As a gym owner, every day is different. One day you’ll be guiding people towards life changing decisions, the next you’ll be learning how to do one legged squats on a swiss ball (It’s doable with practice!). There are pretty much only two things that are absolutely guaranteed – opening and closing your gym (unless you run a 24 hour gym, but that’s another story). If you’re going to be doing it every day, it pays to do it well! In order to avoid the many difficulties associated with this process, we’ve outlined a few tips which will go a long way to helping you master your fitness businesses opening and closing procedures.
This might not be what you want to hear, but it’s the honest truth. Your customers are paying for a membership, and they have expectations about opening and closing times. If you’re not open by the time that’s listed on the front door, you’re going to be dealing with some very disappointed customers. As with all things in life, if something can go wrong, it probably eventually will. Giving yourself a little extra time every morning will give you a buffer period in which you can resolve any little problems which may have arisen since closing – or to just have a quick cup of tea while you read your favourite fitness blogs!
Write your procedure down as a checklist
Once you’ve read this article and created the world’s greatest opening and closing procedures, you’re going to want to write them down. This isn’t just for your benefit, but also for training staff and maintaining accountability. The checklist should be exhaustive without being pedantic – each step should be an outline, rather than a description of how to complete the task. As of writing, there aren’t a lot of resources available online for example gym opening and closing procedures specifically, but thankfully, there are a bunch of resources out there for other types of businesses. Have a look at some of these (Google ‘opening and closing procedure’) and adapt them for your gym’s needs.
Open clean, finish clean
The first thing you do in the morning should be to visually inspect your premises for cleanliness. Are all the weights and equipment properly racked and ready to use? Are the toilet and change facilities spotless? Taking the time to do this both before closing and after opening ensures that your gym maintains the level of cleanliness and hygiene that your customers expect.
The vast majority of break ins and burglaries in Australia occur because of improperly secured doors and windows. In your checklist, make sure to account for every major entrance point to the building, as well as windows and fire escapes. There’s nothing worse than getting an alarm call at three o’clock in the morning, so don’t risk it! Double and triple check everything before arming the alarm. You don’t want to be sitting there on your drive home thinking “Am I sure that I closed that back door properly?”. Your security check should also include a check of alarm and CCTV systems. Most modern alarms have built in error checking, so a quick glance is sufficient. CCTV systems can be visually inspected for functionality – make sure that storage systems are online and functional.
One of the most overlooked costs associated with running a fitness business is electricity, gas and water. A really simple way to save money is to ensure that all lights, air conditioning and computers are switched off before the doors are locked. Additionally, make sure no taps are running, and that any AV systems such as televisions and speakers are switched off.
Has everyone left yet?
It seems like a very obvious point to remember, but before the keys are turned, you need to make sure the building is completely vacated. This means checking every room (yes, even the toilets) and that all customers have signed out of the login system. A good way to avoid any headaches is to play a message over the PA system at the end of the day reminding customers that the gym is closing.
Keep perfecting your checklist
No matter how good your initial draft is, there is always something to improve. Be on the lookout for any little inefficiencies or issues which you open and close procedure doesn’t address, and be sure to revise it regularly.
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