Synergistic Systems
By Kay L. Cross, MEd

Wanted: Experienced Business/Life Manager
Becoming a great self-manager takes practice and consistent discipline. How much fun did you have last month? Did you throw away what you didn’t need, and get organized and motivated for a year of synergy? Now that the cleaning out and filing are behind you, we’re on to the next step– the search for a great business manager. Since that most likely will be you, get prepared to work on yourself this month. Self-management requires discipline, and discipline is a process, not a crisis. Your fitness business will follow the same successful management path you do. In my early years as a personal trainer, I focused on cramming my work hours with as many clients as possible. It’s no mystery why I spent the weekends and nights doing bills and paperwork. I felt as if I worked all the time, and it turns out I did! During the 2 years I was training to become a professional coach, I learned a formula for dividing my work hours. To spare you the years of all work and no planning, we will use the following breakdowns, focusing on client hours, business administration, and business development and planning. planned. We will cover client needs in detail in the next two issues. In the meantime, keep in mind that you need to do some thinking and planning on the following: I total work hours desired per month I total client hours needed I fee needed for desired income I frequency of fee increases

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Business Administration: 20%
This is the critical area for staying caught up and ready for another week of work. If you get behind here, you lose your professional edge, which eventually costs you business. This is one of two time categories that allow you to work on your business, not just in it. These priceless hours let you step back, evaluate and do some creative thinking while you take care of the details of running your business. If you have trouble keeping yourself organized, seek help! Business administration should consume about 8 hours of your workweek. Plan these hours as you would any other appointments. You probably know by now which days are most fruitful for office work. Here are some activities to include in this area:

on the presenters and content, but also on the CECs you’ll get for the money. Figure the “cost” per CEC as well as the number of credits. Enter possible conferences and workshops in your day planner. Don’t forget the early-bird registration dates. If you like earning CECs through approved articles and quizzes, attach a sticky note to the front of each issue that offers a test you need to complete, and jot the due date on the note. If you currently track and enter CEC due dates for each certification, improve that system by marking a pre-due-date reminder 6 months ahead. For example, if you have an American College of Sports Medicine certification with CECs due in December, put a reminder in June. Copy the CEC forms you need to mail, and put them in your “Continuing Education” file so they are ready when you need them.

Updating and Upgrading Your Computer, Equipment and Promotional Materials
I If you enter client data in your

computer every day or each week, routinely back up your hard drive. I Review your materials and equipment needs every 6 months to ensure you have what you need to make your job easier.

Bill Paying and Budgeting
I Pick one day each week or

Client Hours: 70%
Some of you are already in shock. Yes, if you intend to work a 40-hour week (which we will presume for this article), only 70% of those hours should be actual paid client hours. This is the same for all types of clients: personal training, coaching, speaking, group fitness or massage. Those 28 hours should be focused, service-devoted and well-

month when you will pay businessrelated bills. I Review your business budget every 6 months, and make adjustments where needed.

Earning and Tracking Continuing Education Credits (CECs)
I Go through your new “Continuing

Tax Preparation and Organization
Tax time is a piece of cake if you have been organizing all year long. I Use a multitab folder to file your receipts each week. I Record on each receipt which heading it goes under (for cat-

Education” file and choose conferences or workshops you would like to attend to satisfy your CEC needs. Evaluate each event, based not only
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