DIY, DFY and the Perfect Balance for Entrepreneurs

A number of small arrows unite to form a large arrow with the words "done with you" on it.

You can’t do everything yourself. In the previous post in this series, I shared the true cost of DIY.

It’s tempting to just hire someone else to do stuff for you—like an ad agency. But that’s expensive. And let’s face it: An agency is not really incentivized to optimize your marketing, just to spend your money on ads.

When we don’t know how to do something, it’s tempting to say, “You handle this and I’ll pay you for it.” But that creates a blind spot in your business, and when the DFY option stops working, you have to start from scratch.

Your time as an entrepreneur falls on a spectrum of value.

On one end of the spectrum, you’re doing everything yourself (DIY).

On the other end, you’re outsourcing everything (DFY).

In the middle is done with you: DWY. That’s the perfect balance. I’ll tell you how it works, and then I’ll share a few examples.

DWY Details

First, you learn how the process is done. You do the process once or twice yourself, following a template. Then you alter the template a little and record the process as your own.

Then you teach the process to someone else and monitor progress. If the person is doing well, you check in less. If the person is not doing well, you can mentor or replace.

Then you move to the next process.

Because we start with simple processes, we call this “climbing the value ladder.” The first rung, for many gym owners, is cleaning the gym. So that’s my first example.

DWY: Cleaning, Retention, Sales

You start by cleaning the gym yourself. As you do it, you try to optimize your time (you can even run a clock). You write down your optimized process and teach someone else to do it. You pay the person for cleaning.

Every month, you evaluate the work according to your checklist. If the person does a good job, you evaluate quarterly instead of monthly. If the person does a poor job, you can mentor or replace.

Then you reinvest your own time into something else—let’s say you need to improve your retention. (Don’t worry: Your mentor will help you decide your next priority.)

You start by measuring your retention. Then you get a retention plan and follow that specifically (Two-Brain clients use a plan called “The First 90,” which is a very specific client journey template).

After guiding a couple of clients through their first 90 days, you tweak the template a bit: You raise the price of your on-ramp or you add some group sessions. You measure your retention again and find it’s improved. That improvement is worth an extra $300 per client to you, so you hire and train someone else to manage the client journey—we call this person a client success manager (CSM).

You evaluate monthly, then quarterly. And you reinvest your own saved time into the next thing. Let’s say that thing is sales—increasing your signup rate.

You start by downloading our No Sweat Intro template and watching our training on NSIs. You practice with your mentor, and you use the template for a couple of clients.

Then you tweak one thing and measure the effect. When your close rate rises, that improvement is worth an extra $500 per month, for example. So you begin training someone else to do sales.

You measure close rates monthly, and then quarterly, until the salesperson is as good as you are. And then you invest your saved time in the next thing—for which we have a template waiting.

This is “done with you,” and it’s the fastest way to progress in business without skipping any steps.

Skipping Steps and Stalling Growth

What do I mean by “skipping steps”? Outsourcing before you have a proven process.

For example, you could hire a coach to clean your gym. You could say, “I’ll pay you $20 to clean the gym every night!”

But his idea of “clean” is not your idea of “clean.”

Maybe he’s better than you and the work takes three hours every night. He’s not going to accept $20 for long. Or maybe he’s worse than you, and the gym isn’t clean—but he thinks it is. You’ve moved on to improving your retention, and the cleaner is doing a bad job, so you fire him and step back into cleaning—and your retention doesn’t improve.

Or let’s say you outsource your lead-nurture process to a virtual assistant.

You think, “They’re going to do way better at this than I am!” And you shell out the $1,000 per month.

The VA starts texting your leads for you and encouraging them to get in the gym. The first month, you actually get fewer leads—but there’s a learning curve, right?

The second month, your appointment-booking rate gets back to normal—but goes no higher.

The third month, you get more appointments booked, but you notice most people are unprepared to sign up or they don’t really know what your service is all about. So you talk to the VA, who “tweaks the script.”

By the fourth month, you’re worried about the expense of the VA. It’s costing you money instead of making money for you. It’s become an expense instead of an investment. So you fire the VA and take the reins back.

You turn off your advertising until you sort out your lead-nurture process. You have to start from scratch, and it takes you two months to build your client journey, set up your texting and start getting good leads again.

That’s a six-month black hole for growth. You really can’t afford to put your business on pause every time you have to fix a step you skipped.

Choose Speed

DWY is the fastest road to growth because you get significant forward momentum without having to backtrack to fix problems. Mentorship is a done-with-you process because I want you to keep going forward without going in circles.

Sometimes you can hire an outside agency to fix your problems. But these are always temporary solutions. You need to know how to change the tires on your car even if you have AAA.

To talk with our team about mentorship and DWY, click here.

Other Media in This Series

“Entrepreneurs and the DIY Mindset”
“DIY: The True Cost for the Fitness Entrepreneur”
Podcast: “Done-With-You Services: The Secrets of Incredible Value”


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.