You've got the fire, the passion and the determination to change lives and make a serious impact. You're a great trainer and ready for the next step... your own brick and mortar business. But where do you start? Here is an outline of some of the key first steps to get you on the right path.
Create a business plan
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." When it comes to business, don't just "wing it." Key points to include in your business plan:
- Identify your target market and how you will solve their problem with your program (better athlete, weight loss solution, etc).
- Know where your clients will come from.
- Determine your services and pricing.
- Outline your current financials.
- Put together a marketing strategy.
Seek out free mentoringS.C.O.R.E., once known as The Service Corps Of Retired Executives (www.score.org) is an awesome non-profit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs at little to no cost to you. They have business building seminars, free coaching and more.
If this is your first go at running your own business, start small. See if you can train clients outside or negotiate a deal with your local community center or church. If you're looking for a more professional environment, do a search in your area for a place to sublease as a trainer. Identify the five nearest to where your target market lives. Then tour each one, get pricing, the term of sublease, if any, etc. Narrow your top 2-3 and negotiate a better price. Select the one that best suits you and your clients. Your ultimate goal is to conserve cash.
You don't need a huge marketing budget to get new clients. But you do need to WOW your clients, service them like crazy and help them get awesome results. Document all you do with videos, before and after pictures and (pending their permission) post on Facebook (both your personal page and perhaps a business page). Ask your clients for referrals and that you need their help build your business. Give them a few $50 gift cards to help incentivize their friends and then gift your client a $50 credit or free session if their friends join. Get a Yelp account setup and get clients to post reviews for you. Run a free community boot camp on Saturdays. These are just a few ways... get creative and see how you can market for free.
Once you have your business plan and financials ready to launch; you may need more capital for start-up expenses. Do a search for microloans in your area. They exist and they are wonderful. You'll need a business plan and you can get $5,000-$50,000 through most of them (all you should need for a small training studio).
Hire a coach
You may think you don’t have the money for this. Wrong. You need to connect with someone you resonate with who has "been there and done that." This can save you time, money and sleep. This person needs to challenge you, hold you accountable and help you achieve your goals.
There are a lot of people that need help in this world. Define who you want to help and use the tools above to create a successful and sustainable fitness business that will change lives for years to come.
John Heringer is the Founder and Chief Motivator of Fast Action Training. John has been managing and leading in the fitness industry for 10+ years and loves inspiring trainers and studio owners to improve their businesses and their lives. Since early 2010 John has built Fast Action Training from zero clients and a one man show to over 300+ clients and an amazing team of seven passionate individuals dedicated to making the world a more fit, healthy and positive place. John@fastactiontraining.com