The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect time to take stock of your business successes and goals as you plan new directions.
Whether you want to make an already-flourishing business even better, reach the goals you’re currently working toward or launch something completely new, the four strategies here can help you forge your way to greater fitness business success in 2017.
1. Lay the Groundwork for a Smooth Start to the New Year
January is busy for fitness professionals as new members and clients arrive to fulfill New Year’s resolutions. Take advantage of any downtime before the New Year to get organized and tie up loose ends.
For example, purchasing equipment, professional memberships and other business-related necessities by December 31 means you can add those expenses to a business tax return sooner rather than later.
Size up your workspace, as well. Clean your desk! Donate fitness clothes or shoes you no longer wear. Ditto for fitness equipment you don’t use anymore. Weed out unnecessary papers in your files and/or go digital so you have less physical clutter to manage. Consider all the “pockets” of your business and if they could use an organizational touch-up (or overhaul!) for the year ahead.
2. Streamline How You Spend Your Time
Your success as a fitness professional and businessperson includes clear and honest responses to the following two questions:
1) What can I remove from my schedule in the upcoming year?
2) What would I like to add to my schedule in the upcoming year?
The first question might revolve around tasks or certain clients that bring you a lot of frustration without much enjoyment or reward. Maybe it’s a project or commitment that you’ve been working on for a while and no longer feel passionate about. Or maybe it simply takes up more time/focus in your week than you have available. Can you let it go?
The second question is usually easier and more fun to reflect on and act on. What really gets you fired up, in a good way, about your career? How can you get more of that onto your schedule? Ideally, how would you like your business to look a year from now?
Consider, also, that adding positive elements to your business isn’t just about the “what” (e.g., project, program, event). It’s also about the “who”: Who are your best clients, who would be a valuable mentor, who might be a good networking contact?
3. Map Out Your Year with a Calendar
Armed with information from point 2 above, start making concrete plans. Pinpoint the major programs, campaigns, special events, projects, business travel, etc., that you want to bring to market or add to your schedule for next year. Don’t forget to include community service, fitness education and vacations.
Write everything down, using either a digital calendar; a large, wall calendar; or a paper scheduler. Then “step back” and preview your year ahead. Being able to visualize your plans for the next quarter, and the one after that, will make it easier to map out the steps needed to get where you want to go.
Viewing everything in a calendar format also helps ensure the timing is right for what you hope to take on. For example, if you want maximum attendance at the debut of a special event or new program, you’ll want to launch during a week that doesn’t coincide with a holiday or popular community event.
Once you have all the major goals and events filled into your calendar, fill in the “gaps” with the smaller goals, steps and tasks needed to achieve your larger ambitions. Write it all down!
As always, look for opportunities to save money (without devaluing staff in the process) and opportunities to spend money! For example, you could bring in new equipment for clients or plan a trip to a fitness conference (that’s an event you can write on your calendar).
Save money as needed, but also spend appropriately to help your fitness business grow into an even better and more successful venture.