January is often a time for exploring hopes and goals for self-improvement in the new year. While clients and club members develop New Year’s resolutions for 2011, business owners can also benefit from self-assessment and goal setting. “An important part of running a successful business is taking the time to see what your potential customers see,” advises Mary Bratcher, MA, DipLC, co-owner of The BioMechanics in San Diego. “Looking at your business from the customer’s perspective can give you excellent insight into what you do well; but more importantly, it can alert you to things that may need a bit of ‘toning up.’ What better time than the New Year to get your business back in shape?” Following are Bratcher’s tips for a successful 2011:

  • Scrutinize Current Qualifications. Do you have a certification from an organization approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)? If not, it would be wise to obtain one to stay competitive.
  • Examine Your Skill Set. Have you developed your skills in a specific area of health and fitness? Specializing in one area will help you attract clients and gain referrals.
  • Give Your Facility a Visual Once-Over. Is your business in need of a spruce-up or a thorough cleaning? Clients often make important decisions based on the way a gym or equipment looks.
  • Check Your Satisfaction Level. Are you still happy doing what you do? If you are, great! If you’re not, clients will notice. If you decide you want to make a change for yourself career-wise, consider moving into a different area of the fitness industry (management, education, program development, etc.) that appeals to you or better suits your particular talents.