This column is not another generic list of useless ideas, but instead a powerful cheat sheet on how to grow your business over the next year. The truth is that you probably already have all the fundamental skills you will need to add another $2-4,000 a month ($24 -50K a year) to your bank account. The reason I chose those numbers is because you won't have to do anything drastically different to achieve them.

    Let me explain ...

    If you're not yet at full capacity, to add another $2,000 a month to your paycheck all you have to do is pick up another 10 sessions a week at $50 an hour. That means you'd need about five new clients to add another $24,000 to your yearly income. Not a bad pay increase for 10 more sessions a week.

    Keep in mind, those sessions don't have to be an hour long, either. They can be 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or part of a package where they receive some email coaching, etc. The goal, of course, is not to work more than 40 hours a week, but rather maximize your time and profit. And after you max out your client sessions per week you can begin implementing other strategies to take your business to the next level.

    So without further adieu, here are the top 12 Ways to Grow Your Business in 2012:

    1. Real Referrals
    Don't buy into the hype about every new client giving you a hundred referrals. Instead, look at the bigger picture, which is 20% of your clients will provide you with the most referrals. The others may do very little, so your goal is to reward your big referrers and let them know you appreciate their referrals. If you're not getting at least 2 out of 10 clients to refer you at least 1-2 new clients a year, then your referral system is broken.

    2. Ask for New Clients
    This may seem obvious, but you really should let your fitness manager know you have openings in your schedule and would love to do complimentary consultations with new gym or studio members. If you show initiative you will most likely be see as a "go-getter" and will get leads.

    3. Ask for the List
    Ask your gym or studio for new member phone numbers and emails to contact and welcome them to your club. You will also use this list to see if you can set them up with a complimentary fitness consultation where you can then try to convert them to a client by showing the value of your services

    4. Ask for the "Forgotten List"
    This is a huge opportunity that no one uses. Ask your fitness manager (again, show initiative) for the list of clients that used to do personal training, but have stopped. By contacting them and showing them you want to help them get back on track you can usually pick up at least a couple of clients, which would equate to another 4-6 sessions a week minimum.

    5. Floor Time
    Typically, working the floor is a waste of time for most CPTs since they don't do it correctly. Your job is not to walk around and put away weights ... that time should be spent talking with members and building relationships. If you meet a hundred people at your gym, how could you not get 1 or 2 people to training with you?

    6. Start a New Program
    I've coached many a fitness professional who have used this idea to pick up 5-10 new clients within a month. The tip here is to design a new body transformation program, bootcamp, athletic conditioning class, etc. to teach. Once you've designed it and priced it bring it to your manager's attention to get it signed off on. After that you can create a poster and market it to your members.

    7. Set Up Shop
    I used this tip in conjunction with #6 when I first designed a golf-conditioning program at a former gym I worked at. Here's what I did: I set up an information table with my poster, etc. that allowed potential clients to come up to me, meet me, and ask questions about them program. Since I had a captive audience, it worked like a charm.

    8. No Competition
    Don't view the other CPTs around you as competition. That creates a mindset of shortage where you believe there are only so many clients to go around. Remember, your mindset is crucial in creating abundance in your life. Every minute of the day you should be focused on the realization that you are giving amazing value to clients and that is why you are a full-time fitness pro with an outstanding business.

    9. Market Outside of Your Club
    Whether you own or work in a gym or studio this tip works either way. Your goal is to get as many people in your area to know you as possible. This means when you've run through your current stable of members, it's time to hit the streets and market your business. Remember, it's a numbers game and you need more eyeballs on your business in order to grow.

    10. Split Clients
    This is an odd concept and I don't think many studios or gyms are implementing it, but they should be. The idea here is that when you are getting close to maxed out with your schedule and can only accommodate random times throughout the week, you should still take on new consultations, but share those clients with another fitness professional on your team. This means you may train a client one day and when you don't have the space another CPT can work with them. Everyone wins!

    11. Do the Math
    It's important to actually calculate how you will achieve your goals. For example if you want to make $24,000-50,000 more this year then you need to figure how may more sessions you will need to complete on a weekly basis, or how much you need to raise your rates, or what additional services you can offer.

    12. The Big Picture
    Realize that in order to successfully grow your business on a yearly basis you can't rely on just ONE thing. It doesn't matter whether it's marketing, sales, programming, etc., the point is to make sure you're doing everything. In order to increase your chances of success you should be attacking from all fronts -- this will allow you to win in the end even if some of your tactics fail.

    I hope this article helped to open your eyes on what it takes to be successful and how success really is nothing more than implementing a well crafted plan in a systematic manner.

    Enjoy the New Year and let this be the year you take your business to the next level!


    Stephen Cabral has consulted for MTV, Men's Health, NutritionData, SELF, Women's Day, as well as dozens of others. He was named the PFP 2011 Trainer of the Year. He is also a fitness writer, author, studio owner, and the founder of Personal Training Business School. His free fitness business video series, proven strategies and tips can be found at http://PersonalTrainingBusinessSchool.com

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