The starting point for operational improvement is recognizing where a business owner may currently have issues. Here are 10 areas where mistakes are made across a wide variety of fitness businesses. While this list may seem a bit daunting, a lot of traction can be gained by simply starting with one area.

#1: LACK OF CONSISTENT AND ACCURATE FINANCIALS: Timely profit and loss statements ensure that you’re keeping an eye on your margins each month so that adjustments can be made accordingly. With no clear understanding of the business’s performance, it’s common for an owner to overestimate performance and underestimate liabilities.

#2: NO BUSINESS REPORT ANALYSIS (MISSING KPI REPORTS): Without knowing your numbers, business analysis and action planning is impossible.

#3: PAYING STAFF AS 1099 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: There is no such thing as a “1099 employee.” It’s important to do an analysis of each position from a behavioral, financial and relationship standpoint to determine proper classification.

#4: EMPLOYEE MISCLASSIFICATION: Exempt vs. non-exempt status. All job descriptions and pay should be reviewed regularly for compliance.

#5: LACK OF HOURS TRACKING AND OVERTIME PAY: Coaches, trainers and fitness instructors are an especially touchy area. It’s common for trainers to be paid by the session and not utilizing a time clock. There have been multiple class action lawsuits concerning trainer pay; track accurate hours.

#6: LACK OF WRITTEN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: Think of the Policy and Procedures Manual and Employee Handbook like the playbook for a 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.

#7: IMPROPER OR MISSING STATE REGISTRATIONS AND BONDING: Each state has different requirements for business registration. Some states hold fitness businesses to special requirements under Health Spa Statutes. These states require specific language for membership and service


What is your average annual income for your fitness-related work/business?