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7 Deadly Mistakes That Gym Owners Must Avoid

For most trainers it takes a great leap of faith to move from working for someone else to setting up and opening their own gym. 

However, with the explosion in popularity of warehouse gyms the barrier to entry has been significantly dropped and people no longer need hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest to get up and running either.

Although this is a great thing for the fitness movement it’s also caused a massive influx of unprepared business owners who end up spending every minute of their days working in their business instead of on their business.

Here are 7 critical mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Being unaware  

If you think opening up your own gym is going to be easy then you need to do your research. Being a gym owner is extremely demanding and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

The rewards can be great but it takes a lot of time and sacrifice. You need to be ok with giving up job security, your financial stability, and living what others may consider a bare life for a bit.

In the beginning, expect to work long hours with little pay and be prepared to reinvest what you do make in order to grow.

2. Not knowing your Why

I’m always amazed when I talk with gym owners and discover that they are unaware of the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires them to do what they do. Then they are shocked when people don’t join their gym or those that do don’t refer their friends.

Look if you don’t know why it is you do what you do then how is anyone else going to ‘buy” into your vision. How are you going to lead people when you have no direction?

Get clear on why you do way what you do first and watch how it transforms your business.

3. Acting like an amateur 

To be successful in the gym business you have to think like a professional. Unfortunately, many owners still are operating like amateurs.

Here’s a list of a few common symptoms:

•Failing to get significant results for their client’s

•Allowing bad habits to show up in the work place

•Being late to meetings

•Not showing up every day and doing whatever it takes

•Not following through on promises to trainers and clients

•Constantly making excuses

•Taking time off when the business is not in a position to do so

Ask yourself, would a Professional act like that? No, if you want to be successful, start thinking and behaving like a pro. Fake it for a while if you have to, that works just as well.

4. Lack of focus

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

By not knowing your current direction or where you want to end up you’re chances of success are slim to none. You’d be surprised how common this problem is. Many owners feel that success should follow if you just keep opening the doors each morning. But that’s not so.

Get clear on what your goals are and start crafting you plan to get there. Once you have this in hand then it’s simply a case of daily execution.

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5. Surrounded by distractions

Distractions are all around us and it’s easy to get caught up doing things that do not serve you or the business.

Learning to say NO will be the most powerful thing you do. This skill will allow you to stay the course and stick to what it is you need to be doing.

Without discipline many gym owners find themselves in chaos early on. Shut down Facebook, stay off Instagram, and avoid the time vampires.

6. Poor Time Management 

It’s common to hear gym owners use the excuse that they don’t have the time. The truth is they have plenty of time, they’re just not using it wisely.

As a business owner you have to decide what needs to be done by you and then what can be taken care of by someone else. The art of delegation is something you must master so that you can manage your time effectively and efficiently. You can learn the now, or more painfully later on down the road. It’s your choice.

Start getting comfortable with not trying to do everything yourself and be willing to invest in those who will free up your time to focus on what you do best.


Lost training footage from my trip to @ParaihCrossFit with @taylorsresch3 & @coreycapella just dropped on my YouTube (ajroberts1234) #conjugatestrong #maxeffort #westsidebarbell #crossfit #deadlift

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7. Going at it alone and on their own

Last but not least one of the biggest mistakes gym owners make is not having a coach and going at it all by themselves. That’s like your clients not hiring you and continuing to try get their desired results on their own, right? Is this possible? Maybe… Is it likely? Not at all.

So, what makes you any different?

Find a mentor who can guide you and whom you can lean on for their expertise. I promise you it’s be one of the best things you do for the growth of your business.

Avoid these 7 deadly mistakes and watch your business transform.

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Mike Bledsoe

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