Today, I want to talk to you about your fitness center business plan.
(Part two is out now! Scroll down to see it.)
This is specifically for personal trainers and fitness coaches who are starting out and want to know, “Hey, where do I go with my business plan?”
Thing number one is, you gotta figure out who is your niche, right? Who’s the market?
If you think that you’re gonna train people from 8-80, male and female, that’s not going to happen.
Let me tell you why: that’s a very shotgun approach to marketing, and all great marketing is about laser-like approach.
If you can specialize, you can become an expert to a niche market. You want a market that is uniquely suited to you, so it might be stay at home moms, it might be young athletes, it might be busy executives.
You might like one on one personal training, or boot camp, or group style training, but there’s a specific niche that you’re probably good at.
You’re probably good at either building muscle, burning fat, or helping people increase their energy and confidence. Whatever it is, you’ve got to tie down your business to a niche, because once you do that then you can identify where your ideal prospect is in your community.
For example, I live in Chino Hills, California and when I had my personal training facilities, before I sold them, what I did was I targeted women, Mrs. Jones’, who were pretty much stay at home moms, who had an affluent household income. They were definitely on the higher side of affluent where I ran my training business.
Quite frankly they were just interested in fat loss and really nothing else, so we would do some muscle toning, but the whole thing was about high intensity interval training, keeping their heart rate up, getting them to burn fat.
They needed to see body fat percentages and scale weight fall, and that’s when I knew that I would get the highest client retention and that’s when I knew that I would get the most referrals from my clients.
Any time we focused on other stuff, like functional training, core training, etc., they completely lost interest. Even though I might have had interest in that, my prospects didn’t.
The best way to select a niche is, one, figure out who is naturally attracted to you.
Number two, what’s the population or the niche market that you like to train.
You want to do speed training, strength training, muscle gain, fat loss, whatever it is, and go after that niche. Become the expert. Carve out your niche.
Number two, you’ve got to figure out, what are your three best lead generation strategies.
If you’re going to run an ad in the local newspaper, use a phone number from a company like Ring Central or Google Voice where you can track that phone number, so that you know that every time that phone number rings, you know that it came from that specific ad in the local paper.
If you’re going to send out a post card to 10,000 local residents, use a different Ring Central phone number.
Why? Because now you’re going to know that every time that phone number rings these people came from that specific post card and you can check the ROI.
The ROI pretty much means that what did you gain from those post cards by way of clients. Was it even worth your investment? Because if it wasn’t worth your investment of getting 10,000 post cards out in the community, why run that same post card again, or why run that print out again?
It’s really important to track your marketing.
If postcards didn’t work, and let’s say your print ads did work, then you’re going to run a bigger print ad. Now, you know that every time that phone rings from that phone number it came from that print ad.
You want to keep using that same consistent phone number only for that print ad. If you’re going to run ads on Facebook you might use a different phone number, or you might send them to not your website but to a squeeze page.
A squeeze page is a different, unique page that you’ll put somewhere on the web that only people from Facebook can go and see.
Why? Again, you want to quantify if your ads on Facebook are working to get you leads, if you are getting the investment return. If you’re not, why are you running Facebook ads blindly?
If you just drive traffic from Facebook to your website, what’s going to happen is you might have traffic from organic search traffic, or you might have traffic from your mailing out, or from your email list.
If everyone just goes to your website, you’re not going to really know where that traffic came from, but if you have a targeted website where you’re only running Facebook ads to that targeted website, you either know those ads work or they don’t.
If they kind of work, they might be worth your time to tweak them.
If they don’t work, then it’s time to turn those ads off and look for another solution.
What I always say is, “Hey, what are your 3 best marketing strategies, lead generating strategies, and stick to those.”
It’s not about deploying 50 different strategies, or whatever is working for the guy across town or in another state, because what works for them may not necessarily work for you.
Another thing you want to work on when it comes to your business plan is figuring how much you’re going to charge.
I can tell you this right now: you don’t want to charge what your competitors are charging.
You’re not going to build your price points based on what your competition is charging, because if you’re good at what you do, you should be the Rolls Royce of your service.
Now, what are some of the things you can do to create your category of one so that you can charge what you’re worth instead of what everybody else is charging?
Number one, you can offer risk reversals. A risk reversal is a guarantee.
In my organization, Fit Body Boot Camp, we offer a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee.
Here’s how that works:
Mr. and Mrs. Jones sign up for a program. Doesn’t matter if they’ve paid for a whole year, doesn’t matter if they’ve paid for the first month, or they’re going to pay month to month as they go, they have the full thirty days to try your programs out.
Even on day number 30, if they decide this wasn’t right for them, they simply ask us for a refund, and we give them all their money back.
Now that is risk reversal, and it tells something to the community. It says that this fitness pro is so committed to the results that they’re going to deliver that they’re willing to offer a risk reversal, a guarantee on the money paid. That builds confidence in the consumer.
How else can you raise prices and charge what you’re worth?
Another thing that you can do is have social proof, like testimonials.
You should have video testimonials on your website and on YouTube.
You should have a lot of Yelp reviews. You should have a lot Google Local and Google Places reviews.
The more testimonials, reviews, and video testimonials you have out there, the more likely people are to have confidence in your service and be willing to spend money with you even though you charge more.
Don’t ever try and set your price points up to what your competitors are running. Don’t try and be competitive with them. Instead, create your category of one and create reasons why you can charge more.
Think about it: in most cities or counties there’s always the Toyota dealership, the Ford dealership, the Honda dealership, the Nissan dealership, and the Chevy dealership, but there’s also the Mercedes, the BMW, and often the Bentley and the Rolls Royce.
Now, why is it that Mercedes, and BMW, Bentley, and Rolls Royce can charge so much more then all those other cars that are considered very reliable? They’ve created a category of one. They’ve created a status for themselves.
Driving a Rolls Royce, driving a Bentley, driving a high end Mercedes or BMW says a lot more about you then just, “Hey, I want to go from point A to point B,” it says that you’ve come from a different status. What you’re buying with those cars is status.
That leads me to my final point, which is what you do for a living.
You’re not a personal trainer. You’re not a fitness coach. You’re not a fitness expert. You’re not a boot camp instructor. What you are is a person who delivers outcomes.
While everybody else is selling personal training and fitness coaching, you and I are selling an outcome.
Again, if you’ve identified what your niche market is and what their wants are, if it’s Mrs. Jones and she just wants to reverse the time clock and go back ten years with her body, to her before marriage look, have that body that she had before she had kids, well the outcome that she probably wants is to be leaner, weigh less, have lower body fat, and have more energy.
I’m not in the personal training business. I’m in the outcome business, so while my competitors are delivering personal training services, and fitness bootcamps, and group training programs, that doesn’t matter.
Just so happens that the way that I deliver my outcomes is in fitness boot camp settings, and I’m so good at what I do that I’ll guarantee the results for the first 30 days.
“Hey, I want you to feel committed and confident that you’re going to get results with this program. Give me 30 days to prove it to you, or if not, you get your money back.”
Be in the outcome business and not in the personal training business. When I switched my mindset to that, it was huge.
I’ll leave you with this bonus fitness marketing business plan (this is to create yourself reoccurring revenue): EFT or auto debit.
EFT is just electronic funds transfer. Far too often, personal trainers are in the business of being check collectors, just going after clients and trying to get payment for this moth, and payment for next month, etc.
If Mrs. Jones signs up, odds are she’s going to sign up again next month, and the month after, and if you’re good at what you do, there’s no reason she shouldn’t commit for a 6 or 12 month program with you.
All you have to do is get the first month payment and let Mrs. Jones know that, “Hey, each and every month and the same day we’re going to take out X number of dollars from your bank account or your credit card account for your training.”
This way I don’t have to go around being a check collector and I don’t have to worry about the back office stuff. I can just focus on my personal training and outcome delivery. That’s really what you specialize in.
The reason that’s important is this:
Let’s say you have, gosh, I don’t know, let’s say you have 45 clients, or 50 clients, and you’re charging around 200 dollars a month, and they’re on EFT, guess what that means?
200 dollars a month for 50 clients, you’re literally bringing in about 8,000 dollars, just over 8,000 dollars a month reoccurring.
Now how would it feel if at the first of every month that you knew this month you’re guaranteed 8,000 dollars, that next month you’re guaranteed 8,000 dollars on top of what you’re going to sell? That builds a lot of confidence in someone.
That tells me that I’m going to have peace of mind at night when I sleep because I’m not starting every month at zero, I’m starting every month at 8,000 dollars.
When I have 100 clients paying 200 dollars a month, now I’ve got 16,000 dollars a month of reoccurring revenue coming in.
EFT or auto debit is priceless in our industry. One, it creates commitment for your clients. Two, it creates reliable and consistent income for you, the fitness expert.
Those are the top five things that I would focus on if I was restarting a personal training business all over again. I hope you got a lot of value from this.
Committed to Your Success,