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Fitness Business

Get Your Business Out of Debt in Three Steps

What if you walked into your facility tomorrow and everything was paid off?
What if there were
no weight equipment or treadmill payments due;
no payments due for a rubber floor or a state-of-the-art sound system; and
no loan bills due—that is, no bank requesting its piece of your pie plus interest?
What if instead of paying the bills (aka “your debts”) every month, you could put all that money into a savings account and begin to build true wealth? Does this sound like a fairy tale?

Is Your Training Space Repelling Potential Clients?

Have you ever considered that your personal training space is the reason your business suffers?

You sit there, scratch your head and think, “My programs are great! Clients love them and get results from them. So why isn’t my schedule full?”

Is it lack of marketing? Nah. You’ve got social media down pat.

Is it lack of experience? Nah. You have more certifications that you can count on two hands.

Is it lack of confidence? Nah. You’ll talk to anyone, including the empty, echoing walls you currently face.

Pivot Your Business to Success

In my last column, I wrote about how perfectionism can spell d-o-o-m to a business. One reason for this is that having an inflexible business mind means you’re not willing to really do what it takes to succeed.

Failure: Foe or Friend?


What feelings does that word conjure up? Do you get a knot in your stomach? Do you want to run away from the whole topic? Do you stick to things that are safe for you, so you can avoid failure?

The truth is that if you haven’t failed yet, you’re probably not taking risks. And while life without risks is comfortable, you’re not going to make your dreams come true by staying in your cushy comfort zone.

How to Build a Better Brand on a Budget

Your brand is far more than an expensive logo and a flashy website—it’s your complete identity. Learn how to develop a solid and effective brand that sends the right message and attracts business without breaking the bank.

How to Help Employees Get Through Personal Crises

One Saturday afternoon, Bill Sonnemaker, MS, 2007 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, watched a newly hired personal trainer lead a group of new members on a tour of Atlanta-based Catalyst Fitness. Sonnemaker—the facility’s owner—noticed that throughout the tour the trainer was receiving text messages to his cell phone.

Once the tour was completed, the trainer checked the messages, which alerted him that an emergency had taken place. He responded to the text: “What’s wrong?”

Programs to Track Your Finances

As a personal training business owner, you’ve got a lot on your to-do list. Atop that list is making sure your finances are organized and accounted for. These programs can help you do just that.

business success

Make More Money: Lean Out Your Business

If you’re like me, you’ve had the same business to-do list for, well, a long time. While I know that implementing these long-term goals will ultimately move my business forward and generate greater income, the need for more immediate, bill-paying income always seems to win out for my time and attention. But as I’m slogging through day-to-day chores, there’s a nagging voice in the back of my mind, whispering to me about how much time—and ultimately money—I’m wasting on some of these seeming necessities.

Group fitness instructor

Saving a Sinking Ship, Part 5: The Relaunch

The “Saving a Sinking Ship” series has profiled a flailing business called Jacked Up Fitness. Part 1, “Bringing Your Business Back From the Brink,” covered an initial assessment I did that revealed several core issues needing improvement. In response, the facility’s owners made aesthetic changes, improved their systems, revamped leadership structure, added a set of policies and organized their financial infrastructure.

Saving a Sinking Ship, Part 4: Understanding the Financial Structure of Your Business

When you’re looking to build a successful personal training business, having a sound understanding of finances is a must. Most fitness experts possess exceptional interpersonal skills and are able to transform lives. But they often lack the ability to effectively manage and balance a budget and to use it to forecast and take advantage of financial trends. Financial mishaps and misunderstandings can lead to business failure in no time. In this article, I will share several simple strategies that you can implement today to get your business on track to financial freedom.

Saving a Sinking Ship, Part 3: Achieving Excellence in Customer Service

With the recent fluctuation in the economy, businesses have become acutely aware of the need to provide a high level of customer service. Businesses that can create a competitive advantage through the service they provide will find themselves one step closer to success. Those that ignore the value of service will find themselves falling toward failure. In this article, I will share sound principles for creating a culture of excellence in customer service.

Saving a Sinking Ship, Part 2: Sprucing Up Your Studio’s Aesthetics

Operating a business can be challenging. Success demands innovation and creativity, and business owners must learn to develop strategies that will separate their business from all the others. What will customers appreciate about one personal training studio versus another? You can distinguish your venue in multiple waysunique equipment, greater square footage and desirable amenities are just a few. However, while these accommodations alone may be effective, they don’t guarantee success and they can be quite costly.

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