Something that has really helped me develop the entire direction of my businesses is having a solid set of core values. You’d be surprised at how many gyms don’t actually have these, and it may be because it seems like something that’s old fashioned, or maybe because they don’t quite have a staff yet and don’t think about it or make it a priority. I think that every business needs to have a set of core values, especially when they’re first starting out.
Let’s define core values:
It’s a set of values that helps guide your decision-making process. These are things that you and your company believe in. Core values help you decide on whether or not you or your staff should do something. You can look at it as a compass. When something comes up, and you don’t know the answer, you can refer back to your core values. This will tell you whether or not you’re making the right decision.
When I first started Pulse Fitness, I came up with about 7 on my own. But these can absolutely change. As time passes, your team grows, people come in and out, different thoughts and opinions shift through the business, we revisit and change them as necessary.
Core values are not something that you should just create, put on a poster and hang up. Core values are things that we circle back to and keep top of mind in every single weekly meeting with our team. When we first hire someone, we go over these core values in our employee handbook. We talk about this the day they come on board because it sets the tone and expectations for the employee. If their values don’t align with ours, we know it’s not a good fit.
So, what core values should you have in your business?
Well, it depends on your personal values and beliefs. I want to share with you what our core values are at Pulse Fitness and why we have them. If you don’t already have core values for your company, feel free to use these as an example, or even use them as is in your business and run with it.
Trust in Teamwork.
The way our model is set-up is that we’re a team. We’re so much of a team here that we won’t hire someone unless they meet everyone on our team first. Because we work so tightly with each other, we want to make sure that person is a good fit. Now, it also goes with our business model. Every client can train with any coach. Because we’re a team here, no one client belongs to one coach. Everyone on the team brings different qualities to the table, but they work together as a strong team.
Be appreciative and humble.
The first reason this one is on the board is that there are a lot of people that don’t have a job or are doing something they don’t love. We should be appreciative that we have a job, and we’re able to do something we love, and we get to help people along the way. We’re not above anyone else. We’re humble in the fact that we’re educated and understand the body in the ways that our clients don’t understand. I don’t want someone on my team that is ego-driven. Humility is absolutely crucial to serving clients.
Do whatever it takes
That statement is intentionally broad. If that means staying late, do it. If that means walking someone to their car because it’s dark out, do it. If that means running out in the middle of the day to get toilet paper? Do it. Nothing is “his job” “her job” or “not my job”. You do whatever it takes to get the job done and it’s part of our culture here. We each have our responsibilities and our roles, and someone may get tied up in a task and needs support, and you just support them. I want my team to work together as a team.
Delight the client
Without our clients, we have a huge room of equipment and nothing to do. I want everyone to make sure the clients are “delighted” and do whatever it takes to make them feel that way. If that means greeting them by name, or knowing what shake they’re going to have and having it ready for them when they get done. This is a service-based business, and a delighted client is what’s going to keep you going. The ability to overdeliver is what’s going to bring your business to new heights. When you come into my gym, you know that our goal is to consistently serve and create a genuine, and welcoming atmosphere – you just can’t miss that it’s an expectation for everyone on my team, but you also know it’s genuine.
Do the right thing
Again, another intentionally broad one. If you’re a small business, you can’t screw people over or you’re going to be out of business very quickly.
Be a professional
Unfortunately, in fitness, we have a bad reputation for being unprofessional. There’s a lot of things that have tarnished the fitness industry’s perception. Being a professional should be presented in how you dress, the cleanliness of the facility, how you speak to the clients, how you train. It should be seen from every aspect of the business.
Continuously learn and always evolve
We just talked about this in one of our recent blog posts. If we’re not learning and continuing to stay ahead of science, then we’re no better than YouTube. We need to constantly be evolving in order to serve our clients better.
Be a leader
I want leaders on the team, not just doers. Not in a way that we have too many cooks in the kitchen, but they should be able to lead at their level. The coaches are the expert, the professional, they have to lead the training session. If we let the clients lead the session, what are we doing for them?
Bring your best every day
This is probably one of the hardest ones we have to follow. But you need to make it a point to separate your home life from your work life. Some of our coaches just do an amazing job at this. They’re opening the doors at 4:45 and they’re on FIRE! This one can’t be missed when you’re a service-based business. You have to put your client experience at the forefront of your priorities if you want to outlast your competitors.
This came from one of our coaches years ago. This is another very broad one that makes the client experience great. Being awesome can be just about anything. High fives, encouragement, greeting people by name. Just be awesome!
Have fun and a sense of humor.
We’re over here making being professional a priority, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. It’s about making that one hour that you’re with that client the best hour of their day. It’s about making the 8 hours that you’re with your team, enjoyable. It’s a culture, a family, and a community. If this was a burden to do every day, it wouldn’t be all of those things.
Core values are the only way you’re able to control your client experience. Your client experience is what’s going to dictate your longevity in business. Core values also help you make your tough decisions. They may cost the business money at the time of the decision making, but when you follow your core values, they will benefit the business long term. These are what define the type of business you are. People do business with people they like. Take a look at your business, would you do business with you based on your core values? Most people would say yes because self-reflection is one of the hardest things for us to do. But if you really look at your business from the outside in, would you actually do business with you?
If you need a second set of eyes on your business to see how you can serve your clients and your community better for the long run, book a breakthrough call with me today. Let me help you design a foundation that’s built to grow.
Tim Lyons is an avid gym goer that takes his workouts as seriously as his commitment to the business of fitness. Tim not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Tim is the founder and CEO of ProFit Marketing Solutions and Pulse Fitness Training Facility (est. 2008). Tim has spent the last decade as a gym owner and operator in the fitness industry. Tim knows firsthand the challenges of gym ownership and understands the need for reliable, results-driven marketing solutions. As the creator of Pro-Fit Marketing Solutions, Tim has devised industry-specific marketing strategies to help other club owners get better results for their business. Tim is a featured speaker at conferences, workshops, and podcasts helping fitness professionals learn how to market personal training services and to progress into a lifestyle of profit and freedom. As a published writer, Tim has written articles on the business of fitness and marketing strategies for gym owners for trade journals, wellness lifestyle publications, and contributes regularly to national publications such as Funnel Magazine. Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/profit