By Zander Arthur Co-CEO of Stars and Stripes Management
As the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the largest single gymnastics center in Florida; Gymnastics USA and a multi-brand and resource company for the class based industry. I've consistently worked with hundreds of clubs across the country. I have a keen sense for what gyms, studios, or dojos will be a multi-million-dollar business. As well as which ones will be a total dump! Let me tell you ten signs that your club will be a multi-million-dollar business. Comment below if you have some of these traits, but first, check out some of my social channels HERE, and subscribe. We are a new channel, and want to bring you value through content in business management, project development, and (my favorite) marketing & sales.
NUMBER TEN - Service Over Product
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs have the serenity to focus on their service more than their product, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
Club owners think…
“I need to have the biggest facility”
“I need to have the best equipment”
“I need to have the most experienced instructors”
And that’s all they think is important, and then end up failing. Why? Well, most often because they run out of money. They don't realize that the service can matter more than the actual product you're selling. Understand that your product, is your facility, equipment, and qualified staff while your service is how you provide that product. So, when your clients come into the door, it should be Consistent, Personalized, and Quality Assured. Putting those three things first, will allow you to grow faster and healthier, then having the best facility or most experienced instructors. In post COVID times, that is truly what will matter most, HOW you serve your clients, not just WHAT is on the platter.
NUMBER TEN - Marketing Efforts
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs have a real marketing foundation through an online web presence. I'm not talking about just posting a few things on Facebook, I'm talking about having a legitimate website, Search engine optimized, call to action links, and click funnel techniques. On the social media side, you need to constantly post and engage on IG, FB, and Google My Business. Also there is Digital marketing, where you're running pay-per-click ads to targeted audience, to assure new eyes are seeing your business name, brand promise, and location. That’s marketing in 2020, and in post COVID times, more and more people will want to be sold online first, before ever stepping foot into your facility. Which brings us to our next sign…
NUMBER EIGHT - Sales Funnel
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs have a real sales funnel. We talked about the marketing efforts, the part of your business that provides awareness, so leads come into your sales funnel.
First, an interest is placed typically through your website. Once that interest is received, your team must immediately call, and qualify the lead.
Basically, you need to find out if they should, would, and could buy your services.
You can do this by asking the following questions:
How old is your child?
Is he/she in other sports?
Does he/she show interest in tumbling?
Has he/she ever done gymnastics before?
Once you obtain enough information about the child and the family, you give a short presentation. Whether that presentation is in person or on the phone, keep it short and sweet.
Do this by obtaining three objectives…
Trust in the company
Trust in the service you are offering
Trust in yourself (the sales rep)
After the presentation, you tell them the price and some policies, then you ask if they are ready to start this week or next week (very important question). Of course, they will then hit you back with objections, “I have to talk to my husband”. Deal with objections by assuring them it’s risk free to sign up now. Then boom, you sign them up. Make them happy, and they will refer you to others, and the sales cycle continues, compounding your number of clients.
NUMBER SEVEN- Short Term Planning
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs don't plan by a three-year plan or five-year plan, they actually plan by weeks, or the month, and adapt that plan every day. A perfect example of why this is an important concept is COVID, no one knew this would happen, it was never expected, and it derailed every person’s rhythm and plans.
Think about it, when did you ever write out a long term and detailed plan that actually worked? It never happens! Don't write your giant business plan years out and live by it, because it's not going to be the way you thought it would be. Everything is changing around you. The market changes, the things kids are doing change, our industry changes.
So instead, have an ultimate vision for you club:
“I want to be the highest caliber gym in west Texas”
“I want to hit 1,000 active students”
"I want to be the biggest gym in the world”
Create short term goals, from one week to a month, and adapt daily.
A) What did we do yesterday?
B) What are we doing today?
C) What roadblocks are in a way to achieve our short term goals?
NUMBER SIX - No Top Down Authority
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs run their business and assure quality through groups of people (departments or teams) not top-down authority.
There are no bosses or managers just telling everybody what to do, thinking that they're omnipotent, as if they know everything. That's not how you run a successful organization. The reason is because top down authority creates a negative environment, because the top doesn’t really know what is going on at the bottom. It creates this bureaucracy of angry bosses and managers, instead of each department working together as self-organized teams, addressing problems immediately on the front-line.
Separate your company into four teams or departments:
Have them self-organize and manage their domain. Have the team work together to achieve an ultimate goal. There is a lot more to this, and will be addressed in my course.
NUMBER FIVE - Owners Are Always Important, Not Always Right
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs have this philosophy, that just because you're the boss, just because you're the owner, just because you're one of the managers, it doesn't make your opinion right, it just makes your opinion important.
Every time you're in a meeting, every time you have a discussion, every time you need to say something, your opinion is just important, it’s not gold. You're not the man in the high castle that knows everything. A lot of times your younger staff, your clients, your students, they're right and you're wrong. You as the higher authority need to check your ego, humble yourself, and understand that if you don’t listen to others you will assuredly fail.
NUMBER FOUR- Have Auxiliary Programs
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs have auxiliary programs in their facility. Auxiliary programs are additional classes offered other than your standard programs like recreational and competitive gymnastics. The problem with standard classes is that they only reach out to a specific group of children, 5-12 years old, and typically only girls. An Auxiliary program like a ninja program attracts the 5-12 year old boys market. An aerial silks program, attracts the girls 9+ years old market. I’ve seen programs increase enrollment 25%-50% with auxiliary programs. Stars and Stripes Management provides licensing programs for both of these auxiliary programs, Ninja Kidz and Climbers Aerial Silks. We provide curriculum, staff training, branding and so on. You should check it out, both brands are very popular across the country.
NUMBER THREE- No Super Heroes
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs base their company on systems not individuals. There should be no super heroes in your company, there should be no individual that's the glue holding the business together.
Not even you as the owner should be the superhero of your company. If you are, then you're working in your business, not working on your business. You need to realize that in a Multi-Million Dollar Club, the systems run the business, and people run the systems. Systems and self-organized teams are the foundation, not one individual. There shouldn’t be anyone in the company that everyone depends on, the group should be self-sufficient depending on the team, not a particular individual. If you rely on one super hero in your company, like a great coach that is super educated, super experienced, and all the parents and the kids love him/her, then you're dependent on that coach. Wait until that person leaves, then the whole operation will fall apart. If you are the only person that can do certain jobs in your club, like coach or run the front desk, then eventually you're going to fail or be a slave to your own creation.
NUMBER TWO- Give up what you have, to get what you want
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs know that in order to get what they want, they have to give up what they have. I'm talking about time and money.
One big problem that I see, that never allows clubs to grow, is they're always too afraid to give up any time and money to grow their business. Stubborn club owners want to see an immediate return, but that is not how the universe works. You will have to invest into your growth, and that growth will come steadily over time.
NUMBER ONE - Empower Employees
Multi-Million-Dollar clubs empower their staff to be winners not servants. You have to understand that your employees are not going to perfect, they can’t make the tough decisions for you, and they can’t read your mind.
If you have too high of expectations, you're going to be let down. Empower your staff to be winners, by rewarding positive actions, and ignoring negatives. Employees can’t read your mind, they can't make the tough decisions for you, and they won't be perfect (just like you). Step it up and be a leader, be involved, receive daily feedback, and most importantly, be a resource to your team, not a tyrant. Empower your staff by making them a part of your inner circle, so they can succeed with you.