Championship Personal Training Part II… Fitness Business Planning

ID-10083406This blog is dedicated to fitness trainers and coaches, and those who want to perform their best in business and work.

By now, you know my philosophy: The business of fitness training should be viewed as a sport. You must WORK like an athlete to maximize profitability and find genuine satisfaction.

In the end, your purpose is help others build strength, lose fat, and most importantly, feel better about themselves. Now with that said, let’s talk about how your business can do the same!

It begins with the realization that you can build a lucrative career IF you remember that “you own it,” even if you work for somebody else.

Success is totally up to you. Like an athlete, you must have focus and discipline to manage the details. You have to stay on top of the high expectations that hopefully you, your team members and clients have of your services.


— How much am I willing to work?  Seriously, are you a “grinder” or not?
— What stops me from putting in the time?
— How many clients can I bring maniacal focus to each day, week, or month?
— What income do I need to support my lifestyle? What income do I want?
— Do I prefer one-on-one, small group and/or large group training programs?
— Should I offer discounted packages, monthly EFT, or annual commitments?

The fitness pros of today know that training no longer has to be a part-time profession. But like an athlete, you must have a game plan to be successful at it. And if you have plenty of training knowledge, but limited business skills, you must improve upon them immediately.

Building a detailed business plan is a workshop in itself, so I’m going to keep this easy and break it down to just a few steps for those who have the necessary fitness credentials, and are ready to rock:

— Define business goals, develop strategies and set deadlines to achieve them.
— Keep your eye on the scoreboard. Track your KPI’s: Key Performance Indicators.
— Gauge how you’re actually performing vs. your goals.
— Communicate results with your team or managers.
— Share enthusiasm as a member or leader of the team.
— Learn about branding and get clear what you want to be known for.
— Find a professional marketer to help you devise a plan of outreach.
— Inquire about sales systems that other successful trainers have in place.
— Define who your perfect clients are and learn how to actively market to that kind of person.

Next up… Branding, Marketing and Selling for the Fitness PRO.

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Dominate the Competition Like a True Champ

Hood Pics3Today’s competition in the fitness business is fierce. Some small gym operators are even chanting the phrase, “Death to the Big Box Club.”

Personally, I don’t subscribe to that and I don’t like it either.  Instead, do what you do and do what you do… better.  Shouldn’t we all be in this business to change and enhance lives?

I’ve been leading big boxes for a long time, but what made our clubs successful against competition was the ability to push our Ego aside. We maintained passion for fitness and were constantly learning the best strategies and practices of those in our industry (including small gyms).

Admittedly, I’m not crazy about corporate policies, but I respect their structure and the systems. What I AM crazy about are small gym operators. Their energy, hunger and willingness to do what it takes in their given market is infectious. The ones who make it are to be celebrated and admired.

I also recognize there are some amazing big box operators, but many still don’t realize… what’s worked in the past and what’s working now, may not work in the future.

Here are the “5 Essential Es” to beat new competition and stay ahead of the fitness club curve:

1. Execution

The fitness industry is becoming much more sophisticated. Those who have the proper systems in place, simply need to execute their protocols day in and day out.  Do you have the discipline to do that?  Consistent execution represents quality and builds member loyalty. Do it and most of your valued members are sure to stay.

2. Exploitation

Let’s face it, many $10/month clubs have some of the same equipment as the $79/month club. So how do we separate our business from the others? Sit down with your key team members and find out as much as you can about your current and future competitors. What’s your unique point of difference? What do you want to be known for?  Sometimes it’s not what your facility has, it’s what you believe in and what you do to demonstrate it.

3. Excellence
We all know the value of raving customer fans. If your club is really successful at something, do you stop there? Of course not! You continue refine it, ask for feedback, and consistently make it better. On the flip side, we all could be better and usually there’s one department damaging the success or reputation of the business. Find it, fix or get rid of it. Demand excellence in everything that you do.

4. Employees

The best way to beat a new competitor is by having the right people who create a truly special culture, an exceptional social scene. Every hiring decision affects member retention. Your team is just as important as your leadership. Demand perfection and recognize their excellence. The longer your solid team members stay, so do your members. New competition hates that!

5. Educate

There is always a team member to train on service, operations (and even fitness). And there are always members seeking new ways to get healthier, feel stronger, look better and perform at a higher level. Good education breeds credibility. We’re in the fitness business to change lives. As masters of our craft, it is our duty to be a source of updated knowledge and information. The new competitor has a long way to go before they earn that… beat ’em to it!

Yes, competition forces us to get better, but remember like the big sports retail company says, “Protect Your House!”

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