Hey there Super Trainers, hope you’re killing it with your fitness business.
I wanted to share a bit about my business, how its been running the past year and where it will be going in the coming year.
Hopefully this will give you some insight on how to plan your business and your own goals as well.
A year ago today I was still employed by a corporate gym. I was definitely on the way out and only had a few clients left there, but my own business wasn’t providing enough income to completely cut the cord.
Today I own a 3,500 sq ft facility in a prime location; I have 4 Darien Personal Trainers, an assistant, just under 30 training clients and just under 70 Darien bootcamp clients. Not the biggest list of clientele, but hey … we’re just getting started!
Its been a helluva journey and a real busy year, but I wanted to share some of the key takeaways on how I’ve arrived where I am today and where I will direct my business in the coming months.
It took me quite a while to be able to be ready to leave the corporate gym and be 100% dependent on my skills to provide a living for my wife and myself. Being safe about it can only take you so far though, so when you are ready don’t keep incrementally tip-toeing towards your goal. Make the plunge and give it hell!
This goes for everything in life: If people have unequal expectations of a situation someone will be upset before long. Have a girlfriend and don’t want things to be serious? She better not be thinking about kids. Have a trainer you are interviewing and expect them to bring the ruckus? They better not think being a rep counting clipboard jockey is enough. Get what I’m saying? Once you have employees and want things done a certain way you better make sure that everything you tell them is 100% clear and they understand exactly what you mean. Never leave anything to assumption.
You can be the best gym in the world, but if the gym is empty then you’re out of business pretty damn quick! You need heads in the door and you need to be everywhere in order to for that to happen. If you’re only advertising online then start getting an offline presence as well. Do you have a referral system in place? Your highest converting leads will come from existing clients, you have to be able to foster these leads. Do you have a marketing calendar? Do you have a system in place for a standard promotion? Have you looked into mobile marketing? This can go on and on, but in order to survive in the long term you must have effective and diverse marketing systems in place.
If you have a kickass assistant that handles everything and does an awesome job at keeping your clients happy then congrats, you’re at his/her mercy and probably screwed if they get sick/go on vacation/find a better job/move away/etc. People like Zach “supa fly” Hunt and Jonas “honey badger” Deffes have some of the best systems in place and I always pay attention whenever they have information posted. Do you have a closing script? Do you have a follow up schedule for new clients? Past clients? Those on trials? Is it scripted? Is there a guide to enter information in your marketing systems? The best way to get systems in place is to make manuals and scripts, step-by-step guides that will allow anyone with basic reading skills to be able to accomplish whatever task it is. Just remember, if you rely on people they are in control, if you rely on systems you are in control.
This goes without saying. If you aren’t the best option in the area then you will be exposed for that. No matter how great your marketing is, no matter what kind of awesome systems you have in place, you need to over deliver on your promises and treat your clients like royalty. If you don’t someone else will.
It goes without saying that my coaching with Sam has been a huge part of the success I have found this year. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel and do things all yourself. It is infinitely easier to emulate (and when appropriate, modify) the systems of others and put them to work in your own business. The best way to become one of the top businesses in the fitness industry is associate with others who are currently at the top and learn from them.
Those are just a few of the tips and lessons that I have learned from this year. I know that Sam has a really educated crowd reading this blog so none of this is likely ground breaking, but its not having access to uncommon information that makes you a success (sorry, there aren’t any secrets!), it’s the uncommon application of information that builds true successful entrepreneurs.
So take a moment and reflect on each of these 6 points and see where your business is doing great and where it can use improvements. If you take a few minutes to review your different marketing methods or your current manuals and you find a couple ways to improve them then this article can add hundreds or thousands to your bottom line each month.
Speaking of which, my next article will be about the current state of my business, where I plan to be in the next few months and how I plan to get there.
If this helped you at all then leave a comment or Sam will call you out on having a rude mama or something…