For many coaches, life is spent in the grind of finding clients, keeping them healthy and nurturing the relationship. We are often so distracted by everything and everyone around us that we fail miserably at understanding, managing and growing our businesses.

In the book The E-Myth, the author lays out three types on business personalities: the entrepreneur, the manager and the technician, and studies show that of small businesses 70% are owned by technicians. Most of us, especially in the fitness industry, start out as technicians, which leaves us fumbling across the finish line every month, quarter and year trying to figure out the best way forward. We end up making less money than we would like to and burned out to the point of exhaustion. This does not have to be your story. A great tool like the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can shift the narrative for you and your company.

Although the SWOT is quite simplistic, it is comprehensive. For most, the greatest benefits will come from identifying and creating a strategic plan around the following:
Strengths: Recognizing what is unique about you/your business; Leveraging education, certs, special training and your accomplishments
Weaknesses: Identifying skill gaps and limitations; Listing areas where professional development is needed
Opportunities: Exploring trends and emerging market shifts; Expanding on what you or your team are already doing well
Threats: Anticipating seasonal challenges; Forecasting any political/economical shifts; What/who is putting your business at risk? This can be positive and negative.

Once items for your specific business or life are identified, compile them to create an action plan based on the results. For example, if a threat in your analysis is not having enough training to be a well-rounded coach or team, then outline how you will achieve becoming a more well-rounded coach. This is where you schedule conferences, sign up to learn a new method of stretching or whatever it is that helps you stand out among those around you. The point is that you need to do more than just fill in the blanks here. Fill the blanks in, give each item a clear due date, and do a quarterly follow-up with a mentor or someone on your team to keep you on track.

Brandi Binkley has been an Exercise Physiologist for 19 years. She has served as a consultant to the Department of Defense, Alpha Warrior, Technogym, and multiple healthcare companies. Brandi also spends her time serving on the board for End Slavery TN, Tennessee State NSCA Advisory, C12, and The Todd Durkin Mastermind.