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Just as the adage says, 'it takes a village' to raise a child... the same can be said about your fitness business. Whether you're a one-trainer show, a small studio or multi-million dollar facility, you'll only ever be as strong as the team you surround yourself with. It's never too early to start building your dream team.

Here are four partners you want to carefully and meticulously get on your dream team. Make them earn a spot on your team; your livelihood literally depends on it. Interview them, ask for references, ask them tough questions and trust your gut instinct about them. Think to yourself, "In the worst possible scenario, do I want this person on my side?" Think of these individuals as "partners" rather than someone you're just hiring; they must be as vested in the success of your business as you are.

Accountant
Your accountant is one of the most imperative players on your team. The right accountant should understand the inner workings of your business in great detail so they can structure your business with the appropriate formation (i.e. LLC, S-Corp, etc.) and set-up your business so you're in a favorable position when it comes to taxes and liability. They need to take an active role in your business – not just be around when it's time to file your taxes; your business is a living, breathing being and if your accountant doesn't understand your business model, this could hurt you in the long-run. I've learned from experience that there is a significant advantage to partnering with an accountant who has worked with clients in the fitness or health-related fields.

Attorney
An attorney you can rely on will help you rest easier at night. Liabilities are endless as a fitness professional; so having the right attorney on your team to review health and release forms, client contracts and any important business documentation may cost you initially, but could save your business in the worst-case scenario. A general attorney can typically give you the services you need as an independent professional but as you grow your business, you may look for attorneys with individual specialties such as real estate, employment, contracts, etc.

Assitant
Don't think you need to have a booming business before you hire a strong assistant. A strong assistant will help you achieve that booming business. If you’re not quite ready to bring on a full-time, or even a part-time assistant, you can start with an online virtual assistants that can help with the tedious, but important tasks so you can focus on tasks that directly impact your business. Interview carefully and make sure this person is vested and trustworthy!

Coach
Call it a coach, mentor, consultant…this is someone who will hold you accountable to achieving greater goals and keeping you on track. Most successful independent trainers and entrepreneurs credit their success to aligning with a coach or several coaches who help them see beyond the 'day-to-day' of managing your business and are able to give you the tools and strategies to market, manage and take your business to new heights.

Do your due diligence and be warned about hiring friends or family just to save money or because you feel obliged to give them your business - these situations rarely bode well. Your business is your livelihood and along with these four key players, make sure anyone you let into your business is someone you trust and value. No strong business was ever built by one person alone - it takes a village!

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