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There’s Big Money In Finding Your Fitness Business Differentiators

Answering This One Fitness Business Question Will Accelerate Your Business Growth

Three letters can create a big impact on your business…


But I’m not talking about your purpose. While that’s important, I want you to ask yourself why someone should choose you over your competition.

Do you have a good answer? Oh, and you can’t use the following terms:

  • Results
  • Employees
  • Knowledgeable Staff
  • Customer Service
  • We’re the best

Those are all what we would call “pay to play” traits of any good business. They are also the most easily replicated. Your training systems can be knocked off, your employees will come and go, and customer service is a given (or at least it should be). Besides, who doesn’t think they are the best?

When I first started Force Fitness in 2008, we had a competitive advantage as one of the first training businesses in the market. There wasn’t another business quite like ours that was delivering group training and semi-private personal training the way we were doing it.

However, that quickly changed. By the time I sold Force, there were at least 8 other personal training gyms in community. The market was becoming very saturated, and we had to shift our message to attract the right type of client.

The answers to the question I posed above—“Why should someone choose you?”—will give you your competitive advantage. It’s a simple list and explanation of why you’re the best fit for them. And it can be done without bashing your competition!
(You may recognize this as your positioning statement or differentiators, as well.)

Defining Your Differentiators

Here are some questions you can start asking that help you define your differentiators:

  1. What do I offer that is unique to my business only?
  2. What proof do I have that I get results?
  3. What awards have I won in my community or for my business?
  4. What benefits do I get for my clients?
  5. Do I have any unique features to my training program or facility?

Looking back, I failed at this while at Force Fitness. I never clearly laid out our differentiators in a way that we could communicate to our prospective clients and the community.

Don’t make the same mistake that I did!

Start by listing out the things that make your services and business unique, and back them up with facts.

Here are some ideas for you to get started:

Proof of Results

  • Start tracking the average weight lost by clients in the first month in your programs
  • Success rate of clients that have lost weight and kept it off
  • Before and after pictures
  • Total pounds lost in your program
  • Total sizes lost
  • Total inches lost


  • Track how long your average client stays with you
  • Number of events you do for clients outside of sessions
  • Total number of clients in your business
  • Total clients served in the lifetime of your business
  • Partnerships in the community


  • Do you train in a way that is unique to your business? Make sure it really is!
  • Define and explain your coaching process or system

Client Satisfaction

  • Do you have a guarantee that no one else offer?s
  • What percentage of clients request a refund or cancel early
  • Promote client satisfaction scores

Not all of your differentiators need to be 100% unique, but combined, they should prove to potential clients why they should do business with you. Even if your competition has some of the same advantages, if you are first to tell people about them and back them up with data and stats, it can be incredibly powerful.

Refining Your Differentiators

As you are preparing your differentiators, start by brainstorming a list with your team and then narrow that list down to the top 5-8 that truly explain what your business is all about. If you find that you are listing features such as your assessment system or training system, make sure you back it up with an explanation of the benefits to the clients.

Anyone can say they do something; I want you to be able to PROVE IT!

Once you have your list, take it to your best clients and ask them for their feedback and if they feel like it’s an accurate list. You might be surprised at their answers and even get some new ideas.

There’s no rush to get your differentiators perfect right away. Spend some time working on them and get them right, so the next time someone asks you what the difference is between your program and your competitors’, you can easily explain the top 5-8 things that make you different.

Just imagine how refreshing that will be…


If you need a little help grab this!

FCG-Product Banners-Local Market Positioning-V1


By Ryan Ketchum

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