Just like any small business owner, fitness entrepreneurs also face a variety of daily challenges -- from keeping track of expenses to staying on top of paperwork. But as the market grows more and more crowded and competition amongst fitness professionals and boutique studios increases, it's more important than ever to find ways to streamline your operations in order to be profitable.
One of the most immediate and effective ways to do this is by embracing technology, which will allow you to automate some processes, effectively extending your workforce. It's true -- fitness business owners are some of the hardest workers we know, but if you don't have efficient business operations, you'll end up spending too much of that precious time and effort spinning your wheels on trivial tasks.
It's easy to get overwhelmed quickly when responsibilities feel endless, but we've got a few simple suggestions that will help you make the most of every minute of your busy day.
Get ahead of the curve. First things first: Make sure your Web presence is up-to-date. People do the majority of their research online, so you want to create a piece of real estate that they can find easily and that tells them all they need to know. If you've been receiving a lot of calls from clients with similar questions on certain topics, for example, it would be a good idea to create a FAQ section on your website to address common concerns.
Amplify your message. You've got your proactive marketing plan in place, but are you taking advantage of the passive marketing opportunities out there? We all know that the best source of business is rock-solid referrals, so let your happy clients do the talking for you! Claim your profile on sites, such as SweatGuru (my site) and Yelp, so they can give you ratings and reviews and let people know how much they love you!
Manage your tasks. There are tons of useful task management tools that you can take advantage of in order to tackle your to-do list and organize a clear schedule of your upcoming deadlines, and many are free! Here are a few that we recommend checking out:
- Google Tasks
- Remember The Milk
Maintain accurate records. Remove one of your business headaches by staying on top of your finances. By consistently using an accounting service, such as Quickbooks, you'll be able to easily keep track of your sales and bills. The convenience of payment processing that comes with these services, including a tailored fitness scheduling site like mine -- SweatGuru -- is yet another reason why it's smart to use these services to stay organized.
Find the right tool for the job. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Whatever it is you want to do, there's likely a way to streamline the back-end work nowadays. Email campaigns, for example, can work wonders to spread the word on your business updates, like new products or services. They can also help you infuse new life into your marketing efforts because they offer innovative designs aimed at helping attract the attention of your clients. Email marketing services like Mailchimp, MadMimi, and GraphicMail can help boost your outreach, and are well worth looking into. Don't discount the value of your own time, so learn to leverage the tools that are out there!
The lesson here? Only by maximizing your current output will you be able to scale your business and get aggressive with those growth goals. So don't let outdated methods and archaic software keep you from clearing the efficiency hurdle on the way to becoming more profitable. By taking a proactive approach and streamlining your business operations, you'll be giving yourself the opportunity to be able to get out from behind the desk and do more of what you love.