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3 Things You Can Do To Build A Successful Fitness Business


Building A Successful Fitness Business. A Post By Pat Rigsby


Successful Fitness Business

This coming weekend I’m headed to Portsmouth, Ohio to visit the University that I coached at.  They’re honoring the team I coached that finished 5th at the World Series 10 years ago so I’ll get to see some of my former players and I’ll throw out the first pitch for their game.

Should be fun.

Well, as you’ve heard me mention a number of times before – coaching taught me a lot.  And because we were a program with pretty limited resources I had to learn how to achieve success by doing some things differently than the competition since we weren’t going to compete by having more scholarships (we had about 1/10 the number our best competitors had) or a nicer facility (we used a city owned park.)

So I read books on business and marketing as well as the typical coaching fare – looking for an advantage.

Here are three strategies that allowed us to become a nationally competitive program in spite of resources that were better suited for a high school team that I have used to help us achieve a Successful Fitness business:

Find Opportunity Where Others Don’t – In baseball, coaches typically allocate a lot of their scholarship money for pitches and shortstops.  They invest a lot of practice time on things like pickoff plays and obscure bunt defenses.

Not me.

We weren’t going to outspend our competition for the pitches they wanted – so I focused my energies on aggressively going after players with great offensive potential that were undervalued by the competition and just tried to find diamonds in the rough when it came to pitches or shortstops.  When it came to practice time – instead of spending much time on things that happen 5% of the time in the game I dedicated our practices to 2 things:

  1. The things that happen most of the time in games. The basics.
  2. Making our players better athletes.  We took an approach to strength & conditioning similar to that of football programs while most other teams were still using Nautilus machines.

Sounds kind of obvious, but it’s certainly not the norm in baseball.

Transitioning to the business world – this approach led me to gravitate toward 30 minute 1 on 1 sessions, group based training and EFT billing.

To apply this in your own fitness business – look at what others don’t do or don’t do well.  If no one offers youth programs – there’s your opportunity.  If no one specifically targets moms – there you go.  If no one has a quality service option for $99 – find a way you can help people a lot at that price.

There are undervalued opportunities in EVERY business and EVERY market – it’s your job to find them.

Play To Your Strengths – Once I identified a formula that worked for building our team – I just expanded on it.  I worked on recruiting an even better caliber of player that fit the same mold.  I kept refining the system.  I didn’t try to also do all the things the competitors were doing.  I simply wanted to create the best possible version of our organization.

In the business world – this means don’t try to be all things to all people.  Pick a couple of things and be extraordinary at them.  When it comes to fitness marketing – hone in on 2-3 core systems and work them aggressively every day until your business is where you want.

Strive to be known as the Go To Expert for a couple of niche markets in your community.  A little focus and you can own those markets.

Get Personal – My biggest strength as a coach was as a recruiter.  And my recruiting was simple:

  1. Create a ‘product’ players would want to be a part of.
  2. Build and cultivate relationships with the players that would be a good fit for what we were trying to do.

So I made a LOT of personal calls.  A lot of visits to get to know people. I went to tons of coaching clinics to build relationships with the high school coaches.  I took the prospects and their families on tours when they came to campus instead of delegating it. If getting the right players was the most important factor in being successful – then getting personal was my way of doing it.

Business is the same.  For our mastermind groups – you don’t ever see sales copy or email promos.  We want to get to know the people that are going to be in the groups to make sure they’re a good fit.  Personal calls are a perfect way to do that.

If you want to see an immediate uptick in your fitness business – take every interaction you make up one level:

  • If you normally send a mass email – send a personal one.
  • If you normally send a personal email – make a call.
  • If you normally make a call – visit in person.

I guarantee you’ll love the results.

OK – 3 lessons learned from coaching college baseball that have continued to help me time and time again in business.  They’ve all worked well for me – now let them work for you and help you build a successful fitness business.

Dedicated to your success,

Pat Rigsby

Pat Rigsby is a Co-Owner of the International Youth Conditioning Association & the youth fitness franchise Athletic Revolution as well as a fitness industry consultant serving thousands of personal trainers and fitness entrepreneurs. Sign up for his fitness business free newsletter to discover proven marketing, sales and business strategies, along with blog updates, news, and more! While you’re at it, follow him on Twitter.

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