As an entrepreneur, systemizing your business is vital to the growth of your business. However, where do you draw the line between giving your employees enough autonomy to make decisions when certain scenarios present themselves and following the established systems and guidelines for an efficient business operation?  Rick recommends there a healthy balance between employee autonomy and business systems, but have some guardrails in place that limit how far that your team can go.

In the fitness industry, we are in the people business, and even if you have the best systems, there will always be some scenarios that call for your team to be flexible enough to make a decision to meet the needs of the customer. There is a healthy friction between business systems and team flexibility.

Many of Rick’s consulting clients don’t have tight or enough systems in place. So initially we will make sure their business systems are in place, then determine the decision making flexibility can we offer our team of employees. Personal training isn’t as simple as flipping a hamburger patty and then handing to a customer. You are in the people business and our clients are our product. We have to allow some flexibility for the people on our teams working with clients to make decisions that make customers happy, but there still has to be a systematic approach. This becomes a healthy friction between having a system in place versus the system is more of a compass. From a personal trainer perspective, you have a client that is not static and needs some flexibility from the team to make decisions in the best interest of the client to keep them happy.

Alloy systemizes the business and programming with a basic template. We provide predictable scenarios or algorithms that provide effective program for client’s goals.  Now people are not predicable from day to day and aren’t going to simply fit into a beginner intermediate or advanced program.  They want the program tweaked for their particular scenario and goals, and expect team flexibility to handle their needs while they’re standing right there in front of them. What that means is you also need to have a system for flexibility or guidelines.

Study after study will prove that employees are more happy if they have some autonomy with some control. So coach the team the way that we do things, then practice and provide suggestions to the team.

With some of our Alloy business operators, we will have conversations and ask questions about the team and clients like: Are your customers happy? Are they coming in? Are they growing? Are you hearing complaints about a coach? Is a coach hurting people? To be a good leader, you need to find a healthy friction between these two, because otherwise, you’re going to hamstring yourself.  You need to be able to provide amazing customer service and build that into your systems and policies by allowing some employee autonomy which will make them a better teammate. 

Listen in to learn how to run tight systems in your business while still providing enough autonomy to your team to make customers happy.

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Key Takeaways

  • Why you need some flexibility within your team (01:24)
  • How to introduce flexibility in a personal training business (02:39)
  • Employees are happier if they have some autonomy (03:20)
  • Giving your team leeway to make decisions (04:29)
  • Are your customers happy (05:56)

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Mentioned in this episode

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


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