Fitness Business Tip

Occasionally people ask me if I can offer an effective business tip that will help them run their fitness businesses more effectively.  I think the most important tip is to maintain a close relationship with every client, whether you do one-on-one personal training, or you run a series of boot camps.

Honestly though, there isn’t just one tip I can offer unless I know you and your business really well. I’ve seen a lot of people make mistakes from which they’ve been able to recover, and others who made a similar business blunder that has led to bankruptcy. It’s all down to your attitude, and the goals you’ve set for your fitness business plan.

Planning and Goal Setting

Insufficient planning can cause enormous problems. If you boil down to its basics, then it looks pretty simple: you get clients and they pay for your services. But how do you get those clients? How much do you charge? How much do you need to earn to have a decent lifestyle? Where do you want your business to be in five years time? Do you want to do personal or group training, or would you like to maximize your earnings by running regular boot camps?

You have to know the answers to all these questions before you can even get started. Goal setting is also very important because without goals your business will stagnate.

Give People What They Want

Say you’ve decided that you want to run boot camps. What kind of people are you aiming to attract? Now we get into marketing and if you’re in the early stages of planning a series of boot camps you’re going to have to know exactly where you’ll find your clients. That means advertising, marketing, and promotion and knowing exactly where your potential clients hang out.

I’ll give you a good tip about marketing - you definitely don’t get what you pay for, and in fact on of the most effective way to get referrals is by doing things for free. That includes networking with other local business owners, working with local youth groups for example. and offering to talk at events - in other words, getting your face and services known around town by building an excellent reputation. It will take an investment of time, but will give you a much better return than taking out an expensive full-page ad in an obscure glossy magazine.

You have to build personal relationships to be successful in the fitness industry and give people what they want, and you may have to diversify to be able to do that.  People think they want the latest “easy” way to lose weight and you’re well aware that many of these fads go out of style fast, so you can’t base your business on the latest trend.

People want to lose weight and stay fit, so you’re ultimately going to give them what they want but using your own techniques. This is why building trust is so important. You should never tell anybody that’s’s 200 pounds overweight it’s going to be easy to slim down, unless you recommend gastric bypass surgery. Therefore, you always have to be honest. People will respect you for that, although many won’t want to face the truth.

Success Means Hard Work

Ask any successful small business owner what it takes, and I guarantee every one will tell you, hard work. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling fitness or fruit the basics are the same. Find the right location, come up with an effective marketing plan, and roll up your sleeves.

One unique aspect of owning any fitness business is that you’re a walking billboard, so you have to stay in shape. The guy who owns the fruit shop doesn’t have to be seen walking around eating oranges all day!

One of the first and most important things you must include in your business plan is time for yourself and your family. You have to stay healthy physically and mentally because you must always have to have a positive attitude towards your work.

Marketing Tips

Getting your first clients through the door is going to be a challenge and I’m not talking about the ones that followed you from another facility, I mean brand new faces. Finding the best places to market your business is going to be difficult. You can waste hours on FaceBook and get thousands of friends, but if none of them live in your area then it’s pretty much a waste of time. Flyers are generally ineffective, and newspaper ads are equally ineffective and expensive. So what to do?

There are thousands of people in your area who need to lose weight and want to get fit – it’s not like you’re trying to sell Rolls-Royces! Your market is there, and the most effective ways to grow your client base is to treat each person that comes through your door like she or he is special. Find out exactly what their objectives are and do everything within your power to help her reach her goals.

When anyone she knows says how good she’s looking, she’s going to talk about you, and there’s a referral.

Don’t even worry that there are dozens of other fitness businesses in your immediate area. Take the time to understand why some are successful, while others fail. Take notes and figure out a way to make your business more successful than any of them. Build a reputation for excellence and that alone will put you ahead of the rest.

If your client refers a friend, reward her. It costs a lot of money to get referrals through conventional advertising and if your clients know they can earn a free session or valuable rewards by referring others, it’s extremely cost effective.

Get out into your local community, join local business groups, and become an active member. Face-to-face networking with local, successful, like-minded people is more productive and more enjoyable than interacting with dozens of people you’ll never meet on FaceBook and Twitter. Spend your time with successful people, who earn what you want to earn, and you will pick up dozens of tips and consequently set high standards.

Your Business is a Job

Owning your own business means you’re responsible for everything. Be on time, always have a positive attitude, and go the extra mile if necessary. You will have problem clients; listen to them, they may have valid concerns, or even suggestions for making your business better. Not everything is going to be easy, and as a business owner, you will be chief problem-solver.

When it comes down to what you’re actually earning, concentrate on keeping as much as you possibly can, although initially you will probably want to reinvest profits back into your business. Schedule your time effectively, and understand which areas of your business are the most profitable and least time-consuming and concentrate on those.

Organize your days and weeks effectively so you’re not always stressed out. Delegate the things you’re not good at, or you hate doing. Someone else can do all bookkeeping, social media activity, and cleaning.

Take time off and get away from your business regularly for some R&R, you’ll find it much easier to motivate yourself and get things done on time. If you start a project, finish it, and monitor the results carefully.

Owning your own business should be fun and rewarding, and it will be if you understand success comes from hard work and happy clients.

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