It’s January, the month when thousands of health and fitness resolutions are made (and broken). Consequently it’s the busiest time of the year for fitness instructors, personal trainers, physiotherapists and wellness coaches. January is also a very busy month for accountants so we truly understand the pressures that health and fitness professionals are under at this time of year!
As with most businesses, success comes from a thorough understanding of your market and your offering, excellent planning and a healthy dose of great support in areas that aren’t your key strengths. At CRM, we know the challenges faced when setting up or growing a business in the health and fitness sector, we support many clients who are self-employed or run bigger establishments.
What’s that coming over the hill?
At times, managers of a fast-paced fitness business can feel like they’re stuck on a treadmill at full pelt with no ability to slow down, look around or assess the next steps. Techniques, equipment and technology are constantly evolving in the sector, with the use of wearable tech and fitness apps set to grow still further in 2019. We’re also going to see an increase in F45 (HIIT) workouts and Virtual Reality fitness will be rolled out this year.
Gyms and health clubs are catering for our changing lifestyles, with 24 hour opening to suit shift patterns and longer working hours. We are also demanding more services than just a set of weights and trainers that can offer a more holistic approach to our whole wellness can stay ahead of the competition.
On the start line
Got your qualifications – where to next? Decide whether you want to be employed or self-employed. If the answer is self-employed, you need to think about your brand, your USP and who your ideal customer is going to be. Lots of people start off by taking fitness classes in the evening while sticking with their day job until they feel confident to ‘go it alone’. Establish yourself on social media so that people can find you easily and be clear about what you can do for them.
Coming down the back straight
When you’re established in a certain location or area of expertise, make sure you keep your qualifications up to date and keep up on the latest trends and medical research. Want to offer a new class or service? Consider a free taster session for your clients to try something new. How about investigating a partnership with local businesses? More emphasis is being put on staff wellness and companies are prepared to invest in the health and fitness of their employees to reduce absence and staff turnover.
In the health and fitness sector, it’s very important to have the correct insurances and professional memberships – are yours fully up to date and appropriate for the work you do? Managing member churn is an important part of growing a successful health and fitness business. Managers who identify people who haven’t attended for a while and instigate proactive communications to review the causes can often re-engage them and even upsell other services.
Keeping on top of the numbers
It can feel daunting to keep track of all your expenses and income, when you’re super busy helping clients with their health and fitness but you will really see the benefits if you store all your business-related invoices and receipts in a safe place, ready to be sorted in a quieter time. Remember to log any mileage for business journeys and include the costs of any insurance policies and professional memberships required for your business.
If your turnover exceeds £85,000 in the previous twelve months, you are required to register for VAT and to comply with the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements from 1st April 2019, to keep digital records and file electronic VAT returns. Don’t panic, there are plenty of cloud-based subscription software options to help you comply with MTD that also have iOS and android apps so you can access your profit and loss figures on the go or simply check the balance of your business bank account.
If your business runs on a subscription or membership basis, CRM can help you make sure that your income is recorded correctly when your services are carried out rather than when you receive payment for a block booking or annual membership.
As health and fitness professionals, you are well-used to dealing with numbers – weights and measures, gains and losses. At CRM, we offer our own personal training service to make the numbers work in the non-fitness parts of your business, allowing you more time to do what you do best.
Whether you are brand new to the sector or feel like you’re drowning in accountancy processes, our experts in this field will be happy to help. Please call us on 01865 379272.