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The Business Plan: Part 19 - Operational Strategies: Compensation Strategies

This blog will continue with strategies for hiring front desk staff when operating or opening a affiliate gym. In the last blog we discussed how to hire superstar staff and the interviewing process. This blog will continue the topic of hiring front desk staff and discuss compensation and the benefits of adding staff to your affiliate gym.

Compensation: Before you go ahead and place the ad, it is important to know exactly what your pay structure will be. To hire superstar staff, you need to pay superstar wages. Here is how we compensate our employees: combination of hourly, commission and group bonus. We have found that if you pay your employees well, they perform at peak levels, which will help skyrocket your business.

  • Hourly Base: All of our employees are paid a base on an hourly basis. Hourly can range from minimum wage up to whatever is customary in your city – we normally pay a bit more than minimum to attract better talent.
  • Commission: We encourage our front desk staff to close deals by offering a spiff commission. There are three ways to offer spiff commissions: Flat Fee per Deal, Escalating with Benchmarks, or a Set Goal.
    • The Flat Fee Structure is a set dollar amount per deal, and is the structure we use. We pay a spiff of $35 per membership sold - simple.
    • With an Escalating Commission, the dollar amount of commission increases as certain benchmarks are met. For Example: 1-4 memberships sold earns $20 per deal; 5-8 earns $30 per deal; and can increase as much as you want depending on how you want to motivate your top staff.
    • With a Set Goal commission structure, front desk employees have their own individual monthly sales goals. If they hit their goals they receive a bonus/commission.
  • Group Bonus: In addition to an hourly wage and spiff commission, we offer a group bonus for the front desk staff (including the front desk manager). The group bonus escalates as specific tiers are met. If they hit 40 memberships for the month they share a pot of $400, 50 they share $600. The amounts are not cumulative, and the group bonus is shared and divided by the number of hours worked.
    • Keep in mind that goals should vary based on the month. January is the best month for membership sales, where December is historically the worst. Make the first tier of the group goal a stretch, but not unrealistic. Here are the tiers that we have created for our gyms:

You’re probably thinking I am crazy for hiring front desk staff and paying high commissions, but trust me it works! Do the math: commission is a one-time expense that eats into your first month's profits, and even with a hefty group bonus the most you would pay per deal is $50. If you can motivate your front desk staff to close 5-15 more deals per month because you offered commission, it’s worth doing. If you sign up 15 new members in January, 15 in February and 15 in March, come April you will have an additional 45 auto pays. 45 more auto pays at $175 per month, is an additional $7,875 in revenue.

Job Duties- We utilize our front desk staff to help increase revenue, improve retention, enhance customer service and maintain the cleanliness of our gyms. Below I have outlined some of the job tasks that our front desk staff is required to do on a daily basis. By having reporting and systems in place, we can track that the duties are being accomplished. Here are a few of the daily duties:

  •  Check Members and Guests into Class: Having accurate information on attendance and conversions helps to make adjustments and grow your business.
  • Tours of the Facility: Walk first time visitors through the facility. Show them around, explain the WODs, SpeedX, Krav Maga and Introduce them to their coach.
  • Selling of Memberships/Class Packages: Sales pitch before or after class. Offer promotions if available.
  • Daily Cleaning Duties: Check bathrooms, fold towels, wipe down equipment with anti-bacterial wipes, mop gym floors, clean front desk area.
  • Follow-Up Calls: Scheduling first visit appointment, follow-up calls after first visit, converting class package people to memberships, converting open-ended members/pre-paid to yearly memberships.
  • Retail Sales: Selling pro-shop products and drinks.
  • Facebook/Social Media: Posting photos to social media sites.
  • Inventory of Supplies: Weekly inventory of cleaning supplies, office supplies, drinks, pro-shop, etc.
  • Sales Reports: Who came in for a free class, how they liked the Class, what they purchased. If nothing was purchased, Why Not.

 As a coach, owner, manager, it is impossible for you to do all the tasks list above. It is extremely important that you hire, or have some dedicated to doing duties that will improve your business. If you cannot afford to hire front staff full-time, start with your busiest classes. Next week I will continue the operational strategies with training of your front desk staff.



Maxwod supplies premium equipment for functional fitness, affiliate equipment packages, garage gyms, and Olympic weightlifting, including rigs and racks.

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4151 Lake Worth Rd, #6403, Lake Worth, FL 33461 United States

Maxwod is a commercial-grade fitness equipment store. Shop affordable commercial grade fitness equipment designed for commercial gyms, affiliate gyms, garage gyms, and more. Maxwod carries a full range of rigs and racks, strength and conditioning equipment, and cardio fitness gear. Maxwod is not associated or affiliated with CrossFit® and/or CrossFit Inc. We make no claims to provide items directly from or endorsed by or approved by CrossFit® and/or their licensing companies. Maxwod is a collection of fitness equipment stores and an authorized re-seller of fitness equipment.



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