The Real Cost of Doing Everything Yourself

The Real Cost of Doing Everything Yourself - a gym owner muddling thru paperwork at his desk

By Brooks DiFiore, Certified Two-Brain Fitness Business Mentor

What does it cost to not hire a cleaner?

At Two-Brain Business, we talk to our clients daily about removing themselves from “low-value roles.”

“Low value” doesn’t mean the role we are looking to unload isn’t essential to our business. It means that we can replace ourselves and free up time without breaking the bank, and we will get a return on our investment as we move to roles that generate more revenue—”higher-value roles.” We call this “climbing the value ladder.”

For most gym owners, some lower-value roles are easy to hand off: bookkeeper, cleaner, admin person and social media manager. Other roles can be more difficult because we either love them (coach, programmer, etc.) or we don’t have the right person to fill that role. 

One of the lowest-value roles in a gym is programmer. Here’s a summary of the role:

  • Supervisor: Generally the owner or head coach.
  • Task: Design a program to provide clients with their desired results. 
  • Time to Complete Task: Five hours per week. 


Before we go into how much it would cost to remove yourself from the role, let’s estimate how much revenue you could create with the freed time if you dedicated it to only three tasks:

  1. Goal setting and coffee with current clients.
  2. Nurturing leads and creating content to attract new clients.
  3. Reaching out to past clients.


Your goal each week is to have five conversations. That means one hour to initiate contact and have a meaningful dialogue with someone. For easy math, let’s assume you successfully contact three of five people, and of those three, one buys something from you—either a new membership or an add-on service. If you do this every week for a month, you will make four new sales. If each of those sales is worth $150 a month, you have successfully generated $600 a month in new cash flow. 

That $600 puts your effective hourly rate (EHR) for those 20 hours at $30 an hour for the month. But we need to take it a step further. 

Let’s say you keep clients for 12 months on average, and you repeat the process each week, using five hours to have conversations with current, potential or past clients: If you add four memberships each month, your ROI from outsourcing that time over 12 months is $43,200. Retention is a multiplier!

Your EHR for the time you reclaimed by outsourcing programming is $180 an hour. 


Replacement Cost


Now that we know what you can earn, let’s talk about what it would cost to replace yourself as programmer. 

Well, if you’re a Growth client with Two-Brain, you can replace yourself for free. It’s why we created Two-Brain Programming. Each month—for free—we give our Growth members programming proven to boost adherence and retention. With this service, you will save money and time whether you currently purchase outside programming or program yourself and want to offload the task.

If you’re not a Growth client, outsourcing programming to a third party generally costs between $100 and $200 a month. If you consider the 20 hours a month it takes to write a good program, outsourcing is like paying someone $5-10 an hour. That’s pretty good. 

Taking the average of $150 a month for third-party programming over a year, you are adding an expense of $1,800 to free up the time you need to generate $43,200 in gross revenue. 

That’s a 24x return on investment. 

Programming is just one example. You could perform the same exercise and calculate what it would cost to replace yourself in other areas of your business. 

So is it really too expensive to replace yourself? And can you really afford to do everything yourself? Or would your business grow if you calculated the true costs of replacement and moved into higher-value roles?

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