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Rules and Regulations

When opening your first gym or studio, you’ll have to come up with a list of rules and regulations for your business. Especially if it’s your first time, it can be pretty difficult to come up with a concise, yet thorough list of rules. These rules can evolve as you see fit, especially with the size of your business changing. It’s a good idea to get new members to sign an agreement to follow the rules, as well as to get previous members to re-sign, once rules go through changes.

Keep in mind that every type of business will need a different set of guidelines. What works for a yoga studio may not work for a martial arts gym. To help guide you, we’ll talk about general rules to think about when creating your specific rules:

Respect

Respect encompasses many ideas. Listening when others are speaking, not impeding other members’ rights or experiences, and respecting peers’ time and belongings. Think about how you are being considerate and inconsiderate. There are many different things to think about and this just may be the most important rule set of them all. One thing to watch out for with younger students is potential situations of bullying and teasing. Be sure mutual respect is a core tenant in your rules and regulations.

Punctuality and Service

Punctuality is a big one for many reasons. It’s unfair to make your students wait for latecomers and it is also unfair for punctual students to have their lesson disrupted by latecomers. You can have a rule that if you are late by a certain amount, you will no longer be able to join the class. Some schools also have a strike policy on tardiness. This also applies to leaving before the class is finished. Depending on your business, drop-ins may be more of the norm. Without a class schedule, things are a lot more fluid. In those cases, members need to be informed of first-come, first-serve policies, in terms of equipment and instructor access.

Electronics

With smartphones becoming so prevalent in society, you will likely want to establish rules so your business is a distraction-free zone. Whether it’s a “leave it in your car” or “leave it on silent” rule, it’s often best to create something that you can adapt to your members, if the rules doesn’t end up working the way it is intended. While it’s fine to listen to music to yourself during a workout, for instance, other members aren’t going to appreciate people taking pictures of them. Likewise, you aren’t going to want to hear phone conversation during yoga class.

Attire

This largely depends on the type of business you have but attire is quite important. If your class requires a uniform, such as a martial arts gym, you’ll want to make sure they keep good care of their uniform and that they don’t leave it at home. It’s your discretion whether that means they can’t attend class or not. If there is no uniform, you can have rules to outline what your business considers inappropriate attire. Revealing clothes can be very distracting and inappropriate words or imagery can be disrespectful, depending on the circumstances. A children’s swim class will vary greatly from a hot yoga session. Tread with caution, as you don’t want to offend anyone with this rule and take it too far.

Hygiene

Hygiene can definitely fall under respect and it’s an important one. As difficult as it is to let someone know their hygiene is unacceptable, it’s can be a must, if people are feeling uncomfortable being around others in your classes. Body odor is different from person to person so you’ll want to be careful but there are always limits. Laundry is another big one too! You’ll also want regulations around wiping down and cleaning any equipment used, especially in a gym setting.

Looking for an example of a gym or fitness center’s rulebook? Check out thishandy guide from BodyBuilding.com. Are you a yoga instructor or school owner? Try Yoga International’s etiquette guide.

What are some of the most essential rules that you’ve created for your member-based business? Let us know onFacebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.

Whitney Donaldson
Whitney Donaldson

Whitney is the Marketing and Events Coordinator for PerfectMind. She brings four years of marketing and communications experience with a focus in the digital media and technology industries. She has a Marketing Management Certificate from BCIT and an English Literature degree from the University of Victoria. She is an avid runner and swimmer, and enjoys spending her free time outdoors. She is motivated by a good cup of coffee, and conversations that convert a great idea into a reality.

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