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In a conversation last week with a fitness professional on the west coast, I realized that a critical mistake many entrepreneurs and fitness trainers make is throwing time and money at new technology without a specific plan or expectation for results in return. When I asked him how technology has helped him grow and manage his business, he told me he would consider himself a "no-tech" business owner. He owns a small fitness studio with a handful of trainers and does virtually no marketing but focuses almost entirely on nurturing his client base for personal referrals.

The extent of the technology he uses in his business doesn't go far beyond his laptop and standard Microsoft programs. He has accounting software to track sales, expenses and to run reports. He doesn't have a member card swipe system and he doesn't even have a Facebook page. Did I mention that he has a waiting list of clients clamoring to pay top dollar and his business is very profitable? You could call this business owner "behind the times" for not embracing the advances in technology, but bottom line, he's remarkably successful using simple solutions that are efficient and produce consistent results.

Too often I find that entrepreneurs use technology for the sake of using technology; whether it's because they fear they may miss out on opportunity or because "everyone else" is using it. What often happens is a business owner then ends up spending valuable time managing the technology rather than maximizing the solutions that work best and offer the greatest returns.

The key is to find what technology best suits your needs. Before investing your time and dollars in new technology, whether social media, client management programs, body composition tools, smartphone apps, or online marketing; here are three key points to consider:

Does this technology benefit my target client and will that reflect in my return on investment (time or monetary)?
If you primarily train seniors, spending time managing your Twitter account will not produce value for your client and will likely not give you any direct sales.

How will you systematize this technology to successfully integrate it into your business?
As with any aspect of your business, it is critical that you create systems in order to ensure as much efficiency and predictability as possible.

Have a "check" in place to ensure the technology continues to be productive for you.
If you invested in body composition software or an online training portal, be sure that you are tracking sales or performance on a regular basis.

Embrace technology but before investing your precious assets of time and money, ensure that it will enhance your services, increase sales and offer your client a better experience.

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What is your average annual income for your fitness-related work/business?