29 Jan 2020 – written by Tom Hales
PTs – you’re a one-man/woman operation but what you’re running is still a business and, if you want to make a go of this, you should treat it like one.
It sounds obvious right? It’s surprisingly common, though, for PTs to favour a short term “cash-in-hand” mentality over long term business development.
You’re likely in a commercial gym - these can be a dangerous place to base your business. Picking up clients becomes easy when there’s literally thousands of members to talk to! Sometimes, if we aren’t forced to make an effort, complacency creeps in. I’m not saying “don’t work from a commercial gym” – putting yourself where high numbers of paying customers train is a smart business decision, just don’t get lazy.
How do we treat this gig like a business, then? Business should get better over time – we need to progress, right? How do you make sure your clients are making progress? Do you ask them to track their calories and lifts? Probably. Here are some numbers you can track to make sure you’re taking the right steps:
Yes, we do this for money. As your business grows so too will your likely expenses; advertising, fitness kit, gym rent, etc., so it’s good practice to make sure this number is growing over time. If you don’t want to be in the ‘lone wolf’ 1-2-1 coaching game forever then this is doubly important – growing your cash in the bank over the months and years will give you the resources you need to take on another coach, open a gym/studio, or do whatever your long term plan is!
Retention in this game is massive – if you have clients leaving you left, right and centre then you have a big problem; it puts massive pressure on your ability to generate leads. Maybe the 4-week transformation programme every other coach is pushing isn’t the best idea? You can express retention as a monthly %:
(No.clients lost this month)/(No.clients you had at start of month) x 100=Retention (%)
Make this number as small as possible and you’re on to a winner. How? Improve your service, show your value!
You could use Lifetime Client Value for this too, i.e. how much does the average client spend on your services before leaving you – the bigger this number is, the better.
This is simple – it’s every client who’s given you a penny this month. It’s nice to see growth here (up to your self-imposed cap on clients, which should be just before the point at which the quality of your service starts to decline). If you’re offering aftercare you could be selling online training to those clients who have no further need of 1-2-1 coaching. That should keep the number increasing steadily, meaning you can impact more lives!
This one is basically how many enquiries into your services are you receiving each month. There is no number to shoot for, you’ll have to figure out how many your business needs to stay in the green. Think, “how many new clients do I need per month?” (don’t be too zealous here if you’re just starting out – shoot for no more than 10% growth per month!), “what % of leads can I convert into clients?”, then “how many leads do I need to hit that sweet spot?”.
I hope this helps!