So, you are looking to start a fitness business as a personal trainer and/or fitness specialist. Congratulations! But, are you entering into this venture with a well prepared plan or do you have unrealistic expectations and a “rose-colored glasses” attitude? Unfortunately, many small businesses start out this way.
There are lots of reasons why businesses fail. It can happen to anyone. However, people who don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset are more likely to fail at business than others. An entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so”. With greater risk, comes greater responsibility as an independent business owner (for more information on the traits of a successful fitness entrepreneur, click here).
Because you are working alone, it’s easy to let your own emotions and perceptions get in the way of making good long term business decisions. Below is a list of characteristics and beliefs of people who are very unlikely to be successful entrepreneurs and are destined for business failure.
Thinking of work in terms of an hourly wage.
Successful entrepreneurs know that you can’t count the worth of your time in terms of dollars and cents. Building a successful business takes a significant amount of time and hard work. In the beginning, the amount of work far outweighs the compensation you make in return. After some time, the balance begins to shift and you make more money with less effort. How long it takes to get to that point depends on many factors (i.e. type of business, business experience, funding, etc.).
Building a successful business takes time. Similar to changing the body with exercise. You can’t expect success overnight. Some people are fortunate and success comes quicker than for others, but it is extremely rare for financial success to come right away. Experts say that it can take up to five years for a new business to be considered financially successful.
Setting unrealistic expectations.
These entrepreneurs expect success and wealth with a minimal investment of time and energy. They believe in “get rich quick” schemes and the role models they focus on are people who claim to have made milions with little to no effort.
Failing to understand the importance of action.
Any business does not run by itself, especially a personal training business. If the personal trainer doesn’t take action to run, grow or evaluate the business it is destined to fail. The majority of what makes a business successful is dependent on action.
Not believing in themselves.
Many of the entrepreneurs who fail early in business (and those who never even start) just don’t believe they are capable of business success. They lack confidence in themselves and quickly believe the people around them who continually diminish their efforts.
Fear of failure.
They are simply afraid of failure. They lose focus on the task at hand and dwell on the negative. For example, they are afraid they won’t make enough money to pay their mortgage or feed their children. The think about it constantly and can’t get past it.
They think they have one source of income.
This is the clear mark of the non-entrepreneur. If someone with an employee mindset needs more money for anything (to pay bills, to buy a new car), the solution is to get another job or to work more hours. They equate more money to more job. An entrepreneur understands that there are many sources of income. They don’t limit themselves to simply doing more of the same. They constantly look for new and different opportunities.
Fitness Business Success – Next Steps
Although this article may seem like it’s deterring fitness professionals from pursuing business, that is hardly the case! What it is meant to do is prepare and inform fitness professionals to ensure that if they are looking to venture into business, they are aware and can avoid the pitfalls that can get in the way of success. For a more comprehensive outline of how to plan for a successful fitness venture, especially for personal trainers and fitness specialists, click here.