Club Insider

About Melissa Knowles

Melissa KnowlesMelissa Knowles

Melissa Knowles serves as Vice President of Gym HQ - A Division of ClubReady. With over a decade of industry experience, her knowledge spans many areas: strategic operations, development of staff training materials and programs, cost savings analysis, reporting development and implementation, fitness department overhaul, client retention systems and corporate management. She's especially well-versed in all operational and HR focused areas. Melissa is a graduate of the University of West Florida and holds an MS in Exercise Science and a BS in Sports Medicine.

Phone: (404) 921 - 2269
Email: mknowles@clubready.com

Previous Articles

Showing 1 - 17 of 17 Articles

About Our Authors

"Insider Speaks"
Back Office Traps


November 2015 - Probably the number one back-office trap we see a lot of fitness businesses making is failure to keep consistent and accurate financials. It's amazing how many businesses don't keep them at all! In this article, John Lewin, who has 30 years of experience, will share his top five financial musts. Some of these may seem obvious, but there is value in achieving the most basic of principles... Read Article...

10 Tax Time Tips for Your Fitness Business

April 2016 - Tax day (April 18th this year) has come and gone... and now's a great time to start the prep work for filing your business taxes for next year. As with all other aspects of your business, organization, proper planning and consistency are hugely important in making tax season as painless as possible. Read the 10 Tips that follow to ensure that next year's filing is smooth sailing... Read Article...

ACA Reporting Guidance For 2016

January 2016 - If you're panicking over the reports the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires your business to produce this month, you're not alone. We've received numerous questions over the past few months from clients and blog readers. In an effort to make the process easier, we've prepared the handy guide that follows. Read Article...

Achieving a Gold Medal in Customer Service

July 2016 - With the Olympic Games fast approaching, our attention will soon turn toward watching the world's best athletes compete. Those who are the best-of-the-best will walk away with gold medals. It's truly impressive to watch a performance at such an elite level. So much time and preparation has gone into just a few moments of competition. We respect the effort and marvel at the results. But, shouldn't we be striving for the same level of performance in our businesses? Don't our members deserve such a diligent effort and commitment to excellence? As you consider your commitment to providing an exceptional member experience, here are five factors to consider. Read Article...

Document! Document! Document!

May 2016 - If I have one phrase I utter more often than any other while navigating our wonderful business of fitness, it may well be some variation of: "Is it documented?" I get it; no one wants to take the time to write it all out. It's time consuming, and you could actually be doing it rather than writing it down. But, here's the thing: it's absolutely key to your long-term growth and success that anything essential to your business' operations or health be in writing. To get you started on your adventure into the world of proper record keeping, here are three areas in your fitness business where I consider proper documentation to be of paramount importance... Read Article...

Don't Go There: What NOT to Ask During a Job Interview

March 2017 - Recruiting and interviewing are among some of the toughest skills for many new hiring managers to acquire. Analyzing a candidate's ability to perform, the likelihood of them committing to the team for the long-term, as well as their fit within the company culture, all within the span of a 45-minute interview, is a challenge. A hiring manager should focus on developing a carefully curated list of questions for each position. These questions should seek to gather as much information as possible about the candidate. However, regardless of the position, there are some questions that are legally off limits. What follows are some areas in which an interviewer should tread very carefully, or not at all. Read Article...

Five Issues in Your Back Office That Need Your Attention As We Start this New Year!

January 2017 - Many of you may well be several weeks into your New Year's resolutions when you read this. Much like the start of a new year presents a good time to set new goals and work toward your best you, it also offers the opportunity to review your business, look for the gaps and work toward bridging them. Due to its complexity and direct impact on legal risk, a review of your human resources and pay practices is a great place to begin. We've gathered the top five areas in which we receive the most questions or have spent the most time coaching and have presented them here with appropriate comments that should help you as a club owner, general manager or back office staff member and others. Read Article...

Gearing Up for Government Hoops Such As ALE

November 2017 - As you gear up for year-end and all the important reporting requirement hoops through which you'll need to jump, now is the perfect time to start getting prepared for compliance in 2018! Time spent preparing now will make year-end 2018 a breeze. In the meantime, we still have 2017 to consider. First up, the Affordable Care Act. One of the biggest reporting and compliance demands comes courtesy of the ACA. As we head into Year Two of the full reporting requirements, one of the first items you'll need to determine is if your business qualifies as an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). Read Article...

Guide to Preparing for the FLSA Exempt Pay Changes
Month Two, Analyze Your Pay Plans


September 2016 - Last month, we began the process of preparing for the FLSA Exempt Pay changes, announced by the DOL in May, by looking at your workforce and their duties. You can find that article and additional articles on the change on Club Insider's website or our website (www.gymhq.club). This month, we continue our preparation for the upcoming December 1st due date for compliance with a look at employee compensation. Read Article...

How Much Are Your Unemployment Claims Costing You?

December 2015 - How you are handling your employee onboarding, management and termination procedures make a HUGE difference in your experience rating and how much you pay to the state each payroll. State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) is a cost of business, like Workers' Compensation or liability coverage. But, believe it or not, it's a cost that you as an owner have a great deal of control over. Your policies and procedures have a big impact on your experience rating and your bottom line. Read Article...

Is Your Independent Contractor Truly Independent?

February 2016 - One of the most egregious misclassifications I see frequently in our industry is the 1099 "employee." The fact that I hear many refer to their independent contractors as 1099 employees is a true sign that these employers are getting it wrong. You're either an independent contractor or you're an employee. These two classifications aren't intended to be blended. Read Article...

Seven MUSTS for a Healthy Draft

September 2017 - The monthly EFT draft is the lifeblood of most fitness businesses. You put in the work to grow your member base and achieve your business model's goal for recurring revenue. When you finally attain it, you breathe a little easier. The draft is there like a big blanket, keeping your business warm and cozy during the coldest nights. Or, as is generally the case in fitness, the slower sales months of summer. Something so precious to your business should always be top of mind. You should nurture it with new sales (obvious), mind your cancellations (still obvious) and ensure you have a good system in place to pick up missed monthly payments (totally obvious, right?). That last piece is where this article will focus. Read Article...

Talent: Hire From Without Or Look Within

March 2016 - Is it better to build from within or "buy" from the external job market? The answer is not absolute. To be successful, an owner will have to do both. It's about figuring out which conditions in which you build or buy. Here's a quick guide to follow when faced with your next hiring decision. Read Article...

Top 10 Mistakes Gym Owners Make

December 2016 - It's that time of year again! Time to look back on 2016, find opportunities for improvement and plan for a bigger, better 2017! We work with many operators who are doing some really exciting things. Some have gotten it nearly right from the get-go and others have learned from a few bumps along the way. Getting to be at the helm of the behind-the-scenes team here at Gym HQ as these businesses grow and prosper is a fun, fulfilling and exciting experience. Read Article...

What Do the New FLSA Exempt Pay Laws Mean for Fitness Business Owners?

June 2016 - Just when you thought that navigating the landscape of wage and hour laws was challenging enough, another mountain to climb has popped up on the horizon! On May 18th, the Department of Labor announced major changes to the standard salary level for employees classified as exempt. Under this new ruling, the salary threshold increases to $913/week ($47,476 per year) from $455/week ($23,660 per year). It was also announced that the DOL intends to automatically update the threshold every three years to adjust it to scale with exempt wage earners in the 40th percentile of the region with the poorest salary demographics (currently the south). Read Article...

What Do the New FLSA Exempt Pay Laws Mean for Fitness Business Owners?
A Month-By-Month Guide to Help Clubs Prepare for Coming Changes - Part I


August 2016 - Over two months have passed since the Department of Labor announced the changes to the salary level for employees classified as exempt, and we're still getting a ton of questions on what the changes mean for fitness business owners. Over the next several months, we'll give you a few tasks on which to focus each month so you'll be prepared for the December 1, 2016 launch. August: Analyze Your Current Workforce Read Article...

What Is Your Company Culture?

June 2017 - Culture is something we talk about quite frequently here at GYM HQ. When we founded the company, it was very important to us that we always remain a place our employees looked forward to working, a place where they felt appreciated, supported and invested in. We wanted them to see our vision and care about the mission we were on as much as we did. Over the last several years, as our client portfolio has expanded, we've seen our team grow from five to 40 (with new team members being added monthly)! The growth has been exciting and challenging. Read Article...

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