Year 1: 5 Things I’ve Learned as a Fitness Business Owner

Alex Ho knows a thing or two about launching and running his own fitness business. It’s been a year (!!) since he launched Revision Athletics – an outdoor group and personal training business that also offers run coaching (where he’s also a pro – he crushes 100 miles races).

He’s come out the other side of the past year with an increase in both mileage and wisdom. Here’s what he’s learned.

1) It’s not going to be easy but people are happy to help
Not having gone to school for business I didn’t have any past experience or education to rely on. The marketing, taxes, accounting, and company structure can be overwhelming so it’s important to ask for help. Take advantage of your friends and clients to work your way through the behind the scenes stuff that you may not have a lot of knowledge in.

2) Clients are there for YOU
Clients typically go to classes for the instructor, not the company. This is both good and bad for you as your start your business. The good part is that you will most likely be able to retain some clients as you start your business since they will follow you. The bad part is that if you are looking to hire other trainers, you’ll need to make sure that the clients trust them and are willing to go to their classes.

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3) Get everything set up before you leave your current job
I’m talking about branding, websites, bank accounts, equipment and all of the stuff it takes to keep things running smoothly. There will be things that you miss but address those when they pop up.

4) Don’t be afraid to change things around
If you’re starting your business you probably have a solid set of clients who you know well. Don’t be scared to tinker with the schedule, pricing, and locations. Always be up front with your clients about why you’re doing it and ask for feedback. Remember that we are in a service-based industry, so it’s important to keep your clients happy as well as make sure you make a profit.

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5) Pay yourself
When you are tallying your monthly revenue make sure to include whatever rate you’re paying yourself. Don’t just go by your expenses and other costs. but make sure that you are making enough money to get by even if the business is taking a loss. Remember that you’re in it for the long haul, so don’t fret if you have a few months or year of slim to no profits. Just learn from any failures and follow your gut.

Questions for Alex? Leave them in the comments.

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