Although my business still requires diligence, attentiveness and hard work, it is much easier now than it was then because I know so much more. I know what I want, and I am at ease and comfortable with my hours, my skills and my clients.
Regardless of the economy, the weather, the decade or your age, having “the business edge” is about having a business that is organized, dependable and current and that stands out from the run-of-the-mill wellness business.
This column provides trainers with practical ways to approach common business obstacles using a coaching strategy called gap analysis. A gap analysis helps people identify where they are currently with regard to a situation, where they ultimately would like to see themselves, and the steps they must take in order to bridge the gap. Here’s how a gap analysis can help you improve your ability to establish and maintain professional boundaries with your clients.
Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, if you were in the fitness industry you were probably an aerobics instructor, and you likely taught some kind of high-impact classes. Sure, there were a few personal trainers working with bodybuilders, but for the most part the industry was defined by dance exercise.
Do you have great ideas for making improvements to your facility, but find your manager difficult to speak to? Supervisors can often be challenging to connect with; oftentimes they are busy with their own schedules and can appear distant or unfriendly. Nonetheless, there are ways to speak your mind without risking your job. Here are five tips for connecting with a difficult manager, courtesy of behavior strategist and performance management coach Joe Takash:
Are you preparing for a performance evaluation? Or have you scheduled a salary review meeting? Either way, you need to know how your current salary or hourly rate compares with the industry average. A lot of variables go into that comparison, including your job title, the region where you work, the type of facility you work for and the number of members your facility serves. The perks you receive—such as benefits, cash incentives and educational assistance—can also affect your compensation.
In recognition of the growing demand for certified group fitness instructors, West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences now offers a minor in group fitness instruction. Program director Nancy Naternicola developed the curriculum “to prepare students for a professional career
in designing and conducting comprehensive group fitness exercise programs.” Upon completion, students will be able to design and teach classes in step, high-low, intervals and more.
What are your skills worth? Probably more than what your employer is paying you, right? While that might be true, it does not necessarily mean your employer wouldn’t like or want to pay you more; instead, it could be that the potential earnings from the service you provide limit what the company is able to pay. An increase in earnings has to be a win-win situation for both you and your employer. And then there’s the recession to consider.
When Lindsay Del Rossi, a personal trainer in Pomona, California, lost her job this past year in the economic downturn, she didn’t look at it as a defeat. Instead, she saw it as an opportunity. With two degrees, a history of being a top performer in her job classification, experience as a senior director and almost a decade of fitness industry experience, she knew that this time was her opportunity to make a positive change.
The fitness industry has come a long way in terms of credibility and standards since the days of fuzzy leg warmers and terry cloth sweatbands. In fact, industry standards have risen so much in recent years that many companies will hire only those fitness professionals who have obtained their certifications from organizations approved by independent entities, such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
In a time of sweeping global change and a shifting economic climate, fitness professionals around the world are gauging the potential impact on their careers and businesses and adapting to stay on track. We asked fitness pros to tell us about the extent of the economy’s effect on them, and what they are doing to meet the challenge.
Survival Tactics and Success Strategies
Fitness professionals share these tips for overcoming economic challenges: