As a fitness professional, you are a world changer. You do some of the most important work on the face of the earth; you create happy and healthy by helping people move better, perform better, look better, and probably most importantly, feel better. You are a superstar.
But, you say, if the work I do is so important and so many people need it, why am I struggling to get ahead? Why aren’t I making what I am worth? Why can’t I seem to attract the people who need me into my business? Why do more sales never seem to add up to more money in my bank account? I love what I do, but all this “stuff” always just seems to get in the way.
I get it, because I have been there. The good news is all these questions and all these current challenges you are facing absolutely have answers and are solvable. But be prepared to do the work. There are many parallels between Physical Fitness and Fiscal Fitness.
Imagine your clients who want to lose weight or get stronger. They aren’t going to lose 50 pounds of body fat or gain 100 pounds on their bench press in a month. And just like them, it’s going to take you time and effort to build the business of your dreams.
Let’s take a look at what five successful fitness business entrepreneurs and coaches who know what it takes to build a “Fiscally Fit” business have to say about it.
The Top 5 Tips to Fiscal Fitness
Tip 1: Learn How To Scale and Build A Team
Doug Spurling, President and Founder of Spurling Fitness, and author of “One Percent Better” knows the power of building a great team. “If you are a one man or woman operation you are always going to be capped at how much you can make, because you’re trading time for money” he explains. “In order to scale and make more, you have to build a really solid team.”
Spurling outlines his 3-step approach:
- Get clear on your vision. How big of a business do you want? How many team members? Biggest is not always better, and there’s no right answer but we need to know that first.
- Hire people that complement each other. Don’t hire a bunch of duplicates of you. Become very clear on what your unique abilities are and hire the areas that are not those.
- Be a student of leadership. Building your team, leading your team, is all about giving them the support they need and being seen more as a “mentor” and not a boss.
Doing this allows you to be tied to the business, it allows you to scale your time, make more money, and have more personal freedom.
Tip 2: Learn How To Be An Effective Marketer
Ryan Ketchum is the Executive Director of Fitness Revolution, whose company specializes in Strategic Business Coaching and helping fitness pros become better trainers and business owners.
Ketchum sees the number one challenge preventing fitness business owners from making more money as effective marketing, and an overall marketing strategy.
Ketchum analyzes the problem this way. “There’s a wide range of issues revolving around marketing that I see, and it’s not just for beginner fit business owners. Specifically, fitness business owners don’t have a strategic marketing plan that they can use to bring in new leads and then scale their marketing efforts when needed.” He then points out the problem. “Instead of a calculated approach to marketing, many fitness business owners perform random acts of marketing when they have time or when they think about it.”
Ketchum advises the strategic marketing plan be comprised of the following elements; Identifying your Ideal client, Identifying and communicating what makes your fitness business different, simplifying your marketing message, and a marketing calendar.
“Marketing cannot be treated as a side project in your business.” Ketchum warns. “It needs to exist as one of your responsibilities as a fitness business owner, with time dedicated every day to market.”
Tip 3: Track Your Numbers
Mark Fisher operates his ultra-successful “Ninja Clubhouse”, Mark Fisher Fitness, in one of the most competitive environments in the world, New York City.
Fisher says that tracking your numbers is the best way to know why or why not you are making the profit you want.
“If you don’t have some kind of dashboard and you’re just looking at how much money you have in the bank, you don’t know where the issues are. Is it not enough top-of-funnel leads? Is the sales process wonky? Are people signing up but leaving because your services are subpar? Are you simply spending too much of the money coming in?” He goes on to say “A related point is that if you’re not tracking, you don’t know if you’re off-track on any of your target numbers until it’s too late.”
Fisher advises to keep it simple. “Just start tracking something. Pick 5-8 numbers, put them in a spreadsheet, and figure out how to track them on a weekly basis.”
Tip 4: Don’t Focus Solely on Facebook
Michael Keeler created “Business for Unicorns” with Fisher in 2016. Michael is a Certified Life and Business Coach, works with many of the leading fitness studios in the US and UK, and counts among his clients Sony Music and Sylvan Learning.
Keeler sees the number one challenge holding fitness business owners back from making more money as “the belief that Facebook is the holy grail of lead generation.”
He says that while some people can find great success with advertising on social media, “for brick and mortar studio owners Facebook marketing is not the only option” and encourages them to “invest in other lead generation strategies like client referrals programs, community workshops, business partnerships, and local advertising”, which he helps them do through his coaching.
Implementing even one of the tips above is a sure-fire way to create and increase cash flow into your business, and when properly managed, increased cash flow will equal increased profits. Which leads me right into Tip #5.
Tip 5: Get Clarity by Using A Cash Management System
When I owned Get Fit NH the number one benefit we saw from putting a cash management system into our business (Profit First is what we adopted and use) was clarity.
Why is this important?
Because nothing gives me more peace of mind and the ability to sleep at night than by knowing where your cash is and how it is being used, any time and at all times.
Here’s what implementing a good cash management system does:
- Let’s you know at a glance how much money you have and where it’s going.
- Ensures you have enough money set aside to pay taxes
- Allows you to pay yourself what you are worth and feel good about it.
- Provides a system for keeping your operating expenses in check.
- Builds in an action plan to get and stay out of debt.
- Establishes permanent profitability from day one.
Creating a more profitable business is not magic, any more than weight loss or strength training is. You are skilled at identifying the gaps in your client’s nutrition and training plans, then implementing a system to fill in those gaps so they can reach their goal.
Start building your “fiscal fitness” by carefully evaluating these five tips and choosing just one to implement in your business. Again, it’s like your weight loss client. You wouldn’t tell him five things to do at once, you would work on one habit at a time. Once that skill is built, you move on and layer the next highest priority in.
And remember, nothing happens unless you take action. Open your mind to the possibility that you can and will be more profitable; permanently profitable, and then do something about it. The world needs you to succeed, so let’s make it happen!
Dean Carlson is a certified Profit First Professional and in 2016 founded Fit For Profit, providing fitness business owners with the coaching and tools they need to manage their cash easily and keep more of their hard earned money. His experience as a gym owner came full circle in 2018 when he sold his award-winning gym Get Fit NH for seven-figures. He is passionate about helping fitness entrepreneurs stop worrying about finances and start building the business of their dreams.