I found myself in a rut last year. I was so.freaking.omg.busy but I wasn’t necessarily bringing in more money or spending my hours building new products and offerings. I looked at my days and thought, what do I have to show?
I think this is a common problem for a lot of business owners in their beginning stages - you do all the things you’re “supposed to do.” You wake up early to get your workout in, post on your social media channels, spend a few hours sending and reply to emails, make yourself a healthy lunch while scrolling + commenting through social media, film some content, write some content and *poof* It's dinner time.
But as you reflect back on your day you realize that you not only didn’t make a single penny today, but also you haven’t brought yourself any closer to launching that course or providing that free guide to your community. Growth wise, you are exactly where you were yesterday.
We’ve put such a connotation on being “busy” that many of us mistake our false productivity with moving our businesses forward. And in that same notion, we invest SO much time in channels that don’t always bring us the same returns (I’m looking RIGHT at you Instagram) but we believe that we need them to look a certain way to find that success. It’s a bit of a frustrating Catch-22.
I hear you and I feel you because I’ve lived it too.
Being busy equals being tired, and I’d rather be well-rested than falsely productive. Because time is a non-renewable resource and I can always make more money.
STOP SPENDING SO MUCH TIME DOING:
1 - Branding: Logos, color palettes, mood boards. They’re fun but they’re generally a huge waste of time and $$ for business in their early stages. You’ll end up re-branding a dozen times as you learn about your ideal client, as your business evolves, and as your professional grow.
2 - Website: The same can be said about your website. Invest an afternoon to build a site on SquareSpace or Wix using a template and call it a day. Learn from my mistakes and don’t hire a designer to make you a website until you know exactly what products you’re offering, how your client will interact with your website, and *drumroll* your branding.
3 - Social Media: Spending hours and hours a day scrolling on social media, engaging, posting, etc., thinking that a business will be built on social media alone. Spend time on the platform that your ideal client lives, set a time limit for yourself, and be purposeful in your time online. You can scroll all you want once you’re off the clock.
4 - Going to every industry event you get invited to: Going to an event every now and then that is industry and field specific? Perfect. Saying ‘yes’ to every invite with the goal to only talk about you and your business? Tacky and exhausting.
AND INSTEAD SPEND MORE TIME DOING THESE:
1 - Building your email list: You don’t own your social media followers; in fact, you barely engage with 2% of them regularly. So a large following is great, but they aren’t necessarily going to be buying your products, attending your events, and truly supporting you beyond a ‘like.’ Your engaged list is 10x more likely to invest you in and rally behind you. Nurture them regularly.
2 - Getting your operational docs in order: Did you guys know that the majority of states require, BY LAW, that fitness businesses operate with a Client Agreement between the business and the client? Yup - so definitely put that one on the list. Most of you won’t be able to secure your insurance (see below) without supplying a copy of your Liability Waiver. Employee instructors (which many have to be, again BY LAW) need to be governed by an Employee Agreement or Handbook. And those workers in a studio who aren’t employees should definitely have an Independent Contractor Agreement or Rental Contract. Tell me - are you missing any of these? If you said ‘yes’ - email me ASAP so we can start working on these.
3 - Securing insurance and certifications: Every single fitness professional should carry professional liability insurance that covers themself as an instructor, and specifically cover: where you teach (in a studio, at your home, at clients homes, outside), the type of activities that your teaching, if you’re working with high liability populations, etc. Studio owners should cover their employee instructors, the equipment and the premises itself.
4 - Purposefully Networking: Say ‘no’ to any event that isn't in your industry, filled with your targeted clients, or doesn’t make your heart soar. Free kombucha is nice, but chances are you can afford whatever free food product, outfit or class they’re offering. Your time is valuable - attend accordingly.
5 - Handling your $$: stop combining your personal and business money. It’s called ‘comingling’ and it’s illegal. Go open a separate business bank account + credit card, and spend/deposit business money ONLY into this account.