The Ten Most Important Jobs in the Office

Patti-Komara1. Greet the customer and create a relationship. A happy, courteous staff is important. Staff members need to make a conscious effort to remember customer names, faces, likes, hobbies, etc. That is what will set your gym apart from the competition. Creating relationships with your current customers is internal marketing in its purest form.
2. Answering the phones. If possible by the second ring. Don’t make a potential customer wait on you. They’ll hang up and call your competitor! What does your staff say when they answer the phone? Do you know? 
3. Checking company email. Now days, everyone emails… at least almost everyone. Don’t make them wait. Have a planned time each hour to check email for questions that need to be answered and if you have online registration, check for enrollments.
4. Give tours to new or inquiring customers.Turn walk-ins into long-term customers. Make sure you have a tour script and your office staff is familiar with it. Have staff practice at a staff meeting. Have a mock tour and everyone follows along with scripts.
5. Daily cleaning. We hear this so often…”Your gym is so clean” or “Your gym smells better than my daughter’s old gym”. Cleanliness is so important to parents. Do you have cleaning checklists for the office, gym, lobby, bathroom, etc…? When a potential customer walks through your doors you do not want their first impression to be a bad smell or a cluttered office. You want them to feel confident about their choice to check out your gym and all it has to offer.
6. Keeping schedules and office forms in stock and up-to-date. Office staff must be prepared. Nothing looks worse to a customer than a customer service representative not supplying them with right form or information. Who have you placed in charge of restocking the office on a regular basis? 
7. Schedule make-ups. Have a solid system in place and make sure everyone follows it. Parents should not have to worry about a lost make-up date or have to wait on the phone too long when calling off their sick child.
8. Sell apparel to customers. Always offer to sell the needed apparel to customers the day they sign up. Advertise sales in your e-newsletters and fliers as well as in your pro-shop. If they buy a new pair of gymnastics shoes… ask them if they need a bag for those shoes. Do a mock sale with staff at the next office meeting.
9. Nurture peer relationships. Everyone wants to be liked and appreciated. Encourage professional staff relationships. Have your office manager make it a point to personally thank at least two staff members per week. Your office manager should be the lead example. How is your office manager’s attitude?
10. Collecting tuition. A key to collecting tuition is a great database. Make sure your system can handle all your different tuition amounts, coupons, discounts, etc. Your office staff needs to be well-trained in entering data correctly in your system to minimize any errors. At staff meetings go over how to handle sticky financial situations such as late payments, declined credit cards, etc.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

 

Attitude of Gratitude

Patti-Komara    In her wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell describes how, when she was a girl, her mother taught her to play “The Glad Game.” On days when Chellie came home from school complaining about something – a bully on the playground, a harsh teacher, a skinned knee, or difficult homework, Chellie’s mom would hug her, kiss away her tears, and then suggest, “OK, enough complaining. Let’s play The Glad Game.” This is another name for a Gratitude List. The Glad Game helps you focus on what’s right in your world today, instead of what’s wrong. Chellie’s mom was a very wise woman, teaching her that no matter what your troubles, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for: a sunny day, good food to eat, a loving family, a house to live in, a family pet to love, a handful of friends to enjoy, and much, much more. Chellie would follow her mother’s suggestion:
“I’m glad I have you as my mom.”
“I’m glad the weekend is almost here.”
“I’m glad I have some nice clothes to wear to school.”

      Playing “The Glad Game” is a terrific way to change your attitude in a hurry. We all slip into self-pity once in a while – after all, we’re only human. The important thing is to cut the pity-party short and shift into gratitude. An attitude of gratitude will get you much farther in life than complaining and self-pity. Try it and see.

     In this business we have so much to be “glad” about. We work with kids! Kids are the neatest people, say the funniest things, are so darn cute, and they love us unconditionally. Of course that’s unless it’s your junior high or high school cheer squads, and they don’t like anyone anyway! As owners, we have a great staff of hard working people who love the same things you do, we live in the greatest country there is, and you have your health. Let’s just all, “be glad!” Next time you feel upset, play the glad game.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

Get Your Students Pumped Up About the Summer Olympics

Patti-KomaraWe recently got this article in the local paper along with photos. Quickly write something about the activities at your gym and how you are teaching your students about the Olympics. Remember, you can have a free open house, a lesson, a camp, a Kids Night Out with the Olympic theme as long as you don’t charge money for it and it’s done in the spirit of education and celebration of the Olympics. Do it today.

                      Kids Learn About the Olympics at All-American

Children at Patti’s All-American Gymnastics, Dance and Swim in Dyer are participating in mock Olympic events this month such as nerf shot put, Frisbee discus, and noodle javelin. The kids march out to the Olympic music carrying American flags and two lucky children get to lead the class with felt torches and light their version of the Olympic Flame. The children ages 1-12 are also practicing events such as trampoline, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and weightlifting with foam weights. The idea is to give them some education about the Olympics concerning the different sports and the facts about this very exciting worldwide event is held just every four years. At the end of the mock Olympics each child receives a gold medal.

Owner Patti Komara said, “Every four years we get to celebrate the Olympics. It gives us a chance to educate along with activity. When something is fun, the kids really like to do it. They see it on T.V. and then get to act like they are the stars right here in our gym”. Not only do they get to do some of the events, but they learn about certain aspects of the Games such as why the doves are released at the start of the games, what each ring color represents, where some of the previous Olympics were held, and how are the athletes chosen for their particular sport.

PAA has been named #1 Best of the Region for 22 years in gymnastics and for the last three years for dance lessons also. They teach ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, lyrical, pointe, and preschool dance called Dancing GymBears including both gymnastics and dance in the same hour. That class is unique to the Calumet Region.

Another unique class they excel in is their Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool. They have the lowest student to teacher ratio and feature their computer and iPad lab. The children learn Spanish and do gymnastics and exercise every day instead of snacking.

The newest department at Patti’s is their Nina Zone Program. Boys ages 3-11 get to roll, tumble, swing, climb, and run. It’s a combination Parkour, gymnastics, tumbling, and martial arts.

Extra activities hosted there include birthday parties, girls and boys scout troops, local park department classes, skill clinics, day camps, and Saturday night Kids’ Night Outs.

Patti’s All-American Gymnastics is celebrating their 47th year in business. Patti Komara’s gym started in a church hall in 1969 with 30 kids and has grown to a gym with a yearly enrollment of over 2000 students in gymnastics, tumbling, dance, Ninja Zone and swimming lessons. At the beginning Patti taught all of the classes herself and now employs over 40 teachers and office personnel to help run the business.

Every year since 1981 Patti has been a national speaker for the gymnastics industry. She has written numerous books on the business of a gymnastics school and five lesson plan books. Patti has written numerous articles for national magazines for the dance and gymnastics industries. She has produced more than 160 training videotapes and has sold tapes to all 50 states and 20 foreign countries. Komara was named “USA Gymnastics Business Person of the Year” in 2003 and 2006. She writes a monthly newsletter with 7500 subscribers and a weekly blog for the gymnastics industry.

Registration for the classes is continuous. New classes are forming this week, so check out all information and easy registration at www.tumblebear.com or by calling (219) 865-2274.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

#pattikomara, #tumblebearconnection, #behindthecartwheel, #gymnasticslessonplans, #owningagymnasticsschool

 

I Have 14 Different Insurance Policies, Do You?

Patti-KomaraHere are some that the gym has…staff medical with Anthem, excess staff medical with AFLAC and Allstate, worker’s comp, EPLI, liability, business interruption, student accident and liability, 401K bond insurance, and umbrella. A trust owns the building and the land and it has contents and liability insurance on the building and an umbrella for that. Of course you might also have flood, earthquake, key man insurance, auto, and maybe others I’m not even aware of. The purpose of this blog is to just say…have some!! I knew a gym owner who was young in his twenties just starting in the business and said, “I don’t have anything for anyone to take–I just won’t get any insurance.” Ahhhhh…then the gym owner who had been around awhile said to me, “I don’t get liability insurance. I figure instead of paying that insurance company all that money, I’m just going to put that amount into a savings account and then if there’s an accident and they sue me, they can have that money”. Wow… I guess I’m just such a rule-follower. Keep an eye on what you need in your state and the new federal laws concerning health insurance for your employees. You know that’s why Starbucks has such a super low turnover rate in staff. They pay full health benefits for employees who work over 20 hrs!  I’m not saying go that far, but I do know one thing…when you supply your staff with good benefits and treat them well, they treat the customers well.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

#pattikomara, #tumblebearconnection, #behindthecartwheel, #gymnasticslessonplans, #owningagymnasticsschool

The Physical Side of Leadership

Patti-KomaraWe know how leaders are supposed to look-standing straight and tall, physically expansive, radiating confidence. If you want to appear more confident, seem more leader-like, then change the way you look. How do you dress at the gym? Do you wear the same uniform as the staff? Do you just come in with whatever you put on that day? It’s important that you lead with confidence and charisma and it starts by how you look. In business some people feel men appear to be more successful than women. Have you noticed how men sit versus women? Women tend to cross their legs or ankles and close in. Men sit with legs spread, their shoulders wide, arms draped around the chair next to them. Posture is associated with power. You may have to fake it till you make it. There’s evidence from social psychology on facial expressions that suggests it’s possible that when you force people to smile, it makes them happier. That’s called the facial feedback hypothesis. Research has also looked at hormone levels. Testosterone is associated with dominance and cortisol is released in response to stress. People born with highest testosterone levels become alphas. The more interesting question is whether it becomes self-reinforcing. You stand or sit more powerfully and you perform better. People respond to that confidence and that gives you feedback to further elevate that feeling of confidence and power. Teach your staff this concept–especially your young coaches who by virtue of their size in gymnastics, they look like they’re 12-years-old out there coaching.

A paper published in Science a few years back said if you hold a cold cup you act coldly and if you hold a warm cup, you act more warmly. So, feeling yourself in a position of power can give rise to behaviors that reflect that. Shoulders back, a powerful walk, a smile, and a confident voice can go a long way to help you and your staff be even more successful. The way to appear more powerful is to be organized and not stressed all the time. Delegate jobs. How can I run a gym, consult, speak at conferences, create these newsletters, and only go into the gym two days a week? You got it. I have an operations manual that spells out what each person’s job is and how to do it.

At USA Gymnastics National Congress, I am speaking on “Happy Leadership”  – Saturday, July 9, at 1pm. See you there!

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

#pattikomara, #tumblebearconnection, #behindthecartwheel, #gymnasticslessonplans, #owningagymnasticsschool

 

Don’t Let People Steal from You

Patti-KomaraThis is a Q & A with Jeff Metzger, President of Business Boot Camp. He is also President of Kids First Sports Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the largest gym schools in the country. I had emailed Jeff a question and here is his answer…
My question to Jeff, “I know you have a full time in-house accountant. I have a full-time bookkeeper. She does my payroll (the only person other than me who knows what everyone makes), receivables, payables, etc. You always read business articles that say you should never have one person doing all the aspects of your bookkeeping for two reasons: 1. stealing from you and no one would know and 2. if she/he gets sick on payroll day, what do you do?
Truly… that’s my question. What do you do? AND, do you know the program (Quickbooks, etc) and are able to do it if she can’t? Do you have two people who can do it?”

metzgerJeff to me: “First, you do not want to have any one person taking in the money AND sending it out… i.e. split receivables and payables. For accounts payable department: You might consider requiring two signatures on checks. We do not do this and in fact our A/P person uses a stamp of my signature (potentially risky but I do not want to hold up checks because I am traveling or out of the office). So instead, we do this… have the monthly bank statement  mailed to your home. Monthly, require your bookkeeper to prepare and hand to you the printout of your “QuickBooks” (or the like) check ledger. Monthly, compare the bank statement against the ledger line by line for payee name and $ amounts. Periodically compare the electronic version of your “’QuickBooks” ledger against the printed ledger to assure there are not two sets of books.
For accounts receivables, it’s the handling of cash that used to cause the big concerns. We do not get much cash anymore so my suggestion below is less time consuming than it used to be. However, even when we did get a lot of cash, this was the procedure: When cash is received it is placed INDIVIDUALLY in an envelope with name and $ amount marked, then placed in our depositary safe as in, ‘Jane Doe, $99.50’. Our accountant acts as a ‘bank’ for change if necessary. On the deposit, each cash deposit is treated separately, i.e. individually tracked. You can then do a report of cash payments and compare against the deposit slips. We get so little cash now the time this takes is negligible. Cameras watching the movement of your front office crew are recommended. Strangely, the appearance of controls is as important as the controls themselves. Patti chimes in here: ‘I have remote cameras–love them!’
For emergency: Our A/P person has hired an assistant. This person also does many of the rote tasks surrounding the (growing) HR quagmire of regulations. Since this assistant earns less than our accountant she brings payroll efficiency to the table as well. Our A/P person can spend time on more singular (and meaningful) tasks such as whittling expenses here and there. The assistant can see through the entire payroll process when necessary. Note, we would be reticent on having an assistant who was also heavily involved in the Company in another capacity. That way, if s/he showed any indiscretion (such as loose lips) we would feel as if we were ‘held hostage’ to this person’s skill in another department–in particular a profit center. We would consider that very risky.
Think on this: if you think you need controls because of a ‘particular’ person you probably need to fire that person! You put in controls not because of a particular person but because of the position. Said another way: a few people are honest to the core because their personal principles mandate they be so; a few people are crooks to the core; and others (the majority?) can be ‘drawn’ to dishonesty under certain circumstances. This is the person who often is your embezzler. Bottom line: instigate controls regardless of who holds the position. Also, for money positions, hire only people who are honest to the core. Heck, while you are at it, for ANY position hire only those honest to the core. It is not easy and a business may never achieve perfection but it can come darn close!” Jeff

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

#pattikomara, #tumblebearconnection, #behindthecartwheel, #gymnasticslessonplans, #owningagymnasticsschool

Lack of Change Can End Your Business

Patti-KomaraYou’ve heard how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took their idea for personal computers to HP and Atari and those companies weren’t interested. So, the two Steves started Apple Computers and had earnings revenue of $20 billion. If you believe in your gym, but it didn’t make the kind of money you wanted in 2015 or throughout the first half of 2016 – change. Now is the time to do something about it—it just takes a new idea or two. For this fall, make the move to expand your business. It’s a vicious (or productive) cycle. You think you don’t have enough money to offer more programs and hire more people, so business lags. Or, you can invest in more programs like cheer, dance, educational preschool (like my Gym-N-Learn program), preschool yoga, or Ninja Zone. Then, put your best people in those programs, and watch your income rise.

Also, share as much as you can with your employees about your finances, problems your gym is facing, and what might happen if you do nothing. Progress is long term. Expecting short-term results is a mistake for beginners. Change has to come within your workforce. And, you as the owner or manager, are the one to set the stage. There’s an old saying, “It’s easy to change things, it’s hard to change people”. If your staff is not willing to change, innovate, grow, and mature in their roles, it’s time for a revolution in your company. I dare you to make fall of 2016 your best yet by taking steps to make your business bigger and better now.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti’s other company,  Tumblebear Connection has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. Patti currently has over 8000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter”. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

#pattikomara, #tumblebearconnection, #behindthecartwheel, #gymnasticslessonplans, #owningagymnasticsschool