Part 2: Do you own a job?

Alright, let’s recap for a moment.

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the burning question as to whether you own a CrossFit Affiliate or whether you own a job.

The primary indicator that would shed some light on this is that if you went on vacation for a couple of weeks, would your business continue to grow and operate as well as if you were there or would it start to suffer?

Now I did make the release of this second article conditional to having a minimum of 20 complete some basic homework in the form of making their lists of daily tasks. Fair to say, we’ve since well and truly hit the mark with this target (more specifically we’ve blown it out of the water) and apologies to the people that emailed me their lists and are still waiting for this article, I wasn’t quite expecting to be hammered by this one as much as I was – so well done to the movers and shakers out there.

Anyway, if you haven’t yet read or done the homework to the part 1 of this article, stop reading right now. Just click here to get that all happening and then come back to this….

Okay – I’m guessing (or hoping really) by the fact that you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve now done the homework and realise that you are still tied to your business by the apron strings. And yeah, this is a pretty normal situation for most box owners – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Cutting the Apron String

The first step to cutting these apron strings is to make your list…

You know the one…

The list of all the things you do in a typical day to keep the box running – remember part 1 of this article?

And I’m also assuming that you’ve segmented this list into three different categories relating to simple/unskilled tasks, coaching related matters and then management tasks.

With these jobs done, now is the time to look at some killer strategies that will give you control of your box.

Don’t hire another coach!

The biggest issue that I see most affiliates struggling with is that they are unnecessarily hiring new coaches. I get it that this increases the capacity of your classes (providing you have the equipment). And I get it that this takes the pressure off of you to take all of the sessions at your box.

Now I’ll put it here that there will be a time when you’re going to need to put on a coach – but let’s look at how this really frees you up.

Firstly, most coaches are putting their hands out for anywhere from $25 to $50 (or more) per session. And to be honest, some of these coaches will be worth every cent – but when the time is right. It’s fair to say that hiring a coach is not a cheap option.

Secondly, coaching is the good part of being an affiliate owner. We all want to make a difference and be a positive force in the lives of our athletes – it’s why we got in the game.

I’m yet to meet a box owner that enjoys the paperwork and admin, but doesn’t enjoy the actual coaching side of things.

Finally, how many classes are you going to hand over to another coach? Generally the classes that we hand over are going to be quite limited by either what an affiliate owner can afford, the skill of the coach (let’s face it, no one is ever going to be as good as you are and for this reason, you’ll find yourself over-managing this coach and still being tied to the gym when they’re working) or the expectation of your athletes.

So hiring a coach isn’t cheap and generally, they’re doing the stuff that you’re good at and what you want to do. And add into the mix that making good coaches takes time and effort, so in essence you’re now paying extra to still be tied up, more than ever to the business. It just doesn’t quite make sense.

It’s all about the systems

Now I want you to go back to the list. In doing so, take a good hard look at the first category. You know the $15 an hour tasks – the ones that require little formal skills or training.

For each item on this list, now is the time in which you make a simple checklist for what it takes to complete each task on this list.

Personally, before getting too bogged down with this one, I like to get some easy runs on the board and begin with the simple tasks first.

For example, let’s start by mopping the floor. On this checklist, you’ll start by detailing how often and preferred times in which this is done. Then you’ll go into the details of where the mop, bucket and detergent is located. Then you’ll make some particular notes about where to fill up, where to empty the contents and possibly something to do with how to best finish the job (maybe talk about what to do over heavy chalk marks).

I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s amazing how uncommon common sense is.

Effectively, what you are doing is establishing a very simple operating system. And once you’ve gone through the simple tasks, make your way through to the more significant ones such as database management etc.

Now you don’t have to get too greedy in the sense that all of this has to be done immediately. Rather look at it as an organic process that will continue to worked on and something that will evolve over time.

Your first employee

Okay, so now you’re starting to get some very simple operating systems in place. Here’s where I introduce the really powerful part of the whole process – you’ve now got a set of instructions, guidelines if you like, at your disposal that you can use to help someone else do the simple tasks that are currently tying you down to your business – and you can hire your first employee!

In doing so, we’re going to get someone that is going to do all of the simple tasks on the list, the stuff that you don’t need formal qualifications for. The beauty about this is that as opposed to hiring a coach, they’re a heck of a lot cheaper. They’re also going to do the stuff that typically you don’t like doing (like I said, I’m yet to meet a coach that loves doing admin more than coaching) and the training that is required to get this person up to speed is a whole lot faster and easier – it’s benefit is virtually immediate.

The best solutions are found within

Whenever I get anyone asking me the best ways to recruit a new coach, my response is that the best solutions are always found within – and hiring an admin/cleaning assistant is no different.

You’ve got a ready base of candidates in your box – your athletes. Whenever you’re looking for a new employee, you should always, always, always recruit on personality – not skills or knowledge. And over the time of their membership at your box, you will get to know each and everyone of your athletes really quite well. And the beauty about CrossFit is that you’ll get to see their character first hand.

The people you want to provide this opportunity for are the people that show all of the desirable attributes. Firstly they love CrossFit and the box. They clean up after themselves. They’re courteous and mindful of others. They’re respectful to you. And they’re doing all of this as a paying client. Imagine what happens once they become an employee.

The other thing worth mentioning is that if the finances don’t yet allow you to hire, you can always work out some sort of membership arrangement.

With this in mind, I’m not going to go into too much more detail on this as I could go on and on regarding the recruitment and training process (rest easy fundies, we’re going to get in to some of this stuff). But just know that you’ll have someone in your box that can do the simple things that you need done, while freeing up your time to still grow your box, while also giving you the balance and freedom that you got in business for.

Let me know how you get on,

Clinton.

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