create a stop doing list and delegate.
Take one week to inventory your time and the activities you are doing on a weekly basis. Then evaluate it for items that you should STOP DOING IMMEDIATELY. Your job is now to find someone that you can delegate those tasks to if they must be done.

Sign #3: Your team is ALWAYS messing up.

If you have a staff, then you know the challenges that come with it. There’s payroll, insurance, workers comp, taxes, performance reviews…

The list goes on and on, but the biggest challenge and complaint that I hear from business owners is that their team is always messing up. They constantly complain about staff members not doing their job or not meeting performance standards.

Whose fault is that? It’s YOURS!

As the business owner it’s your job to make sure that you have the right people on your team and that they are prepared to perform to your expectations. You got into this business to be a trainer and then graduated to business owner. The trouble is you skipped learning how to manage a team!

Solution: Create job descriptions.
The very first step in helping your team succeed is ensuring they know their roles and responsibilities and understand their performance expectations. A great job description will outline the top 3-5 responsibilities of that position, how performance will be measured or assessed and a list of activities and responsibilities of the position.

When you can clearly communicate what a person should do and how they will be assessed, you’ll be surprised at how much better they will perform. As their manager you need to set the expectations with them and provide them with the training to do their job really well.

Sign #4: You can’t predict or forecast growth.

There aren’t many business owners out there that don’t set goals for business growth. The trouble is most of them arbitrarily set a ridiculous growth goal and have no idea how to get there.

So at the end of the year they look back at their goals and they are waaaayyyyy off track. This leads to a mad dash and scramble to try and get as close as possible. That type of reaction causes a lot of stress and frustration on you and your team.

If you have big goals for growing your business but don’t have a plan to reach those goals, you’ll continue on in this cycle forever.

Solution: Create a marketing strategy and system.
“Hope is not a method.” That was a quote from a guest speaker we had at one of our annual team meetings not long ago. It sums up how most business owners run their marketing. They hope they will get enough clients.

Hoping that you will get enough clients is not a method.

When you have a marketing strategy and system for deploying your marketing campaigns you can do more than hope. You can use your metrics and KPIs to measure success and set benchmarks.

For example, if you know that you convert 50% of your leads to clients and you want to add 50 clients over the next quarter to hit your goals, then you need to get at least 100 leads.

So how will you do that? Does your marketing calendar have enough in it to bring in 100 leads? Setting revenue and growth goals is one thing. Having a system to hit them is another!

Sign #5: You have no free time since you’re working 70+ hours a week.

Taking pride in working 70, 80, 90+ hours a week used to be a badge of honor. Now I just think it’s a silly way to justify that you don’t know how to leverage yourself as a business owner.

I get having passion for what you do but not at the expense of missing out on what’s important. As a young 20 or 25 year-old trainer it was okay to bust my hump building a business. I’d outwork anyone just to say I did it.

Now as a husband and father, I value time with my family and ensuring that they get as much quality attention as my businesses. If you’re working that much it’s likely because you need more structure!

Solution: Align your vision, goals and priorities.
One of the biggest reasons that we have our coaching clients spend time working on a Strategic Alignment Plan™ and updating it frequently is so that they know what they need to focus on.

Once you can align your goals with your vision you’ll be able to set priorities that give you a sense of purpose. All that work that you’re doing to be “busy” won’t matter quite as much anymore, and you’ll be able to say “no” more than “yes” on a daily basis.

It helps to have a coach there to help you stay focused when things get a little chaotic too 🙂


If you’re experiencing chaos in your business and things feel a bit overwhelming, it’s likely that you need more structure for you and your team. This structure will give you more freedom and allow you to do what you are best at so that your business can excel!

Need Help Creating Structure?

You could spend months upon months trying to figure out how to create structure in your business so that you reach your goals and build a successful business that doesn’t hold you captive. Or you could accelerate your success by working with a coach.

If you need help creating structure, schedule your free Strategy Session today. You can talk to a coach to see what systems you need in place and learn how creating a plan for your success will help you grow faster.

Since joining a coaching group, I added a full-time assistant coach who has been groomed to run the gym at a very high level when I am away. I have the peace of mind that everything is running smoothly when I know he is there.

We also have a part-time Administrative Assistant that has helped us stay on top of back office paperwork and improved our client experience. None of this would have been possible without the coaching that came from the Accelerator Coaching Program.

I have the peace of mind that everything is running smoothly when I am away.

Obviously as client experience improves so does revenue and new clientele. Our monthly numbers jumped by 25% the first and second month after joining. We are also on pace this month to have our best month yet, despite it being the middle of summer!

Great coaches and like-minded fitness business owners make FR such an obvious decision. When you are able to bounce ideas off of other owners who may be in similar situations as yourself or have already experienced your issue, things simplify.

You can make decisions that are based off of successes others have had and more importantly, avoid mistakes others have made.

JARED-MARKIEWICZ-201x300 - Need More StructureJared Markiewicz
Owner of Functional Integrated Training
Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Author: Nick Berry

Nick Berry is an accomplished entrepreneur, CEO, mentor, and author, with a track record which includes founding and leading numerous companies to success since his first venture in 2002. Nick Berry is the Founder and CEO of Fitness Revolution.

A hand drawing an arrow with a businessman on it.


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