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101 Fitness Business Tips

 

 Fitness Business Tips By Pat Rigsby

 

With Thanksgiving coming in just a couple of days I wanted to start off by say Thank You for being part of the FBI Community.  Nick, myself, all of our Team Members and our families are thankful that you choose us to help you build the type of fitness business you want.

I’ll be enjoying the week with my family at Disney World, but before I headed off I wanted to give you some fitness business tips that I think you’ll not only enjoy but will dramatically improve your business if you apply them.

So read the list through.  Then read it again.  Print it and post it in your office, because if you put these into action I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the results.

Here are your 101 Fitness Business Tips:

  1. You get paid for done.
  2. Handling adversity often is the difference between success and failure.  You will get knocked down.  You will get humbled.  What you do after that happens will determine how high you climb.
  3.  An idea by itself is almost worthless. It’s how you execute that matters. Focus on execution.
  4. Sell people what they want.  Then give them what they need.
  5. Use surveys to learn who your clients and prospects really are and what they really want.
  6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Have more than one profit center and more than one lead source. If you rely too heavily on something Deal of the Day sites for leads, if it dries up your business dries up with it.
  7. Best beats first. You may not have been the first bootcamp in your market or the first sports training facility.  It doesn’t matter as long as you commit to being the best.
  8. Success without work is a lie.  Doesn’t happen.  Ever. If you’re starting out, assume that the path to beating the competition requires you to work harder and be better if you want to win.
  9. Define your goals – Be clear on what you want. From big picture goals like earning $250,000 per year to daily goals like getting two new leads or one new client. The more specific the better.
  10. If it’s important – track it.  Leads, trials, closed sales, lifetime value. If you don’t track it you can’t improve it.
  11. Make it easy to experience what you have to offer.  Free trials.  Low cost trials.  If you are committed to being better than the competition then your best selling tool is the actual experience of what you have to offer.
  12. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve gotten a follow-up letter or card or call from anybody I’ve spent money with over the past year.  It just never happens. And this was the best kind: thank you + sales pitch. There’s a very simple formula for you. Send thank you cards and make an offer or ask for a referral.
  13. At whatever point(s) you have one on one contact with clients in your business, there ought to be an upsell or a request for a referral… unless you already make too much money.
  14. Know who you are and who you’re really trying to serve. Sam Adams beer has a fascinating story.  They tell people right out of the gate ‘We’re not a beginner’s beer.’ Perfect.  They’re not for the masses.  People aspire to get beyond being a beginner.  Kinda like the trainers we work with vs health clubs. Not that our people won’t help beginners – but they’re not for tire kickers or gimmick seekers.  They’re for people who are serious about getting results and willing to do the work. Big box health clubs – they couldn’t care less.
  15. You want better clients that refer more?  Educate them.  Hold workshops like crazy.  The ones who ‘buy in’ will become your biggest advocates.
  16. If I were starting out, I’d be sure to narrow what I’m known for or at least build a business-within-my-business that is very specialized.  It’s the easiest way to become a market leader.
  17. Time is life. We all have less of it today that we did yesterday. So quit wasting days doing things that aren’t getting you closer to where you want to be.  Otherwise you’ll look up and a decade will have passed and it will be even harder to make big changes.
  18. At least weekly I get asked variations of this question: “How do I get to 100 campers / $10,000 a month / 50 semi-private clients?” The answer is this: “Get one today.  Get another tomorrow. Get another the day after that.”  That is the best answer no one wants to hear.  They’d rather spend the next 3 months looking for a magic way to get 100 campers than simply get one a day for those same 3 months.  Which do you think will work better?
  19. On that same note – you have 2 jobs and 2 jobs only: 1. Deliver a GREAT experience. 2. Make sure that EVERY DAY more people to try your experience.  Do those 2 things daily and you’ll be all set.
  20. One of the biggest reasons people fail is poor follow-through. They don’t get things done.  It doesn’t take much to be an ‘idea guy’ or start something.  But only what you finish matters.
  21. Another reason people don’t reach their goals is that there is an absence of value in what they offer in their fitness business.  They get so caught up in the marketing or selling of their services or product – but they forget that long-term relationships come by delivering extraordinary value. These are the people we often call ‘slimeballs.’
  22. Don’t worry about the market being saturated.  There is always room for someone to come in and be great… but the market never needs more average providers.
  23. Along those same lines, I only had a couple great college professors – and one of them really stood out.  He told me that ‘you can become a millionaire by doing anything… as long as you’re willing to be better than everyone else at it.’  I agree 100%, but most people won’t do what it takes to be better than everyone else.  That’s your opportunity.
  24. Set deadlines for everything.  If you treat every work day like you’re going on vacation tomorrow – imagine how productive you’d be.
  25. You should always remember- you are not just getting paid for the workout you provide. You are getting paid for the relationship the client has with you or feels they have with you and your business and with that relationship comes responsibility. You need to remember who’s signing your paycheck, and what they are really paying you for.
  26. Success isn’t hard – You just have to find ways to organize, discipline and motivate yourself to get more done, faster. Not more started. More done.
  27. Remember this Dan Kennedy phrase: “Why should your prospect choose to do business with you vs. any and every other option available to them?”
  28. Break out of the fitness industry norms – the majority is almost always wrong and are always behind.
  29. Recycle what you do. Deliver the same content in different formats. Fitness coaching programs, infoproducts, Bootcamps to Go – they’re all the same stuff packages in different formats.
  30. Small hinges swing big doors. A few small, but strategic changes can make big differences to the bottom line.
  31. A different way to look at your market is to find price gaps instead of pricing the way everyone else does.  If you can get a health club membership for $39, a bootcamp membership for $199 and 1 on 1 personal training for $500 – the gaps are $99 and $299-399.  What can you offer there?
  32. Joining the Chamber of Commerce is like joining a gym.  Most will do nothing with their membership, but if you take advantage of everything they offer it can be a huge difference maker.
  33. If you have no money – knock on doors, hustle, network and make something happen every day. Roll up your sleeves and go to work. You can overcome a lack of money with an abundance of hustle in most areas.
  34. Successful people have a sense of urgency. Procrastination is not acceptable.
  35. If you accept mediocrity you will get more. Mediocrity only exists if you tolerate it.
  36. People mess up JV’s and referrals by not making it easy for others to help us.  Help them help you. Do as much as possible of the work for them and you’ll get 10X the results.
  37. Are you the first person in your market that people think of when it comes to what you do? If not – get better, re-define what you do or tighten down your niche.
  38. The quickest way to make more money is to sell more to your current clients.  Supplements, Workshops, Weight Management, Higher Priced Coaching, etc.
  39. You decide.  You decide how people view you and your fitness business.  What hours you’ll work.  How you live your life. If you don’t decide, they’ll decide for you.
  40. There is hidden opportunity in every business.  Three easy ones are upsells from your basic programs, downsells for people who don’t buy and reactivation of previous clients.  It’s money that’s just sitting there waiting for you to grab it.
  41. Associate with like-minded, successful people.  It’s often said that your income is the average of the 5 people’s income you’re around most – so don’t hang out with slackers.
  42. If most people realized that they had all the same skills (often better) as the top earning trainers in the field there would be a LOT more six-figure earners in our industry.
  43. A big obstacle to success is distraction. Turn off the email and TV and work on your business.
  44. Always have a higher priced option. There are a certain percentage of people in every market who will pay top price.
  45. You need to work on you as much as you work on your business.
  46. It’s not what you make – it’s what you keep.  Focus on improving your net profits, not just your gross revenues.
  47. Organize your day the night before and make sure you block time for everything that is important to you.  Working on your business gets time.  Networking gets time.  Family gets time.  Self improvement gets time.  If you don’t schedule it you’ll find yourself putting it off.
  48. A lot of success is born out of a hatred of losing. As a coach I enjoyed winning but I HATED losing.
  49. Recognition and rewards are great motivators. Use them often.
  50. Successful people are always growing. Success is never stagnant.
  51. Business should be fun. What don’t I like about what I do?  Being away from family when we’re on the road – but other than that…nothing.  Why do something that sucks?  Enjoy your work – if you don’t, find new work.
  52. People are pretty predictable in what they’ll buy. Watch infomercials about fitness or fat loss. They want results fast. They buy based on emotion. Testimonials are more powerful than about anything else you can share. You have to meet people where they are and once you have them you can educate them on what they really need.
  53. You can’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. Don’t be afraid to transform your business model to better serve the market, to better position yourself against the competition or to better apply what you’ve learned along the way to take advantage of a new or different opportunity. Just think about Domino’s Pizza as an example – they’ve built their entire business on fast, inexpensive pizza until recently. Now they’ve made a new commitment to delivering a higher quality pizza and have spent a lot of time and money trying to reposition themselves as a higher quality provider. So far the results have been good for them with sales up 12% over last year.
  54. There’s power in creating a community. If you can create a community it will improve retention, generate referrals and provide opportunities. Plus it’s just a more enjoyable environment to work in.
  55. Nothing beats being around a group of like minded, motivated fellow entrepreneurs. Do it at least a couple times per year.
  56. Every Offer Doesn’t Need To Be Accepted – You don’t have to answer the door just because someone knocks.  You don’t need to answer the phone whenever it rings and you don’t need to respond to every email the minute it hits your inbox.
  57. Taking that a step further – not every opportunity presented to you needs to be accepted.  Just because it has some potential upside doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you right now. There will always be people knocking, calling, emailing and offering – and all of them will be asking you for your time.  Just because they ask doesn’t mean you need to accept.
  58. Plan Ahead – The most important time management strategy I employ is planning out every day the evening prior.  If you don’t plan out what you need to accomplish you’re leaving the day to chance and you’ll likely be allowing everyone else decide how you spend your time. Not good.
  59. Get Help – Every day there are low return activities that you do and there are high return activities.Here’s how I’d quantify each for the purposes of this post:Low Return Activities:
    • Activities that could be outsourced for significantly less than your hourly worth. If you can make $75 per hour training or can generate $1200 worth of new business public speaking – then you can certainly delegate $8 an hour work to free up your time.
    • Activities you don’t enjoy at all.  If you really don’t enjoy some facet of your personal trainers business, find someone who can do it effectively.
    • Activities you are bad at.  If you’re bad on the phone – outsource Business of the Month calls & confirmation calls.

 

High Return Activities:

  • Activities that generate significant revenue – close to or exceeding your hourly worth. Most marketing activities, sales, delivering service, program design, retention work, etc.
  • Activities you enjoy. If you enjoy mowing your lawn, mow it.  Doesn’t really matter if you could earn more doing something else if it really makes you happy.
  • Activities you’re best suited for.  If you’re the best person at program design in your business or the best salesperson – those should be among the last things you delegate.

Delegate the lower skill activities first. You don’t have to spend a lot to start delegating.  Offer a few hours to a client or a camper that would like to earn some extra money or train for free.  Then your job is simple – you need to more than make up for the money you’re spending delegating with the new time you’ve freed up.

  1. Finish – One of the biggest time wasters of all is not bearing down and finishing stuff.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the post – ‘You Get Paid For Done’, so until something’s finished it seems like time wasted. So the solution is simple, when you start a project – put the blinders on and finish it.
  2. Use Transformation Challenges, Walls of Fame, Referral Contests, Bring a Friend Days, Point of Sale Referral Systems, Referral Request Mailings and a variety of other means to keep the referral mindset prominent in your Fitness Business.
  3. Offer a Powerful Guarantee. At Minimum – 100% Money Back.
  4. Have a powerful USP that appeals to your niche market. If it doesn’t make your target prospects jump up and say ‘that’s exactly what I want’ then strengthen it.
  5. Have more than one type of offering – Semi-private, bootcamps and group weight management all can help you convert more prospects – as can different tiers within the same offering.
  6. Make it easy to buy – EFT billing.  Different options at varied price points.  Help people become clients.
  7. Have plenty of testimonials handy – social proof is crucial if you want to make selling easy.
  8. Try before you buy – as opposed to what some people think, free sessions are a great idea. If your average package is $1000, wouldn’t you expect someone to want to know what they’re spending a thousand bucks on?
  9. Use a sales script. If something works – stick with it.
  10. Test different sales presentations – we changed 1 step and increased our average transaction value by $400.
  11. Target better prospects. That doesn’t always mean more affluent prospects. Target prospects that are a better fit for you and your business.
  12. Give better service – all the time. Every day you need to be ‘on.’
  13. Underpromise and Overdeliver.
  14. Stay in regular contact outside of normal sessions with phone calls, emails, etc. Use an assistant to make calls if you need to so you can get more objective feedback.
  15. Keep a lot of client data – b-day, anniversary, kids names, hobbies, etc.
  16. Sell consumables – supplements need to be re-purchased again – DVD’s and foam rollers don’t.
  17. Raise your prices. You can do it in small increments too. A $2 or $3 increase per session will get no resistance from clients but add a lot to your bottom line over the year.
  18. Suggest your most expensive program first.
  19. Treat everyone like you want to be treated.
  20. Get on the phone and reactivate former clients & campers. They probably be going somewhere in January…why not back with you?
  21. Do at least 2 public speaking engagements per month.
  22. Start networking on a weekly basis.  Add at least 1 person to your network each day.
  23. Ask for referrals at the point of sale.
  24. Sell 3, 6 and 12 month programs instead of packages or 1 month at a time.
  25. Face-to-Face relationship building.  Prospects are everywhere.  Talk to them.  Perfect your 15 elevator speech and commit to meeting at least 1 new person a day.
  26. Role play your sales presentation.  Practice it over and over.  Get comfortable asking for the sale.
  27. Use an A/B or alternate choice close.  Finish your sales presentation by asking, “Which program would you like to get started with today?” Only one option means ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  2 options mean ‘yes’ or ‘yes’.
  28. Build a “Fitness Sales Army.” My fundraising days as a coach taught me that you can let groups sell memberships to your camp for a healthy fundraiser.  Give them membership cards and a forms to track sales.  Offer the camps at a big discount and let the group keep all the proceeds. You’ll get dozens of new people that you can turn into long term clients and helped a good cause.
  29. Offer a Fitness Coaching Program as a downsell or as an offer to former clients and campers.
  30. Start holding Transformation Contests – at least 3 per year beginning this coming January.
  31. Hustle.  You can’t grow a camp sitting behind a desk all day. Get out and network, speak and build JV relationships.
  32. Run a BuzzWorthy Business. If you run a great business…get clients incredible results and have tons of energy – people will spread the word.
  33. Do the most important thing first. Nothing sets the tone for a productive day like knocking out a big task early.
  34. Don’t leave email sitting in your in box. Once you decide to open an email, act on it. Either delete, reply or read. You don’t want to ‘touch’ the same email 3-4 times.
  35. Admit multitasking is bad. Focus on something and finish it.
  36. Know when you work best. For me early mornings, late evenings and Sundays are best for writing.
  37. Make it easy to get started. Prep the night before, keep what you need handy and eliminate distractions.
  38. Dare to be slow. Don’t mistake activity for achievement. Only go as quickly as you can while still delivering quality work.
  39. Use your time wisely. We all have the same 24 hours each day, so why is there such a disparity in what high achievers accomplish versus what they average person does? How they use those hours. Use yours wisely.
  40. Avoid disruptions. If you’re working on something, don’t let other stuff interfere. You’ll lose your momentum and reduce your productivity.
  41. Time Block. You’d be amazed at what you can get done with one uninterrupted 30-50 minute block of time. Have a couple of those each day to work on your business or projects and watch your productivity and income soar.
  42. Enjoy It.  If you don’t like your work, fix it.  It may not happen overnight, but if you systematically start getting more of the clients you like and ridding yourself of the ones you don’t…doing more of the tasks you enjoy and delegating more of the ones you loathe…you’ll be more successful.  Your clients will be happier because you’ll be happier.  That’s what you went into business, right?  To build something where you could help people, enjoy financial & personal freedom and do what you love?  OK – then don’t settle for less than that.

There are 101 fitness business tips.  I hope you enjoy them…but more importantly, I hope you apply them.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat

 

 

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