Let’s say you have a pet dog.
If you ignore the dog, don’t bother feeding it, and don’t take it outside, the dog will get weak and die.
There’s no such thing as “dog maintenance.” You either love your dog, like a good owner, and give it the best life possible, or you neglect your dog, like a monster.
There’s no middle-of-the-road option.
You can’t be neutral about the dog. Treating your dog in a neutral way, expecting the dog to work things out for itself, is just as bad as abusing it.
All that aside…raising a dog and being a good owner is fairly simple. But you do still have to put in the work.
SO WHY THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU CAN TAKE THE NEUTRAL OPTION IN YOUR BUSINESS?
Running a successful fitness business is WAY more complicated than owning a dog.
Nothing in your fitness business is going to “work itself out.” It’s your job to make sure it grows healthy and strong, because there’s literally only one other option: it dies.
The way to grow your business is always going to be selling more clients on higher and higher priced training contracts.
So, you need to constantly be working on your marketing and selling skills.
However…to make sure your business really does grow, you need to take care of a few other things as well.
Here are some simple tests you can apply to your business right now to see if it really is prepared to grow.
Test 1: Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
I’m not talking about rough patches here.
Trust me, even I still have moments where something will go wrong in by business and my brain will keep me up all night trying to solve the problem NOW because I don’t like to leave problems unsolved.
Having the occasional rough day, week, or even month is normal. Hell, that’s to be expected if you’re truly doing important work.
The problem is when you go home too stressed to sleep every single night and you just come to consider that your normal. Even worse is when you have to drink or drug yourself into oblivion in the weekends “just to stay sane.”
…when you can’t even turn off at the end of the day and get a good night’s sleep, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
And even worse…you are practically guaranteed to burn out one day. That will be bad news for your clients, your employees, and most of all you, right?
Now I can tell you from experience that it is 100% possible to have a thriving, profitable fitness business and still have your peace of mind. I’ve done it multiple times, and many of my most successful business coaching clients can go home at the end of the day and sleep like a baby.
So if you find yourself constantly in stress mode, even when there isn’t a major crisis happening, then you need to examine how you use your time.
Are you doing the work that involves your greatest talents? Are you doing the work that you love, the kind that gives you energy instead of taking it away? Have you really delegated everything you possibly could?
You should be able to say “Yes” to each of those. And by the way – your talents and passions might be completely different from the next fitness business owner.
Your buddy might love getting out and showing his face in the community, while you get your greatest thrill from the training itself. Or vice versa.
Whatever your talent is, whatever comes “factory installed” for you, do that and delegate the rest to your staff.
And hire new staff if you need to. Hire in anticipation of your growth.
Test 2: Where Are the Bottlenecks?
A bottleneck is anything in your business that blocks the next action from happening or slows it down.
If you have to get clients to hand you a check for each payment, that’s a huge bottleneck. You’ve already given them the service, so you should just get the money easily, right?
You can eliminate that bottleneck by putting ALL clients on electronic funds transfer (EFT). Any bank you use can help you set this up easily.
You should also sell more paid in full (PIF) contracts so you just get the money up front. People pay money before they get to enter Disneyland, right? So why can’t you demand the money up front (especially when it’s just one payment option out of several)?
If you’re just keeping all of your client information on a spreadsheet, that’s a bottleneck. For most people, spreadsheets are inefficient and confusing.
Instead, you should invest in good client management software like Mindbody or ZenPlanner so you can get your client info easily whenever you need it.
You should be able to track who is currently on a trial, who is hitting their fitness goals and who isn’t, who’s getting close to contract renewal time, etc.
As a fitness entrepreneur, your job is not to FIND any of that info. Let the software and your employees do the searching and organizing for you.
You need to focus on the big picture and make sure your clients are getting a smooth experience. You want to make it absurdly easy for them to discover your training, sign up, train with you, get the results, and finally give you referrals.
ANYTHING ELSE that slows down or stops that process is a bottleneck, so fix it ASAP.
By the way, this is part of why my coaching groups like Fitness Business Ignition and 7 Figure Formula are so useful. I can’t necessarily predict every single bottleneck you’ll find, but once you’re in these coaching groups I guarantee at least one of your fellow members will have solved your exact same problem in their business and be happy to show you how.
Test 3: Is Your Profit Margin 40% or Higher?
This is a big one.
You might have a limiting belief that high profit margins are “greedy” or “selfish” and that you should be only pouring your revenue back into your business.
True, you DO need to constantly reinvest in your facility, your equipment, your team, and your systems to make sure you deliver the ultimate client experience…
HOWEVER, keeping your profit margin high is about a lot more than just putting cash in the bank.
The way I look at it, your profit margin is really a measure of how healthy your business is and how likely it is to survive a legitimate disaster (either in the business or in your personal life).
Because if you’re only taking home 20%, you may feel like you have enough to get by…but what happens when a hurricane knocks down your building, or there’s an illness in the family and you’re the only one who can cover the expenses?
Besides, WHY NOT UPGRADE YOUR LIFESTYLE?
When you’ve built up a massively successful business and you’re helping out your community in a huge way, you deserve to treat yourself!
Truth be told…it took me a while to practice this myself. For a while I was making bank but still acting broke.
Seriously, that’s why I used to be bald! It was cheaper to just shave my head at home instead of going to the barber.
But the funny thing is that when I finally allowed myself to upgrade my lifestyle…I started doing better in business as well.
Maybe that will work for you too. Who knows?
Committed to your success,
P. S. Make sure you check out my fitness business coaching programs Fitness Business Ignition and 7 Figure Formula so you can get expert, hands-on strategies to maximize profits in your business and earn the lifestyle of your dreams!