At the start of every Fitness Business Mentoring consult, we ask the business owner how their business is going.
We’re looking for a ‘zoomed out’ summary of the general health of the business.
Early in the mentoring process, there’s a one word reply that we hear more than all others… ‘steady’.
We hear this word with clockwork predictability.
And ‘steady’ can be great. It’s great if the business is delivering everything you want it to – giving you the lifestyle that you want the business to provide.
But ‘steady’ usually means, ‘ok’ or ‘average’. It means things aren’t going particularly bad, and they’re not going particularly good.
A ship that is steady isn’t being ravaged by waves, but it’s also not steaming through the water headed for an exotic island holiday. A steady ship is standing still.
And again, maybe that’s ok. But maybe you want more.
So here are some short ideas to help you fire up the engines on your fitness business.
We’ve separated these ideas into five areas, business overview, operations, marketing, client experience and staff.
– It’s amazing how many fitness businesses don’t have direction. Where do you want the business to go? What lifestyle do you want it to provide for you? How much money do you want it to earn you? How much time are you willing to give the business? Once you can answer these questions, you can track the KPIs (key performance indicators) in your business to make sure your business is growing as you want it to.
– So many businesses don’t have a Mission Statement – a sentence that defines what the business is for, it’s purpose. Renewed purpose can help provide a north star to ignite your business.
– If your business is ‘steady’ it might mean you’re trying to be everything to everyone and that you’re lacking focus. Identify the thing you do best, your ‘USP’ (unique selling proposition) and double down on that. Ignore everything else. The focus will help you break the business plateau.
– A ‘steady’ business often struggles to grow because the owner is spending all their time working IN the business – with clients or on admin. There’s no time left to work ON the business, to GROW the business. If this is you, devote a month to building systems. It will be hard work, but once you’ve done this, you should get three to five hours of extra time every week to build the business.
– Just like the lack of a USP we discussed in the ‘Business Overview’ section, the lack of a clearly defined avatar (target client) can cause your business to become stuck. Do an 80/20 analysis – work out which 20% of your clients/members are contributing to 80% of the business’ success. Double down on attracting more people like them.
– Become more valuable to your current clients and members AND prospective clients and members by providing eduction. Distribute content (articles/videos etc) to all channels to both improve the value to your clients, and position yourself as the expert in the eyes of your potential future clients.
– Run paid ads. There’s nothing that can renew your passion for business than an intake of fresh customers. Social media ads and Google ads, done well, are powerful tools.
– Run a short term promotion. This is definitely not the best way to build a successful long-term business, but it can be a valuable part of a larger marketing strategy. Your aim here should be to run some sort of short term event or campaign to attract an immediate influx of new clients. A word of warning though, use these sparingly or they’ll lose their impact.
– A business can feel static if your client or member numbers are staying the same. Every month you have a few people join and a few people leave. Look at where most people are leaving (is it after a week? After a month? After a year? Examine the experience you’re providing to your clients around these common departure times and improve it. It will help tip the member numbers in your favour.
– Zooming in a bit, look at optimising what we call the ‘micro experience’ – the day-to-day journey you take your clients and members on. From the moment they step out of their car to the moment they step back in, what happens? Design and systemise this process and make it five star.
– Developing your staff team through a vigorous Professional Development program can lift the general feel of the place. Not only will they develop greater expertise which can benefit clients and members, but they will have improved buy-in to the culture and systems in the business. They’ll get a sense of ownership and will help you build the business.
So, if your business is steady, something needs to change.
Remember, while you’re sitting in calm waters, the rest of the world is slowly moving forward. By sitting still you’re actually moving backwards.
Try some of the these strategies to inject some new life into your business. And if you need some help, check out ROM Business Mentoring.