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7 Lessons I Learned In The Fitness Business

The road to success in the fitness business is different for every single fitness professional. Just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for the next. Personally, what I found worked best (especially at the beginning of my career) was to learn from as many successful fitness professionals as I could.   They had the blueprint for what I wanted to do: impact people, create a successful business and live a fulfilling life. I learned from these successful people in a variety of ways that included meeting them face to face, reading their books, reading interviews, following them on social media, watching them speak at conferences and seminars and joining industry-specific mentorship programs.

I was a sponge for learning back then, and I still am even to this day.

The Key to Success

You have to be willing to be humble and intently listen if you really want to be successful in our industry. The fitness industry is FILLED with amazing people who are willing to provide great insight:  how they got to where they are today and how they continue to stay there, by consistently putting themselves in winning and learning situations.

Success does not happen by accident and it usually requires a lot of hard work, patience, planning, resiliency and support. That support gives you strong examples to model your business and create your own blueprint.

Here are my top 7 lessons I have learned about the fitness business throughout my 11+ year career, that has helped take my business to the next level.

1. Market Your Business Every Day

This is an extremely important skill-set to possess.  Most fitness professionals market their businesses ONLY when they need new clients. This is the wrong strategy.  You will lose money.

For example, if I lose a client today and only start marketing tomorrow, then who knows how long it will take my marketing efforts to find a replacement.  A day? A month?  Either way, I’m losing money in the meantime. But, if you keep your business and your brand in front of your target audience daily, then you keep a steady amount of interest in your services, and can oftentimes even create a waiting list.

2. Team Work Makes The Dream Work

Hiring a good team is essential to the growth of your business. You need good people around you to take your vision and business to the next level. You can’t do everything. You can’t train the clients, answer the phones, market the business, pay the bills, clean up the facility, and still work on your business for continued success. You may be able to do all of that for a short period of time, or maybe even a number of years, but eventually you will either burn out or something else in your business will suffer. Make the investment today to hire good people so you can focus on what you need to focus on, and elevate your brand and business.

3. Plan Ahead

Every October, I sit down with my team at MZR Fitness, and we go over all of our business goals and marketing strategies in great detail for the following year. We leave nothing for chance. We evaluate all the things that we did and didn’t do well in the previous year.  We use that data to formulate a plan, so we can continue to grow our brand and our revenue. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

4. Systemize Everything

By implementing successful systems into your business, you will learn how to “predict” the future of your business on a daily basis. You cut out the guesswork by doing this and you will improve the efficiency of your business. You will need a system for:

  • how you greet clients
  • how you train clients
  • how you answer the phones
  • how you accept payments
  • how clients find you
  • how you clean your restrooms
  • what is the parking protocol for your customers?
  • how you order water, coffee etc. etc.

Your goal should be to have the most efficient fitness business in your community which will help you to also increase your revenue.

5. Know Your Numbers

This may seem like a basic lesson to add here, but you’d be surprised by how many people own a business and don’t know their numbers. Don’t be one of those people.

Make it your goal to know every single piece of numeric data about your business. You don’t need to be an accountant, but you do need to know the basics of your profit and loss statements, financial projections, cash flow statements and balance sheets. Stay in-the-know, so that you can keep your business profitable for many years to come.

6. Keep Your Foot On The Gas Pedal

Have you ever read the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins? It’s a great read and one of the main points made is that once you experience some success in your life, you shouldn’t get complacent and you should keep striving for more. In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make.

Never think that because you got to the top once, you can’t fall back down. There are several gyms and fitness professionals who are uniquely talented and hungrier than ever for your success. So, once you get to the top, don’t get comfortable.  Continue to work as if it’s your first day as a personal trainer and you have a no clients. Stay hungry and stay humble.

7. Workout Regularly

This may seem like a no-brainer but there are several fitness professionals that don’t even work out because they are so busy training clients, running businesses and taking care of their families. Don’t forget to take care of yourself first so that you can build the best version of yourself to help others build the best version of themselves.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

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