I am just beginning to set up myself a gym. While I’ve coached all aspects of gymnastics for over 30 years, I have never owned my own gym in which I was the manager. I’m trying to figure out how to run a honest business in Way of Christ.
As the new owner of a Christian gymnastics school, I was determined to run my business according to the principles of honesty and fairness. But as I learned the ins and outs of running a business, I often found myself struggling to reconcile these principles with the harsh realities of the marketplace.
One morning, I had a chance to put my beliefs to the test when I brought my wife’s car to a local auto shop for an estimate on repairs. The first shop I visited immediately began asking for personal information to set up a customer file, but I declined, telling them I would provide the information if I decided to use their services. The salesman then told me that he could not give me an estimate without creating a file first. Disgusted, I left the shop and went next door to another auto shop.
The second shop was much different. The mechanic came out and gave me a quote for the repairs, and when I agreed to the price, the mechanic shook my hand and never asked for any personal information. As I drove home, I realized that the second shop had understood the true nature of the relationship between customer and business owner. In the first shop, they had viewed me as subservient to them, but in reality, the customer is always the boss.
I realized that this was a valuable lesson for me as I looked to run my gymnastics school. I knew that my customers were not just buying my skills and knowledge, but they were also buying my integrity and honesty. I decided that I would run my business in the same way that the second auto shop had, treating each customer with respect and fairness, and always striving to give them the best deal possible.