The Gymnastics Life
About 7 years ago I resolved to save my former boss some cash and make our own spotting blocks. After all, it could not be that hard since its just styrofoam, foam, and vinyl. Here's how it went.
Locate styrofoam companies. I was able to find two in our area. The one I use is StyroTech. They can make any size block you could ever want. Example below.
Next Step is to cover the Styrofoam with a protective layer of foam. I've used scrap pieces of 1.5-2" trocellen foam as well well as an older 1/2-5/8" vault runway. Recently I had success asking an equipment company that we placed an order with to send as much extra 5/8" scrap foam as they had (they sent it at no charge). I was able to get enough to cover 4 of our larger spotting blocks.
You can glue the foam pieces on but I've opted to heavily duct tape them. It's not pretty but who cares once the covers on? It's faster, more secure, and will more than likely never need to be replaced.
The last step is to have the covers made. I order my vinyl from MyTarp (they sell it by the yard). You'll have to do some math to figure out how much you need. You'll then need to find someone to sew the covers. The first people we used charged $35 per cover and they did an OK job. They made the covers like a pillow case with velcro caps at the end, it wasn't aesthetically pleasing but I couldn't complain for $35.
Recently, I've used our local tailor and they do it for $59-$69 depending on the size. These covers have a zipper and look tenfold better. Example below.
I'm not exactly sure how much we have saved but I'm sure it's a lot. Just doing some quick math:
A 2' x 2' x 4' styrofoam costs $35-50 per piece. The scrap foam was free. Duct tape was about $10. Each cover was $59. So about $110-120ish per 2' x 2' x 4' block. Obviously the smaller the Styrofoam the costs goes down. There's also is volume discounts and the person who sews your covers may be cheaper.
Good luck. If you have any questions feel free to reach out.
When we first open our businesses we have enough energy to do every task imaginable. You can call this the "honeymoon phase".
That can last a year or maybe in even several years, but at some point, reality is going to set in that you can no longer do all this on your own.
There's a simple task that can get you moving in the right direction. My mentor had me do it, and his mentor had him do it. It's called "Roles and Tasks".
Get out a blank piece of paper.
On that paper you're going to go about your daily tasks and every time you do something, write that task down and put a line under it. Now, under that task you're going to write in detail everything that task involves (8-12 things) and how long it takes you. An easy example is how you open the gym, e.g.
The next process is putting a dollar amount on each role. For example, we clean our bar area every day. It took me 2.5-3 hours to vacuum, sweep, mop and put everything back. The role is 12-15 hours a week. I put a dollar value between $10-13 an hour. We now have the Role of "Bar Area Cleaner" with a detailed playbook on how to do it.
You can do this with every task in your gym. Leave no task undocumented. By doing this you have just created multiple Roles in your business and exactly how to do them. You can then begin hiring them out with the best candidate and you have a playbook for your entire operations.
Having the Roles and Tasks spelled out also helps with staff contracts and lets employees know they are doing their job correctly. Furthermore, this makes performance reviews clear cut.
If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out.