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Fitness Business Issues: Turning Problems Into Opportunities

If you run a business you’ll  have to deal with them eventually…


There are three common ways that fitness business owners address issues:

1)   Ignore them and hope they go away

2)   Attempt to address them, but never really get to the root of the issue (“the cover up”)

3)   Fix them completely and turn them into an opportunity to improve

Unfortunately, #1 is all too common among fitness business owners…

…and it’s easy to see why! 

You’re tackling the day-to-day operations of your business, you’re likely already overworked and sometimes you just don’t want to have to deal with anything else.

The problem with this approach comes when the issue appears over, and over, and over again each time getting a little bigger until you’re forced to deal with it.

No problems here…

I Can’t See You... by tropical.pete, on Flickr

High performing business owners choose to address their issues head on, but only if it is actually a priority.  They not only address it, but they evaluate it to identify the root cause of the issue and put a solution in place to solve it for good.  We’ll talk more about that in a bit…

The most dangerous of all is #2!  This occurs when you’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to evaluate an issue properly so you throw a solution at it hoping it goes away without ever understanding the root cause of the issue.

Any of these sound familiar?

You can’t seem to consistently get leads, even when you put a marketing tactic in place…

You have trouble keeping/finding good employees that want to help you grow your business…

Clients are leaving your programs for unknown reasons…

You’ constantly have to cover for one of your employees that can’t do their job the way you want them to…

No matter now much you try to get away you’re constantly overworked and stressed out about your business…

You get that ‘unexpected’ bill and don’t know how you’re going to pay it this month…

There’re all symptoms of ignoring or covering up issues that are still present under the surface.

Here’s how the high performers do it…

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Long Term Vision & Understand Your Priorities…

… and sharing that with your team (if you have a team). 

In the Fitness Business Alignment System™ you’re able to do that with the help of our Strategic Alignment Plan™ and our Quarterly Rocks.  


If you don’t know these two things you will think every issue that pops up is a ‘priority’ and you’ll constantly be putting out fires.

That’s not a fun place to be as a business owner!

Once your vision and priorities are documented you have a foundation for making your decisions.   You can run everything through the filter of the 4 Step Process we use at FCG…

1.     Know your vision

2.     Know your priorities

3.     Be Thorough

4.     Be Complete

Note: That simple process has kept me on track and productive in the past several months!

Step 2: Schedule a set time weekly to address issues


If you don’t have a set time each week to address the issues in your business you’ll fall back to dealing with them as they pop up. 

Sure, there are going to be times that you need to handle an issue right away, but they should be few and far between.  Especially as you start implementing this process in your business.

It’s important to note that simple issues that come up in customer service or in your training programs should be addressed immediately.  Those are day-to-day activities that you or someone on your team should be prepared to handle. 

The issues we are discussing are BIG business issues that are keeping you from reaching your long-term vision.

Set aside 60-90 minutes each week on the same day and same time to address the most important issues in your business.  This meeting should be absolutely mandatory for you and the key members of your team.

It’s helpful to have key members on your team, the leaders, involved in these meetings to help you understand and solve them. 

While you can solve the issues yourself having a few other people you trust that can work together to find solutions is a real benefit.  Sometimes you can’t see the ‘real problem’ on your own.

Step 3: Define & State The Issue

To be able to solve the issues you need to understand them and be able to clearly state the issue to your team.

Think about these questions:

1)   What is the outcome you want?

2)   Why is this important?

3)   How can you prove that it is an issue? Is there data/information?

Here’s an example for you:

“Our retention rates have went from 98% to 93% over the past 60 days and our Client Growth Rate is down by nearly 3%.  How do we improve our retention rate?”

It’s clear, concise and has proof that there’s an issue. 

Once you have stated this for you team they can start with the next step…

Step 4:  Questioning & Solution Presentation

After you’ve clearly stated your issue it’s time to get to work.  But, this is the point where you have to set your ego aside.  You need to be prepared to answer questions with a cool head, look at the facts and not take things personally. 

A big ego can get in the way of solving issues.  Remember, this isn’t about finger pointing.  You must be able to accurately identify and solve the issue, even if it’s not what you want to hear!

If you’re tackling this on your own try doing it outside of your gym or the primary place you do your work.  Take as much of an objective view as you can and use a whiteboard or piece of paper to start asking questions that might help you get to the root of the issue.


If you’re doing this with your team allow the team to ask you questions to get more information.  The questions should help ensure you’ve accurately stated the correct issue and that there are no oversights.

Once all the important questions have been asked and your team clearly understands the issue it’s time to present possible solutions.

Allow everyone to give their input and make sure that you’re getting solutions that will solve the problem for good.  The last thing you want is to be back in two weeks trying to solve this same issue or another symptom of the issue.

Step 5: Create Your Solution & State Your Commitment

Once you are satisfied that you have come up with a long term solution to the true issue it’s time to put a plan in place to implement that solution.  

Instead of setting SMART Goals try using our SMARTR Goal strategy…







It’s that last “R” that ensures you are getting the result you want from your goal. 

When you follow the SMARTR plan to mapping out your ‘to-do’s’ from a meeting you will not only know the outcome you are looking for but you will commit to a deadline. 

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And most importantly…

This will all be easily communicated to your team!  That helps them hold you accountable.

If you follow these 5 steps to solving your fitness business issues you can turn them into opportunities to improve your business. 

Not only will you be dealing with fewer and fewer issues, but you will start to see more alignment of your team and your business towards your long-term vision.

That’s the beauty of the Fitness Business Alignment System…

It’s built around tools, systems and processes that help you create a high performing business, become a high performing business owner and build a high performing team.

All with the end goal in mind of helping you reach your long-term vision.

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Ryan Ketchum, Executive Director Fit Business Insider


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