Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Step 2 of Your Business Plan; Goals, Revenue And Timelines

(Yesterday, I covered the introduction to Starting Your Fitness Business. What follows continues along those lines)

From this, you can write out a plan on paper that is only a page or two and explains what your goals are and how you plan on getting those goals accomplished. What is your timeline? If you have no clue, it took me 2 years to build my business from a few clients to 4 cities. That was moving at a very fast pace for me, and it was really stressful. In general, I recommend everyone starting a business to give themselves 5 years to really master it and to become successful to the degree that matches their dream (remember Michael Jordan and Mozart?) and to give yourself time to perfect your craft as a business owner and to work out the kinks and hit the profitability level you really want.

Did you know that most businesses do NOT pay the owners for the first few years? Could you live with that? Most trainers can’t and that is why they fail early in the game. Of course, there are ways to make money now AND in the future, which is what we are going to show you how to do and it is one benefit of starting a low-overhead business like this one. Still, to make it big is going to take time and you should build that into your plan.

Decide right now the amount of money you want to be making. Then figure out what your average client will pay you and how many clients you need to hit your target. For instance, if the average client pays about $15 per session and you think you can get them to commit to 3 times per week, you are bringing in about $180 per month per client. So in order to earn $4,000 per month (way more than the average personal trainer makes by the way), you need to have 22.2 clients, not counting taxes and other costs.

Now, the average professional Boot Camp is charging anywhere from $100 to $200 per month, if they are following the monthly billing business model (more on that later). High-end trainers who make their camps more like small group training, can charge more per client, so that might be a good fit for you. For the purpose of this discussion, I am going to show you both and you can decide which one works best for you and your dream, but I’ll start with the typical ‘large group training Boot Camp’ model with lower costs to the clients.

Let’s say you think people in your area won’t pay $180 (more on how to get them to later), but perhaps they will pay $129, like in my area where I found that price was the sweet spot to get the most customers without underselling ourselves. If clients are paying $129, it means you now need 31 clients to get to your $4,000 income goal.

Whether you are money-motivated or not, you absolutely have to have an income goal so that you know if you can even survive doing this business. If you love to do fitness for free, that is great, but there are still real life expenses to cover, so you better know the basic math, right?

Now, assuming we can show you ways to add customers every month (faster than you lose them), and if you can get on average one new client per week, how many weeks will it take you to hit your goal? The answer is about 8 months if you don’t lose any due to attrition. Now, did it take me that long? Well no … sort of. What typically happens is that you push really hard and it seems like it is tough to grow and when the flood gates open you get a ton of clients really fast (if you are doing things right)! So in early weeks, I’d only get a few to stick, and then toward the end of 6 months I’d have more and more people due to smart marketing efforts and referral marketing, and I blew past this. One of our large charity Boot Camp events near the end of our first year had 98 in attendance.
You have to ask yourself is it worth it? Is it worth it if it takes you 8 months to get 31 solid clients who love you and pay you on time? Think about it. Roughly 3 hours a week (maybe six if you are driving and setting up) and you get $4,000 per month? That sounds like a crazy good gig to me. At 3 hours per week, you are getting paid over $333 per hour; at 6 hours a week, it is still roughly $167 per hour. Compare that to training at a big box club for $12 per hour!

The point is that you need to write this down and include it in your plan so you can get motivated and can have a daily reminder of your initial goals in business. This will get you moving off your butt every day to go out and make it happen.

Now, as promised, I am going to quickly go over the other business model option. You can go ‘high-end’ and create a niche market where you position yourself as such an expert in your community that you are going to charge $20-$50 per hour to people who will train in small groups of 2 to 6 people at a time. This might be a good fit for some trainers who have specialties already, or who live in markets where they can find affluent people as clients. I have a friend who has one guy who pays him $80,000+ per year plus salary, just to be HIS trainer and pay 100% attention to him. That is an extreme case, and I would do that kind of 1-on-1 training! For the most part, however, this is going to be rare.

In the ‘high-end’ Boot Camp model, you target something like speed and agility training for youth athletes (with parents with money) and then you train 4 of them at $30 each, so you got your $120 per hour that way. Still a good business model for most trainers, and most of our techniques in this program will apply well to this form of training too. For now, I am going to leave it up to you to decide what model to use. The bottom line is this: You either focus on getting fewer niche clients who will pay you more money, or you get a ton of people and make it up on volume; your choice. I did both in my career, but had more fund building the volume business.

Next time, I will discuss Step 3 Of Your Business Plan: Which Model Are You Going To Model?

Check out a proven fitness boot camp business model for you to use right here.

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