Likely every fitness professional on the planet knows the acronym for SMART goal planning. I'm sure many of you continually use this to set specific, measureable goals for your clients that you help them reverse engineer down to the most basic daily baby steps. But do you have defined goals for your business? For January? For each quarter? For all of 2013?

I'm amazed at how many fitness professionals (and in truth other professionals, too) do not have defined goals. I'm sure you'll agree if we trained our clients this way they'd be no more successful with us than they have been on their own. So why is it that we choose to run our business this way?

If you've been in business more than a year start by thinking back to last January and the results for that month. Determine how many new clients you gained, consider what total revenue was, assess how many prospects came in and the ratio that became clients, and even consider what offers were most appealing or what resistance was most common. If you don't have this information or have been in business for less than a year than GUESS! That's right guess, because even a series of guesses begins to constitute a plan, a plan we can then work backwards with to determine our day-to-day objectives.

Let's give you an example. Let's assume you are brand new to the industry and that you have no clients. In this example I'm going to use revenue as our goal because I don't know but the one consistent goal we all have is we need money to satisfy life's responsibilities to have the freedom to do what we wish.

If you're at zero today just starting out the most common target is $100,000 annually. If we break that down monthly that means we need to get to $8,333/month. If we consider worldwide the average cost per training session is around a dollar a minute and an average client trains three days/week then our average client is going to contribute between $360-720/month to our goal. (Depending on the length of training sessions assuming everyone provides a service session between 30-60 minutes long.)

So we need somewhere between 12-23 clients paying us $360-720/month. Do you think it's realistic to find 12-23 clients in January alone? It very well could be.

We now have a SPECIFIC business goal, which we're going to MEASURE with monthly payments as a means to reach our end target of $8,333/month or $100,000 annually.

We've even begun to question whether 30 days is a REALISTIC time frame to reach this. I believe it absolutely could be, but it's not about what I believe so be sure to pick a time frame that is 100% believable to you. Would it be terrible if it took 90 days to reach $100k? That would only be 1-2 new clients a week during the highest awareness time of year.

With the decision of a TIME FRAME between 30-90 days the only thing left is our ACTION PLAN. How will you attract 1-3 new clients a week? If you consider multi-level marketing for a moment (for the record I dislike MLMs but we can learn from things we don't like) statistically most MLMs will teach that you will need to speak to 10 people to add one person to your trusted circle. If we apply this same logic to our business it means we need an audience of about 30 people per week to acquire or three new clients. With persistence the size of this audience will also lessen. If we assume you only want to work Monday through Friday let me ask you do you think you can find a way to engage six new people per day? What if you made an effort to Tweet six motivational comments or fitness tips throughout all of January with people striving to reach New Year's resolutions? What if you posted 1-2 healthy recipes per day on Pintrest? What if you did the same on Facebook just on your personal profile? How about creating a classified offering people a week of group training free to kick off their New Year's resolution right?

There's Facebook ads, lunch and learns, print ads, community groups to speak at or if you work in a public gym you could simply offer to help people with their workouts at peak times. One of my coaching clients built a six-figure business in record time just by committing to helping people in his gym 3-4 hours a day have a better workout.

Does this seem simple yet? There's no reason you can't duplicate this month after month, quarter by quarter or basically plan out your whole year. You begin to fill in the gaps with defined promotions, weekly and daily tasks and before you know it you have a plan. Even if you miss your goals at first you are failing forward, your misses will create adjustments that improve your aim. Why not make your New Year's resolution to become a profitable personal trainer?


Cabel McElderry, now known as the Profitable Personal Trainer, struggled as a solo personal trainer for nearly eight years before learning the strategies he needed to transform his barely six-figure business to a seven-figure (and growing) training studio in just a couple years. His studio (One-to-1 Fitness), now 5 years old, has won multiple awards for business excellence. Cabel has been recognized as one of the top 100 fitness entrepreneurs in North America and is currently one of 50 nominees for Optimum Nutrition's Canadian Trainer of the Year. Cabel still trains a handful of clients as his passion to help others will never fade but has also evolved. Cabel now also mentors fitness professionals in an effort to help them achieve similar or better results than his own. www.ProfitablePersonalTrainer.com

Topic: Entrepreneur Web Column

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