At this moment in time, Rodney Steven II, the owner of Genesis Health Clubs, is managing seven construction projects spanning from a build-out to a club renovation.
This is because Genesis Health Clubs has experienced fast-growth over the past few years, growing from around a dozen clubs to over 40 in four states. As a result, construction is a major part of the owner’s day-to-day.
Here are Steven’s learning lessons for managing construction projects that other clubs can learn from that are going through a similar process, or are about to.
Create a plan and stick to it. “One of the lessons I’ve learned is that even if you want to jump right in, it’s best to wait till you have a well-thought-out construction plan and construction contract. Sometimes you think you can figure things out as the project goes on, but it’s much better to have a plan before you begin. Take time to find the right bid.”
Stick to your budget as much as possible. “Give your builder and architect a firm budget and stick to it. If your budget is $5 million and they come back to you with a project that’s going to cost $7 million, that’s not going to work for you. Stick to your budget.”
Think about the impact a renovation will have on your club membership. “When doing a remodel, keep in mind it’s going to impact your business. It’s going to have an impact on staff and members. Therefore you should communicate a projected timeline with enough room for error. We tend to be optimistic in the industry and it’s better to finish a project early than to have to extend it.”
Stay positive. “Construction is tough. But it’s worth it. Members love to see you reinvest money into the gym.”