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What business skills will you need to learn to grow your income this year?

If you’re like most, your answer will be something like “master marketing.” More leads equals more clients and more revenue… right? Wrong.

Whether you’re a newly certified personal trainer, an established career professional, or a studio owner, you’ll need to learn a more diverse set of business skills than marketing to achieve your goals.

Following are five powerful fitness business growth questions that will drive your continued success in the long term. Reflect on your answers to each question, self-assess how confident you feel about your knowledge level and give yourself a score from 1-5 (with 1 being not very confident and 5 being extremely confident):

1. How well have you defined what success looks like for your career and business in the year ahead? How well developed a plan do you have to achieve your goals? Your business strategy is your plan to achieve your goals. What do you want to achieve? How will you measure it? What’s your plan? How will you best lead others? What to add: leadership, strategy, team development.

2. How well do you know WHO is the best client for your business, WHERE you’ll find them, WHAT you’ll say to engage and inspire them and HOW you’ll lead them to commit to the journey required to achieve their goals (and sign up for your programs)? If you need to upgrade here, add marketing and sales communication systems to your learning plan.

3. How clear are you on WHAT success looks like for your client and HOW you’ll deliver unique value in serving them to differentiate your business from the competition? The better you understand the desires/goals and problems/challenges of your clients, the better positioned you are to powerfully serve them. What to learn: client engagement, satisfaction, retention and lifetime value.

4. How well do you understand the numbers (and decisions) that drive revenue, profitability and cash flow with your business to ensure financial success? If you don’t manage the money that goes in and out of your fitness business, you’ll always struggle. That means understanding margins, cost structures, profit & loss statement, balance sheets and forecasting business revenue/cashflow. If that’s Greek to you, learn basic accounting and finance.

5. How much fun are you having each day? Are you enjoying the journey to achieve your goals? If you’re not enjoying the journey, you may wonder if this career path is for you. The keys are time and energy management, so you can enjoy the present moment (whether you’re working or not) and build the perfect calendar to support your growth.

Review your scores. Where are you most confident? Where are you least confident? Let your insights guide building your personalized learning plan for the year ahead.

Most people make the mistake of investing all their time learning in just one domain. Or they find it more comfortable to continue improving their strengths, but ignore key areas they need to develop.

Don’t let that happen to you. Take time to regularly assess your greatest areas of opportunity for personal and professional development and commit to stepping outside your comfort zone to grow your knowledge base. Doing so will allow you to develop the business skills required to ensure continued success for years to come.

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