In July I took over as sole-director of our training facility. It was an opportunity for me to take on a bigger leadership role with three great young Coaches. Having been one of the facility Co-Director's for a year and the Assistant Director for 8 months prior to that, I didn't think the change was going to be as dramatic as it was. Since July our facility has thrived and the three reasons below have been instrumental in our success.
1) Your employees are your business
One of my first leadership priorities was to meet with each Coach on staff and get a feel for where they were at . What did they need from me as their Director? Where did they have professional aspirations? How could the Parisi and Edge platforms be of service to their goals? These were among the (many) topics we spoke about.
Why does it matter?
Your employees are the lifeblood of the business. They contribute to the training environment, retention rates, quality of service etc. If your business is struggling, check your employee's satisfaction with the company, or their satisfaction with your leadership.
2) Set clear expectations for your clients.
This might sound odd, but when I meet with the parent(s) of our youth athletes, right after I gather their goals and expectations for us as their service provider, I make sure to lay out the expectations we have for them 1) as an athlete in our program and 2) as the parent of an athlete in our program.
Why does it matter?
This acts as a filter to those who may not be ready for the level of commitment our program requires. If we are a training service that does not fit the client expectations it is a lot easier to refer someone to an alternative program (perk of being in a large health club) then it is to have to mold our training structure to meet their needs.
It also makes future conversations with the athlete and/or parent easier. If a parent wanders on to the training floor to coach their kid, we have this conversation to fall back on. If an athlete is conducting themselves outside of expectations, we can relate back to our day one conversation.
3) We focused on our client experience
I tell my Coaching staff every week that we do not sell 'fitness'. Fitness is our vehicle to something much bigger.
We sell an experience.
From the second an athlete and parent walk in the doors be it for their initial assessment or for their 100th training session, the level of transparency, the energy we bring, the welcome they receive, it all plays a very important role in the experience for that athlete.
Why it matters?
We service a youth market of ages 5-22. Youth athlete's can smell bullshit 100 miles away. I want the athlete's and their families who came to our facility to feel an immediate difference in how we conduct our training compared to the other training facilities in our area. Lunges, squats, deadlifts, sprints, and agility work is a dime a dozen. How you present the content, coach the athlete, communicate with the athlete (and their family) is what differentiated us in our community. Focusing on the client experience from day 1 generated more leads than any paid marketing campaign every has.