Business

Who Are Your People?

There is a romanticized notion of entrepreneurs being self-made. Single-handedly changing the world.

Stepping alone into the unknown and rising to every single challenge.

Spring Three | Marketing For Fitness Studio

It’s not wrong, but not entirely accurate either…

(To me, it sounds exhausting actually!)

While it might seem that industry successes are unstoppable pioneers (at least that’s what their instagram feed will have you thinking) the reality is that there is a team behind them pushing them, or pulling them to the top.

Now, don’t misunderstand me - I have MEGA respect for anyone who takes the leap into business ownership. It takes courage, purpose and ambition.

And while successful enterprises may be driven forward by a single leader, that person isn’t usually completely alone. 

As an entrepreneur in the wellness and fitness world (or any business), you need people around you.

People at the end of the phone, people who you can take a walk with or meet over coffee. A support network of co-workers, industry peers, business partners, spouses, family, friends and connections who can bounce idea off of. People who champion your efforts, cheer you along and help you work through challenges.

These people also help to keep you accountable, raise concerns that you (the entrepreneur) may have overlooked and give you honest (but necessary) feedback.

Maybe they ask questions, make you think… and share a new perspective.

Hopefully some of your people have industry experience, understand your business and give you valuable tips about what works…and what doesn’t. These people are the bomb ;)

Regardless of who you have around you. You need a support network.

Business thrives on collaboration, networks and partnerships.

And so do you.

More than business growth, I’ve experienced so much personal growth from connecting with people who I respect, who I can learn from and who I think would be good people to be around. 

They say you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with most - maybe this is true…maybe not - but people DO inspire you and influence you in SO many ways.


Finding the right people to join you on this journey is invigorating personally and professionally.


Who is on your team? 

Who is missing from your team?

P.S. If you don’t have a team but wish you did, I’ve been working on something for a while that you will love. We want to bring together a small ambitious group of studio owners who seek stronger connections with people they can learn from, be inspired by, and get real honest feedback from.

Think 6 months of live calls filled with learning, sharing, listening, Q&A, discussions and accountability check-ins. Offline, you'll get access to a private forum, guides, templates and tools that you can use to help you build your studio business.

And the best part is that this has been a collaboration from the beginning. Inspired Studio Mastermind was an idea born long ago between myself and two lovely studio business consultants who are smart, ambitious and know this industry inside out. Find out more here: www.inspiredstudiomastermind.com


How To Prepare For Taking Time Out Of Your Business

SPRING THREE

Over the past few years I have helped quite a few business owners plan for taking  time out of their businesses. Whether it’s to have a baby, take a trip, focus on a different project or for other health reasons every single one of them have successfully stepped back from their business and then been able to step back in.

All of these people took similar steps to make their transition successful. I too have been through this process - more than once! I've spent the past few months preparing for the arrival of baby #3 and setting up Spring Three to continue without my daily presence 

So, if you want to take that 3 week trip, invest in a new training program or simply know that you can’t keep going at your current pace… read on. I want to share with you how I made it happen and what I have seen work well for other studio business owners.

Plan

Ok, shocking I know! When it comes to taking time out of your business, you either choose to make it happen or you are forced to make it happen. Either way, your business will survive, (and do well) if you plan ahead. 

Time to make some decisions:

  • When will your time off begin

  • How long will you be "out of office"?

  • Do you intend to be totally out of contact for part or all of that time? 

  • How does your time-off change the goals you have for your business?

Once you have these parameters set, you can begin to really plan. Let’s dive in.

What will need to change?

Often business owners are such great do-ers they forget how much they DO in their business. So, start with a complete brain dump of all the things you do in your business.

Then take a look at that list… 

  • Is there anything that can get cut while you are out? 

  • What can be completed in advance?

  • Can anything be automated?

  • Can the rest be delegated or completed after you return?

Next, let’s tackle the financial element of you leaving your business.


Work through the financial implications

You will likely need to review and adjust your revenue goals. If you are a big revenue generator inside your business, you’ll need to allow for that when setting a new revenue goal. 

  • What about your income? 

  • Do you plan on paying yourself? 

  • Do you plan on taking a pay cut?  

  • Who will take on some of your responsibilities and will you have to pay them more? 

  • What other costs are associated with delegation?

Managing the financial impact of your time off is crucial to sustaining your business. Be prepared!

Operations

Let’s talk a little more about how your business will continue to run without you.

Who will help you?

If you have a team, let them know your plans early. BUT, only let them know once you have a plan! If you tell your team before you are prepared, you may cause unnecessary speculation and worry about their future in your business.

The key members of your team should be told in a one-on-one situation. Depending on the size of your team, you may want to communicate this news over coffee with each member of your team. If you want your team to stick around - this is an in-person conversation!

Be sure to let them know your dates, who and how the business will run while you are out and your expectations of them during that time. Be prepared to answer lots of questions or no questions at all! Be clear with them about how you plan to communicate with them and how accessible you will be.

If you are delegating tasks to your staff, you will want to train them on their new responsibilities. Another reason to start planning early! Document everything, write out checklists or create step by step instructions. Spend plenty of time with your team working through all the things you’ll want them to take care of while you are out. Be sure to let them know how you want them to share business updates with you.

  • How often will you be checking in?

  • What will you want to be told about immediately?

  • How should your team get in touch?


Top Tip: Start not doing things sooner rather than later to make sure you are leaving things the way you want them.

Phew.

Once you have done that... it’s time to tell your clients.


Telling your clients

Again, this should be done early to prepare them and manage expectations.

You may want to transition clients to other teachers your switch-out your regular class times with another instructor.

You will need to make sure your clients feel very well looked after during this time. This is so important! Especially if you have a strong presence in your studio, are a lead instructor or are responsible for client service, you will need to think through how to manage your clients in this transition. 

Be sure to address any potential concerns. Let them know you are coming back, your general plan for while you are gone and when they should expect you see you again.

A personal note sent via email or a notice in the studio are both great ways to share the news. But, for your top spenders, you’ll want to speak to them in person.

Finally, do something fun with your team. During any period of change you want to imprint a sense of empowerment among your team and your staff. Why not go bowling, plan a movie night or do an escape room… all fun and bonding experiences!

Above all, as you enter into the next chapter, remember to be flexible! 

Things will come up you weren’t expecting, things might get messy or not go to plan.  That’s ok! Thinking through the different scenarios during your planning process will help you and your business remain strong and sustainable regardless of the challenges that might arise. 


Good luck & go for it!

(and enjoy that time off!)


Numbers 101: Simple reports that show you everything

Numbers give you data. Data you need to learn, discover opportunities and understand your business better.

Spring Three - fitness business marketing and strategy



And, if you can consistently track your numbers you will get a strong sense for what is improving and what isn’t. Counting, measuring and tracking is yet another system that enables success in your studio business - and we love systems!



So what should you be looking at? Well, how about we take a step-by-step look at the reports that will tell you just what worked and what didn’t last year… ready?

Awesome.

Let’s start with sales.

Sales

This is your top line big number! But while total sales is great, we want to find out what service or product was your best seller or biggest revenue generator.

In MindBodyOnline, start by running your Sales By Category report for 2018 (also check ”compare to previous Year box” in section 1)

Hit Go and you’ll find your total revenue for both services and products.


You can sort the totals in descending order by clicking over the top line of the services section.


What do you find?

What were your top 3 revenue generators?

How about your bottom 3?

Any surprises?

Now let’s look at how that changed vs last year. 


The far right column show a percentage change - a positive % change means you have made more $$ this year than last year.


If you are not seeing a positive number - it’s time for more investigating. Did you have big changes this year to location, schedule, teacher changes etc? Was that on purpose… or not? If not, it could be time to review your retention strategies and sales procedures.


Ok, now that we’ve seen the big picture it’s time to dive in deeper.


There are so many different area’s of your business to explore but let’s look at your biggest seller in terms of pricing option… i.e. what were your clients buying to access your services?


Revenue by pricing option

Go to your Sales by Service report, set the dates to last year and click go. (Again you can sort the columns in descending order to make it easier)

This report shows how much of each package you sold last year - both in the dollar amount and in the quantity.


Obviously your larger packages will show a large dollar amount so the quantity of each package sold is also important to look at here. 


It’s always interesting to see what was the most popular pricing option… and then ask some questions:

Is that pricing option best for your business?

Or, would you rather your clients purchased something different?

Do you need to make changes to how you sell your services?

If you ran any price promotions through the year you will see that here too - did you run more or less promotions than you expected. Were they successful for your business as well as your clients?


Ok - great stuff. Let’s keep going.


Next, let’s look at your retention numbers. We know that a loyal client base means more stable and sustainable revenue numbers. But let’s see what the data tells us about how good your studio is at keeping clients from one year to the next… 


You can track your long term retention by seeing how many people visited your studio in 2017 and then again in 2018.


Retention (Year Over Year)

In Mindbody - go to your sales by service report and set the dates to 2018 - click on tag new. make a note of the number (A)


Then change your dates to 2017. Check tagged clients only. Click on Tag new. Make a note of the number (B)

Divide B by A and multiply by 100 to see what your year over year retention number is.

You are aiming for 50% YoY retention for a class based business or 80% for session based businesses. Typically the number is actually much lower - if you have a lot of out of town visitors or you run a lot of workshops you will need to take into account these one-time visits.


Now for my favorite report of all - Attendance Analysis! I love this report because it tells you more about your client behavior and gives so much more insight into what is and isn’t being purchased, how often they attend and which classes they come to. But let’s just look at how often your clients are visiting your studio business.


Attendance Analysis

In Attendance Analysis, take a look at your total visits in the past year by setting the dates to 2018 and then under section 3 run the analysis by client in Detail. Hit go… Scroll down and give yourself a high five! This is the total number of paid visits.

Then scroll back up… as you go… see how many 1’s there are in the far right column?.. this is all the people who only came into your studio one time. We’ll come back to that in a bit.


Hit Tag New - this is how many clients visited your studio in 2018 - nice work! (make a little note of this number)


Let’s see how many people came in more than 10 times… since they are the people who are (or became) your more loyal clients.


Scroll to the top and in Section , add 10 into the box “Show clients with [] or more visits.” Hit Tag New.


What’s the difference?

This is a super simple way to see how much opportunity there is to retain visitors to your studio.

Are you letting your clients know how often they should be coming?

Does your sales process seamlessly guide your clients from one step to the next from intro offer into a long term package or membership?



These numbers give you insight and show you where there is opportunity to improve for 2019… there is much more digging that can be done but this will give you a great head start in figuring out where to focus and set some goals for the year ahead.


Most of all though, looking at these reports on a regular basis will show you where your hard work is paying off and give you reason to celebrate your amazing business accomplishments!


Well done!






Ready for January?

It’s no surprise that January is a busy time for fitness studios and gyms!

New memberships peak at the beginning of the year and having a solid January promotion or challenge in place is absolutely critical to bringing new clients into your business.

 

Talk about your challenge or promotion NOW!

Are you advertising your January promotion or challenge yet? If you have something to promote in the New Year, start talking about upcoming promotional events or challenges ASAP!  Starting early helps to raise awareness and create buzz around your promotion. It really helps to create momentum for your promotion among your most loyal studio clients. And, it can also give you more time to reach potential new clients who may looking to kickstart their healthy habits in the New Year.

 

How can you build momentum for your New Year Offer? By giving lots of inspiration and motivation! Use all of your marketing channels to inspire and motivate not only potentially new clients but current and old clients as well.  Offer valuable tips and information through blog posts, social media posts and newsletters. This information will inspire clients to get off the couch and signed up for your event! Yay! Your inspiration will make people feel good and encourage potential new clients to check out what you offer at your studio.

 

Follow Your Sales Process

Like any business owner, you should have a sales process in place for bringing new clients into your studio.  Make sure that all of your preparations before the promotion or challenge are in place so that you can handle clients efficiently once it begins. This is things like holding a staff training, writing out FAQ’s about your promo and making sure your marketing materials (flyers and posters) are all visible and relevant!

Connect with all your potential clients through emails, newsletters and other marketing avenues. Doing this helps you to build a relationship with them, which is the first step to helping them become clients.

 

Your marketing should also demonstrate ALL THE VALUE of the products and services you offer. Show potential clients how you can help them solve one or more of the problems that they have with the use of some amazing testimonials or by telling your clients how they can get the best results from your services.

 

Address any questions or concerns potential clients have about signing up. Ideally do this BEFORE they even ask! How? Take note of the most common questions so that you are prepared to handle them when they come up again in the future. Once you’ve handled those last questions, it’s time to close the deal and get those new clients signed up and into your studio!

  

Know What Your Clients Want to Purchase

Do you know which of the services and products you currently offer are most popular with current clients? If so, chances are that potential clients will also be looking for the same thing. Know exactly what those services are and be ready to make recommendations. Make it simple for new clients to get signed up for the classes and services that are right for them.

 

Don’t Forget Current and Former Clients!

While it’s important to market to bring new clients into your studio, it is just as important to continue offering high quality classes, services and products to your current clients as well! And don’t forget to also reach out to former clients who may not currently be coming to your studio.  This can be a great opportunity to win back those clients and make them active clients again.

                                                                                                           

It’s important to get prepared for your January promotions early so that you can be ready (and waiting) for January sales.

Early preparation is the key to bringing in the new clients you want for your studio!

Good luck!

 


2018 trends and most read articles!

Best of 2018 | Spring Three marketing for fitness studios


At the end of the year I always like to look back and see what topics and questions I got asked most from all the business owners I spoke with... and I thought you might like to know more about this too!

So what's come up?

Well, this year, we have been way more focused on sales and pricing. Is this to do with increased competition? I think yes... is that a bad thing? NO! Most of the conversations I've had involved raising prices and implementing a sales process - both are good for your biz!

Other trends I have seen this year is a lot more attention on video, social media and outbound marketing. Hurrah! It's super important to be proactive about this 🙂

But, the biggest challenge for everyone? Keeping clients over the long term. 

Retention is the foundation of your business - but not always the easiest part. It’s something you have to work on every single day - servicing your clients and adapting to their needs to keep them engaged!

What helps is a community of fellow business owners. So, if you have a business question or are looking for some extra business tips - get on over to the private Growing A Studio Business Facebook Group!


Or...  check out the most popular articles from 2018:

5 Reasons Why Studios Lose Clients

3 Reasons Why Your Client List Isn't Growing

Let's Review Your Pricing

Why Branding Really Matters For Your Studio Business

How Often Should You Email Your Clients?


I hope you find something useful here and if you have a burning business question, just hit reply and ask away.

With warmest wishes, 

Seran