How To Build A Fitness Business By Acting Small
How To Build A Fitness Business To
Incredible Levels By Acting Small
It pays to think small when it comes to knowing how to build a fitness business.
Remember where you came from.
It’s something that you hear almost all self made success stories recite – and it’s something you need to embrace if you want to build a truly successful fitness business.
When we initially started our business, Nick and I had another business partner. He was a nice guy, but he wanted to act big while we were just beginning. He wanted fancy fitness business cards, cool stationery and a bunch of other stuff that had little if any bearing on our success.
Nick and I resisted it and we started the business on a shoestring…less than $2000 and that included the purchase of a computer to handle our billing.
Within a year we had a business that was churning out $30,000 a month and were opening our second business, a health club.
About this time Nick and I bought a house that we shared. Holly, Tyler and I lived in the basement and Nick got a roommate and lived upstairs so we could save money and reinvest it in our growing businesses.
That’s how to build a fitness business. Not like this…
At the same time our partner was building a brand new house even though we hadn’t opened our club and were on the hook for some pretty hefty expenses.
This kind of mentality…the ‘spend beyond your means’ mindset…almost brought that business down in the beginning. Our partner was the Manager of the club and his belief was that the best way to grow was to add staff and spend money on expensive media marketing.
As embarrassing as it is to admit – Nick and I got sloppy and didn’t stay on top of this location like we should have and before long it was buried in debt. We had gotten focused on a couple other opportunities and took our eye off the ball…and it almost bankrupted that location.
We bought out that partner, got that business back on track with our bootstrapping approach and before long it was right back where it needed to be.
Every business that we’ve started or acquired ownership in since then was founded with that same mentality:
Decide whether something is a want or a need. If it’s a need, we find a way to make it happen. If it’s a want, it goes under the microscope.
That mentality is easy when you don’t have any money. You can only afford needs – if you can even afford those.
Once you start generating a little income it becomes more about discipline.
We’ve grown quite a bit over the past year. Tripling our staff. Doubling the size of our office. But we didn’t do any of that until we determined that it was necessary.
Not just a want.
In fact, every month Nick reviews our expenses to determine if there are things we need to trim. We look for ROI on marketing expenses. We look for better ways to compensate people based on productivity. He asks me if I’m still using the membership sites that we belong to or any of the other subscriptions we have.
At this point we invest tens of thousands each year in education. Maybe even $100,000 a year. But there’s no sense in continuing to spend on something we don’t need.
Now before you take this the wrong way – don’t think I’m telling you to eat Ramen noodles and bury all your money in a coffee can in the back yard. Nick and I both live in beautiful homes, own other investment properties and really don’t want for much if anything – but we paid some dues, like I mentioned earlier.
This isn’t about not spending money on yourself. Being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor is a big part of why you do this.
No – it’s about treating your fitness business like it’s small…even when you’re not small anymore.
It’s about continuing to do what works instead of thinking you need to spend more money to market or grow.
It’s about viewing each potential purchase as an investment and deciding if you’re going to get a solid return.
It’s about never forgetting that each client is critical and treating them like family instead of losing that personal touch.
It’s about understanding the difference between wants and needs.
It’s about knowing how to build a fitness business the RIGHT way.
Maybe you can build a successful fitness business a different way. We’re not interested in trying to. We’ve worked with a few people in the past – including that former partner – that all wanted to act big while they were still small businesses and that’s as far as any of them ever got. Some of them have even gone under or jumped back to being an employee.
All the while we were while quietly building a multiple seven-figure organization by acting small.
I’d be interested in what you think below…
Dedicated to your success,
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