Running a group fitness business is just about the best business out there you can run…
Except when it comes to taking time off.
Group fitness and personal training involves quite a… personal experience. The reason people love training with you is because of how you show up for them in the sessions you do with them. They exercise because of the accountability and support you give them and because they like you.
So taking time off to go on holiday can seem risky and selfish.
Risky because we fear that clients will find someone else to train with while we are away and selfish because we feel like we are letting down our clients by going away.
I’m here with some good news for you today. Both of those reasons are B.S.
People respect people who take care of themselves. Taking time off is taking care of yourself. Plus, you will returned recharged and re-energized to your business which will lead to more enjoyment, fresh ideas and clients that feel well looked after.
Taking time out and space from your business for periods of time through out the year is actually one of the BEST things you can do for your business long term.
Think about it. Business changing ideas don’t happen as you are rushing to get ready for your AM bootcamp session. They also don’t happen when you sit in front of your laptop and try to will them into existence.
Great ideas happen when you take a hike on holiday. Or when you are sitting watching a sunset come down over the ocean. Or walking through the vibrant, bustling back alleys of a new city.
Great ideas and energy come when you make space for them to come.
Ways To Take Time Off Without Killing Your Business
Convinced that taking time of is a good idea? Great.
Before we get into the how, there is one thing you need to let go of. You need to let go of the idea that your clients are all going to leave the minute you take your eye off them.
That is an awful way to live, not giving yourself what you need because of fear. You had the courage to start this business, you can find the courage to take time off too.
Instead of fearing what might happen, I want you to realise that people actually do want to see you succeed and that you can do this. Your clients know that by you taking time off you are going to be able to serve them better.
There are three good options:
1. Have a trainer cover your sessions
1a. An assistant
Many trainers shy away from having an assistant trainer because of the costs. For me, the benefits of an assistant trainer far outweigh the costs. Having a second trainer increases the quality of your workouts, it broadens the types of workouts you can do and, when you want to go on holiday, you have someone who knows your clients, your training style and is available to cover your sessions. This is the option I took when going away.
1b. Swap with another local trainer
In my 31 Days to a Better Bootcamp Business course I get trainers to reach out to other local trainers. If you can develop a relationship where you cover each other’s sessions when you take time off then you are sorted. Don’t stress about clients leaving you for the other trainer because A) they aren’t your property and B) the mental benefits you will get from taking time off are worth losing a client or two.
2. Give Homework
If you decide that you don’t want to have anyone cover your sessions or you can’t find anyone but you don’t want your clients to stop training, this option might work for you.
While you are away, shutdown your sessions but email out a series of that clients can do at home or that they can still meet and do together for the period of time you are gone. The clients that want to keep training can, the clients that don’t can take a little time off.
3. Just Shut Down
This is the other option I took when I went away, especially over the Christmas and New Years period. In this option just stop your sessions while you are taking time off. Don’t run any make up periods, don’t send out any homework. Everyone takes a break.
The holiday season is so busy anyway that you will find your numbers very low around this time of year. Clients who swear they will come will have stuff come up and they won’t be able to make it. Take control of the situation, lead by giving everyone permission to take time off and then just do that.
What do you do?
I’m really interested, what do you do when you take time off? Maybe your experience can help other trainers who are not sure which option to take.
Share with us in the comments below.