How many of us have simple goals for our business? We just want to have enough consistent, regular clients so that we can make enough money to support ourselves and our families. Oh, and it would be nice if we didn’t have to work 60 hour weeks to do that.
Yet despite being our own boss and having lots of freedom, many of us either find ourselves not being able to find the time to grow the business to that point or we put in too much, ineffective time and get burnt out with little to show for it.
Take myself for example. Early in my fitness career I worked as a contractor for FOUR different businesses. I spent hours driving all over town and some weeks it was a struggle to get money together for rent and groceries. Forget about having any savings. It wasn’t until I started putting smarter energy into growing my group fitness sessions that I was really able to start to get ahead, both time wise and money wise.
It’s not all about money, I know. For me, once I had enough money coming in to not worry about it, it was all about working smarter (as in less) and making sure I was helping people. The less I worked – the less burnt out I was – the better and more thoughtful of a trainer I was and that helped me grow my bootcamp to just shy of 100 members.
I also had more time to spend with my friends, to go on impromptu trips to the beach and to work on other projects (like BootcampIdeas.com) which in turn opened up a whole bunch of new opportunities and adventures.
I don’t say this to brag or toot my own horn. I just want to share with you that it is possible to run your own fitness business, to make money and to have a life.
In this article I want to share with you how you might be able to do the same.
What not to do
Before we get into what to do, I want to address some things I see other trainers do (myself included) that don’t work.
1. Focusing on trying to get new clients instead of keeping old clients
I feel like this is not our fault. Big franchise gyms have been doing this for years, of course when we are new to the industry we would focus on this. What often ends up happening though is Leaky Cup Syndrome (LCS) where we add more clients at the top, but just as many fall out the bottom. This can be fixed!
2. Playing it safe by using the same style of workout
Your workouts are the tool to helping your clients achieve their goals. You can either make them fun or tedious. If you want to keep your clients coming back, you need a big variety of well thought out, interesting workouts.
3. We pride ourselves too much on our bootstrapping skills
There is no business quite like a bootcamp for bootstrapping. Provided you are qualified, insured and have a group of people, you can go out and start one for zero dollars! There comes a time though when we need to start investing in ourselves and our business to keeping it growing. I can distinctly remember the shift in my business after attending my first Bootcamp Instructor course. The successful trainers I meet all have this one thing in common, they smartly spend money on getting better. Brush that dust out of your wallet!
4. We ask the right questions at the wrong time
What times should I run my bootcamp? Where should I run it? How can I get more clients? How can I get my clients to be more regular? Should I use a membership model or class passes? These are good questions but if we are struggling to answer them, we are asking them at the wrong time. These questions should be easy to answer, but only if you’ve done first things first.
5. Try to sabotage their competition
I don’t think I really need to explain why this is a bad idea. We are all in this together, we all have the same goal, let’s just work together OK?
Some Tips For Improving Your Fitness Business
Improving your fitness business does not have to be hard. It can be scary, it can require some hustle, yes, but it can also be fun, rewarding and a lifetime source of great memories.
Here are some ways you can get the fitness biz you want:
1. Find out what your clients really want
If you can find out what your clients really want and why they train with you, it will make any decisions you have to make on your business so much easier and intentional. The best way to do this? Just ask them.
2. Work on yourself
Unless you own a franchise of fitness businesses, you are probably still the figurehead of your business. Therefore, any work you do (or don’t do) on yourself will directly impact your business. Want to bring new energy into your business? Go do a new course. Or read a new book or go on regular holidays (Yes, really!).
3. Come up for air
Sometimes we get so caught up in the little details of our business that we completely lose sight of the bigger picture. I know it sounds cliche but I find myself doing this all the time. Take a step back and reassess things. Why do you train people? What do you want to get out of it?
4. Be different, stand out
This point comes up a lot with new fitness business owners. How can I be different from my competition? If you don’t already know, this really comes back to point number 2. You need to do a lot of work and self-discovery to get through the limitations we put on ourselves. I know that doesn’t really help you right now, so while you are working on that I have one golden way you can stand out. Make your point of difference the way you care. Care for your clients in the way only you can. Care more then any other fitness business. And remember to show it too! This simple thing will pay dividends.
5. You don’t have to do it alone
OK lone wolf, it’s time you joined a pack. Being a small business owner can be really lonely. You really want someone to be able to bounce ideas off of or ask for their experience on a problem you are having. Having some people in your corner who understand why you do what you do and what you want from it makes a huge difference.
Help With Running a Great Fitness Business
If you would like to join a community of like minded trainers and get daily step by step tasks to work on your business then join us for 31 Days to a Better Bootcamp Business live.
Next Wednesday we are going LIVE which means I’ll be posting extra content for each day of the course in our private Facebook group. This way you get the most support from me and the most insight from other trainers who are completing and have completed the 31-day challenge.
All you have to do is register your spot before Tuesday night (July 21st, 2015).
Join The Tribe
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You will get our weekly podcast emailed to you along with extra freebies we include with episodes some times.