Jason Khalipa's top 10 tips for new gym owners

As the owner/operator of NCFIT, a thriving fitness business with 20+ locations around the world, Jason Khalipa is one of the most experienced gym owners out there. We asked the entrepreneur (and former CrossFit Games champion) his advice for those looking to open a gym of their own. Here are his top 10 tips, in no particular order:

1. Develop membership standards and adhere to those standards.

Be especially cautious of "bro-deals" - "I’ll give you a free membership if you give me X service of yours”. You may be undervaluing your business and not getting enough in return.

2. Make sure you’re tracking every cent.

Cash flow is crucial to early success and affects your ability to reinvest in your business. You’ll need to know your finances inside and out if you want to grow.

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3. Create and implement an employee feedback, performance, and development review process.

Have clear job descriptions for every hire, even if you have a small staff. You’ll be able to figure out what works well and what doesn’t, so you’re ready to scale.

4. Get in the habit of creating and refining processes for every function of your business

From how to communicate with leads, to how to clean the floors. Then, document those processes to maintain consistency among your staff.

5. Be selective with equipment purchases

Focus on what will be used most often, what has the largest impact on members, and what caters to the “sum of” people and not “some of” the people.

6. Get your zoning, employee classification, and locations up to code.

Do a sound test before signing a lease...nothing fancy, just go drop a bunch of barbells inside and see how the neighbors react. You have enough on your mind without having to fight City Hall.

7. Time is your most valuable asset.

Focus on what you are best at and what drives the most value for your business. Then delegate or outsource the rest.

8. Understand that coaching is your product.

It’s your job to make sure every coach is trained properly, paid a market rate, and positively represents your brand in every interaction.

9. Scream from the hilltops about your business!

Make shirts and wear them as your uniform (and ask the same of your coaches.) Every interaction - in person or online - is an opportunity to market yourself and your gym. You never know where the next member will come from.

10. Make a point to review the status of your gym every month with a business partner, mentor, or coach.

This includes tracking new members and revenue. Follow up with every cancellation to identify areas of improvement.

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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