Not sure? Well, there are a few tell tale signs and symptoms that will give it away.
First off; let me make it clear – running a successful business is challenging! If, like most trainers, you got into PT because you enjoy helping people, chances are you haven’t focussed on the business side of things.
Sure, you may have given it a token nod when you were doing your PT Certificate, possibly even created a pretty business plan, but then what?
Unless you have a vested interest in business and a desire to learn how to grow a business in this Information Age (where social media and content is Queen), you are left to figure it out alone.
And that sucks. Because at the end of the day, the most successful trainers are the ones who know how to run a tight business as well as deliver amazing client experiences.
Trainers LOVE to invest time, money and effort into learning the technical side of PT, but are less likely to spend the same time improving their business skills.
Here’s the reality – if you can’t charge for what you are worth and get clients then you can’t have the impact that you want. Simples.
So, let’s take a look at your business through a different lens and see if you are in a business rut.
For years, I would spend my Sundays crouched over my client work books assessing their programs and writing new ones. I would pour my heart and soul into these programs that for the most part never got done. The same would happen when I would write basic meal plans and educational material. Hours would go into these documents. Did the clients ever actually do them? Nope. Well, some did, but the majority didn’t, even though they asked for it!
They just didn’t see value in these (very time expensive) ‘add -ons’! (This is one of the reasons why I recommend PT’s stop charging clients per session)
This brings me to the next point.
If you are struggling to get your clients to listen to you, there are one of 2 things happening.
If there is non compliance than the program, or tasks are too difficult. This is a coaching issue from your end. It is our job to write programs that are EASY for the client to do.
If it’s not a programming issue then the client probably wasn’t qualified enough prior to starting with you. If you bring on ‘just any’ client without really qualifying them to see if they are going to be a good fit for your business then you run into this frustration.
Every year there should be an increase in your PT prices. This will reflect costs of everyday living as well as your value (if you have done further education). On a deep level you know that you need to put your prices up but you are scared to do them – this is a self worth issue.
If you don’t believe that you are ‘good enough’ then you will struggle to increase your rates. In other words if you don’t think that your service is worthy then your prices will reflect that. Unfortunately this belief isn’t a simple little rut – this mindset block is like quick sand and will pull you and your business under.
“Your income and impact can’t out grow your personal stories”
Whatever personal beliefs you hold about yourself and ability will determine everything.
This is a big red flag in a PT business. If clients are consistently cancelling last minute or not even showing up to sessions than there is a problem. At the root cause of a recurring cancellation of ‘no-show’ is disrespect for your time.
There are multiple reasons for cancellations and ‘no show’s, but fundamentally the client doesn’t value you enough to make you a priority.
Ouch. Hard pill to swallow right? Sure is, but if you can see a problem for what it is, you can then do something to fix it. In this scenario, it means taking a look at your client qualification process, and client on boarding process.
Do you ever find yourself stressing over the school holiday period because you know your income is going to drop? Or have that moment of freaking out when a client tells you that they can no longer commit to their PT sessions? Scary right?
Well, it is only scary if you don’t have clients in the wings ready to go. In other words, if losing a client or a few sessions is met with panic it means you haven’t got a solid back up plan in place. The back up plan being a solid flow of leads (which turn into potential clients).
There is a big difference between being Re-Active and Pro-Active in your business. If you are Pro-Active you are probably planning for the future, have contingency plans in place and are constantly nurturing leads to become clients. If you are Re-Active you are probably living week to week, and are negatively affected by the loss of a client.
Operating from a Re-Active place is not fun, nor is it a good business plan. It’s extremely stressful to try and get more clients (I know, I’ve been there on many occasions!). If you are struggling in this area it means that you are lacking a good ‘client nurture pipeline’ and need to get yourself one stat!
It is never comfortable to acknowledge that your PT business isn’t on fire. In fact, it’s easier to bury your head in the sand, and pretend that the rut doesn’t exist right?
As appealing as burying your head in the sand is, it’s not a good solution.
So here’s what I want to leave you with:
You CAN turn your business around. You CAN bring in more money and have a greater impact than you currently are.
If you LOVE what you do, and you love helping people then great. The world desperately needs you and your services. BUT you can’t serve people if you don’t have a functioning business.
You have a responsibility to 1) yourself and 2) the people you impact.
Don’t let pesky (fixable) business niggles prevent you from being GREAT!
PS Have you downloaded my free 5 Day Business Makeover Guide yet? If not, get this in your hot little hands stat >>> 5 Day Business Makeover Guide
This easy to read guide will give you practical strategies for getting out of your business rut and back on top.
Nardia is an Australian Institute of Fitness ‘Legend’, Fitness Network Personal Trainer of the year 2014, course creator, international presenter and part time comedian and magician (in her lounge room).
She loves helping women in fitness create stronger businesses so they can focus on doing what they love.
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