In the last instalment, we talked about signs that your fitness business bosses you rather than the other way around!

It’s very easy to be tricked into thinking that you’re now totally in charge of your life and can do what you want just because you’ve opened the doors to your new facility.

The reality is often that you are now doing more work, for less money per hour with early start times and later finishes.

You’re not exactly living the dream.

I remember nights where it seemed like sleep was actually a blink!

The natural reaction from most people is “You need to bring in some people to work for you”.

Now whilst this is technically true, if you don’t do it the right way, you can end up in a more complicated situation, with more hassle and even less pay than before!

The place to start is not to simply bring people in and hope they soak up your way of doing things.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I ever received was to build my business in a way that would make it sell-able.

This doesn’t mean being like many fitness professionals these days who seem to want to be out of their business before they’re even in it.

The aim of this is to build out and make clear how your business operates with a view to making it easy to expand or simply improve the efficiency with which you do things.

It will ensure a quality and consistency you don’t see in many owner operated small businesses.

Even if you have no intention of ever selling your business, working and developing things with that mindset will plug holes in the processes you use, make you more time efficient and make it easier to move towards your personal Why.

One of my current Fit Pro clients is in the middle of this process and has found many inefficiencies and things that aren’t up to the high standards he wants.

Whilst it can be frustrating to see this, it provides a much stronger foundation for moving forward.

It will also remove you from doing the essential tasks that you hate to do as you delegate tasks.

The aim is to leave you in a position to simply ‘Perform and Publish’.

In other words, all you should do is perform the skills you are best at, publish content to attract more customers, and get out into the world to grow your business.

Everything else can be done by someone else who may enjoy it more and even be better than you at it (as hard as that can be to accept!)

This whole process must be done to optimize the path to living out your Ideal Average Day so you must be clear how you want your life to work before structuring your business.

For example, if you don’t want to work after 2pm so that you can spend the afternoons with your kids, you will need to have someone trained up to take your evening classes.

Maybe you have some awesome people you want to take on as personal training clients but you’re snowed under with business admin for your bootcamps.

It’s crazy to work for three hours per week doing admin that you could pay someone £12 per hour to do, when you have clients willing to pay your personal training rate of £50 per hour!

The next step is to build out an organisational chart for your business as it is and assess how all the different tasks connect and how they can be grouped to create job roles.


Walk into many large business and you will see departments and chains of command drawn out.

This helps everybody to know who reports to whom, where each cog fits into the machine and where to look when things aren’t happening as they should.

Walk into other businesses and you’ll often find more than one person ‘kind of doing that’ and thinking that it is someone else’s job (which is why it never gets done!).

Creating an organizational chart will provide clarity as to how areas of your business interact, increase the likelihood of consistency of service and enable jobs to be created and delegated to other people.

Here’s what to do next:

1) Over a full calendar month, write down every single thing you do and how you do it in a step-by-step checklist.


Examples include:

– Training sessions

– Answering emails

– Answering the phone

– Facebook ad creation

– Pay roll

– Cleaning

– Checking the toilet roll holder

– Machine maintenance

– Advice and follow-up processes for new members

One of the best things I did to ensure consistency and quality was a five-week flow chart of things that had to be done in and around our fitness camps.

(We ran 4 week program, 1 week trial week)

You will find an example flow chart in the Resources Section of the Fitness Business Freedom program.

By all means use this example, but make sure you don’t just copy it, missing out things that you have found to be essential in the delivery of the services you offer.

There are many things you can create a checklist for before handing over responsibility to someone else.

However, this is not simply limited to delegating jobs to staff members.

Remember what we said about providing what clients don’t even know they need?

How about warm up TV’s on the wall for members to follow when they come in?

Delegate the warm up!

This can ensure your clients are prepared for their training sessions without you having to stand over them repeating the same warm up they’ve done 100 times before!

This would give you various options such as offering 45 minute training sessions at the same price as 60 minutes.

You could potentially save enough time doing this to train 1-2 extra clients over the course of a day because clients warm up on their own.

You charge the same fees and work the same hours, all because the warm up system moved 15 minutes of your ‘job’ to the client.

How about a welcome pack or instructions on how to flow around the gym written up on the walls to save your staff having to repeat it and potentially miss crucial points during any intro’s because they’re having a bad day?

You will typically see this in hotel rooms explaining wifi passwords, laundry, local directions etc.

Essentially anything that your clients need to know but which you don’t need to be personally delivering every time, can be documented and presented in a different way ensuring consistency of information and service.

2) Now think ahead to things that don’t happen every month but are important and must be done over the course of a year.

Examples include:

–       Quarterly staff reviews

–       Quarterly reviews with personal training clients

–       Contacting local businesses with January corporate membership options

–       Seasonal marketing and articles (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas)

Absolutely any task that you will need to complete over the course of a year either on a daily basis or an irregular/ad hoc basis, can be documented in detail, creating a handbook/system that someone else can follow.

Your decision then becomes what you want to continue to do personally (taking into consideration whether you are even the best person to do that task!)

3) One you have detailed every task, the next step is to start creating jobs.

At first it may be as simple as pulling all the admin tasks into one Customer Services role.

You might employ someone as Marketing Maestro who is proficient at Facebook ads and also excels at making sales calls to leads.

You should definitely have details on how all sessions are to be completed including everything from turning the lights and music on to checking the training area for safety hazards and explaining exercises.

You should be able to bring in a trainer with the necessary qualifications and personality, ensure they can coach exercises well, give them the handbook to absorb and then watch them carry out a session in a similar way to how you would.

An extension of this would be to have a Head Trainer who has additional job requirements such as monthly meetings and reviews with all trainers and monitoring trainer development action steps.

4) Once you have all your tasks written out in detail, tidy it up to create a handbook for each ‘job’ that you have created.

Can you pass your ‘Admin Superstar’ handbook to your Mum and have her answer emails, check auto-payment clearance and update your website with latest news?

If not, you’ve missed out some details.

5) The next stage is to actually draw out your Organizational Chart with reporting lines.

This simply requires a box for each of the jobs you created with the Job Title and the name of who currently occupies that role.

At first this feels a bit silly because your name is probably in every single box!

Don’t worry, you are now in a position to bring people in to fill every box you don’t like being in!

The reporting lines are not to satisfy your ego that needs to be at the top!

The organizational chart is simply a visual for you to see your business from the outside in and how it currently fits together.

It will show you how you can go deeper in the areas you excel at and love, and remove yourself from the important things you don’t want to do personally.

As things grow this will almost definitely need editing.

You may have had someone working five hours a week completing your admin for some extra pocket money.

Now you’re expanding your sales call strategy and there are more members to service.

Those five hours aren’t enough to get the member admin done any more and there isn’t enough work for it to be a full time job.

Now two job roles may merge (as will the handbooks) to create a full time job.

As you can see, this is a dynamic process that will change as your business moves forward.

You should diarize reviewing your organization and handbooks at least every three months and also hand power over to your trainers and admin assistants to keep a log of unanswered questions that can be added to your handbooks at your quarterly reviews.

Over time you will continue to develop and improve the systems within your business, updating where required and removing those that may no longer serve the company.

However, no matter how many processes you systemize, there will always be new and challenging situations appearing in the day-to-day running of the business.

This is where recruitment strategy plays another big part.

Employees must share and fully understand your business values so that they have a clear idea how to act in any situation not encountered before and not covered in their handbooks.