The Most Successful Gyms Do THIS [3 Steps]

Part of my job is doing 99% of the new member interviews for Unicorn Society to make sure we’re truly able to help anyone who joins our Business Mentorship program.

That means I get to talk to a LOT of fitness business owners like you – to hear their struggles, learn about their goals, and get a unique perspective on the challenges they face in bringing their vision to life.

The interviews are a highlight of my week, and I learn a lot about the fitness business landscape.

Across the board one of the main obstacles that almost everyone shares is:

“I need help creating systems so I don’t have to do everything in my business, and I don’t know where to start.”

As the de facto “systems guy” at BFU, I want to shed some light on creating simple systems that serve training-gym owners like you and me.

But first, let’s take a peek behind the curtain.

There aren’t any secret systems. 

There are no perfect scripts. 

Nor are there any magical SOPs.

The most successful gym owners don’t have something you’ve never heard of but cover their owners in profit and glory.

I thought there were for years, and I imagine you might think the same.

The most successful gyms do the fundamentals with ruthless, tireless consistency.

  • Once a new member joins their community, they have a step by step process for how they shower them with love and support
  • They have regular team meetings and 1-on-1s with their staff for support and troubleshooting
  • When clients have a huge win or hit a PR, they ask for a review, testimonial, or referral
  • They constantly tweak and adjust what they do based on performance
  • They are persistent with following up with leads

Ruthless, tireless consistency. Not secrets and magic.

Are we on the same page now?


Systems are everywhere, and at their core it’s a simple “when-this, then-that” process that gives a predictable outcome.

  • When you walk into a restaurant and the door goes “ding ding”, then the hostess greets you. 
  • When your car is running low on gas, then you go to the gas station
  • When it’s Sunday morning at way-too-early-o’clock, then my neighbour cuts his grass and I get to hear the lovely sound of his ancient lawnmower while I drink my morning coffee

These are all so predictable we notice when they don’t happen. It’s weird when you don’t get immediately greeted at a restaurant.

These are simple systems, and that’s my point.

Here’s where to start when building simple systems for anything in your gym.

1) Start by making a list of all the most important things that need to happen. 

Here’s a few to get you thinking, and the list goes on: 

  • Program creation for clients
  • Meetings with your staff
  • Following up with leads
  • Converting leads to LBOs and memberships
  • Cleaning the facility

It will be a big list and that’s okay.

2) Define the “when-this” – what’s the trigger for something to happen? 

Some are obvious, and some less so.

An obvious example is when a lead notification pops up in your inbox. That’s a clear trigger.

A less obvious example is meeting with staff members one-on-one. There isn’t a clear trigger.

3) Identify the “then-that” – what happens next?

When a lead notification hits my inbox, then I add them to my lead tracking document and start my follow up process.

When it’s Tuesday at 11:30a, then I meet with my team member and we follow our agenda.

4) Write down the next steps as the beginning of an SOP. 

You don’t need to have a written down, standardized, SOP to go to the gas station. 

But I bet the hostess at your favorite restaurant was trained what to say when you walked in. Their 5-star service didn’t happen by accident, and there’s a reason you’re eating there.

Your SOP doesn’t need to be pretty – and it definitely won’t be perfect – and by documenting your when-this, then-that process, you now have standards.

For the examples above, you’d need to create a lead tracking document, a lead follow up process, and an agenda to meet with the specified team member.

Having this documented, even if it’s a “shitty first draft,” gives you the opportunity to delegate it so you don’t have to wear that hat anymore.

In a few years, with some ruthless, tireless consistency, you’ll have everything passed off to a team of A players who can do things better than you.

You’ll have one of the successful gyms someone else assumes runs on secrets and magic.

You’ve got this!



PS Want to join us in Philly on Sept 15th-16th for our next Unicorn Society retreat? By popular demand, after selling out, we’re adding two more seats!

Day 1 will be focused on everything related to people. Then on Day 2, we’ll create a crystal clear action plan for your next quarter. You’ll create order out of the chaos and leave with a plan; you’ll know exactly how to kick ass between now and the New Year. No holiday slump for you, my friend!

And of course, you’ll also get lots of quality time with like-minded gym owners, as well as Keeler, Pete, Ben, and the BFU team. We’ll eat Philly cheesesteaks, have some drinks, and enjoy Philadelphia!


Early bird pricing ends this Sunday August 13th.

Click the link below to learn more: