5 ways to grow your fitness business
As a fitness business owner/fitness professional you are usually a one (wo)man band. When you first start out on your journey as a fitness pro, it’s not uncommon to take every client and class that is thrown your way, and you very quickly end up with a schedule that leaves you approximately 27.5 minutes each day to eat, shower and relax. Before too long you realise that you can’t carry on this way and need to do something about it. And you think about how you can grow your business and increase your earning potential without hitting burnout. Sound familiar?
I was in this position about 2 years ago. I’d been working in the industry for a couple of years and my schedule had gradually been getting more and more hectic. I’d say yes to pretty much any work or cover opportunity because I thought what I could do with the extra money. I didn’t think what it would do to my body and it very quickly led to me getting injured and struggling with chronic fatigue. I knew I needed a plan to create a sustainable business and career that would mean I wasn’t forced to retire at 27. If you’re resonating with anything I’ve just said, what are some steps you can take to sustainably grow your fitness business?
1. Undertake more qualifications The more qualifications you have, the higher price you can charge for your services. You have invested time and money into your education and this is reflected in the price you can charge. It is implied that you have a higher level of knowledge and expertise than your competitors and thus will provide a higher quality service. If anybody questions your pricing then you can back it up with certifications. This will be the best way to grow your fitness business as it means you can gradually increase your prices over time, so will be earning more money for the same amount of hours worked (or less!)
2. Find ways to diversify your income This also links back to having more qualifications. The more things you have in your arsenal then the more options you have to diversify your income. This could include personal training, a wider range of group fitness classes, a yoga or pilates qualification or perhaps branching out into online coaching. The more things you do, the easier it is to find work. You can then lean into the things that are more profitable or you are more confident doing. Being diverse also gives you a range of back up options if something were to ever go wrong. E.g. if you lose a big client you know you could always pick up some class cover to make up the income that month
3. Create a valuable product or service
If you have created a product or service that delivers what it says on the tin and more then you should have no problem attracting clients to it. Once you get a few people through the door, word of mouth will help you grow. This is where supply and demand comes into play. If you have more people wanting your service than you are able to take on, you can charge a higher price for it. Do this over time or with a variety of products and you have a scale-able fitness business.
Image credit: Squadhelp.com
4. Position yourself as a market leader
You want to become to go to person in your space. The person that someone instantly thinks of when they need help with something. Whether you are the yoga person, the Crossfit person, the nutrition specialist or the mental health guy, being considered a market leader will help attract clients and allow you to charge more for your service. It might also open the doors to other opportunities like collaborations, working with brands, interviews or public speaking events.
5. Negotiate your rate with any gym you work at In a “normal” job, the rate you are paid is always up for negotiation. You may go into an interview with higher salary expectations than what is on offer, but it is understood that if the employer wants you enough and believes you will be a valuable enough asset then they will willing to negotiate the salary. The same should be true in group fitness land. If you pack out your classes every week and get great feedback then you deserve to be compensated for it. I personally negotiated a higher rate of pay at one club I work for because I have taken advanced training in the programs I teach for them. I get an extra £2 per class on their headline rate, which adds up to an extra £500 per year than had I not asked the question.
Hopefully some of these points will have planted a seed of how you can begin to grow your fitness business. None of these tips are actionable overnight but are long term plays to help you develop something really sustainable - I’m personally trying to implement all 5 right now!
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