Running a fitness gym or martial arts business is a career of passion. Gym owners want to share their passion with others and help them become stronger and healthier. In many cases, this means that a gym owner is not necessarily a born entrepreneur or doesn’t have a background in business management. Running the business can take away precious time that could be spent training, coaching, and helping others.
What components of your fitness or martial arts business should you outsource? This answer is going to vary from owner to owner. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions to determine which tasks would be best to outsource.
- What is your skill set?
- What do you like to do?
- What tasks do you hate to do?
- How much time do you lose to certain tasks?
- How much would it cost for someone else to take on a task?
- How much is your time worth?
This article will break down some of the business tasks that can be easily outsourced and to whom you can outsource those tasks. New gym owners can implement outsourcing from the onset, but established businesses can still transfer responsibilities to other people.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is when a business contracts another company or individual to complete specific tasks. Some examples include using an accountant instead of filing business taxes yourself or hiring a freelance designer to create your logo.
Oftentimes the tasks that are outsourced can be done in-house. However, these tasks typically are outside the skill set of the owner or would take an employee a long time to complete. The main benefit of outsourcing is getting your time back, allowing you to focus on income-generating parts of the business.
What Goes Into the Decision to Outsource?
The decision on if and what to outsource will vary from business to business. Almost every fitness studio or martial arts gym can benefit from outsourcing certain tasks related to running the business.
Value of Your Time
An easy way to look at this is to consider personal trainers. If a personal trainer charges $100 for each 60-minute session, that is what an hour of their time is worth. When that personal trainer spends an hour on a non-income generating task, such as basic bookkeeping, they are missing out on that $100.
Knowing how much your time is worth will help you determine if the cost of outsourcing is worth it. More often than not, your hourly rate is higher than a freelancer or virtual assistant. Plus, they will most likely finish the task quicker than you could.
Your Skill Set
This will be the factor that varies the most amongst business owners. If you come from a finance background, you may be knowledgeable and well-equipped to handle bookkeeping or accounting. Younger business owners are often much quicker when navigating posting and responding on social media.
If you are good at a task and enjoy doing it, there is no reason why you need to outsource it. Play to your strengths and pass off other areas to save you time.
Length of the Task
This refers back to the value of your time. For business owners, there are plenty of tasks that they can complete themselves. However, it may take time to learn how to do the task or time to complete the task.
One example is video or photo editing. You can spend some time learning how to edit and then taking your time to get the piece just right. What takes you a few hours can be done in under an hour by a skilled editor.
Certain tasks are considered income-generating for your business. These are all tasks that focus on bringing in clients, whether it is sending out sales marketing materials or following up with leads.
The long list of administrative tasks, like filtering emails, data entry, and answering social media comments, are not considered income-generating. Even though these small factors add up to a well-run business that attracts clients, the owner of a business typically focuses on “big picture” and income-generating tasks.
When you decide to outsource some of your tasks, keep in mind that whoever is now handling those tasks will need to be trained. For consistent and ongoing tasks, the time investment of training is usually worth it. However, if you are looking to outsource a small or short-term task, training someone to take over may not be worth the time.
Your Business Structure
If you are a solopreneur or only have a couple of employees, outsourcing can be more beneficial to free up time in your business. However, larger gyms may not need to outsource as much because employees can handle some of the tasks. For example, a social media savvy coach can take on posting photos for the gym.
Who to Outsource Tasks to
Once you’ve decided to outsource some of your business duties, then you decide who to hire to complete the tasks. This will largely depend on what the tasks are and how much you want to pay.
Hiring local businesses is a great way to bolster your community relations while helping your business. You can usually find small family-owned businesses that offer the service you need. This is typically the most expensive way to outsource because these businesses need to make a profit also. Some tasks well-suited for local businesses include:
- Gym cleaning
Freelancers can offer their services in different ways. You may be able to find a freelancer through word-of-mouth recommendations. There are also online marketplaces, like Fiverr and Upwork. Freelance rates will vary based on the task and experience of the freelancer. Some tasks well suited for freelancers include:
- Blog writing
- Graphic design
- Website developing
- Content managing
A virtual assistant is a jack-of-all-trades that can help with most minor administrative work. They can take care of tasks that a receptionist or assistant would handle as an employee. Virtual assistants can be relatively affordable to work with, but there is a large time investment to train them. Some tasks well-suited for a virtual assistant include:
- Filtering through email
- Sending scheduled emails (birthdays, newsletters, etc.)
- Data entry
- Moderating website comments
Tasks Well-Suited for Outsourcing
- General Administration
- Filtering out spam emails
- Highlighting important emails
- Scheduling appointments
- Sending out templated emails (birthdays, newsletters)
- Organizing files and contracts
- Data entry and spreadsheet creation
- Basic bookkeeping
- Organizing leads
- Calendar management
- Content Creation and Management
- Taking photos and videos
- Posting on social media
- Responding to social media comments
- Writing newsletters and press releases
- Writing email marketing
- Writing website copy and blog posts
- Facebook page moderation
- Insight analysis
- Logo and graphic design
- Website Development and Management
- SEO optimization
- Website creation and management
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis
- Google analytics
- Bookkeeping and Accounting
The whole point of outsourcing is to free up your time as a gym owner. You can then use that time on income-generating tasks or tasks that directly grow your business. While each business’s decision on what to outsource will be different, you should always look at the same factors. How much time does the task take, is my time better spent on a different task, and how much will it cost for someone else to do the task? Support local businesses or hire a freelancer to complete specific tasks. A virtual assistant can take much of the general business administration off your hands. Almost any business task can be outsourced, so take a look at where you can free up time in your business.