How to build a successful fitness business from scratch?

How to build a successful fitness business from scratch?

The key to building a successful business does not only lie within your talent or your determination.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is pretty popular these days. Masses choose sports and active leisure time in order to relieve stress or just to relax – so it’s pretty understandable why more and more people consider building a career in the fields of fitness or health improvement.

Individual yoga classes or group-based sports activities both offer an intriguing career path for those who already have experience in relevant fields of health improvement. However, just like any other career, this also has its own positives and drawbacks. While a proper education, professional experience and a good idea can all add up to an ideal start to an own business, before making your dream come true, you should first get a grip on the scope of the work you are about to get down to.

The key to building a successful business does not only lie within your talent or your determination. The secret is that you have to plan properly while creating a system and fine-tuning your way of thinking as well. In order to succeed, you have to be goal-oriented and determined in your thinking, plus you also have to adopt a success-oriented attitude towards your business.

Learn how to set your doubts aside and get down to work with the necessary amount of confidence, shaping your attitude towards business in a success-oriented way.

If you have a nice, marketable idea, you are already ahead of the curve – but before you would get down to implementation, it is worth it to do a more thorough research and weigh your options from several points of view. You might want to be a yoga instructor or a fitness trainer for groups – regardless, your first step (just like in the case of any other business) should be surveying the market’s demand.

If you want to enter a specific market, it is paramount that you learn how saturated the market is and how its power relations look like. You have to survey key players, map existing services and compare the technical background of each business, and following that, you ought to ask yourself the questions below:

What is that one thing I can do better and more effectively than those who have been present and successful in the market for years? How can I stand out from the crowd and offer more, or what is that one thing that makes my tailor-made service unique? 

If you manage to give a satisfying answer to these questions, you also manage to find the gap in the market which can be filled by your business, thus making a successful debut as a newcomer.

Market analysis is a task which requires a wide understanding, but it is just as indispensable while launching your business as choosing a name or brand image. To top that, this task does not exclusively involve dealing with getting to know your rivals. You also have to know who your target audience is and who the ideal customer is – the one whose needs and demands you can accommodate the best.

The business plan as a foundation

When you finally decide to make your greatest idea become real, nothing guarantees that your attempt will be crowned by immediate success. Making our dreams come true usually requires a lot of hard work. There is no business that could function without tough periods or unplanned obstacles. However, if you want to tackle these issues, creating a well-thought-out business plan which includes deadlines, expenses and projected income could provide a solution.

Most people think that business planning is exclusively for big enterprises, and a one-man business (or a small one) does not require a similarly complex program. This premise is, however, fundamentally flawed since you do not necessarily have to think big. It is unnecessary to sketch a 100-page business plan, but before you would start anything, it is vital that you clarify your goals and the necessary steps you must take in order to reach them. Should you jump in at the deep end, it is highly likely that you will face unplanned strategic obstacles on your way.

Apart from constant professional development, it is also worth it to constantly monitor your competitors and their strategies so that you are up-to-date with where the market is heading and how quick the newest trends of the fitness world change.

Budget planning-without surprises

Building a business comes with large expenses, and while spending on rental fees or acquiring all the necessary equipment, you have to think about the underlying costs as well. Legal procedures pertaining to starting a business, organising your own marketing activity or rental fees all draw expenses which you must consider before setting up your business.

Firstly, you have to consider that your expenses in the first couple of months – due to underlying costs – will definitely surpass your income. Financial stability can only be achieved by long, tiresome and mostly goal-oriented work, and it does not only depend on you but on the market demand and the constant trend changes as well. Apart from sticking to your previously created business plan, you have to learn to constantly innovate and adapt to a rapidly changing market and its demands.

The only way you can successfully create an efficient business plan is by continuously keeping track of your expenses, and – while considering the current budget – by trying to develop your business gradually.

These days, however, the dynamic relationship between supply and demand can affect financial stability in the nick of time, even if it took you long months or even years to reach that state. Financial stability can be a great help whilst trying to deal with a sudden, inconvenient situation, but money on its own is not enough if you want to tackle the issue. You have to be flexible and persistent while spearheading a business which is capable of constant innovation and adaptability.

Choosing the ideal location

Once planning is done, you can move on to the practical part. If you are considering large group training, your first step should be finding a properly built and equipped gym for the sport you want to teach. Cultural centres, school gyms or rentable studios specifically designed for such training can all prove to be sufficient for this. Finding the ideal gym, however, largely depends on a variety of features based on your goals and opportunities. Apart from the equipment and the style of your training, you have to consider the comfort and safety of your clients.

As a yoga instructor or trainer, you do not have to think big right away. You might teach your clients in their own flat or your home, as long as these are no greater than groups of 3 or 4. However, the moment you want larger groups, you have to choose a place which is accessible for the target audience plus the vicinity is not overpacked with similar facilities.

Marketing, online presence and community building

Marketing is just as important in a fitness or healthy lifestyle-related business as in any other business. No matter how good the service you are offering is, without proper advertising, your chances of the target audience finding you are quite low. While building your business strategy, consider your target audience’s media consumption habits, as it is worth it to focus on both offline and online platforms.

One of the most effective advertising platforms used by most people these days is social media. A well-thought-out campaign using ads and people sharing your content on social media platforms can effectively assist you to reach your target audience.

Creating quality content does not only help you to effectively reach your target audience, but it is also a great tool to widen the pool of potential clients. By creating online communities, you can strengthen ties between current and future clients as well. Pages and groups like this help your service spread promotions and upcoming events, too.

Keep an eye on your groups and pages, though – building a community can only be successful if you keep your audience engaged on a daily basis. Draw their attention and provide them with valuable and informative content, listen to their questions, requests and complaints, and try to react to these soon and in the most feasible way possible.

Building relations with your clients

You often hear that a little bit of care throughout the weekdays can work miracles. This is pretty much the case when it comes to a well-functioning business since your clients can only be satisfied if they feel you care about them and spend enough time and pay enough attention to solving their problems.

Even a few small gestures can help to make your clients feel special so that their positive experience will propel them to recommend your service to their friends and acquaintances in the future. Choose the three most active clients and treat them to discounts, or provide free counselling where you can have an informal, easy-going conversation both with your current and future clients as well.

Proper timetable

One of the greatest enemies of any entrepreneur is time. Running a business requires all your resources, which often means you spend much more time at your workplace than people working in a regular, 9-5 job.

Trainers, naturally, are no exception either. Furthermore, being swamped because of their schedule also tends to be even more true in their case. Their work involves dealing with people, trying to accommodate their clients’ needs and expectations. Apart from this, they regularly have to have time for administrative tasks, designing weekly timetables and creating training plans.

Administrative burdens of the training sessions often lead to stress. Having a heavy workload and lacking the necessary amount of free time does not only have a harmful effect on work but on health as well. In order to avoid stressful situations, you might want to consider creating your timetable for the upcoming week and stick to it as much as possible.

Get help from online applications while creating a to-do list or planning your timetable – there are plenty of apps out there which were developed specifically for fitness instructors and trainers to help their everyday work and ease the workload outside of active work hours.

Spomoco is an application where you can find all the important functions to take care of the administrative tasks related to your work and clients in a flexible and efficient way. You can design your timetable, track applications and cancellations to and from your courses. The system automatically handles overbooking as well, in case you got to the point where such issues arise.

Never give up

If you managed to get to this point, congrats to you – this means you, as a personal or group trainer or yoga instructor, managed to build a steady client base, and you can barely fit new appointments in your daily schedule.

However, should you find yourself at any of the first steps, you should keep going on the path you have marked earlier. It’s possible that now you feel like starting your own business requires way too much planning, and you might encounter too many obstacles on your way. This might have some merit, but never forget that success doesn’t come along on its own since it’s something you have to fight, work and sweat for – just like your clients in your gym. With sufficient energy, determination, conscious planning and some flexibility, there is no mountain high enough you can’t climb.

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