By TJ Sadler
There is no doubt that the past decade has been marked by entrepreneurship in Canada, where 80% of people who start businesses do so because they feel it is their life’s passion. If healthy living has always been important to you and you’d like to share this excitement with others the thought of starting a fitness business may have crossed your mind. The first step is undoubtedly creating a business plan, but you will also need to tick off a few boxes before you’re ready to face the market.
What Should Your Business Plan Contain?
Even if you’re working on a freelance basis such as teaching home yoga or Pilates classes, or training clients at a gym – creating a proper business plan is essential to ensure your goals and expectations are realistic. It is also useful for determining the extent to which you can leave your current job (such as reducing your hours to part-time) or even quit and dedicate yourself to your new business full-time. Key components of your plan should include a market analysis, marketing plan, operating plan (which should include any equipment you may need), and a financial plan.
Practical And Legal Considerations
If you train clients in their homes, then you can save on rental costs for a space, but many fitness professionals also have a small studio or gym in which to train their clients who may live farther away or simply prefer to work out at a proper studio location. If so, ensure the studio is legally fit for the purpose it will be dedicated to. If you are planning to hire staff, then business insurance will be required to cover many aspects such as workers’ compensation (needed to cover you if your staff should be injured while handling fitness equipment), healthcare liabilities, and legal costs for liability claims. While you hope this is something you will never need to use, it’s best to spend a small amount each month for the peace of mind in case something does happen.
Who Are You?
Establishing your brand identity and core values are some of the first steps you need to take when setting up a wellness business. This is at the very heart of your company, and it is meant to set you apart from your competitors. If you specialize in one area (like providing holistic activities, CrossFit, or bodybuilding) your logo, website, and social media pages should all reflect your sport and its ethos. From the very outset, think of how you can improve on your competitors’ services, identifying demands or weaknesses that your new company can fulfil or correct.
Marketing Your Business via Social Media
Social media has become a standard of success for companies operating in the wellness sector, with fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle influencers like Jen Selter and Kayla Itsines attracting millions of engaged followers. Fitness professionals are using social media to inspire and to connect with their followers. Your industry is based around the ideas of ‘healthy body, healthy mind,’ so ensure that these values are expressed in all your social media accounts. Make sure your YouTube or Instagram Stories include vital sources of information and entertaining snippets that connect you to your audience. If you provide unique, experience-based content, rather than trendy “lose weight quick” content, the value of what you post will attract a strong community.
If wellness is your passion, why not spend your life taking part in it? Whether you decide to be a freelance personal trainer, or you’d prefer to open a spin studio, make sure you know what your goals, expenses and time expectations will be. Ensure you have the finances required to comply with all legal obligations and set aside a percentage of your budget for marketing and branding. Finally, brainstorm until you can create the kind of awesome content that will get you noticed on social media.
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