State of the Industry: Owner Hours and Profitability

A stressed gym owner works on her computer while holding a vacuum and a mop.

According to the survey we conducted for our 2021 “State of the Industry” report, the average owner invests 37.8 hours per week working on or in the business.

A quarter of business owners spend less than 20 hours per week on or in their businesses. A quarter of business owners reported spending more than 50 hours per week on or in their businesses. The gyms on that end of the spectrum tend to be much less profitable.

Some owners reported working more than 100 hours a week—but it’s possible to spend that time accomplishing nothing, just as it’s possible to make a great deal of money while working very few hours.

On the lower side of the scale, outliers are to be expected as well. We teach entrepreneurs to build businesses that can run without them, so some successful owners don’t spend much time on the business after it’s running well. Owners in our Tinker program might only spend 10 hours on a business per week yet reap a rich reward as they work on new projects or spend time with their families.

Here’s the data:

A bar graph showing hours worked by gym owners, with most working between 38 and 48 hours.

Here’s another graph:

A bar graph showing that owners who work more than 51 hours are more likely to have unprofitable businesses.

Analysis: Gym owners who work 40 or fewer hours per week are more likely to have profitable gyms. But correlation does not imply causation: It’s more likely profitable owners have been able to set their operations to run without them. For example, I don’t spend any hours on my gym, yet I own it and receive the benefits of its success.

What’s more interesting is that we see a steep decline in the number of profitable owners as hours of work increase—especially after 50.

That proves what I’ve been saying for years: It’s not enough to “hustle” or “grind.” You have to do the things that will actually make a difference in your business.

Over the last year, I’ve dedicated myself to helping gym owners find clarity. Now, in 2022, Two-Brain mentors can confidently tell gym owners exactly what to do to improve their businesses. That’s incredibly important to me. I don’t want you to beat your head against the wall and hope to break through. I want you to take swift, targeted action that moves the needle, and then I want you to spend the rest of your time with your family.

If you’re working more than 50 hours and your gym isn’t profitable, you might need some guidance. This is my invitation to book a call with a member of my team to find out how a mentor can help you reach profitability and get home in time for dinner.

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