First, know your customer. By this I mean drill it down, choose a specific niche and describe your customer avatar in such detail that you can close your eyes and see them standing before you.
At first this may seem daunting, overwhelming, scary, and if it does you’re FINE! Which is a really cool acronym from a Hollywood move called the Italian Job (Ok it’s out I’m a Mark Wahlburg fan,) it stands for Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. You see we have a horrible tendency to be FINE, or to over think or overcomplicate things.
You will even see an increase in how many people outside your avatar you attract unexpectedly because they seen value in the idea that you designated yourself as a particular expert. If you can’t narrow it down to just one audience define multiple, but start by focusing on the largest one and make sure each series of communication, whether it be online or offline is targeted toward a specific audience.
The second critical tip for success when it comes to building a profitable personal training business is to consider each task of the day like you will need to repeat it one hundred times and have to explain to someone else how to do it.
There’s no doubt the single most difficult thing I had to overcome, and in turn see with all of my coaching clients, is the importance of documenting and creating systems. We all start as “Technicians” according to Micheal Gerber in the E-Myth (which you should read if you haven’t) and as technicians we’re very good at a certain skill.
Inevitably though if you wish to move beyond having a few clients to owning a profitable personal training business you are going to need the help of others. Just like your clients, if you leave any detail out your employees or team members will have no choice but to assume how you would like a certain situation handled, their perception will never be the same as your own.
In fact your perception or the decision you make on the fly today may not be the same as the decision you’d make next week if you were faced with the same situation amidst different stresses.
This obstacle is also much easier to overcome than you think. Every time you must make a decision about your business (such as communication about customer service, scheduling, collecting testimonials, payments, how to answer the phone) simply quickly jot down the basic steps to complete the task or a simple script if it’s a customer interaction.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, or even the best solution for that matter. These notes should be compiled in a binder and reviewed often. Each time a similar situation arises you simply should complete the situation the same way, when there is obvious improvement to certain steps simply scratch them out and update them. Every few months compile all of your notes into an updated operations manual.
This single thing, even if you work entirely on your own, will almost assuredly guarantee your business will outgrow your competitors because you will easily provide better service, more value, in less time without even realizing you’re doing it.
These are just a couple of topics I’ll be speaking about during the Profitable Personal Trainer this weekend at canfitpro’s Vancouver conference.
Cabel McElderry helps hundreds of fitness professionals sell personal training and improve their fitness marketing practices. He writes and maintains www.ProfitablePersonalTrainer.com has spoke on these topics internationally and owns a small training studio in Red Deer, Alberta that completed more than 28,000 appointments last year and has been a finalist for Small Business of the Year two out of the last 3 years.