Josh York | Crain's Toronto

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Josh York

Background:  

Founded by fitness specialist Josh York in 2008, GYMGUYZ is a mobile personal training company that brings state-of-the-art fitness equipment and expert coaches to customers’ doors. Through franchising, the Plainview, N.Y.-based company has spread to more than 100 locations across the country. The company recently kicked off its international expansion with two new Canadian franchisees in Ottawa and Toronto.

The Mistake:

Back when I started making some decent money with the company, I was excited to spend a little more on better marketing materials. But money was still tight, and I made a huge mistake by quickly throwing everything together in a big marketing packet and submitting my order without really taking the time to go through it all.

When I got it back, the materials were missing the website. So I ended up spending about $2,000 on materials I didn’t really want to put out there, all because I didn’t take the time to look through the work that I did.

I made a similar mistake with the wraps for our vans. I was working with a vendor who put together these vinyl cutout materials for the vans. Well, the vehicle wasn’t prepared properly, and the materials started peeling off after just a couple of weeks. Because I didn’t get a warranty, I ended up losing all the money I spent, which was about $4,000. It was upsetting because it was money I didn’t really have – the company was still in its infancy stage – and I had to spend more money to do it all over again.

We don’t put anything out without having a couple of eyes on it, first.

The Lesson:

Moving quickly is important. But if you want to move quicker than others, make sure you have the right systems in place to catch the mistakes that will slow you down.

Back then, I was wearing every single hat. I didn’t have the money to hire a big staff, so I had to slow down and take my time on certain things until I could grow the company to a point where I could hire more people.

Today, because we have the staff to do it, we don’t put anything out without having a couple of eyes on it, first. And that’s good, because we do things very quickly – it’s why Entrepreneur ranked us one of the top 100 fastest-growing franchises of 2017. Having a great team in place really helps with that.

Follow GYMGUYZ on Twitter at: @GYMGUYZ

Photo courtesy of GYMGUYZ

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