How to Make Your Gym Run Itself (Without Falling Apart)

How to Make Your Gym Run Itself (Without Falling Apart)

Chris Cooper (00:00):
If you want it to, your gym can run itself. You don’t have to do the hard parts forever. You can hire someone to replace you in marketing or sales or social media or cleaning—even coaching. It’s possible. But if you wanna get any part of your business off your plate, you have to do it the right way. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and today I’m gonna tell you how to systemize, optimize and then automate every function in your gym. You don’t rise to the level of your marketing; you sink to the level of your systems. For example, if you hire someone to run your Facebook ads and you don’t understand Facebook advertising yourself, you will be screwed when the ads stop working or when Facebook changes the algorithm or when you’re locked out of your account due to an iOS update or when the ads need updating.

Chris Cooper (00:49):
So today I want to give you the steps to first systemizing and then optimizing and then automating your business if you want to. The first step in automating any part of your business is to do it yourself. We call Two-Brain mentorship a done-with-you system because I want you to learn how to do things properly and then how to teach it to your staff so that they know how to do it properly without you. For example, let’s say that you hate sales and you want a staff person to take over that role. Well, first you need to do 20 sales meetings yourself so that you can learn the process, and then you need to tweak the process a few times to make it feel natural to you. Then you need to teach your staff the exact same process that you use. And finally, you need to support them in sales.

Chris Cooper (01:36):
You need to run role-playing sessions and track their numbers and provide them with sales coaching. This is the difference between delegation and abdication. Delegation means walking the path yourself first, leaving deep tracks for others to follow, and then making sure that they’re staying on the track. Abdication is saying “I don’t have time for this” or “I hate this” and then handing full responsibility to others without giving them a plan or knowing their plan. No matter how smart your staff members are, no matter how bad they want it, they aren’t gonna just figure it out. You need to give them systems to follow. So here’s some questions that I get from gym owners all the time. “Should I buy that new software to help with lead nurture? Should I hire a virtual assistant to do my billing for me? Should I replace myself in the morning classes?”

Chris Cooper (02:29):
And the answer is always, “Yes you can, but don’t do it yet.” You must perfect performance of each task yourself. Teach someone else to do each task at the exact same level that you do it and continually improve the process so that it’s optimal. Only then should you outsource or automate a task or delegate it even. I’m a huge fan of putting the right people in the right seats. And so for the last 10 years, I’ve been telling you the first step to getting work off your plate is systemization. And that means writing down exactly how you want things done, teaching your staff how to do it that way, and then holding them to that standard. So today I’m gonna actually tell you how to make your staff better than you. Solet’s stick with the salesperson example from what I mentioned a moment ago.

Chris Cooper (03:19):
So after you do 20 No Sweat Intros, NSIs yourself, you wanna write the process down step by step and then teach it to somebody else on your staff. Drill your staff and hand over NSI duties when their close rates are equal to yours—not before. Then drill to make them better than you are at sales. You can get them a sales coach, you can sign them up for Two-Brain, you can let them do role play with our team, you can let them do role play with somebody else in Two-Brain, you can record their NSIs and walk through the recordings with them and so on. And then as you see opportunities to improve, you carefully change one little thing at a time so that you can see the true effects of that change. For example, you try handing a client a cold bottle of water when they show up at their No Sweat Intro and you see if your close rate improves, and you don’t try anything else for the next 10 NSIs.

Chris Cooper (04:13):
And then you measure: did the close rate go up? And if so, the water becomes part of your system. If there was no effect, then you drop the water welcome and you try something else. And this is how you optimize your system. Any system is better than no system, but before you hand a system over entirely to somebody else, take the time to optimize it, know what works best, and then give them a step-by-step checklist, instructions, playbook to follow so that they can deliver at the same level of excellence that you can. What you don’t wanna do is just hand over the care of your clients to a robot or some AI software or a stranger, because the only thing worse than doing something badly is doing it wrong. It’s really common now to outsource lead-nurture or emails or direct messaging and other services to bots or software or virtual assistance.

Chris Cooper (05:06):
And those things can work. They’re better than nothing until they’re worse than nothing, but they only work if you have a system in place for them to follow. If you wanna build a self-driving car, you have to write the algorithm, and then you have to test the algorithm before you put it out on the street. So coming back to the question: “Should you hire a virtual assistant? Should you sign up for that email automation service or that CRM? Should you outsource your lead nurture to a VA?” The answer is no. Not until you’ve completed the first two steps to automating those processes, which is to systemize it, do it yourself 20 times, then optimize it, try a few tweaks. And then you can look to automate it. When you’ve built a system that anybody can follow and then you’ve improved that system to the point where it’s maximized, that’s when you can hand it off to somebody else, and that’s delegation.

Chris Cooper (05:57):
If you hand off a subpar system and you expect staff to succeed with it, that’s abdication. Now I wanna talk about how to avoid sliding back into a role. So you’ve systemized something, or maybe you haven’t, and you’ve handed it off to somebody else, and they don’t do as well as you do, and you’re constantly looking over their shoulder like, “Why aren’t you doing better?” So I’ll keep the sales example that I’ve been using so far. The best salespeople in the fitness industry follow this process. They write sales scripts for their staff. They role-play and practice the scripts every day. They track everybody’s sales metrics. There are set-show-close rates. They record everyone’s sales conversations. They use software like Gong to pick up key phrases and words in the conversations, and then they edit their sales scripts, and then they role-play the new sales scripts, and then they test the new sales scripts and compare against previous metrics, and then they record and they test it again.

Chris Cooper (06:55):
Now, you’re probably not going to go to that level of detail, but the Two-Brain gyms with the top close rates in the world actually do go to that level of detail. You probably don’t even wanna spend all your time focusing on sales. I don’t, and I used to hate even talking about sales, but you must focus on the metrics of any system to determine whether it’s working or not. Metrics measure the efficacy of systems, and your systems are your business. To level up as an entrepreneur, you must offload duties so that you can focus on higher-value tasks. But here’s the secret: If you don’t systemize everything first, you’ll always wind up doing things yourself or they won’t get done. For example, if you don’t teach your coaches exactly how to coach classes to your standard of excellence, you’ll always wind up coaching classes again, because you’ll be irreplaceable.

Chris Cooper (07:48):
If you don’t measure the cleanliness of your bathrooms against a standard, you’ll always be cleaning the bathrooms on Sunday morning. If you don’t know how to build an ads funnel, you’ll always be looking for the next marketing guru and falling for their big promises of a million leads. Systemize, optimize and then automate what you can. Delegate responsibility for different areas of your business, but never just hand over responsibility without a system to follow and a process for optimizing that system over time. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” If you have questions about this episode, you wanna talk about mentorship or you just want to talk about any of these systems, go to That’s a free group that I run with our team of over 60 mentors worldwide. We’re just there to help gym owners. We’ve got 7,500 of the best gym owners, the mostpolite, tactful, least sarcastic on the planet. It’s just waiting for you. It’s absolutely free. Gymowners I will see you in there!

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