In most jobs, you just wear one hat.
If you work for the marketing department, you write copy and set up ads. A plumber fixes pipes and things that pipes connect to. A chimney sweep whistles down chimneys.
But as a trainer, especially one who runs their own business, you need to wear about 17,452 hats.
You’re the lead trainer. The head of R&D. You do marketing, purchasing, scheduling and customer service. Let’s not forget you’re the cheer squad for your clients too.
It’s a lot to focus on. So I want to simplify things for you a little by sharing in today’s post.
Do these 3 things and you’ll set yourself up for success by being more organised and more on top of your business.
1. Map Out Your Sessions For The Year
A car dealership sells cars. So they spend a lot of time learning about the cars they sell, who they’re for and keeping them looking nice and shiny.
As a fitness instructor, your main product is your workouts. So take the time to make sure that they truly awesome this year by creating a plan for this year’s training.
First you’ll need to print off or purchase an annual calendar (a calendar that has all of the days of the year on one page – here’s one I made for you).
Now, follow these steps to map out your year:
- Mark off the days your clients will potentially be away – things like school breaks and public holidays (bank days). You may want to reschedule sessions for that day.
- Next mark out any times you know you’ll be away (eg. trips, weddings, your birthday). Any sessions running through these will need to be rescheduled, cancelled or covered by another trainer.
- Now that you know when classes might not be on, mark out when your classes will be running with a different colour pen. If you run your classes in cycles or terms, be sure to mark those start and end dates.
- Do you run (or are you planning to run) any challenges/promotions throughout the year? Grab a different colour pen again and mark in those start and end dates. If you haven’t set a date yet, this is a great time to commit to it.
- Pop the calendar up on the wall near where you like to work in your house.
And there you go, it’s that simple. You now have a quick reference for the important dates for your business this year.
You can easily plan ahead for challenges or time off or any scheduling changes you need to make. Do take the 30 minutes to do this one as it will make your life so much easier this year.
2. Reach Out To Lost Members
The end of the year is always… hectic. For everyone.
And as such, it’s easy for even your most loyal members to fall out of the habit of exercising regularly. Now, most clients will return at the start of year, but you’ll notice that some will be absent. Even some of your regulars.
It’s important you get in touch with these clients because oftentimes they’re just waiting for a little encouragement to get started again.
And because people are busy, it’s easy for them to fill the time they once spend exercising with something else which then makes it even harder for them to come back.
Here’s how I’ve approached this with success:
- Go through your recent attendance (back as far as December 24th) so you can see who is missing. In particular, who hasn’t been to a session this year?
- Then grab a sheet of paper and make a list of everyone missing (and their phone numbers if they’re not on your phone) one person per line down the page.
- Set aside 30 minutes today (yes, today) and starting at the top of the list give the client a call and just see how they’re getting on.
- Ask about their Christmas and New Years. Did they go away? Very nice. Often at this point they will say, ‘Oh, I’ve been meaning to come back to classes’. ‘That would be awesome!’ you will say to them, ‘Will I see you Monday then?’
- If they don’t bring up coming back, you can prompt them with something like ‘Are you feeling ready to start back at training?’ and from there you can set a date for them to return.
- Rinse and repeat your way down the list. Get as far as you can in the 30 minutes. If you don’t finish the list, leave it for today and do another 30 minutes on your next work day.
This may seem like a bit of a work – and yes, it’s not automated and you will have to use your phone as an actual phone – but it’s way less work than finding new clients and earns you the same amount of money.
So in fact, this is a super lazy strategy for growing your business. High 5 🙏 (if you can be bothered lifting your arm.)
3. Systemise Something That Has Been A Time Suck For You
The start of the year is a great time to think about what’s been working and what hasn’t been working in your business.
Take a moment now and answer this question:
What is something in your business that always took up way too much time last year?
Something come to mind? Good.
I want you systemise that thing today. Why? Creating a system makes a repeatable task faster and all it needs to be is a series of steps, like a recipe.
In fact, a recipe is a great example of a system. Imagine if you had to work out how to cook something every time you cooked it? It would take forever.
Let me give you an example that I know is a big time suck: Posting to social media.
A simple system for this might be:
- Brainstorm 5 ideas of things to post.
- Pick one and write out a caption for it.
- Open Canva, find a template and create a graphic or video for it.
- Schedule or post to Instagram.
- Copy my hashtag list and add to comments.
Done! And then the next time you can skip step 1 because you’ve still got 4 more ideas in the bank.
I hope that begins to give you an idea of power of systems. They take a little longer to set up, but in the long run saves you time and brain power.
As a trainer with your own small fitness business, you’re always going to be wearing a lot of hats and that can make it difficult to know where to focus your limited time and energy.
These 3 tasks (I like to call them ‘Business Workouts’ because they are like workouts for your business) are a great starting point for the year.
It would be easy now to close this article and do nothing, but I want to encourage you to take action.
Have you got 30 minutes right now? Do it! 10 minutes? Great!
Pick just one of the above and get to work. Don’t overthink it!
Let me know which task you’re going to tackle in the comments. If you pick number 3 let me know what you’re systemising too. Can’t wait to read them!
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.