If you run or operate a fitness business as I do, and look around, it may seem like the walls are caving in a bit.
Increased competition for your services,and your customer’s attention have forced a certain maturity in operations in order to survive.
It is not uncommon to see fitness businesses closing, as another one did in the Kitchener-Waterloo region July 1. (This is the 2nd closing in the area in a few months).
Lots of money lost.
Many people disappointed.
A business closing is not always because of not enough revenue. It could be mismanagement of the revenue. It could be too many expenses. It could be a lot of different reasons.
I know from my day to day visits and meetings many are teetering on the brink of closing. Yet. Many are also prospering.
I know, I lived through it in 2005. It was a stepping stone to really understanding what needed to be done to reach the goals I had in place.
So what gives?
How can we make sure the walls do not cave in on our hard work and, in fact, start to expand?
Here are the 5 steps I have found to ensure a little breathing room:
1. Understand what business you are really in. Fitness services maybe what you think (In my case fitness equipment supply and education services). However, the real business is the service of people. The real business is the marketing of those services. The real business is ensuring profit through these mediums. If you are not good with that – then this will be a tough ride.
2. Invest in your own training and education on business operations and that of your team. Take the time to identify what is working in our industry. With access to information at our fingertips, you can pretty quickly find what is working well.
3. Once you know what is working, break down operations into systems and skills that can be documented, practiced, taught, and perfected
4. Don’t’ invest in anything in your business without a tangible return on investment plan. That includes services you offer, programs available and products you sell Just putting programs or equipment in a room and expecting success is now outdated. Where in the ROI plan?
5. Focus getting better every day. Map out time in your week to work on your skills. If you are responsible for a team, make sure they develop the same habit for their success. Only in business, will you find people who expect success without much practice. Think that happens in sports or the arts? Look at any group or individual that is successful and you will find a lot of work behind it.
The more you evolve your fitness offering, the more we evolve as an industry.
Ask those in music, books and home hardware. They had to evolve or die.
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