Just One Way You Could Get Burned in the Fitness Business

 In professional development, Using your time wisely


Start looking to delegate the rest. As your business grows – always start now to think about the future – you can’t afford to spend time doing hourly work. Create the system. Teach the system. Get someone to do it and report to you. Then do a higher value activity with your time.

If you have a staff do the same with each of them. If you have management I hope they were hired because of specific personality and skills that they need to do their highest priority tasks. Are they spending the majority of their time doing that?

If you, or you have a manager who is spending time doing an hourly wage job, put it into money losses.

Here’s one example:

You (or a manager) is training a person one-to-one. The training session reaps $75 for illustration purposes.

Instead you have enough experience to know your customer so well that you could write a program that is delivered online via video, audio, written materials … that you create once and sell unlimited times to your sweet spot of customers. Let’s say that this program is short but has four parts. You charge $49 for it. Because it’s more affordable than personal training you now reach more people. One hundred people (who all told you personal training is too expensive) buy it. $4900.

Creating a program like that to include all the parts may take more than that one single hour of training…in fact might take 5 to shoot video, edit, write the parts. That’s still $375. Let’s pretend you don’t get it right the first time and you edit and change. Let’s go with $500 of lost one-to-one sales. You’re still at $4400 if you can sell a $49 option to 100 people after creating it once.

Is it worth it to take your most creative time of day (most people find this to be morning when cortisol levels make us most alert, before interruptions begin, before you need willpower) and do the highest priority options? What if you’re creating a program that you can deliver and sell live to multiple customers? Similar scenario right? It’s the marketing, the selling, the program creation that is the most important component of a program. Miss that and you miss the opportunity to not reach a ceiling – and a basement that has constant holes (clients leave, let’s face it).

Example two:

You’re a manager sitting in front of a computer screen counting sessions, looking for details, cleaning up cancellations… this is hourly work.

If you affect 20 other people on staff (or 10 or 50) your time is better spent teaching them how to interact with clients, how to have good customer service, how to respond to complaints and how to ask for the sale. If your bottomline is a part of either your bread-and-butter or how you’re compensated this is how you make the biggest impact on multiple people making an impact. Do you change the outcome of the numbers that matter on a daily basis? Do more trainers book more sessions for every day of their week? Do they call and text and thank they’re customers regularly? Do you know what they say in emails, notes, and texts? Is it language that works or language that hurts?

Here’s an example of why that’s so powerful. Anytime Fitness is a franchise with 2700 locations since 2002. The average employee (according to a marketing and branding expert who reported this) is a 22 year old male. The average customer is a 39-44 year old female who wants to lose weight and doesn’t have enough hours in the day. He’s ripped and bored more hours a day than she sleeps a night. He can’t relate.

What’s that for you? Opportunity. If you can be better than average… you win.

Give stellar service. Go above and beyond. Finish your every sentence with “is there anything else I can help you with?” “Any other question that I can answer for you?” If you’re staff hasn’t had any customer service experience at five star hotels or restaurants assume they don’t know how to give five-star service. Teach it to them, observe them and test them before you put them in front of the customer. That is a valuable way to spend your time. Set up systems so that you never find yourself re-creating the wheel. You just know… if I’m creating a program, step one is… if I’m working with a new client, during the first week step one in their experience is …

I’ve pulled together 33 ways a personal trainer (or owner) can get burned in the fitness business. This is #1. Are you burning yourself? Short term time filled instead of delegating so that long term success is what it should be? Over the next 32 days you’ll get the rest. Stay tuned. They are the mistakes that fitness consulting clients, flailing fitness trainers, low-revenue personal training programs and even I made early in my career. They’re all fixable.

Marketing, selling, creating programs and training multiple people about your mission if you’re more than a staff of one are the highest priority uses of your time. If you’re alone for very much of your time daily and you manage people there’s a gap unless you’re creating a program that all of you will sell or that all of your customers will want.


P.S. Have you experienced this need to shift how you spend your time so that you can make more people successful – whether its more clients or more staff? Any growing pains?

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