The Single Biggest Error Most New Fitness Directors Make

Vertical and Horizontal Business Growth

If you’re like so many entrepreneurs, you get itchy. You want to grow your opportunities to make more money fast. Even if you’re not so entrepreneur-oriented, but you manage a team for someone else’s business, there’s a chance you feel a boot in your you-know-what to grow your revenue. That might make you more prone to the most common error of most personal training programs.

That error is never deep diving into a program and the reasons why it may not be exploding with revenue. If you don’t know why a single program isn’t successful, you’re going to leave money on the table and you’re going to waste a lot of time creating programs, promoting them, and then you have to do it all over again without ever getting the formula done for marketing successfully.

Everyone who exercises and has some luck at it seems to be offering advice. They become a “coach” and buy products in a marketing plan that may or may not have ingredients we want people to avoid! But they think they are an expert suddenly. Got some of those in your community? We all do. You’re fighting that crowded messaging center that your target customer is listening to. The girl-next-door may seem a lot less intimidating than you, even if she doesn’t have the education or knowledge to really coach someone.

SO you’ve got to get this right.

Take a single core product and give it your attention. Your full attention. Is it full? Get it full. Get feedback from customers. What do they love? What did they want more of? What did they want less of? Why did some leave or drop out? Chase down all the answers to these questions.

Make it easier to follow, harder to drop. Use the words your customer tell you to market instead of the important stuff YOU think. It has to be their words, their wants, desires and fears.

If you’re offering 15 programs that are each half or less full? Something is going really really wrong. You’re wasting time, energy, money promoting. You’re missing the advertising outside of your list. You’re falling way short of “capacity” projections and either you or trainers working for you are not making enough money per program hour, not getting enough referrals because the program is likely lacking somewhere if it’s not full.

  • Go back go back. Focus on one single program. Make it the best and most full you’ve EVER had. Know why that’s true.
  • List every single way you’ve promoted.
  • List the results of that promotion.
  • Brainstorm better ways to reach the exact target market you want to attract.
  • Think about increasing frequency of your emails, blogs, posts, calls, presentations…for that ONE single program.

If you’re trying to grow horizontally (many programs with very few people in them) vs growing vertically FIRST, you’re going to have a hard time getting leverage with any program. And subsequently with any trainer or staff growth. You do need both…once you have some core programs FULL and in demand consistently.


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