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Stop the Bleeding

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Michael GelfgotMichael Gelfgot

While operating 21 Anytime Fitness locations, most are doing well, a few are rocking and there are a few that are dogs and MUST get turned around. No one ever plans on having a club or two hemorrhaging money, but when it happens, it's what you do next that matters most.

First of all, what happened? How did we allow such a thing to occur? Aren't we better than that? No one plans on this, but here is what happened:

  1. 1. We got complacent;
  2. 2. We allowed mediocrity to set in;
  3. 3. We didn't develop our district manager team as much as we should have. As a result, they failed to develop their people. We had very few people in the pipeline ready to move up;
  4. 4. We got distracted;
  5. 5. We got too far away from the business, meaning we allowed our underperforming district managers to feed us a bunch of bull without inspecting their work;
  6. 6. We made the classic mistakes that all managers make;
  7. 7. We allowed stress to mask our decision making.

When running a company of 150+ staff members, there is always something going on. There is always something cooking. Staying focused on what's most important is extremely challenging. No one ever gave my business partners and me a handbook on how to do this. Yes, we read and listen to 100+ books a year between the three of us; that's not enough. We execute well, but we should be executing better. We figure this out as we go along, which is what makes being an entrepreneur a beautiful, and at the same time, the most stressful thing.

We had one particular location that was losing about $6,000 per month. When we finally pulled our head out of our you know what, we made the decision to demote a district manager who was overseeing that district. With our being short-staffed in the upper management team and no one ready to step in to fill those roles because we did a poor job in developing our staff, my regional manager, Adam, and I, took over that district. When we arrived at that club, here is what we noticed:

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