You may be uncomfortable wondering about how your business might change in the near future. That's especially so today. The economic doldrums means that all of us are focusing on getting through the next month or week. But business owners need to think about where the fitness business is heading, and the changes that they'll have to make to bring in clients and earn higher profits.
I know that no one enjoys hearing the word "change." It's a word that frigtens many business owners. I'm bringing good news, though: Most of the changes to the personal training industry will help you and your business earn more money.
Let's start with online marketing. You may think you're doing well with print advertising. Maybe you regularly take out an ad in the community newspaper. You may rely on placing flyers in local coffee shops, diners and beauty salons. That strategy will not work much longer. In fact, it probably is not good enough right now.
Marketing on the Internet is key
Today, and certainly in the future, you'll have to focus more of your time on online marketing. You should be marketing your newest classes on Facebook. You'll have to Tweet on Twitter to let students know about your new referral program. You'll benefit from creating and maintaining a fitness blog. And you should consider writing and filming short videos to post on YouTube.
If you do not accept this change, if you ignore the online social networking sites, you'll miss out on the growing youth market. You might as well hurl your money in the garbage. You should not look at online marketing as a chore, though. It's not easy to master online marketing. But once you do, you'll discover that it's a great way to boost the size of your client base. And remember that this type of marketing is either cheap or free.
The growing importance of Internet advertising is just one of the many changes coming to the personal fitness business. For example, you'll also have to start offering less time-intensive one-on-one fitness sessions with your cutomers. This may seem like bad news to you. But do not forget, your clients are busy people. They're working longer hours and taking on more responsibilities. They simply do not have time for 60-minute workout sessions. You may need to concentrate more on half-hour or 45-minute sessions.
Do not get too upset at this. You can cram a lot of fitness education in half an hour. Shorter sessions also allow you to schedule more clients during the workday. This might be a profitable move for your business.
The larger the class, the bigger the earnings
Get ready to work with larger groups, too. People enjoy working out with big groups of fellow exercisers. There's a certain amount of togethrence when many students gather together for a unified goal. With this in mind, do not forget to to offer several group classes throughout the week. You might also think about hosting specialized fitness boot camps throughout the year. Like group exercise classes, these intestinal camps are steadily gaining popularity.
Finally, you might find that your students want more from you than just the newest exercises. They'll ask for your thoughts on creating heart-healthy meal plans. They'll seek out your advice on the best home exercise machines. They may even wonder if you know any local doctors who focus more on alternative medical treatments than on recommending the newest drug. In short, they'll want you to become a complete health adviser.
Again, you should see this change as a good thing. If you're acting as your students' health adviser, you're more crucial to them. That makes it more difficult for them to cut you loose when their budgets tighten. It also gives you the chance to sell eBooks and other multi-media products to clients who now look at you as an integral part of their health programs.