Running a business is never easy. It has its own set of challenges that can throw even the most seasoned business owner off their mark. Even with an ideal location, great clients, and top-of-the-line equipment, there will be challenges to overcome for longterm success.
If you’re in the fitness business long enough, you’ll likely face a few of these common challenges:
1. Finding—and Keeping—Your Ideal Client
This is the biggest challenge you will experience, because it’s not just about “getting” the ideal client — it’s about keeping them engaged, happy, and fit over the long haul. Unless you are the only fitness studio in a remote area or the only one with an open membership, you will be facing a lot of competition from other studios and other methods of training (like outdoor activities, etc.).
When you first start out, word of mouth will be your biggest marketing tool. But when you start to grow and get busier, you need to nail down exactly who your ideal client is so you can focus on him or her and grow your business accordingly.
Focus on your ideal customer and spend your marketing dollars reaching him or her specifically. Serve the market you are best at serving — and be the best at that service.
2. Building a Reliable Team of Instructors, CSRs, and Trainers
Once you grow large enough to need employees, you’ll encounter the next biggest hurdle — establishing and retaining a qualified fitness and customer service team.
When just starting out, hiring an admin or customer service representative can provide a decent ROI. CSRs typically handle sales and any customer issues that may arise with a friendly, service-oriented voice that should be representative of your business. Having the assistance of a dedicated admin can free you up to do what you do best — training and advising your clients.
3. Finding the Right Fitness Studio Space
This critical step can really work against you if you rush things and don’t evaluate all the elements of your particular fitness business’ needs. Also, don’t forget the ancillary costs involved with each space you are considering.
Consider these questions when making the leap to leasing your fitness studio space:
- How much space do I need to offer my core services effectively?
- Can I afford the ideal space?
- What lease term should I be seeking?
- Will the space need major renovations to provide the environment I am looking for?
4. Turning and Maintaining a Profit
Maintaining a reasonable profit margin is critical—you want to be able to put cash away each month, not just run through gross revenue and live essentially “paycheck to paycheck.”
To achieve a decent cash flow, you want your gross revenue to handle all expenses and then some — leaving you with a gross profit. You should aim for a profit margin of 10-15% or more, accounting for prepaid taxes and other expenses including your own salary.
5. Maintaining Your Passion for Fitness — and Your Sanity!
The most common hurdle of all is the fact that you got into this business to do what you love, and as you get busier you’ll find yourself doing less and less of it. As a fitness studio owner, “running the business” (and not doing as much of the “fun” stuff that you got into business for in the first place) can be considered par for the course for some—but it doesn’t have to be that way.
To stay focused on your goals and keep your passion for fitness alive, consider these four tips:
- Know your vision and your business’ mission statement
- Be aware of your priorities and stay focused on them
- Be thorough and committed in your business dealings
- Plan for quality time away from your business
The last tip? Recharge your batteries from time to time to stay focused and energized. Do this so you can help others do the same. Allocate time each week for your own fitness goals or another project that makes you feel accomplished and motivated.
For a more efficient approach to running your fitness business, check out www.fitli.com today. You can also sign up for a free demo. Contact us for more information about your fitness business a success.
Fitli provides fitness and wellness businesses a suite of web-based tools focused on mobile and online booking and scheduling. Fitli offers software for yoga studios, personal trainers, pilates studios, or any other type of fitness or wellness business.