If you want to transition from being self-employed to being a business owner you need to build a great team. Your business should be able to run without you there 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, many fitness business owners who start off as great trainers or coaches struggle to let go of the day to day operations in their business. This resistance to delegation and change holds them back from scaling their fitness business.
Before we talk about finding great staff let’s get one thing out of the way…
First, the way YOU do everything isn’t the best way (at least not all the time). There are others who have more experience and better ideas than you in certain areas. Find those people and support their ideas.
Second, there are some things that no one will do well as you do them. Or with the same passion for that matter. You are the business owner, don’t expect others to come in with the same tenacity as you or skills as you.
Look At Your Clients
Many of the best trainers and staff for my fitness studio came from our client base. Some were part time and others made the transition to full time employees in the business.
You won’t find someone more bought into your system and your way of doing things than your current clients. Keep an eye out for those who have a passion for helping other clients and ask lots of questions about what you do or why you are doing it.
Hire Personality, Train The Skill
If someone has the desire to be a great trainer or coach you can teach them the skills needed. It’s much more difficult to train someone to have a great personality or people skills.
Hiring someone with lots of experience means that they are going to have their own ideas of how to train which don’t always align with your system. Unless you are okay with hearing out these ideas and allowing someone to come in and add to your system you may want to hire new, inexperienced trainers.
Build Your Bench With Internships
If you are lucky enough to have a college nearby work with them to develop strong internship programs. Having a steady stream of new interns each semester allows you to train potential new staff over the course of 8-16 weeks and evaluate their performance.
This requires some extra planning to align with the semesters and you’ll need to win over the career development office to encourage them to send you the best interns. However, a little work putting together an intern program with curriculum and learning objectives goes a long way.
Once I exhausted my client base for quality trainers and need to hire full time trainers the internship program was a game changer in my business.
Improve Your Marketing & Sales
Being able to generate enough new business, both revenue and clients, to support your new hires is always a challenge. The better your ability to generate leads and sell those leads into your program the easier it will be to stomach the investment of a new staff member.
If you are able to pay your staff a solid market based wage or offer them full time work you will differentiate yourself from the other options they may choose, including becoming your competition.
Shift Your Mindset
A lot of fitness business owners ask me what to do when their staff tells them they want to eventually run their own business. They immediately get worried that the staff will steal their secrets and clients.
Don’t worry! I could count on one hand the number of trainers or staff that I hired who didn’t say they eventually wanted to run their own business. They simply don’t know what else to tell you and think it displays their desire to learn and grow.
Most of them won’t end up starting their own business or stealing your clients. Especially if you treat them well and help them develop as a fitness pro. As long as they see the opportunity to grow with you they will realize that it’s easier to stay than head out on their own.
And if they do head out on their own wish them the best and continue to help them. There are more than enough clients out there. Plus, you can position yourself as the place where this trainer learned everything they know ; )
If you are stuck in the self employed stage of your fitness business or can’t find great staff to scale your business try shifting how you find new staff and your own mindset. This new phase of your journey as a business owner will require that you try something new and learn something new.
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