How to Future Proof Your Fitness Business
Is your fitness business protected from the future?
It’s a question we should be asking daily, but a question we rarely do.
And we tend to avoid this question because we’ve got ‘more important’ things to worry about. Things like acquiring new clients, like writing programs, like posting to social media.
We spend the time working IN our business. Working IN the business is focussing on the present. It comes about because we lack the systems to automate the day-to-day operations.
And yet, you don’t need convincing that protecting your business in the future is vitally important. Yet too many Fitness Professionals think in daily, weekly or monthly timescales. Not enough think in years or decades.
But even with a ‘present’ focus, even if you’re a slave to working IN your business, there are some strategies you can employ to ‘future-proof’ your business.
The first strategy will protect you from recession or economic downturn. It’s important to understand that NOTHING is EVER ‘too expensive’. If your client tells you they have to stop because they’re trying to save money, what they’re REALLY telling you is that you are not providing enough value to them. It’s not that your service is too expensive, it’s that there’s not enough benefit to it.
So to protect against this, increase the value of your service by giving people more. Create exceptional moments that elevate you above your competition. Provide an experience that is unrivalled.
Ask yourself if your business is provide a ‘vitamin’ or a ‘pain killer’.
People buy vitamins when times are good. When they can afford them. When recession hits, they stop buying vitamins. This is because (rightly or wrongly), they perceive vitamins are something that they can function without. Sure, they may not be as healthy, but they can function.
Pain killers on the other hand never go out of fashion. People don’t stop buying paracetamol just because there’s an economic downturn. And this is because people cannot function when in pain.
Vitamins allow people to operate at a higher level, pain killers allow people to operate.
So ask yourself, is your business a vitamin or a pain killer? If it’s a vitamin, it might be time to rethink your product. If it’s a pain killer, if it’s solving the problems and pain points of your clients, you’ll be recession proof.
What about the changes in technology, the expansion of methodologies and the increases in knowledge that the future will bring?
How can we protect against these?
We protect against them by being aware of the ‘sunk cost fallacy’, This fallacy tells us we should continue on our chosen path because we’ve already invested so much time or money in it (even if the path is no longer the correct one).
So how can we overcome this?
You need to have a clear mission – a well defined vision of what your business aims to do, BUT (and this is the key), you must be flexible and adaptable in the path that will take you towards this vision. If you’re overriding mission is to improve the health of your clients, you have to be open to different methods of achieving this.
Maslow’s Hammer is a cognitive bias that makes us over reliant on a familiar tool or methodology. Maslow said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
Adapt your methodologies as the future brings you new tools.
Solve the pain points of your clients and be adaptable in the path to take you towards your mission, and your business will be safe for years to come.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.