Management

How You Know You're Making Progress

Spring Three marketing

Effective decision making is at the heart of any entrepreneur’s success.

When it comes to managing a boutique fitness studio it’s no different. You wear SO many hats. As a teacher, scheduler, admin, cleaner, marketing maven, HR pro and super sales person you make hundreds of decisions each day that impact the success of your business.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of working in your business ALL the time, and not spending much time working ON your business.

But, I can’t encourage you enough!

TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS AND HOW IT’S PERFORMING

Even though numbers may not be where you want to spend your time, keeping track of certain data will support you in reaching your goals. FACT.

Let’s say one of your goals for this year is to attract new clients to your business. Now would be a good time to use your booking system to see how many new clients came to your business and importantly whether they came back. Get a baseline number before you start any new marketing techniques. Then, when you offer a new promotion or pay for advertising, you’ll know whether or not it really worked.

Or, if you are already investing in marketing campaigns or a PR company then tracking how clients were referred to your business or where your ad was seen, will help to guide you in determining where you should be spending your hard earned dollars going forward. 

Tracking your progress is the first step toward success

(and numbers don’t lie).

Reviewing a certain set of KPI’s regularly can really help to guide you forward. How?

1. Your goal becomes part of your everyday life vs a long-shot dream

2. You can make adjustments early on so that you stay on track. You can see what works and what doesn’t and adapt accordingly.

3. You can celebrate achievements as you move towards your goals (this is SO important for you and your team!)

Open up an excel spreadsheet and make a note of the numbers that you most want to improve this year. What reports can you run or other data do you need that will help you make good choices and lead you toward your goal?

small changes lead to big results

Make tracking your numbers part of your system for a healthy business.

Good luck!

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.

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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!






Secrets to a stress-free holiday season

And so it begins…. the festive season is coming our way fast and with it, a great opportunity for small businesses to shine!

The Secrets To A Stress Free Holiday Season

Yes - really! 🌟

You might feel like this time of year is tough to manage because of late cancels, increased travel and frankly, because you are probably quite ready some time off yourself!!

But, if you can plan early - you can get ahead of the game, stop being reactive to the challenges of the season and actually turn it around to make it work for you!


Address schedules

It’s possible that your teachers and your clients will be traveling during the holidays. Probably pretty likely actually. Start early and be proactive about finding out how you can manage teaching schedules. Communicate changes in class schedules early and consider adding in extra sessions or classes before or after your clients travel to even out the potential loss of revenue (and progress for your client)?

Promotions

The goal for all your promotions at this time of year is retention, retention, retention. Your focus is on keeping your clients beyond the end of the year (in the new year your focus shifts toward those new clients!). So, what can you do to keep them coming back in the new year? How about an early sign up for a challenge or a bootcamp or special workshop event in January... perhaps 20 classes in 30 days? Or a 1 month unlimited special offer starting Jan1?

Show appreciation

This is the time of year to give thanks to your team and loyal clients. Whether this is a gift, a hand-written note, a holiday card or a text! Invite your clients and teachers to share their appreciation of each other too. Actively cultivating gratitude will help reduce stress and strengthen the bonds of friendship and community inside your studio.

Gifts cards

Help your clients take the stress out of their holiday shopping - and boost your business too! Gift cards can be a great revenue generator for your business (suggest your clients give the gift of wellness to their favorite friends!) or offer special bundles of classes and merchandise - such a neat way to help out your clients while getting your studio name out to friends of your clients!

Marketing Campaigns

Put in the effort to “seasonally brand” your business and you will be connecting with your clients and their friends. Dress up for Halloween and put an Elf on the shelf and your business will come alive oline! Don’t forget to show up on social media consistently - you don’t want to let the world forget about you. That extra nudge to make it into the studio will help your clients stay on track!

Throw a party!

Holding a staff party or even a holiday party for staff and clients is a great way to show everyone a good time. It could be themed, filled with games or a simple open house event in the studio. You decide!

Carve out some me time

Just like summer, December and January are unpredictable months. As a business owner, be conscious of your energy levels especially if you have big plans for the upcoming year (and I know many of you do). Be sure to build in time for yourself to rest and energize when your schedule allows. This is crucial to your ability to manage your team, your clients and your business!


What else do you do at this time of year to make sure you end the year strong and filled with gratitude?