Operational Excellence Part 1: Opening and Closing the Gym

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Operational excellence is about effectively running your business so that your athletes and staff are thriving and happy, while you maximize your income potential. This is part one in a seven-part series.

It’s the little habits that end up guiding the course of our lives. At home that might mean getting a good night’s sleep and eating clean, but at the box, it’s all about the day-to-day processes you have in place. Are yours organized and well-planned? Or are they random and simply about just getting by? Since your business’s day-to-day routines make or break your operational effectiveness, we recommend having set duties and checklists in place.

Let your opening and closing procedures be a starting point for systematizing and documenting your operations. With documented opening and closing steps, your team will know what needs to happen each day, and you’ll know things are going to be done right. Even if you have a strong, well-trained team, documenting your procedures will still benefit you. Staff members trade and work shifts they don’t normally work, so they’ll be able to use your checklist as a reference, ensuring key steps are never missed no matter who opens or closes. And when it’s time to hire new team members, the organization will get them up to speed faster.

Start by working through your open and closing process. Then use our checklist to verify you’re not missing anything.

General Opening Duties:

  1. Turn on and login to all necessary technology (TV screen for Faceboard and WOD, computer and iPad for check-in/retail)
  2. Put the programmed WOD up on your TV/write workout on the board
  3. Ensure retail items are fully stocked and organized
  4. Check trash and ensure bathrooms are fully stocked and tidy
  5. Refill chalk buckets if they’re empty or running low
  6. Set up for special programming/warm up exercises (get rowers ready, pull out bands or rollers, turn on fans)
  7. Get your playlist ready
  8. Plan your daily introduction question for each class
  9. Unlock door/open garage doors if needed
  10. Write the names of the reserved athletes on the board before they come in
  11. Ensure each athlete checks-in using Kiosk Mode, or check them in using the Staff App
  12. As they walk in, write the names of non-reserved athletes on the whiteboard

General Closing Duties:

  1. Make sure all equipment is put away and secure
  2. Turn off any computers, TVs and iPads
  3. Plugin any technology that requires charging
  4. Empty and take out the trash
  5. Run retail reports (if you run those daily)
  6. Erase white boards
  7. If you’re responsible for cleaning, ensure bathrooms are cleaned, equipment is wiped down and floors are mopped
  8. Lock doors

Documenting your opening and closing procedures is just one of the steps in achieving operational excellence. Stay tuned for our next post which covers how to create a process to properly welcome and exit your members.


Download our guide, How to Run a Stronger Affiliate Gym, for additional ways to take your box to the next level.

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emily jorgenson zen planner onboarding coach

Emily Jorgenson, Customer Engagement Manager

Zen Planner

Emily is a native Coloradan and enjoys playing outside whether it is snowboarding, hiking or relaxing with friends and her dog, Chewbacca. She earned her L1 CrossFit® Trainer Certificate and completed her USAW Certification and has the privilege to coach at 2 CrossFit® gyms. Emily serves as the Customer Engagement Manager.

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