Starting A Gym: Adding Staff

A block with a red "person" icon on it sits just outside a group of similar icons arranged in a pattern to represent a business' staff.

How can you work on marketing when the floor needs to be scrubbed?
Your role as entrepreneur is to invest your time in the highest-value roles. That means removing less-valuable things from your plate. But most entrepreneurs don’t do this well.
They say things like:
“No one can do this like me!”
“It’s faster to just do this myself!”
“I can’t afford any screwups!”
“No one cares as much as I do!
I’ve been there. The tug-of-war between “I know I should delegate!” and “I can’t turn my baby over to my staff!” is an internal battle between logic and emotion.
Luckily, that’s why we’re called Two-Brain Business: we work with both.

The Path to a Solid Staff

Here are the steps to figuring out how to best spend your time and then actually create the time to grow your business.

1. Break down your day by the hats you wear.

If you were to duplicate yourself into 12 clones, and each clone could only do one job all day, what would those jobs be?
Cashier? Maker of the doughnuts? Purchaser or supplies? Decorator? Cleaner?
Make a list. We call these “roles.”

2. Now program your clones: Make a step-by-step list of everything you do in each role.

For example, the cashier is responsible for entering client sales correctly, processing refunds, collecting money, closing the batch at the end of the night, balancing receipts with collected funds at the end of the shift (and end of day), depositing funds at the bank, and so on.
Make the checklist as simple as possible. We call these “tasks.”

3. Assign an hourly value to each role. What would it cost to replace yourself?

Cashier—$13 per hour?
Baker—$18 per hour?
Purchaser—$20 per hour?
Cleaner—$11 per hour?
We call these costs “replacement value.” You will hire valuable people to replace you in each role eventually. And you will pay them what the role is worth.

4. Next, do a Time Valuation on yourself.

How much time do you spend in each Role? Record your total time spent (in hours) for one week.
For example:
Cashier—10 hours
Baker—20 hours
Purchaser—3 hours
Cleaner—5 hours
Multiply total time by the replacement value of each role.
Cashier—10 hours x $13 per hour = $130 replacement value
Baker—20 hours x $18 per hour = $360 replacement value
Cleaner—5 hours x $11 per hour = $55 replacement value

5. From your list of replacement values, find the lowest. Hire a person to fill that role.

Give the person a 3-month contract that clearly spells out the role and every associated task.
In other words, provide a checklist.

6. Here’s the critical part: You, the owner, MUST reinvest the time you save by working in a higher-value Role.

We call this “Climbing the Value Ladder.”
If you bought yourself five hours by hiring a cleaner, you must show a positive return on that purchase.
You can either replace the baker for five hours, saving yourself $90 (five hours x $18) or you can jump a few rungs up the ladder and spend time in a new role, like marketing.

7. After a month, evaluate your staff’s performance.

Assign a scale from 1 to 10 for each task.
Review performance with the staff member. What can he or she improve?
Now review your performance in your new role. What can you improve? Are you seeing a positive return?

8. After three months, repeat steps 5, 6 and 7.

Buy yourself more time. Climb to the next step. Measure your ROI.

Building a Real Business

Most entrepreneurs never build a business: They buy themselves a job instead.
But if they want to scale, be able to sell their business someday or just take a holiday, they must replace themselves in all roles eventually.
This is the directive approach we teach entrepreneurs in the Two-Brain Business Incubator. It’s virtually risk-free and far less scary than the usual “ready, fire, aim” approach to hiring.

Other Articles in This Series

How to Start a Gym
Starting a Gym: Location, Space and Equipment
Starting a Gym: Scaling Up
Starting a Gym Marketing
Starting a Gym: Do You Need a Partner?

Done-For-You Hiring Plan and Detailed Job Descriptions for Gym Owners


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.