5 Tips to Master Goal Setting in Your Fitness Business

By Jules Simon

Have you ever felt like you’ve been struggling to grow your fitness business? Setting goals is an essential part of any successful business, and we need to be driven and motivated in order to make progress.

But staying inspired and setting goals isn’t always easy — there are so many things that can get in the way. 

In this blog post, I’ve got 5 tips for mastering goal setting in your fitness business 

Let’s dive right in…and grow your biz!

Why Goal Setting is Important for Your Fitness Business

Many fitness business owners believe that setting goals is simply about  blue sky ideas – or things they will do ‘someday’….  but it’s much more than that.  We need a roadmap with attainable goals and actions to get where we want to go!

The right goals are super important – if we set unattainable goals within unrealistic timeframes, our confidence can take a serious hit.  We can start doubting ourselves when in reality, we lack a proper goal-setting system.

So how do you master goal setting in your biz? 

How to Master Goal Setting

1. Set achievable goals 

As a fitness professional, you may already be familiar with SMART goals.

Setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals is important for success in anything in life. But working towards SMART goals as a fitness pro keeps you motivated and enhances your professional expertise. 

Achieving a goal (no matter how small!) brings a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that can motivate you to keep going and strive for more in your career.

As a fitness professional, your clients look up to you as their role model, and by practicing what you preach, setting goals regularly, and holding yourself accountable, you can inspire and guide them to reach their goals too. 

Not to mention, setting the right SMART goals will help you focus on what’s really important and avoid overwork and burnout.

“A year from now, you may wish you had started today.” —Karen Lamb

2. Break Down Goals into Smaller Milestones 

As a fitness professional, it can be easy to get bogged down in the big picture of your career aspirations or the comparison trap.

 “Why don’t I have 20 clients yet?”

But by tackling one manageable step at a time, you’ll not only reap the rewards of consistent and measurable progress, but you’ll also be more likely to maintain a positive outlook, even when obstacles arise. 

Whether it’s mastering a new exercise technique, landing a job at a specific gym, or reaching a certain number of clients, focusing on incremental progress is the key to success.

What’s one small goal you can achieve within the week? Or month?  Write it down TODAY!

“Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.”  – James Clear

3. Identify the Steps Needed 

As a fitness professional, achieving your goals is crucial to building your client base and reputation in the industry. 

Identifying the steps needed to reach those goals and creating a solid action plan can help you stay focused and motivated and make progress faster. 

And by setting clear deadlines for each step, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and when, which will allow you to stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed. 

No need to overthink – simply writing down your action plan can also help you break down bigger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, making them less intimidating and increasing the likelihood of success. 

Whether you want to gain more clients or improve your skills, a solid action plan can help you achieve your goals and take your fitness career to the next level.  The time is now…

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” —Lawrence J. Peter

4. Track Progress 

By using a tracker system to log activities and measure performance against set targets, you can stay accountable to yourself and your clients.

 Not only does tracking your progress give you a tangible way to see how far you’ve come, but it also helps you adjust your approach and make improvements along the way. 

With a tracker, you can easily identify areas where you’re excelling, as well as those that may need more attention. 

This sets you up for continued success and growth as a fitness professional. So don’t hesitate – start tracking your progress today and see the results speak for themselves!

“One way to keep the momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” — Michael Korda

5. Celebrate Successes 

As a fitness professional, it is important to celebrate your successes along the way in order to keep your motivation high. Rewarding yourself for hitting milestones is key to staying on track and achieving your goals. 

Whether it’s treating yourself to a massage or indulging in a favorite healthy meal, taking the time to recognize your progress can boost your confidence and keep you moving forward. 

While it may seem inconsequential, even celebrating the smallest successes can also help prevent burnout and keep your focus on the big picture. 

So take the time to enjoy the journey and pat yourself on the back for all your hard work – you deserve it!

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Author, Jules Simon, with 81-year-old personal training client, Hal 

The Wrap – Goal Setting For Fitness Professionals 

As a fitness professional, goal setting can be the key to success in your career. Not only is it essential to strive for personal growth, but also to motivate yourself to take action in order to reach those set attainable goals. 

You may not become a one-hit wonder overnight, but with dedication and hard work, you will get closer and closer to achieving whatever goals you have set forth for yourself and your business. 

Ultimately, positive and consistent progress across all areas of your life will establish an environment where inspiring others and having fun while achieving greatness is easily achievable. 

So don’t be scared of failure or of thinking too big. Have faith in yourself that when it comes to goal setting, no dream is too ambitious to pursue!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” —C.S. Lewis

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About the Author: Jules Simon

Jules writes about her life as a migraine warrior, chronic illness fighter, and pretty much all things faith, fitness, and food! She is passionate about encouraging others in their journey to health and wholeness based on her personal experiences. Jules has certifications in personal fitness training and nutrition.  She previously managed digital marketing teams in large tech firms – but today you can find her writing, running, or playing with her pups. www.xojulessimon.com

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How the Internet and Social Media Have Changed Club Design Forever

By Bruce Carter

At one time, the sales and marketing goal of all clubs was to get people in the door so potential members could see the facility and interact with staff. The internet has changed this process entirely. Now, the goal is to get potential members to look at a screen: a phone, tablet or computer.

The process has changed, and seldom will someone come into a club without first “checking it out” and researching the club online. It may be the club’s website, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Yelp or LinkedIn, or often, more than one of these social media platforms.

So, the question then becomes: How do you get people to bring your club up on their screen? The answer to that is quite involved in the new realm of internet marketing, and therefore, not the focus of this article. However, the next question is: How does your club look on their screen? All of the wonderment, professionalism, service and commitment initially come down to what people see, hear and read on a device.

Obviously, there are two key components of what people view: pictures and video. But, there are many things they can read, such as website content, reviews, testimonials, etc.

Therefore, the visuals of your club are key. The pictures and videos of what people post in your club are key. The proverbial saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” has now morphed into, “A picture is worth 10,000 words.”

Now, your club design is more important than ever. In the past, when someone would walk into a club, coming in from ads or referrals, no matter how the club looked, a staff person could inject a certain amount of enthusiasm and knowledge that would work to increase an individual’s level of excitement. Nowadays, even if someone is referred, they will first research the club online, and “what they see is key!”

Here are some important points about having a club design that will work well with a website and social media presence to impress potential and existing members.

If you want great pictures and videos of your club, as a starting point, consider hiring a professional to design the club. The visual concepts, such as a “wow factor”, inviting, exciting, soothing and state-of-the-art manifest when the variables of color, lighting, flooring, managing space, line of sight, texture, finishes, harmony and balance all come together successfully.

Often nowadays, the trend is to have someone with a cellphone take pictures, and these become part of the website. It is strongly recommended that a professional photographer or videographer is used to achieve the best possible “a picture is worth 10,000 words” experience. To show off a beautiful club, consider having no people in the picture. If there is a specific message the photo is trying to send, such as displaying your virtual classes, people can be part of the experience. Again, a professional shot of this makes a big difference.

Whatever pictures or videos you create, make sure they are all platform friendly. This is especially true with phones because most people will look at a club on a phone first. Web traffic on phones has increased from 11% in 2012 to 58% in 2022.

Always make sure that the lobby and locker rooms have extra attention in your design and result in attention-getting visuals. If you have a studio without locker rooms (just bathrooms), then focus on the studio experience of finishes, graphics and lighting. Unless an area looks really great, it is better not to have a visual of that area. You might consider using a combination of your pictures and stock photos to create a motivating “experience” for your club. Ask your non-club friends if your website and its visuals would motivate them to want to visit the club.

A picture/video should never show a cramped, dirty and cluttered space. None of these should be part of a design, especially in the post-COVID era.

Providing a dynamic “selfie” wall with a very visible location within the club is a must. Consider the club name and logo to be a backlit sign or even neon. Also, consider making the background an artificial plant green wall, wood or other eye-catching finish. Do it right, and more smiling faces in your club will start to appear on social media platforms.

In design, and in your images, always consider sight lines. This is especially true of the lobby/first impression view of a club. An exciting lobby welcoming people in a non-intimidating way (without equipment too close to the lobby) can make people feel like they would want to be part of that experience.

Clubs that are larger on an impressive property should consider a drone to view the club from above, and this can continue as a video going through the club. A video walkthrough of your club can be very instrumental in getting people to want to visit your club. However, if the walkthrough is not that great, it can have a negative, unwanted effect where people have already “seen enough” and decide not to come in.

If your club or studio has a high price point, your images should validate the higher prices. Don’t assume great service is all that is necessary to charge more. One reason? Everyone says they have great service. Images will make you stand out from the crowd.

What if you do not have something good to take a picture of in your club? First, that is a weakness that should be corrected with some type of renovation. In the meantime, use stock photos of people enjoying exercise and add lots of testimonials. Testimonials and great pictures/videos are a wonderful combination to have people transfer from what they see on a screen to actually visiting the club.

More and more, we will be living in a world of viewing life on a screen. That is fine. However, a focused effort must be made to take advantage of this phenomenon. This is the new world of club marketing and sales. Some clubs do a great job and really stand out. Others just think taking a few cellphone shots, posting them or making them part of their website is all that is necessary. Always think about how your club looks on a screen. Add newer visual content when it becomes available.

Your club design and interiors have more exposure than ever before. This will increasingly be the case, so more focus than ever needs to go into a club’s visual environment. Your club, no matter the size, should have an inviting “story” with pictures and videos of how people will improve their health and wellbeing as a member. The internet and social media are wonderful opportunities to help people more than ever.

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About the Author: Bruce Carter

Bruce Carter is the president of Optimal Design Systems International. He has 43 years of successful experience in the fitness industry. In addition to starting Optimal Design Systems, Bruce also was the founder of Optimal Fitness Systems International.

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Off to Fitness School at Midwest MANIA®

Bells are ringing and kids are back in class.  Shouldn’t you be too?  Learn the latest in Fitness Business along with 9 other Health & Wellness subjects at Midwest MANIA® Health & Fitness Business Summit, September 29 – October 1 at the Westin O’Hare Hotel.  These 3-career-building days have the tools you need to take you to the head of the class starting at $249 when you become an SCW Member.

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Tax Planning for Fitness Pros in 2023

By Mike Jeowshek

Most business owners when they hear the word tax they think about tax filing when they should first think about tax planning.

Do not get me wrong, tax filing is important and required by law. However, it is simply taking information, after the year is over, and sending it to the federal and state agencies. Tax planning is something that is done throughout the year and tax filing happens at the end.

What Is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is the concept of learning about tax strategies and implementing them in your business and personal life throughout the entire year. Most tax strategies get thrown out the door once the clock strikes January 1st.

The tax law was written the way it was for a reason, it is our job as business owners to learn and understand the advantages the US government has given us and utilize it as much as legally possible.

Tax planning is available for business owners of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are making $5,000 a year in your business or $5MM there are tax strategies available to you. Accountants like to make you think that tax planning is complicated and only for the rich but it is not.

Finally, tax planning is NOT simply buying things you do not need. Tax planning is looking at spending that you may already be doing and finding a business purpose to move it from after-tax spending to pre-tax spending.

What Are Pre-Tax vs After-Tax Dollars?

  • After-Tax Dollars: Money you spend after it has been taxed.
    • As a W2 employee, you have your gross wages and then all of these taxes are taken out and whatever is left over gets deposited to you as your take-home pay. Your take-home pay is “after-tax” dollars.
    • If you work from a home office or go out a buy a new desk and chair, you use after-tax dollars for that and get no tax deduction. 
  • Pre-Tax Dollars: Spending done prior to the money being taxed.
    • As a business owner, you have your sales or revenue and then all of your expenses that offset it and whatever is left over (your profit) is then taxed.
    • Take that same example as above but now you are a business owner. You can get a partial deduction for that home office. You get a tax deduction for the desk and chair you bought.

Spending you do within the business is considered pre-tax, you are spending dollars prior to them being taxed. This is an incredible advantage that business owners have. We want you to always be strategizing on how you can find after-tax dollars that can be moved to pre-tax dollars.

Within the day-to-day life of your small business, you will incur ordinary and necessary expenses that you can deduct when filing your taxes. Basically, an ordinary and necessary expense means that it is typical in your line of work and appropriate or helpful for your business. Helpful to find new clients, keep current clients, get talent, retain talent, maintain day-to-day operations, etc.

How Can I Pay Less Taxes in 2023?

Step 1: Start Learning About Tax Strategies

  • Listen, Read or Watch the Small Business Tax Savings Podcast weekly. This Podcast was built for YOU! All of my time and effort goes into ensuring small business owners like you are aware of the tax strategies that are available and this Podcast serves as my tool to deliver that. Listen weekly.

Step 2: Implement, Implement, Implement

  • Learning never stops but you need to do more than learn, you need to implement. If you find a topic that really resonates with you, put it on your to-do to act on it while it is fresh in your mind.

Here’s my promise to you. If you start learning and thinking about tax planning here, mid-2023, you will be setting yourself up for success to make 2023 the year you pay the least amount in taxes as legally possible.

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About the Author: Mike Jesowshek

Mike Jesowshek, CPA is the founder of the accounting firm IncSight.  Mike has a strong passion for both fitness and technology as his firm helps provide digital accounting, bookkeeping, and tax solutions for studio and gym owners.  With clients all over the U.S., his goal is to help these businesses pay the least amount of taxes as legally possible while helping them grow personally and professionally.

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Top Tricks for Decreasing Employee Turnover

By Amber McBain

Losing employees is never fun, especially when your team members excel and bring your workplace joy and positivity. Beyond emotional loss, losing valuable employees can also significantly impact your business. High turnover can result in decreased productivity, increased costs and low morale among your other staff.

But, why do employees leave? Each person is unique, as are their reasons for parting ways with your business. Conducting exit interviews can help bring workplace issues to light. You may learn that there are some frequent motivators for quitting among your staff, which can help you to implement changes to stem further departures. These may include:

  • Feeling challenged by their work,
  • Feeling unappreciated,
  • A desire for higher compensation,
  • Feeling disconnected from coworkers or company culture,
  • Poorly defined job responsibilities,
  • High stress or burnout.

Ultimately, happy employees don’t leave unless they absolutely must. So naturally, the best way to reduce turnover is to keep your staff happy.

You can achieve lower turnover rates with smart yet attainable strategies. From offering fair wages to creating room for professional growth and cultivating professional development opportunities, we’ll look at practical tips that will help you promote employee engagement and longevity for your spa’s long-term success.

Pay Their Worth

Compensation can be a difficult topic to broach, but it’s a crucial consideration. While pizza parties are fun and delicious, they won’t help your much-valued employees increase their financial stability.

You may not be able to pay each employee an exorbitant salary, but you can take strides toward meeting their needs. Review workers’ pay regularly and ensure that plans are in place to provide fair compensation for everyone on your team.

Rewards Beyond the Paycheck

Aside from base pay, there are many ways to show appreciation for your team. Rewards elevate employees’ quality of life and create loyalty among your staff. Plus, you have room to explore creative solutions when designing a total rewards and compensation package.

In many compensation packages, employers provide health and life insurance, dental and vision benefits, paid time off, performance bonuses and stock options (if applicable). These are great items to include as the foundation of your compensation program.

You can go a step further by introducing unconventional benefits like profit sharing, career development programs, counseling subsidies, green commute incentives, wellness programs, flex time, staff discounts, retirement planning services and so much more. With a generous and thoughtful compensation package, the sky is the limit!

A Healthy Work Environment

From encouraging clear communication to promoting diversity and work-life balance, many strategies exist for creating a healthy workplace culture. When striving to maintain a respectful and friendly working environment, little things add up.

Set an example by approaching all employees with a welcoming and friendly attitude. You can also lead by communicating respectfully, even when conflicts occur. If an employee has a more abrasive communication style, you can work one on one to improve workplace relationships and manage disagreements with other staff members.

All workplaces should be equal-opportunity employers. Employing people from diverse backgrounds is a major asset to your business. Diveristy and inclusivity should be rooted in all aspects of your spa, from the makeup of teams to promoting open communication.

You should also seek to establish firm boundaries between work and personal lives. Allow them to keep personal information to themselves. Don’t expect employees to work overtime routinely and avoid setting the expectation that staff should always work on weekends, holidays or during their vacation time.

While regularly working overtime may feel like a sign of your employee’s dedication, it is also a recipe for burnout. Allow your team the space to separate from work and recharge.

Create Room for Growth

Have you ever left a job because there was no room to grow? Even if you haven’t, you can probably imagine how unfulfilling it would feel for your career to stall.

Growth opportunities, or a lack thereof, are a major make-or-break issue for employees. A recent Pew Research study found that 63% of outgoing employees left their positions because they saw no opportunity for growth.¹ Don’t let this happen to your staff!

To foster professional opportunities within your team, check in with them to discuss their career goals and collaborate on development plans. Think of these opportunities to touch base with your staff as “stay interviews.” Like exit interviews, a stay interview will help you learn about what’s really going on with your team.

Ask specific questions about the employee’s happiness in their role, future goals, relationships with other employees and anything that’s dampening their satisfaction at your company. Encourage an open and honest dialogue with no repercussions for their constructive criticism.

Find opportunities to bring team members onto projects that expand their horizons and help them develop new skills. Additionally, you should look for chances to offer promotions and title changes when appropriate. Remember, moves can be lateral as long as they’re fulfilling that person’s goals and interests!

Encourage Education and Development

Continuing education goes hand in hand with creating room for professional growth. No matter how successful you are in your career, there is always something new to learn. Your employees are undoubtedly curious about how they can build on their existing skills or develop new ones.

Your staff members can enroll in post-secondary programs, workshops, seminars, webinars, coaching sessions or mentorship programs. You can also offer cross-functional training as a regular part of onboarding.

Encourage their development by allowing your team members time off to attend courses and professional events. Additionally, you can bring educators into the workplace so that everyone can learn together.

Consider funding or subsidizing your employees’ continued education. You can work this into your total rewards program or benefits package.

Celebrate Wins

In the words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This sentiment applies to all aspects of life, including work.

Make your employees feel valued by celebrating their achievements. Consider giving a public-facing shoutout for excellent work. Even a simple “good job” can boost morale and make employees feel proud of their accomplishments.

You can also nominate staff members for professional awards within your company and externally. This could include an employee of the month program, annual company awards or awards for excellence in specific occupations or fields.

Ultimately, some turnover is inevitable. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to expect each person to stay in one role forever. But the above-mentioned strategies may help reduce turnover rates to keep your business operating smoothly. Many of these tips work hand in hand with one another, so it’s great if you can implement a multi-pronged approach.

One key takeaway? Turnover will rise when staff feels underappreciated—both financially and emotionally. Your team wants to feel good about the work that they do. So, create opportunities to reward your employees. When you allow staff to fulfill their goals and shine in their roles, you’ll notice that they are less inclined to leave. 

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About the Author: Amber McBain

Amber, vice president of marketing & communications at Éminence Organic Skin Care, is a sharp innovator with more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience. Continuously striving for improvement when it comes to customer experience modeling and brand management, McBain has spearheaded the company’s marketing strategy for the most successful product launches in Éminence’s history.

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Colorful Conversation with Talks & Takes

Stay at the top of the pile with the latest fitness industry news, events, and hot topics.  Fall leaves are bright and colorful and so are the discussions among Brent Darden, Bill McBride, Sara Kooperman, J.D, and Blair McHaney.  Join these experts for Talks & Takes, a quarterly talk show airing Wednesday, November 8, at 2 p.m. EST.

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In Need of Teachers, Trainers, Directors, or Managers? SCW’s new FREE JOB BOARD is supporting the industry’s need for qualified fitness pros.

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