The Journey Part Three – Peace and Prosperity

Dan Dakis Blog 2 Comments

In this episode of Journey Ball Z, we’ll venture into the background systems that are in place to help rule the kingdom. I mean gym.

I’ll be honest these type of things are boring. Most of this stuff is very tedious but once it’s done all that is required is maintenance and upkeep of the system. This post is to have a look into the behind the scenes of what I personally have put in place for upkeep of the gym business.

So far we have found our location, we have completed the Development Application quest. Everything is good, balance has been bought to the valley, peace has been restored and The Iron Legion rules the platform, the land is flourishing. But how do you ensure that this prosperity and time of peace is maintained? How do we ensure that the world does not crumble and fall into chaos again?

When it comes to running a small business, and specifically in this case a gym, there are a lot of things that must happen behind the scenes to ensure it’s proper functioning. Read on to discover my 150 or so easy steps on how I’ve managed to save costs and create a system of organisational success using a few simple tools to ensure the kingdom of gains can continue to flourish.

When I sat down and began to think of some of the problems that could arise in running the gym at a larger location, these are some of the primary things that I had to consider:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Membership management
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • To-Do/Reminder system
  • Book in system for coaching

Bookkeeping, as I am operating a small business had been done primarily on an excel spreadsheet. Excel makes me happy, accurate books make me happy. But there was obvious downfalls to this system that I had to address.

Membership management had been through an Excel spreadsheet that migrated onto Microsoft Access, but this system was very labor intensive. As membership grew to the over the 1,000,000 mark it would require too much maintenance for my robot clone.

CRM systems that needed to be in place would allow me to ensure things such as people following their programs, ensuring member satisfaction, interacting with clients as well as future potential members.

A To- Do and reminder system is vital for reminders and things to do. Necessary to ensure effective running of the business and meth lab, I mean protein lab.

As part of improving the free coaching service that I offer at the gym I wanted people to be able to book in for coaching sessions throughout the week. I wanted this to be automated and easy to use. Booking in for coaching did not exist in any official way at Sapphire Coast Barbell so I had to find a solution from scratch.

After an investigation I realized there was a lot of options available. But there was a few things I had to consider. I had to ensure that the solution was cost effective. It had to cover all the basic, simple systems and functionality I required, it had to be efficient and easy to use and I had to be able to use it both on my PC and phone.

The other thing I wanted was to create the system myself, because my brain isn’t normal and I’m a big sandwich eater.

So, that’s exactly what I did.

The system that I created has been tailored to suit my  business needs. With a bit of tweaking and basic understanding on how the software works and coding, you can easily create a similar system to ensure maximum personal and business productivity. If ever there is someone reading this who is interested in learning a really efficient way of organizing your time or finances, feel free to get in touch and I can share how to set it up properly. 

The tools I used were:

  • Google Drive, sheets and forms specifically.
  • A WordPress website
  • A plug in for the website, Bookly
  • Gmail
  • Google Tasks

Bookkeeping. A vital part of any business. You need to know how many resources you have, how much you’re spending and on what and how much you’re making and from where. Using my Excel wizard powers I was able to take my old system from Excel and move it onto a cloud based Google Sheets platform. To summarize, I use Google forms to input data into a Google sheet, then, using some clever formulas I’m able to gather and organize the database to give me any information my heart so desires and present it in a way that satisfies my accountants heart as well.

Covering membership management. This was an easy one, as part of the 24/7 security system the door is unlocked via keycards which interact with software on a computer. This system checks the keycard, ensures a member is active and unlocks the door. The software also comes with member management solutions and so would cover this task easily, upgrading from Excel. Maximizing gym efficiency… Nice.

The website you’re currently on was built using “WordPress” (WP) I have full control over the website and can add or remove things as I please. As the gym was moving and getting bigger it was vital that this was in place, now that I’ve spent the time learning how to do it, I’ll be able to maintain the website myself and ensure that it is up to date. How good.

The next solution covers CRM, To-do and booking in for coaching. Without going in to too much detail I was able to create a system using Gmail, Google Drive, Google Tasks, Google Calendar, IFTTT(Ifthisthenthat) Google Sheets, Google Forms, Gtasks app, the WP plugin Bookly and a lot of time. A massive thank you to Adam Buckley and Tom Suffern for helping me get the systems in place. I started writing about how everything works but it was 3000 words long and I was not even half finished. Long story short is I am now a lot more organized, have a cloud based bookkeeping system and a cloud based CRM system.

I use these tools and processes to organize my business and personal schedule. For me this method works and has allowed me to reach a position of confidence in running the gym as a one man operation. Using this method I’m able to effectively organize my finances, maintain a schedule, send programs and keep up to date with people who have shown an interest in the gym. All of which I believe are important in ensuring the success of The Iron Stronghold.

Running a gym isn’t all about squats and deadlifts unfortunately, now that I have all of the background boring things in place I can run the business and my time efficiently, boom. Peace and prosperity.

Thanks for reading, I hope this gives anyone who takes the time to read it a small idea on what can go into the actual running of the gym, I believe that being organized will leave more time for the important things in life: living, loving and lifting.

Stay tuned for next weeks episode! We’re now nearing the one month mark till opening! Will the world be consumed by fire and lava!? Or will we succeed and move forward into our destiny! Find out next time on, Journey, Ball, Z!

Comments 2

  1. Dan,

    A good read mate! I guess it is not really something that you think about when you first decide to open up a gym. It is good that you have it all worked out now with some help from Adam and Tom. I enjoy reading these blog posts as one day I might be in the same boat with opening up a gym and I find it really cool that you share your story and experience. Plus not only that but it makes for a interesting read.

    Good on you mate! 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Aaron!

      That’s right. I know even when I first started the gym there was a lot of stuff like this that I didn’t take into account and as the gym progressed so too did all of the background work. Now that we’re moving into a MUCH bigger place I had to make sure that everything was set in place. It’s something you don’t necessarily think about when opening a gym, or starting a training orientated business but it’s vital for it to be successful.

      Really glad you liked reading it mate! As always, if you have any questions be sure to ask. Always happy to help out where I can if the need ever arises.

      Thanks mate!

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