“Past-due Collection Processes Must Be Managed Properly” By: First Credit Services

Are you using the right collection agency for your brand? Is the collections company you are using compliant with Federal rules and regulations?


Your “partners” are very important to your “brand”. You prioritize your partner choices based on the importance of the service required. Collections is a process. It impacts your revenue stream directly on the balance sheet as well as to your Member Retention rate. You could recover upwards to 30% of lost revenue and re-introduce membership to nearly 45% of your lost member base with the proper programs. How important is your collection agency choice?


There are nearly 3,000 collection agencies in this country. They come in all shapes, sizes, and specialties. However, no matter the dimension or service specialty, all abide by the same rules (FDCPA: Fair Debt Collections Practices Act) and report to the same Federal Regulatory Agency (CFPB: Consumer Financial Protection Board). The rules that govern collection agency activity are too many to list in this short blog, however every agency – at the very least – is required to be properly licensed and adhere to specific consumer protection laws including but not limited to; telephone etiquette, process documentation (Compliance Management), and Data security (PII).


Your members are keenly aware of “your obligations” to them. Their expectations are high and their awareness is acute. Every interaction has liability – positive and negative.


The term “collections” is generally considered “negative”. Most people that fall “delinquent” on their financial responsibilities are a victim of a circumstance that may have been out of their control. Professional collection agencies face these situations every day and nearly in every communication they have with a “delinquent” customer or member. It is the responsibility of the collections company to treat the situation and individual with dignity and respect.  Most agencies – like, First Credit Services – adhere to the “Collectors Pledge”; “I believe every person has worth as an individual. I believe every person should be treated with dignity and respect. I will make it my responsibility to help consumers find ways to pay or resolve their just debts. I will be professional and ethical. I will commit to honoring this pledge”.


Is your collection agency choice protecting your brand by treating your (former) members respectfully? Are you confident that the agency of choice has all the policies in place to ensure your member is contacted legally? Is the agency you have chosen transparent with their strategy regarding collections and member retention programs? Are you recognizing a fair return on the amount of accounts and dollars placed with that partner agency?

First+Credit+Services+resized 2.13.15

Submitted by First Credit Services
For more information, contact:
Bill Jackson

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In Appreciation of Our Veterans…


Ginger CollinsHello Everyone;

In honor of Veterans Day on November 11th, and in deep gratitude for their dedicated service, unwavering commitment and sacrifices, we extend our hearts gratefully and humbly, in honor of our veterans and our active duty service men and women of the United States armed forces.

Please join us as we take time to remember their contributions, for which we owe them our liberty and the freedom we all enjoy.

We would like to share what some of the members of the Gold’s Gym family of franchisees,  suppliers and friends of the GGFA have expressed to us recently about their service or that of their family members, and some expressions of the patriotism that is part of the fabric of our nation.

Ginger Collins
GGFA Executive Director


“Every year we pause on November 11 to remember our veterans and to acknowledge their sacrifice and service to our great nation. It is quintessentially important to realize the importance of these men and women who swore an oath to protect and defend their countrymen against all enemies foreign and domestic as well as supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States which grants us the liberties we sometimes take for granted. It is a noble profession and those who have served should be honored and respected by all American Citizens….” 

Captain Paul X. Rinn, US Navy (Ret.)
Keynote Speaker, 2016 GGFA Owners’ Conference


“A special shout out to my nephew and godson!

Benjamyn Savard….1 of 6 brothers, husband of Jennifer Savard, father to Skylar and Caden, son of Diane and Steve Savard.

He is retired now, but was HMC, (the HM stands for Hospitalman, which was his rate or job, the C for Chief, his rank, so his full rank/rate is HMC(SW/AW/FMF) Savard, Benjamyn, USN, (Ret)

He dedicated 22 Years of Service to The United States Navy, was a Chief Medical Officer (often assigned to the marines) which countless tours, including Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Mary Zampetti, Owner
Gold’s Gym Bridgewater, NJ 


vdayWith 51 years of combined military service, ASF would like to honor our employees for Veterans Day who have served our country all over the world.

  • “Being in the service taught me the unlimited strength and resilience that I have within,” Amanda Pacenza, ASF Product Specialist, Air Force.
  • “Mission, Men, then yourself,” Jose Torres, ASF Client Support Specialist, Army.
  • “Semper Fidelis – Always faithful, always loyal,” Jason Foxen, ASF Sales Executive, Marines.
  • “Love motivates you to risk life or give it for others,” Antonio Rios, ASF Tech Support, Navy.
  • I am proud to have followed in my father’s footsteps. Thank you to all that have served,” Mitch Smith, ASF Human Resource Manager, Army.
  • “Freedom – once you serve, you understand the true meaning of the word,” Jose Calvillo, ASF Chief Information Security Officer, Air Force.
    ASF logo


rick-muhr-air-force-octane-fitnessRick Muhr is a veteran and works for Octane Fitness in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota as an endurance and running coach.  He served in the United State Air Force Security Forces and shared a photo from his service time in South Korea in 1980 and his thoughts about Veterans Day.

“It was a distinct honor to serve our country.  Veterans Day is a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice so many men and women made to provide the limitless freedom we all enjoy today!”

Rick Muhr
Endurance and Running Coach
Octane Fitness  



TRX was born of necessity in the Navy SEALs. After TRX founder and inventor Randy Hetrick graduated from college at USC, he spent the next 14 years serving as a Navy SEAL commando. His operational career culminated as a Squadron Commander of the SEAL’s elite special missions unit where circumstances inspired him to experiment with what would become TRX.




“My husband, Guy, retired from the US Army in May of this year after serving 27 years, and my daughter Sydney is a junior at the United States Military Academy at West Point, so the military is and has been a huge part of our lives.  As a family, we have lived all over the country and abroad.  Having a high school senior this year, I have spent the last several months editing essays for college applications for my youngest daughter, Chloe, just as I did for Sydney and my son, Cody, and I am once again reminded of what an influence the military has had on each of them.  I have read about their feelings of being a military brat, the pride they felt when their dad was deployed to Afghanistan, and the highs and lows of moving every few years, starting over and meeting new people.  I can’t say it was always easy, but it has definitely been an adventure, and we are proud to be a military family.”

Tara DeWees
GGFA Staff


Bruce is a decorated Persian Gulf War veteran, where he received seven service medals from the United States Army during his eight years as an air assault combat medic from 1989-1997. These medals include; the South West Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, National Defense Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Bruce shared his thoughts… “I’m blessed to be a survivor in which lead to me returning home and eventually awarded leave reuniting with my parents Bruce & Raeann Quickel, along with my sisters Deena and Beth in Wrightsville, PA.  As the story unfolds the journey to college began after my 8 years of service, leading to the sales opportunity in our fitness industry and the start of the beautiful life I now live with my wife Brooke, and daughters Payton & Laekyn. Had this journey not unfolded I would have never been fortunate enough to meet all of the wonderful owners, operators and staff throughout the entire Gold’s Gym family in which I now have amazing true friendships, for all of this I am thankful!

I am proud to say I protected and served this very land we call home and if I had the opportunity, I would do it all over and not change a single beat of my heart!”
FreeMotion Logo.png
Bruce L. Quickel, II
FreeMotion Fitness


  “My family is thankful for all those who have served, and through hearing the stories and experiences of my father, Eugene Abt, who served in General Patton’s Third Army, Yankee Division, in the European Campaign of World War II 1943-44, and his brother Eddie, who served in the 82nd Airborne of the US Army as a glider trooper, also in the European Campaign, as well as now my son, U.S. Marine Corp Staff Sergeant Nicholas A. Collins, we are solemnly grateful for our freedom.”

Deborah Hancock
GGFA Staff

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“3 WAYS TO GENERATE REVENUE FROM EVENT SPONSORSHIPS” By: Sean Kirby Vice President, Client Relations ASF Payment Solutions

ASF logoEveryone knows a great way for gym management to market and promote their club is through sponsorship of events and member participation. Sponsoring events in your area is an effective marketing technique that positions your gym as a health fitness leader. However, there are also ways to generate additional revenue through such sponsorships.

  1. Sponsor an Event

Depending on where your gym is located, you may find a variety of events in your area to sponsor, and promote. These can include marathons, charity walks or runs, yoga and more. As a leader in your community, set up a booth at the event with information and free give-a-ways for participants to take with them. Have staff on hand to answer questions, gather prospect information and even sign participants up using products like ASF’s My Enrollment.Obsticle Course Pic.jpg

  1. Create a training program

After you’ve educated members of upcoming events create training programs, either one-on-one or group sessions that are customized towards participating in that event.  You can organize workouts inside and outside of the gym depending on the type of event their training for. Even if a member isn’t going to participate in the event, they can still take advantage of these trainings as if they were going to do the event. Group trainings for an event can be at unique locations like a park or a public stadium. For example, in the Denver area there is an event called “Run the Rocks” held at the Red Rocks Amphitheater and people train by running the steps at the venue. These trainings are motivational and create greater interaction amongst your members, not to mention additional training revenue.

  1. Sponsor a team

Create anticipation for an upcoming event within your club, even if you’re not a sponsor. Offer opportunities for members to engage in training programs to participate as a team member from your club. Dress your members in club logo wear and even include club shirts customized for the event. You can create additional training revenue from these members, as well as increase brand marketing when people see a wave of members wearing your club logo at the event.


By sponsoring events you’re not only creating awareness by marketing your club, you’re also increasing revenue through PT and group training of the members who wish to participate. Moreover, you’re creating an opportunity to increase gym membership by signing up prospects at the event.



Sean Kirby
Vice President, Client Relations
ASF Payment Solutions

Click to download a FREE Club Engagement eBook

Sean started in the fitness industry as Manager of the Marina Club in San Francisco, ASF’s test facility. Sean learned first hand the challenges of running a health club.  By continuing his career with ASF, Sean has had positions as a New Accounts Executive and National Sales Director, and currently serves as Vice President of Client Relations. He’s been directly involved in the development of ASF’s scheduling software and integration programs with partner companies. For the past eight years Sean has served on several boards including Fitness Industry Suppliers Association, FISA East and FISA West and VIP Networking Events. Additionally, he works closely with the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association and the National Fitness Business Alliance.

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Relationships Are the Foundation of This Business

Ginger CollinsHello Everyone;

As we have just wrapped up another Owners’ Conference, we are involved in all the activities that follow.  Our Executive and Advisory Board Members know what it takes for the association to plan and host the OC, from setting the dates, selecting a host location and committing to it, then planning all the details of the event lineup.  Now the GGFA is immersed in planning the programs and events for the coming year to bring relevant and useful information and opportunities to all of you.  Commitment and consistency are important to us to be able to provide GGFA Members with the resources you need to thrive.

Our SPN community is a big part of the support that makes everything possible for our members.  Many of them have been a part of the GGFA since the SPN was created in 2008.  We value all of the relationships that we have with our SPN Partners.  In addition to supporting association programs and participating in GGFA events, they are a great resource for the educational content that the GGFA Institute provides.

In 2014 we created the Premium Club and invited our SPN member community to consider participating.  It is limited to five suppliers who are Gold Level members.  They must be in the SPN for at least 3 years to be considered, and their club status runs from January through December.

Please join us in recognizing our SPN Premium Club partners and read what they have to share about being part of the GGFA.

Ginger Collins
GGFA Executive Director


ASF logoSince becoming a Gold Level Member of the SPN in 2008 and also the SPN Premium Club since 2014, our partnership and relationship with GGFA has continued to grow. Working alongside everyone at GGFA, as well as the owners has allowed us to listen and collaborate on ideas for making our partnership mutually beneficial. Each and every person involved has welcomed the ASF team like family. This speaks to the character of GGFA and the owners. Personally, I have created not only several great business relationships, but have also developed several personal ones. I am proud to call GGFA, the owners and team members my friends and family. We continue to look forward to supporting the GGFA, its clubs, and the individual owners. ASF is proud to be part of such a great partnership.”

Jason Abucejo
Sales Manager
ASF Payment Solutions


On behalf of Europa Sports Products we are truly appreciative of the GGFA relationship and the opportunities which have been created through being a Premium Club Partner.  

Europa has experienced an ample amount of change this year:  Channel reorganization, Europa & Lonestar merging, and company realignment which was all done to better serve our partners like Gold’s Gym.  As it goes with any major change there are always challenges.  Without partnerships like the one with the GGFA, all those changes and challenges are in vain.  With that we are very proud to introduce two members of the Europa team which many of you know and hopefully all will come to enjoy:  David Lee (Senior Account Rep) and Tonya Tarlton (Senior Franchise Lead).  Both of these individuals are some of the best and hardest working employees Europa has ever had.  They will bring with them an operational tempo and passion for this business that many may have never been exposed too.  With their help we’ll look forward to continuing the support and relationship with Gold’s Gym for many more years.”

Justin Weeks
Director of Sales – Charlotte, NC
Europa Sports Products

fitness underwriters logoFitness Underwriters remains a dedicated supporter of the GGFA and continues to look for ways to expand our support year after year.  We are reminded how special this group is every time we get together and hear members sharing stories.  The theme always seems to be one of collaborative efforts and of GGFA members going out of their way to help one another.  There is no other organization that we’ve seen who is able to make everyone – even the suppliers – feel like part of the family.  The entire team at Fitness Underwriters feels fortunate to be a part of the GGFA family and we truly appreciate our continued partnership.”

Phil Borner
Business Insurance Consultant
Fitness Underwriters


Les Mills main logo BlackFor more than a decade, GGFA has played an important role in supporting the relationships between Les Mills and Gold’s Gym owners and operators. We appreciate our partnership and all of the opportunities GGFA has provided to strengthen our connections with franchisee partners.”

Erin Kelly
Vice President of Key Accounts
Les Mills – US



“The GGFA is an incredible organization bringing great value to not only the Gold’s Gym franchisees, but also to their supplier network. Matrix is proud to call the GGFA a partner, and appreciative to also be able to call Gold’s Gym our friends.”

Kent Stevens
Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales
Matrix Fitness

The GGFA is such an important organization to be part of and plugged in to so members and suppliers can be informed.  It is amazing to see the growth of the GGFA and involvement of all the Franchisees.  I cannot think of a better way to support the brand and be part of the educational process.  Matrix values the GGFA relationship deeply and appreciates all the opportunities that it brings.”

Seth Robinson
Strategic Account Manager
Matrix Fitness


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“Guide to Preparing for the FLSA Exempt Pay Changes: Month Two, Analyze Your Pay Plans” By: Melissa Knowles, CEO, Gym HQ- A ClubReady Company

Last month we began the process of preparing for the FLSA Exempt Pay changes, announced by the DOL in May, by looking at your workforce and their duties.  You can find that article and additional articles on the change on our website:  http://www.gymhq.club.  This month, we continue our preparation for the upcoming December 1st due date for compliance with a look at employee compensation.

The single biggest change for which owners need to prepare is the new salary minimum.  The salary threshold increases from $455/week ($23,660 per year) to $913/week ($47,476 per year).  If left alone with no changes to the current compensation plans beyond the required salary increase, an owner’s exempt payroll will double!  With payroll constituting one of the biggest expense categories for a business, this could have a major effect on the bottom line.  Here are several considerations to make and examples to use while analyzing a business’s current pay rates and retrofitting them to comply with the new DOL guidelines:

Calculate each exempt employee’s total yearly earnings.  You’ll need to include all compensation including salary, commissions, and bonuses.  Example:

GM Johnny has a salary of $36,000 per year.  He has a commission plan in place that pays him on any memberships sold by him directly as well as a bonus structure based on the achieving 100 new memberships per month.  Looking at the six months he’s been employed, it’s established that his average monthly commission is $300 and his average bonus is $500.  That gives him an estimated annual commission and bonuses payout of $9,600.  So Johnny’s estimated annual income is $45,600. 

If an employee’s current base salary meets or exceeds $47,476, no changes need to be made.

If the employee is close to the earning base stipulated by the new law ($47,476), consider making adjustments to their current compensation plan to bring it into compliance.  Continuing with our GM Johnny example:

The new FLSA pay criteria stipulate that up to 10% of the first $47,476 of the employee’s income can come from non-discretionary commissions or bonuses.  These are bonuses based on clear and measurable goals or a company’s profitability.  That means if we want to cap Johnny at $47,476 for his annual compensation, $4,747.60 of it may come from commissions and bonus.  We can bring his salary up to $42,729 and adjust our commission and bonus structure accordingly.  Where he may have been earning $300 in commission on 30 memberships, now his plan pays him $150.  His monthly bonus is adjusted to $250.  This brings his yearly earnings from these two categories to $4,800.  When combined with his new salary, Johnny’s yearly income is $47,529.  This is only a $1,929 increase to the business for the year. 

If the employee’s current earnings are much lower than $47,476 per year, consider moving them to hourly pay.  Example:

 AM Adam has a salary of $24,000 per year.  He earns another $10,000 annually from commissions and bonuses.  That puts his annual earnings at $34,000.  While a review of his job duties indicated that his role does qualify him to be an exempt employee, the business owners have not budgeted $47,476+ each year for his position.   In order to comply with the new FLSA pay rates, Adam’s pay is changed to $11.50 per hour (his salary divided by 40 hour weeks x 52).  He’s required to clock-in and out and his commission and bonus structure remain the same.  GM Johnny carefully monitors Adam’s time clock reports to ensure he’s not exceeding 40 hours per week.

*Luckily our example gym isn’t in California, so Adam is not limited to less than 8 hours per day to stay out of overtime status.

If you’re moving a currently salaried employee to hourly, make sure you factor in the need for and frequency of overtime hours.  Example:

After reviewing the hours Adam typically works, Johnny realizes that he’s averaging 50 hours each week.  He reviews this with the club owners and all agree that Adam is needed for the extra 10 hours each week.  Therefore, Adam will be earning overtime pay.  Johnny will need to be careful to take Adam’s commissions and bonuses into consideration.  For the pay period of August 1st to August 15th, Adam worked 108 hours.  20 of these hours these were overtime.  He also earned another $350 in commissions and bonuses.  Here’s a breakdown of Adam’s pay:

  108 hours x $11.50 + $350 (commissions & bonuses) = $1592 (straight time pay)

$1592 divided by 108 hours worked= $14.74 (regular rate)

$14.74 x ½ = $7.37 (overtime premium)

20 hours of overtime x $7.37 = $147.40 (overtime pay)

Total payout = $1,739.40

 If the owner had failed to consider the tendency of Adam’s position to require overtime and had set his hourly rate to $11.50 (and made no changes to his commission and bonus plan), Adam would be set to earn $41,745 per year, which is a lot higher than $34,000.  The cost to the business would be $7,746 annually.  By understanding the implications of overtime pay, the owner could adjust Adam’s hourly rate lower than $11.50 and/or modify his commission and bonus structure.  Considering the need for and frequency of overtime, as well as its cost, is a must when considering a future pay plan for a position.

 Consider the cost of admin when deciding to move a salaried employee to hourly.  Who will track the employees’ hours, make adjustments when need, and police overtime?  Who will ensure calculations for overtime pay are properly made?  Does your pay cycle for hours align with your commission and bonus structure?  Example:

Gordon pays his team for hours and salary on a semi-monthly basis, but his commission and bonus structures are based on his club’s monthly sales and performance quotas.  His sales rep Samantha consistently works overtime and Gordon knows he needs to calculate pay based on her regular rate.  However, when he pays her for her hours from the first half of the month, commissions and bonuses are not available.  How does he ensure Samantha is paid out properly?

For August 1st to 15th, Samantha worked 92 hours.  4 of these hours were overtime.  Her hourly rate is $8.  Gordon should pay her the following on her check:

92 hours x $8 = $736

$8 x ½ = $4 (overtime premium)

$4 x 4 hours of overtime = $16

Total pay for this check= $752

 At the end of the month, Samantha has $400 in commissions and a $100 bonus.  Gordon is able to attribute $150 of the commissions to August 1st to 15th and splits the bonus in half as it was earned over the entire month.  He then calculates the additional overtime pay due to Samantha for August 1st to 15th.

 $200 (commission and bonus) divided by 92= $2.17 (additional income to add into hourly for regular rate)

$2.17 x 4 hours x 1.5 (time and a half) = $13.02 to be added to Samantha’s next check.

 Finally, a great place to start when building a compensation plan is to determine how much the position should pay when an employee performs well (if commission/bonus based) and work backwards.

As you can see, there are a lot of points to consider as you work toward December 1st.  Starting now ensures you have the time necessary to put a thoughtful plan together.


Melissa KnowlesMelissa Knowles serves as the CEO for Gym HQ. With over
a decade of industry experience, her knowledge spans many areas: strategic operations, development of staff training materials and programs, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, gym hqfitness department overhaul, client retention systems, and corporate management. She’s especially well versed in all operational and HR focused areas; and she holds an HR certification through SHRM. What makes her uniquely qualified as an industry leader is her time spent “in the trenches”. Melissa is a graduate of the University of West Florida and holds an MS in Exercise Science and a BS in Sports Medicine.

Learn more about Gym HQ by clicking here.video


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“3 Ways to Leverage Tablets to Sign Up New Members” By: Jason Abucejo, ASF Payment Solutions

We live in an increasingly mobile world. With the introduction of tablets, activity trackers, and smarter smartphones, it’s easy to be able to connect with anybody or anything around us. Tablets, in particular have made it easier for people in service industries, such as gym management to instantly reach the audience they want and sign them up for club offerings outside of where they do business. If you’re a gym owner, there’s a good chance that investing in a Tablet and leveraging it outside your gym can lead to new memberships and increased club exposure.

Let’s look at three ways to leverage a tablet to sign up new members and to bring new business to your gym.

Outdoor Events and Conferences

Outdoor events, such as food, music, and cultural festivals, are some of the best ways to move your gym outside its four walls and encourage prospects to try out your club, and even join it. By using a tablet, you can offer a special discount for joining, upsell group exercise programs at your gym, and get your name out there to those who may not know you exist. These types of outdoor events and conferences bring out a wide range of community members who may be looking for a change in their fitness plan and are willing stop at your booth to talk about it. They aren’t expecting a gym to be at these types of events, which makes you stand out among the theme of the event, or conference and in turn gets more people to stop by and see what you’re all about.

Marathons, Triathlons and Sports Events

Athletic events, such as marathons and triathlons are a great way to compete for memberships as others are competing to better themselves. Many gyms not only set up booths at these events, they also sponsor teams, which will bring brand recognition to those participating and attending the event. By setting up a booth for your gym and using a tablet, you can offer community or neighborhood discounts to try out your gym. By signing them up right then and there, you can encourage a healthy lifestyle of fitness while boosting your gym membership within the community.

Boot Camps

Promoting and offering boot camps outside your club for members and prospects can become a public venue that also attracts people observing the camp. By having a tablet on hand, you can quickly sign up new members that are trying out the boot camp for the first time, and encourage observers to sign up for classes. These events are great for offering higher-level functional training classes at your gym that may be more appealing to the demographic at these types of events. It is also appealing to those participants who may be looking for a new gym that is better suited for their fitness needs.


Tablets, and other mobile devices are changing the way gyms are doing business. By having instant access to signups, classes, free trials and other information about your gym, you can sell memberships “on the go,” where you have an opportunity to talk about your gym and present the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Jason Abucejo_headshot


Jason Abucejo
Manager of Sales 
ASF Payment Solutions

Before joining ASF in 2007, Jason worked in sales for almost 20 years including retail, where he managed multi-unit stores in the entertainment industry. After some time as a Senior Sales Executive at ASF, Jason was promoted to Manager of Sales and has been responsible for establishing partnerships with many high-end accounts. Through his responsibilities and travels for ASF, Jason has visited literally thousands of facilities getting to know more about their operations, business trends and training philosophies.

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“Document! Document! Document!” By: Melissa Knowles, Vice President of Gym HQ- A ClubReady Company

If I have one phrase I utter more often than any other while navigating our wonderful business of fitness, it may well be some variation of:  “Is it documented?”    I get it; no one wants to take the time to write it all out.  It’s time consuming and you could actually be ‘doing’ it rather than writing it down.  But here’s the thing, it’s absolutely key to your long-term growth and success that anything essential to your business’ operations or health be in writing.   To get you started on your adventure into the world of proper record keeping, here are three areas in your fitness business where I consider proper documentation to be of paramount importance:

  1. Policies and Procedures. Think of your Policy and Procedures Manual and/or your Employee Handbook like the playbook for your business.  They lay out expectations for team members, explain the business objectives behind those expectations, and provide the framework for how to carry them out.   Sitting down and committing your business essentials to writing is important for several reasons:
    • It causes you to really “think through” how you’re carrying out the day-to-day. Do your policies make sense?  Are they easy to adhere to, manage, and, in some instances, measure?  Are they legally compliant at both the federal and state level?
    • It memorializes when a policy was put in place. As your manuals are updated, the latest versions should be time stamped.  This ensures that should you need to follow-up on when a new initiative went live, you can do so easily.  Example:  Knowing when a PTO policy went into effect and having it clearly detailed in writing, makes it easy to explain when a team member questions their balance.
    • It gets everyone on the same page, literally. A written policy eliminates mistakes and misunderstandings.  It creates consistency among different supervisors and as the members of your team change.
  2. Employee Issues. Inevitably issues with team members will arise.  Hopefully,  you have a solid Employee Handbook in place which addresses how to deal with these issues.  Most businesses strive for a system of progressive discipline.  This involves a series of procedures for dealing with shortcomings in a team member’s performance.  A good policy should provide for a method of documenting all employee dealings relating to performance (both positive and negative) and require signatures where appropriate.  Clear and consistent documentation ensures the employee understands the reasons for your actions and what your expectations are of them moving forward.  If the time comes when employment must end, it also provides a history should a claim arise (unemployment benefits, discrimination, wrongful termination, etc.).  Side note:   Many managers equate the word discipline with punishment versus thinking of it as the process of helping an employee understand their role and how to perform more effectively or efficiently.    If meetings with a supervisor involving documentation are always viewed as negative and seen as a threat, that’s exactly what they end up being and the policy loses any potential positive impact.  You end up with a too little, too late situation because even you avoid discussing employee issues!
  3. Member Relations. Did your front desk person have a conversation with a member about freezing their account?  Where is that conversation notated so other team members can see it?  Hopefully your club management software offers basic CRM (customer relationship management) functionality.  Use it!  It’s extremely important that you’re tracking member interactions through clear notes on accounts.  This helps to provide the member with consistency in experience and prevents them from having to relay the same information multiple times.  It also eliminates the “he said, she said” trap in which we sometimes find ourselves by making it easy to look back on what was discussed during previous member interactions.  Bonus:  If your software allows for follow-up or ticketing, it makes it much easier to schedule any necessary tasks concerning members’ needs with your management team.   A system of proper notation and follow-up ensures nothing falls through the cracks.


So roll up your sleeves and grab your pen!  With some upfront effort to create clear policies, the discipline to adhere to those policies, and the dedication to follow through with consistent documentation, you set your business up for success.


Melissa KnowlesMelissa Knowles serves as the CEO for Gym HQ. With over
a decade of industry experience, her knowledge spans many areas: strategic operations, development of staff training materials and programs, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, gym hqfitness department overhaul, client retention systems, and corporate management. She’s especially well versed in all operational and HR focused areas; and she holds an HR certification through SHRM. What makes her uniquely qualified as an industry leader is her time spent “in the trenches”. Melissa is a graduate of the University of West Florida and holds an MS in Exercise Science and a BS in Sports Medicine.

Learn more about Gym HQ by clicking here.video

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