A couple days ago the CrossFit Journal posted a good article called “User Guide: Finding the Right Coach and Affiliate”. If you haven’t read it yet take a minute and head over there and take a look.
Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity
You’ve heard this mantra before at your Level One Seminar but with the excitement of the Games, the local competitions, and that ever looming leader-board at the box it becomes one of the most difficult things to keep your athletes focused on. However, it is still one of the most important principles you can apply to your training program and your business. Without it you could leading your clients down the road to injury and without it you could be leading your business to disaster.
Mechanics: Developing competency in the foundational movements
We, as good coaches, can spot bad mechanics from across the gym. Your responsibility as a good coach is to correct that movement and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Each movement has specific points of performance we need to train to ensure your athletes success and more importantly, ensure their safety. As a small business owner you need to focus on the foundational things that will make your business successful. A big part of this for the affiliate owner is great coaching. Next you need to make sure you have a good structure in place. Creating this organizational chart for your business is more of a thought exercise in the beginning but it will set you up for success once you start to crank up the intensity. After this you’ll want to make sure you have your financials in place and have a good understanding of how the money is going to flow in and out of your business. The good folks over at Again Faster have a good series of videos that will run you through the basics and get you off to a really great start. The last key piece you’ll want to focus on next is a plan to get people into your box. As we stated before, good solid coaching will get you going but you may want to think about developing a solid marketing plan as well. I know this is usually a dirty word in the functional fitness world but what do you think all those local competitions, Paleo challenges, and t-shirt sales exist for? Yeah, partially to give your clients more value, but you’re lying if you weren’t secretly hoping they’d also drive more business through your door.
Consistency: Developing the habits and patterns that support fitness
As important as it is for each and every one of your clients to be consistant in their execution of the foundational movements it is just as important for you to be executing your foundational business practices consistently as well. Until this happens you need to keep the intensity in check. Failure to do so will result in injuring your clients and injuring your business. The number one way to lose a client is to hurt them. This is also a good way to repel their friends. Just think about the conversation that injured client has with his or her friends.
- “How did you get hurt?”
- “Oh I was at my gym and one of my snatches went wrong…”
- “Yeah I heard that crazy functional fitness stuff is dangerous”
What are the chances this person will become one of your clients? What are the chances that they bring up how their friends got hurt next time someone mentions functional fitness? How often have you heard of a new athlete getting hurt during an “On Ramp” program? The injuries come later, down the road when complacency sets in and that leader-board catches their eye. I think you get the point. Incredible client growth may be a good problem to have but it can turn into a nightmare rather quickly if those good business habits haven’t been established. Establishing good mechanics is important, whether it’s in your coaching practices or your business practices, you’ll want to build good habits that are safe and that work before you start to crank up the intensity.
Intensity: Pushing the limits of your capacity once mechanics and consistency are established
This is the fun part. This is the reason we all tried functional fitness in the first place and why we’ve stuck around as long as we have. Unfortunately too much intensity too soon can also be our downfall. As a coach, I’ve heard it joked about as “Functional Fitness Shoulder”, but it is a serious problem. Too much load and/or too much volume before you are ready for it can and will break you, it is only a matter of time. This is where having a good plan in place will help you on the business side of the house. Remember that silly organizational structure you put together a few months ago and thought was a waste of time because you held every job? Well dust that thing off and see who you can plug into those spots. Once you start getting busy your most valuable asset will be time. You’ll have less and less of it and you’ll need to start hiring people to come in and handle things for you. Grow too fast, without a plan and you’ll end up owning a job, where you work 100 hour weeks, and not that fun gym you thought you owned…
What do you consider fundamental practices for your business? Share them with us below in the comments!