As a little boy growing up in Rhode Island, I always had dreams of being a motivational speaker, a singer, an actor, or pretty much any profession that allowed me to perform. Like most people, it’s very easy to get blinded by money, fame, and fortune rather than “who” you want to impact with your service. We are told that it takes money to make money, and that may have been true before the Internet, but nowadays, all you need is a phone, Internet connection, and the ability to solve a problem.
As a gym owner, I have seen many beautiful facilities get built and then close just a year later, sometimes less, because the focus was on building the gym–so that’s where all of the resources went. To be profitable, you must focus on who you want to serve, what are their biggest needs, and how you are going to create the solution to meet those needs. It’s one thing to open another gym and a totally different thing to open a facility that caters to the needs of busy moms. Be the orange in the sea of apples, and you will always stand out.
Another thing to remember: it’s always better to upgrade rather than downgrade! In 2009, I started my fitness business in my spare bedroom and in a nearby park. I had equipment that I found on Craigslist and a few things that I bought at Walmart. What I brought to the table was a strong passion to help my clients reach their goals! I remember the initial reactions of my first few clients as they met me at my house to train, but it was on me to help them see past that and that I am the right choice to help them reach their goals.
There were so many victories, so many goals crushed, so many happy tears, and for the first time in a long time…my heart was full! One of my clients went to pay me for the month and she said, “Before I give this check to you, I want you to know that a brand new Planet Fitness opened up 2 minutes from my house, but I’m willing to pay you 5x the amount because I can feel that you genuinely care!” Over time, I upgraded to renting space, then a larger space, then to leasing a 5,000 square foot training facility. Even then, we didn’t add everything we wanted immediately. Little by little, we added new equipment, new offerings, community programs, charity events, and school programs.
My advice is to reverse engineer the plan. Begin by mapping out what you want your business venture to bring for you and your family. Did you ever dream for a certain type of house/car/lifestyle? Do you want to travel or start a non profit? Be very specific. Next, how much will you need to profit to make that happen? Who is your target market, and what is their biggest need(s)? Do you want to work with women who were in abusive relationships or help teens that grew up without a father? Do you want to make products to help children with dyslexia? See how specific the examples are that I gave? The reason is that you don’t want to be just another fish in the sea. You want to stand out in your niche and be the authority and leader in that space. That will make you very in demand, be able to charge premium prices, and make your business profitable.
Don’t believe the old school method of “build it and they will come.” In the 21st century, it’s “attract them, and they will come.” Tailor your business to your specific audience and niche with an automated marketing system, and you will reach that lifestyle and impact that you desire.
Best of wishes as you proceed on your journey 🙂
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