3 Tips for Paying Staff

paying staff

Why is offering clear and competitive opportunities for your staff a benefit to your business?

Jeff Crawford, the owner of Maverick CrossFit in West Melbourne, Florida, said the first reason is it allows them the ability to create a revenue stream for themselves that will help make fitness a long-lasting career. 

The second reason benefits the gym as a whole. “On the flipside, it forces the entrepreneurial spirit to look for creative ways to bring value to the gym, which obviously helps the gym grow. It also helps the membership base reach their goals and be more successful. The Coaches are more successful, the gym is more successful, the client is more successful and everybody is happy,” he shared.

Paying the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Those creative ways follow the 4/9 model in terms of payout. Coaches will make 45 percent of any revenue generated on entrepreneurial-type endeavors. “We use the 4/9ths method to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and get them to start really investing in bringing quality products through the gym,” said Crawford. “That could be a new class, personal training, nutrition, clinics, whatever. We’re trying to add value to our members and also allow staff to grow and earn a wage that is competitive in the space, which is hard to do through just classes.”

Crawford had used a 70/30 model – 70 percent to the trainer and 30 percent to the gym for personal training – at one time, but it didn’t cover his overhead. For him, it didn’t make sense to push Coaches toward an entrepreneurial spirit because it didn’t help the business as a whole. Thus, the change to the 4/9 model.

Other than that, Coaches are paid hourly for coaching and extra roles like administrative work, cleaning or maintenance. Crawford will also reward his staff via outings, holiday celebrations or free access to seminars offered at Maverick.

3 Tips on Paying Staff

He did offer up three tips when it comes to paying your staff:

  1. Transparency: Make sure they know what you’re paying them and why, and how they can move up in your pay structure.
  2. Education: Make sure they understand the pay model, like the 4/9ths method.
  3. Opportunity: Allow them opportunities for growth.

In terms of his own pay, Crawford echoed like many owners, it’s been his weakest area. While he pays himself a base salary based on coaching hours and a flat rate for the rest – on top of long-term dividend payouts – it’s not as much as he should. Often, he looks into reinvesting in his business first and making sure his employees are getting paid. But that doesn’t change the fact he needs to live off the gym. “What have I learned in this realm is I should probably pay myself more and have a better layout for that,” he said.

Crawford did mention to look into “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz which can help when it comes to paying yourself.

Ultimately though, it’s not about chasing the money, and Crawford looks to teach his Coaches that truth. “If you’re chasing the revenue, then you’re not necessarily helping people,” he said. “We try to teach our Coaches if you’re providing a really good product that’s helping people, you’re going to generate income; and generating an income allows you to do this for a long time.”

For more tips on paying staff, check out this article via Entrepreneur.

Heather Hartmann
Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.