Bit of a different blog today – I send out emails occasionally regarding running a fitness business – here’s today’s email about planning for the next 12 months and some things to think about …
I think for plenty of people in fitness, 2020 and 2021 have been a bit all over the place business wise. Gym closures and changes to capacity, people’s training habits and general uncertainty have led to changes for almost all of us, some dramatic, some less so, some positive, some maybe not.
The new year is a great time to look forward with your business though, make changes, fine tune things, start new projects.
So here’s my practical tips for 2022 which I hope might help some of you as you hopefully take some time to review your plans for the next 12 months:
- The goal of business is not to make a loss just to not pay tax. Buying things for your business you need will of course reduce your profit thus your tax bill, but buying things for your business for the specific sake of reducing your tax bill (as many people often seem to do) is a false economy as all you’re doing is recuing your profits by buying things you don’t actually need.
- Instead look for ways to increase your actual profits so you’re happy with your income after paying tax. This of course is done by selling more of your product but you can also do this by reducing outgoings smartly. For instance, are you a group ex instructor or PT as a second job? See if you can volunteer to be a first aider for your workplace meaning you don’t have to pay for your own First Aid training.
- In terms of increasing your business do you have lead generators set up? If not this is the year to sort that. Do you have a mailing list to keep in touch with people (if they leave your gym, can’t come to class and so on)? Do you advertise on Instagram but only to your current contacts without thinking about reaching out to your potential customers via paid or unpaid options? Have you established enough of a brand that potential customers feel you are the fitness professional they want to trust? Do you need advice on how to do these things? If you do maybe this is the year to look into this, because being a great coach is only part of running a self employed business.
- On that point though, are you still being a great coach or instructor? Especially over the last couple of years as client’s needs and situations have changed it’s important to check that we are still offering the best service for clients. Lead generating is important but ultimately retaining clients and getting referrals is the best way to make a decent profit, so now is a great time to check that you’re still offering what your current clients need. Refine your products, check they are clear in what they offer and that you are delivering it. If your clients are getting what they are paying for they will a) stay b) recommend you.
- Develop a plan for growth. Do you want to scale your business in the next few years? Use 2022 to start planning how. In the meantime though coach your clients with the model you currently have with 100% commitment. Ambition is important but so is staying focussed on the present at the same time because we can’t build on our current foundations of clients if we provide a poor service whilst developing bigger plans in the background.
- If you’re working and developing a business in the background accept you’re going to have to be tired for a while and put in a lot of hours to get to where you want to be. Your ambition may be to reach that perfect work life balance but the hard truth is that whilst you work to get your business to the point where you can work the 4 day week or work anywhere in the world you will actually have less ‘you’ time. Take care of yourself to avoid burn out but if you start providing a rubbish service because your tired after work you won’t retain clients and struggle to build up the business. For now make sure what you offer to clients is realistic for what you can do with the time you have. A smaller client base or smaller product offered really well is going to be better for your business than an all ‘singing all dancing but never quite reaches the standards you sell it as’ one. That way you are less likely to be miserable and more likely to grow.
I hope these are useful when you sit down and think about your plans for the next 12 months. I know they are all things I’m considering as I do this personally.