In an increasingly competitive fitness market, many boutique studio owners across the globe are eager to expand their reach. Expanding your brand into new markets and communities requires extensive research and financial backing with many moving pieces to consider. No doubt, your competency as a gym owner will be tested. You’ll need to have a solid growth strategy in place before you can even consider expanding your studio business. Precisely calculating your financial projections and the ideal time for expansion is critical. Finding the right location will also be a major contributing factor to your success. Nailing down the logistics will prime you for the transition.
As a business owner, you’ll face numerous obstacles and setbacks while working to keep your studio a well-oiled machine. Inevitably, you overcome these hurdles and your business grows. As you step away from the day-to-day operations, it’s important to remain involved and maintain complete ownership over your business. During your exciting period of expansion, you’ll need to adopt a mentality of “extreme ownership.”
Extreme ownership is a concept conceived by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two retired US Navy SEALs, that stresses the importance of assuming responsibility for all business operations – no matter how small. Their New York Times bestselling book explains the SEAL leadership concepts crucial to accomplishing the most difficult missions in combat and how to apply them to any group, team, or organization. Jocko and Leif share their formula for success which is the mindset and guiding principles that enable SEAL combat units to achieve extraordinary results. It demonstrates how to apply these directly to your business and life to likewise achieve victory. We’ve compiled the top three guiding principles to share with you:
#1 Discipline yourself
Discipline equals freedom. It’s an equation you can apply to sustain your studio’s growth. While discipline may appear as a barrier to freedom, Willink thinks otherwise, “Discipline is the path to freedom. Discipline is the driver of daily execution. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that hold you back.”
As a studio owner and fitness professional, your clients’ motivation to better themselves keeps your business afloat. However, Willink doesn’t believe motivation plays into the equation of extreme ownership. “Motivation is a fickle emotion. You can’t count on motivation to be there when you need to get through truly challenging times.” Discipline is something entirely within your control. Motivation won’t make you or your clients work out every day, but discipline will. Motivation won’t keep you late in the office crunching the cost of overhead in your new facility, but discipline will. Discipline will invest the time and resources into marketing your new studio location. Make discipline a fixture of your daily life and your business will thrive.
#2 Stay humble
“I really don’t want to do this.” As a studio owner, that thought probably pops into mind more than you care to admit. The truth is, if you’re not willing to stay humble and do the grunt work to keep your studio, clients, employees, and yourself happy there is no conceivable way you are ready to start expanding your business. Do the work, no matter how inconsequential it may seem at face value. Greet each of your customers, get on a first-name basis with them, help clean the locker rooms, make those cold calls, send that personalized training session reminder to the client. Take pride in doing these jobs, and do them well. If you can’t manage these mundane but simple tasks now, you’ll have a hard time navigating your studio’s expansion down the road.
#3 Take extreme ownership
Take ownership of everything. Willink explains, “In the military, the best leaders and the best troops were the ones who took ownership of everything in their world, not just the things they were responsible for, but for every challenge and obstacle that impacted their mission.” You are the leader of your business, take ownership of everything in it. It’s all too easy to look at the obstacles your studio is encountering and deflect blame on apathetic employees, poor clientele, a competitive market, etc. Take full ownership of these problems as a business owner and brainstorm solutions, not excuses. By incorporating extreme ownership into your approach to business, you’ll be setting your studio up for limitless growth.