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7 Biggest Mistakes Trainers Make When Running A Fitness Business

7 Mistakes That Are Keeping You From Successfully Running a Fitness Business

Mistake #1 When Running A Fitness Business – Having No Unique Position In The Market

It always blows my mind when I ask fitness professionals why people should choose them and they give generic answers like:

“I get results.”

“My training is the best in town.”

“I have great relationships with my clients.”

As if their competition won’t say the same things. Do you know anyone running a fitness business that says “We get terrible results for our clients” or “our training sucks” or “we don’t have any relationships with our clients.”

As a business owner you need to stand out.

Running a Fitness Business

You need to be very clear about who you’re trying to serve and why you’re the best solution for them.

Using our business as an example, our unique position in the market is that We Help Great Trainers and Coaches Build Great Businesses. Pretty simple, but if you’re not interested in being a great trainer or coach…we aren’t for you. If you’re not interested in building a great business…not for you. But if you are interested in those things, then you’re pretty likely to identify with our message and relate to the other people we serve.

So think about your current clients and why they’re with you and what they’d say to others about you. Is it strong enough? Is it a powerful enough message that those people they’re talking to will almost instantly want to come work with you? If not, you need to tighten up your position.

Mistake #2 When Running A Fitness Business – Playing ‘Follow The Leader’ Instead Of Being The Leader

Here’s another one that wows me…trainers that pride themselves at being the best service provider in their market but base their prices on what their competition is charging, saying the exact same things their competition is saying and basically letting the public think that they are exactly the same as the competition.

Would Disney do that? Would Apple? Would Starbucks or Amazon?

Running a Fitness Business

Not a chance.

I never have gotten this at all…settling for being average. Not when I coached. Not when we first launched our training business and not now with anything we do.

And neither should you. Every decision you make should be geared around building the best training business in your area (or beyond). ‘Best’ is subjective, but no matter how you define it…it’s not ‘average.’ So don’t simply follow what average businesses (your competition) are doing.

Mistake #3 When Running A Fitness Business – Not Having A Lead Generation Plan

I’d guess that over 90% of trainers running a fitness business only market when they need clients. They do one-shot things like Deal of the Day offers, a public speaking engagement once in a while or some other one off activity here and there and typically wait around for word of mouth traffic from their current clients.

That might be enough to pay the bills, but it certainly isn’t going to be enough to build a truly successful business.

A great business is going to be generating leads 365 days a year and how to follow up with those leads once they have them. So if you’re not using a marketing calendar and implementing a consistent lead generation plan, you’re leaving a LOT of money on the table.

Mistake #4 When Running A Fitness Business – Not Having A Solid Sales Maximization System In Place

Running a Fitness Business

Unfortunately most people that are running a fitness business don’t recognize the value of the leads that come in to their business.

The phone rings and someone leaves a message or someone emails for more information and if they don’t buy right out of the gate, then they usually get forgotten.

But we’ve seen over and over that in a solid business a client is typically worth over $2500 in lifetime value.

If you thought about that potential value each of those clients could have to your business, don’t you think things might change a little?

Would you spend more time with each of them? Would you return calls more quickly? Would you follow up more? Would you have a better sales presentation?

Every lead is an opportunity for you to help someone achieve their goals and for you to add $2500+ to your business in value…so make sure this system is dialed in.

Mistake #5 When Running A Fitness Business – Not Knowing Your Numbers

Running a Fitness Business

It happens every time…

… Day One of our Elite Training Workshops is a Business Coaching Day and I ask attendees how many leads they got the previous month.

Less than half know the answer.

And this is a group that I’d identify as easily being in the Top 10% of our industry.

But if you don’t know how many leads you got, you can’t know how each of your marketing initiatives is working – so you’re wasting time and / or money.

There are about a half dozen numbers you MUST know if you want your business to be healthy and about another half dozen you need to know if you want to have a truly great business.

And as unexciting as ‘knowing your numbers’ sounds now, it will start sounding more exciting when you start enjoying the 5-10 hours it saves you every month in wasted time doing things that don’t work, the money that it saves you on wasted activities and the opportunity it creates once you see what’s really going on in your business.

Mistake #6 When Running A Fitness Business – Not Having A ‘Systems–Driven’ Business

Running a Fitness Business

I’ll put it to you simply: without systems you don’t have a business.

You have a job.

You can call it a business, but you don’t have any freedom. You don’t have any leverage. You certainly don’t have anything that is saleable.

That’s a reality that is hard for most self-employed fitness pros to accept – but it’s 100% true.

The good news is that with a minimum base of systems you can start to enjoy some of those things I was mentioned a couple sentences ago, and with real systems to support the service and value you provide you can go from the stress of self-employment to a true powerhouse business pretty quickly.

Mistake #7 When Running A Fitness Business – Not Getting Help

It’s kind of amazing that fitness pros don’t all instantly gravitate to coaching and masterminds. Hey, I’m grateful that so many people invest in our products, but if there is anyone that you’d think would go all in for getting coaching…it would be coaches.

Have you ever heard lines that sound like these before?

“I can’t afford it.”

“I don’t have time.”

“I’ll try it on my own.”

“I just need to get my business in order, then I’ll get coaching.”

“I’m going to just focus on implementing the (product / plan) that I just bought.”

Running a Fitness Business

I’m sure they’re all kind of valid, but as a coach, all coaches clearly recognize that people do better with the objectivity, accountability, motivation and expertise of a good coach.

So those are the 7 most common mistakes that I see when trainers are running a fitness business make. I could have added an eighth one ‘delivering a great service’ but I tried to weave that one into the first two mistakes. Honestly, if the service you’re providing isn’t good –fixing the rest of these is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

So do any of these sound like you? Which ones? I’d love for you to share it or them below so people know that they’re not alone and that most of the people reading this blog are a work in progress. Thanks for sharing!


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