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10 common mistakes in running a fitness business : 19 Mar 2011

Running a fitness business is not always as straight-forward as we'd like. There are a number of potential hazards, many of which can be avoided with appropriate planning and consideration. Following is a summary of 10 of the more common mistakes (and how to avoid them) - taken from the recently released Step into Life E-book, 'From Zero to Hero'.

Number 1. LACK OF BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE
Personal Trainers are often Personal Trainers first and business people second. Unfortunately this is not a great recipe for long term success. Things that should be taken into consideration include; Effective business systems, Cash flow management, Taxes, Operating expenses, agreements/contracts, etc. While you can educate yourself through business books and websites it is also important to learn to delegate. For example, you may not know the intricate ins and outs of tax regulations - it's better to hire an accountant for their expertise, or have a lawyer look over your agreements.

Number 2. UNCLEAR OF NO BRANDING
Brands have personalities, and, like people, they stand for particular values. The personality comes through to your prospective members in two ways: through the identity and through its image. A brand is a promise to your prospective clients. It is important to keep your brand consistent so that your current and prospective clients are not confused about your brand promise.

Number 3. NOT TARGETING A SPECIFIC MARKET
In this business there is a lot of competition. By targeting a specific group of people, your message is much more specific and far more relevant and more likely to be persuasive to them.

Number 4. NOT PROMOTING YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POINT/KEY BENEFIT
What will potential clients get from using your service over someone else's. The expected offering is Personal Training - but all of your competition offers that. You have to be able to answer the question what makes you unique?

Number 5. IGNORING LEAD GENERATION
One of the easiest and quickest ways of building your personal training business is through lead generation tactics including referrals. The strongest strategy is to have two or three core, never-fail lead generation strategies in place, and work them week after week. What you shouldn't do, however, is get lazy and rely on those strategies only.

Number 6. BEING SCARED OF SALES
This is a common fear, yet overcoming this particular fear is important to the success of your business. If you're not willing to make the sale, it's going to be hard to convert all your new leads into members. Following are some suggestions; Listen, Don't push, Overcome objections before they arise, Close the sale with choices, Follow up where appropriate.

Number 7. BORING TRAINING
Yes, you probably already think you offer great personal training and fitness solutions for your members and you know that you can deliver the results that your members want - but so do hundreds of other competitors within the fitness industry sector. You might be a star at designing workouts and providing facilities that meet your members' needs, but you also need to possess a strong identity or have passion which will help ring in more members to your business to keep them signing up over and over again.

Number 8. HAVING ONLY ONE REVENUE STREAM
You've heard the old adage: don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you want your Personal Training business to thrive, not survive, you will need to have more than one revenue stream.

Number 9. LACK OF SOCIAL MEDIA KNOWLEDGE
Social media networks will help you to create an engaging conversation and ultimately build trust between you and your members (or prospective members). Some ideas include; Taking responsibility on what you write, be original and trustworthy, consider your audience, share something valuable...

Number 10. THE CONSTANT CHURN - NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR CLIENTS
One of the biggest fitness headaches is member retention. The easiest way to retain your clients is to offer them something more beyond your training, to increase their perceived value of your services. Ideas on how to address this include; Offer a rewards system, keep in constant contact with your clients/members, organise free events...

If you'd like to view this list in its entirety, Cathy Stacey from Step into Life (VIC) is offering to email you a FREE copy of the 'From Zero to Hero' E-book. Simply send her an email via this link. The E-book also contains some great information about Step into Life, how it began and how the franchise system works.

For more information on the Step into Life franchise opportunities in Victoria, check out their profile here.

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