Do you pay yourself first? | Fitness Business Practices
Do you pay yourself first? Meaning both do you pay yourself a wage and do you give yourself time off to recover and time you plan to workout exactly the way you’d tell your clients to?
This post is just for you. Because most trainers who have started their business in 2020 don’t yet have the business side of things down. How to pay themselves, how much, when, whether that’s moving money from one account to the other or it’s a business check… first steps first. Let’s talk about how much the job you’re doing is worth and how can show up to do it best.
Pay Yourself First
As a fitness entrepreneur I would bet you fall into one of two categories.
1 – You don’t pay yourself enough. You take a payment from your business only if you make money and you move it to your personal account when you need it.
You pay yourself less than you would pay anyone else for the same job you do. You will workout before anything else, there’s no way you skip that but you’re not as disciplined when it comes to running your business
2 – You don’t give yourself the same disciplined exercise and nutrition support as you do your clients to get. You get caught at your computer, returning emails and phone calls and writing your programs … and don’t eat, don’t get up often enough, don’t workout the way you should, drink too much coffee…. And you promise yourself that tomorrow will be better, that when you catch up, or when you make enough money it will be different.
If they’re not perfect descriptions for you, they’re very close.
How do I know? 37 years of doing it myself. One or the other or both. And even if I have made huge leaps and bounds… 2020 put me right back a few steps.
In fact, today… this year I’m committing to two things myself, I pay myself first… 1)with workouts. No more .. work straight through from 5am to 11am or noon and miss the workout I wanted to do.
… and 2) with support staff. I paid myself crap for much of 2020. As we all did, I cut expenses everywhere I could to balance the months where panic was evident and spending from customers was down. But… as business took off (and it definitely did) I continued to do jobs that could have been done by someone for $10-15 an hour instead of the value that I have in the company.
You Can Afford It: You Can’t Afford Not To
You may have always wanted to hear this from someone… the sun rises and sets with you. But in your business, it’s true. Yet, it’s not the podcast production, or the blog posts or the scheduling of clients or social media posting… it’s in the vision and the programs and products only you can make and the team of support that only you can lead.
No one else on your team should see themselves as a visionary of your business. You’ve got a problem if that’s true. You hire a team to implement the things that you can’t. Within their scope of practice – say technology – they can tell you what’s possible when you’ve described to them what you want, but YOU and only you, call the shots.
So.. if you aren’t sure how to not do it all… and you aren’t sure
- if how you spend time is the BEST use of your time
- how to create systems and schedules that fit with the growth you want
- how to be more than a fitness instructor or health coach with a “certification” or collection of them
Then let’s change that.
Now Is the Time
If you have the skills, the heart, and the desire to help without the marketing and sales skills your business will be just a dream. Or a nightmare… lots of time money and energy but not much to show for it.
It’s something you like to call a business but truly couldn’t survive if that’s all you had to depend on to survive.
I know how that feels. And I know the mistakes… I’ve made them. You don’t need another certification. Even after you get it, or another degree, you need to market, to sell, to have visibility and a voice.
Meet me Thursday evening January 7th. Whether you want to work with women in midlife where I’ve made my niche, or you have a niche you love, the ability to
- create an offer,
- increase the number of customers you sell it to or
- increase the amount of that sale, and
- save on expenses that are unnecessarily killing your profit
…are skills every fitness entrepreneur needs.
I’m going to host a 5-day challenge so you can grow your social media reach – organically – you won’t spend a dime on it unless you choose to. Stay posted on that… it happens in the next two weeks.
Paying Yourself First: Where do you start?
For paying yourself you’ve got to look at what you’d get paid if you were working at another comparable employer. If you buy your own insurance or would if you didn’t have a spouse you were covered under, you want to factor that in, too.
Look around a little as if you were seeking a job. What are the offers you’d consider? Is it hourly? Salary? Commission? What is the compensation package and then determine if you’re paying yourself that kind of wage for the time that you’re putting in. If not, something has to change, my friend.
You need to raise your rates.
You need to sell to more people (that is if you have the time)
You need to create an online program that stands alone or that is a compliment to your one-on-one training
Or you want to do a combination of all of the above
You Won’t Lose Clients
Now don’t panic. If the best answer for you is raise your rates because you’re out of time, and the reason is you’re in demand, there’s a good chance that when you raise your rates you not only get better clients, but you also get a bigger waiting list.
It’s just how it works. Everyone wants the best. If your marketing messages your quality and that matches the rate you position yourself with, it can work beautifully.
You’ll find potentially you’re no longer attracting those most likely to drop out. You’re attracting business owners, lawyers and realtors who are busy. They do the work, and they show up for appointments.
Making Time for Your Self Care
This one is going to require delegating. Either someone who does it faster than you, or can do for less per hour than you’re worth what you can do.
For you to remember what it’s like not to be tied to your phone or have a laptop constantly with you, you’ve got to give up some control. That’s it right? That’s the reason you won’t delegate.
Because if you go back to the hourly rate you’re worth – whether it’s $30 on average or it’s $50 or $95 that you could be earning in a session and instead you’re creating graphics for social media posts? That’s crazy when you could hire someone to do that for $8 – 15.
But you’re saying they won’t do it the way you want them to. They could. If you create ONE important piece of content called a Style Guide.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Fitnessmarketingmastery.com Scroll down to the style guide template to download