Fitness Business Systems Simplified

3 min read
Oct 18, 2023

Hey, It’s Ben from Business For Unicorns here. Part of what I do at BFU is all the sales calls for our fitness 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 wear all the hats, 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, a peek behind the curtain.

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There aren’t any secret systems, perfect scripts, or magical SOPs that the most successful people are running but you don’t know about and it’s holding you back from dollars 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.

  • They are persistent in following up with leads
  • When clients have a huge win or hit a PR, they ask for a review, testimonial, or referral
  • 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
  • And most importantly, they constantly tweak and adjust what they do based on performance

Ruthless, tireless consistency. Not secrets and magic.

Are we on the same page?


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 neighbor 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 are 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.

On the obvious side of things, when a lead notification pops up in your inbox, that’s a clear trigger.

On the less obvious side, what is the trigger to meet with staff members one-on-one? That’s a cadence you get to decide.

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 11:30 am, 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.

Ben Pickard
Coach and COO
Business for Unicorns

Looking for help making your business acumen match your training acumen? Check out the FREE Raise Your Rates Playbook for a step-by-step guide on how to increase your rates (and how much).

Click HERE to grab it.

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