HIRING THE FIRST EMPLOYEE FOR YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS SIMPLER

HIRING THE FIRST EMPLOYEE FOR YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS SIMPLER

Posted on 26. Jan, 2011 by in Marketing Fitness


 

Jack Lalanne was a true legend and pioneer at every level of the fitness business; there will never be another like him.

I want to start out today by giving much deserved props to the legend Jack Lalanne, who recently passed away.

If you know of Jack’s accomplishments, chances are you’re only aware of a portion of them.  That’s because through his long career, he was involved in almost every type of fitness business imagineable, and has done more to impact the industry than probably anyone else in history.

It’s hard to estimate how much we owe to him – the truth is a lot of us wouldn’t be in this business without him.  He popularized fitness in America through his long running television show.  He invented much of the gym equipment we see today, owned a chain of gyms (that eventually was bought by Bally’s), and made a fortune in direct marketing.

Do yourself a favor today and do a little research into him, his accomplishments, his history, his career, work ethic, passion, and some of his videos on youtube.   His magic is sure to rub off on you in some way, and you’ll find yourself a better person for it.

There was a good article I wrote about Jack a couple of years ago that you’ll probably find valuable and will give you info on some of his accomplishments and what we can learn from them.  You can find that right here.

RIP Jack.  Your impact on this business will live forever.

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The employee search is much tougher than the job search.

Now let’s get to what I wanted to talk about today.  In a recent article on this site I was bragging about how well a lot of my students are doing.  And when you consider that the ones I hear from are probably just a small sampling of the total number, I’m assuming there are a great many of you that have been making major strides in this business.

What naturally results from success in this business is a brand new problem what you need to face now or will be facing in the very near future: hiring your first employee.

If you’ve been dodging this issue, STOP.  Having employees are, in essence, what makes you a business owner.  Running a business comes down to knowing what needs to get done, and then finding the right people to do it.

But, easier said than done right?  Definitely.  If you’ve never done it before, hiring an employee can be nerve-wracking.

Not only that, but, when it comes to training, A LOT is riding on the quality of your employees.  This is entirely a personality, character, and relationship-based service. It’s really hard to find good people who can come through in those areas.

There is another article I’m working on that will give you some advanced info on this subject, but right now, I’m going to give you a tip that will work for anyone, and prepare you for the day when you have your own fitness empire.

There’s a simple solution: if you’re hesitant or not sure whether you’re ready to hire someone to replace, don’t hire one.  Hire an assistant instead.

Keep in mind, we’re talking about a training assistant here, not a personal or administrative assistant.

 

Somewhere out there, there’s someone that would kill to be your assistant.

A training assistant is someone who shadows you, learns from you, follows your instructions and helps you get more clients into your sessions, and can cover clients for you on occasion.

Managing this type of employee lets you practice being a leader, giving orders and delegating.  Think of it as a set of training wheels; a rehearsal process that will lead to you eventually building and maintaining a team of higher level employees.

More benefits of starting with an assistant:

1.  Having an assistant makes YOU look good. It makes you feel more in control and gives you more authority and credibility.  You can charge higher rates, have clients adhere to your rules (i.e., 30 minute sessions, EFT, specific blocks of available training times, group training, strict cancellation policy, etc.).  When they see you bossing someone else around, clients just take you all that much more seriously.

2.  Much cheaper. You can pay a training assistant much less than you would have to pay a full-blown [or full-time] employee.  And don’t get caught up in the shady crap trainers these days often do of calling their employees independent contractors.  If you’re going to have a genuinely serious business one day, get used to having real (as in salaried) employees.

3. There are plenty of fish in this sea. You might be sick of Bosu balls and bodyweight squats, but trust me, you’ve got it good – most jobs these days are A HUNDRED times worse.  That’s why there are tons of people walking around who want to become trainers.  They will accept low pay for the ability to learn from the master (that’s you, dummy).

4.  You can attract them as interns, instead of assistants in many cases. This is one of my favorite tactics, and it works especially well if you own your own training studio.  These interns will do all the work a training assistant would do, but for FREE.  And, you want to know the irony?  Most of the time, an intern will do a better job than a paid assistant!

Of course you and I would never do anything for free, but believe it or not, being an intern is a normal part of the real world (I know, weird, huh?).   In fact, my brother has four Princeton University grads working for him for free as interns as part of his social media start-up.  Use this phenonemanon to your benefit.  By the way, you can find plenty of good intern candidates on Craigsilst along with candidates for lots of other positions we’ll be talking about in the future

5. Paying to work for you. In some cases, say if you own your own studio, you can get someone to PAY YOU to for the chance to work for you as an assistant (yeah, you read that right).  Just certify them in some way at the end of the process.  They can then move up to assistants if they pass the certification exam.  And then the person can become a full blown employee.  But in the trial phase, you can make some money and have the benefit of the unpaid labor.

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In my publishing business, the process of hiring, delegating, and managing is second nature to me now, but I remember how difficult this was when I first started doing it, as part of my training business.  Your learning curve doesn’t need to be as hard.  But don’t be tentative and don’t over-think it. Just hit it head on. Hire your first training assistant now.

Let the hunt begin!

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9 Comments

Dutchys Fitness

26. Jan, 2011

Nice article Kaiser and very true. With unemployment so high these days there are loads of people looking for a chance to do something, its just a matter of getting the right person

Erik

26. Jan, 2011

Good Article Kaiser! I’ve been noticing more and more how the college intern thing seems to be a great move. They come in, they intern for you, learn your systems, and it can be done for free. Then when they graduate you can hire them right off the bat because they know your systems.

Travis Tucker

26. Jan, 2011

Another article on how to exploit your workers – I love it!

Raquelle

26. Jan, 2011

Hi Kaiser! Great advice – you talk about this same subject many times in your courses.

I recently hired an assistant and it didn’t work out, and in the process of looking for another one. This article came at the right time, and I’m looking forward to more information on this subject.

Thanks as always!

– R

Anthony

26. Jan, 2011

Hey Travis – I don’t think Kaiser is exploiting workers at all. He’s just given some insiders advice. After hiring hundreds of employees, I can relate to what he’s talking about here. Especially with trainers, getting good help can be a major pain in the neck. So good tips here for beginners.
(P.S. Some of the tips in the studio and sixfigurs programs related to employees have been priceless for me, so Kaiser knows what he’s talking about on this subject.)

Devon NYC

26. Jan, 2011

Great post Kaiser. My biz has been doing great and I guess I’ve kind of been putting off on getting an employee. This post was a nice kick in the ass.

Time to dust off my TOPLEVEL TRAINER MANUAL again. thanks.

roger blackshear

27. Jan, 2011

Good post Kaiser, I’m looking for a assistent right now, this post help a loT
Thanks

Nuey

30. Jan, 2011

Hey Kaiser. Just got your program and have been listening to the audio lectures. Some solid stuff — you tell it how it is. Thanks man. You deserve all the success and money that comes your way. I’m gonna hit it hard. Let’s see if I can hit $10k per month in sales by April.

Nick

12. May, 2011

I am entertained reading through this, funny but great tips hunting down the next top trainers for a fitness business. Awesome article. it is really the best on this notable topic, and coming from a person who is in this kind of business.. i’ll take this into great account. Thanks!

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