Monday, May 14, 2012

Save Time and Money Searching for a Business Location

New business owners don't have a lot of the green stuff. You're either raiding your savings, taking bank loans, or borrowing from family and friends. Usually you are doing all three.
You must find space elsewhere if you can't run your business from home. It's a wise decision to have a budget in hand when you are looking for that perfect spot for your facilities. Yet many new entrepreneurs fail to budget for their location before setting out to look for the spot.
Why You Need A Financial Roadmap
A site budget is simply a small portion of your overall start-up financial plan. People have a tendency to raid the piggy bank to get things they want but do not necessarily need. Spending on a business location is no different. A good money management plan helps you focus on
  • Space must haves vs. wants
  • Prioritizing competing needs for your space
  • Keeping it real by identifying over/under cost estimations
  • Preventing you from overspending
Business Location Budgets Save You Time
The time spent on controlling your spending is well worth your effort. You have just knocked out a major portion of your start-up planning. Often small business owners will pre-determine a location by using a personal "gut" feeling. They may like a particular area of town because of the trees and wide streets or they see a lot of nice cars in parking lots or available space is so close to home they can walk to work. Having a spending plan narrows your search because you won't spend time looking in areas of town you initially can't afford. You know exactly where you should be looking.
Planning Considerations
A great deal of thought goes in to a location financial plan. Your usual options are renting vs. buying. The option you choose should financially benefit your business in the short-term, say two to five years. Then establish the following:
  • The pros and cons of renting and purchasing
  • How much can you afford to spend on a location
  • Do you anticipate having to make improvements?
7 Steps to Setting a Business Location Budget
  1. Write down how much you can afford to spend on the new location. Include the down payment if you are buying or the lease security deposit and the maximum amount you can pay for your mortgage note or lease.

  2. Write down how much you can spend on improvements/build-outs either upfront or monthly note. Improvements are things such as plumbing and electrical upgrades; build-outs are more space planning - cubicles, offices, conference room.

  3. How much you can spend for real estate agents, lawyers, accountant, or other consulting people, if needed.

  4. Estimate how much money will be allocated for operating licenses and permits, build-out inspections, etc.

  5. Call your local utilities and get estimates for security deposits and hookup fees. These can vary with location your city.

  6. Estimate annual property tax. Your County Tax Assessor/Collector or Treasury Department/Department of Revenue should be able to help you if you have a specific property address or legal description of the property. Many times you can do this online.

  7. Get estimates for insurance. You will probably need at a minimum general liability (casualty) and property (building structures, inventory, etc.).
Setting a good business location budget can be hard work, but is something that small business owners should not overlook. A little effort on your part up front can save you a lot of time and money in the long-term.

Monday, May 7, 2012

10 Possible Reasons Why Your Personal Training Business Is Failing

Many people retrain as a personal trainer following redundancy or some do it out of choice, but when they hit the job boards, it becomes increasingly apparent that there are not very many (if any) well paying personal trainer job roles, just freelance positions and courses. So the new Personal Trainer has a choice, go back to the job he hated or make a go on the self employed route. Its tough to know where your are going wrong when you have no experience in business, so below is 10 possible reasons why your personal training business is failing
1. You are reliant on "pay as you go" rather than monthly billing
This is bad news, your entire livelihood is based around if someone can make it to the gym or to exercise...worrying
2. You are embarrassed to ask for money
Its a business, your invested a lot of time and money to get where you got to and you should be compensated for it
3. You don't have systems in place for marketing and sales that you stick to
If you are just winging it month by month, you won't be able to plan for the future. Have a plan that you can duplicate success
4. You don't look for clients outside the gym
If you work out of a gym an you only market yourself within that gym, you are putting all your eggs in one basket, the gym could close down, get rid of you, change the personal trainer agreement, double your rent, you have to keep your options open
5. You don't run group training sessions
Relying on one to one sessions is a risky thing when you are just starting out. Have several group sessions underway
6. You're not that competent trainer that you can guarantee results
Why should people train with you unless you are that good that you can guarantee the results as long as they follow what you tell them
7. You take yourself too seriously
You got to have people skills and be able to manage people in a variety of ways and be able to have a laugh with people
8. You're not professional enough
The above being said, you need to be thoroughly professional at all times, its about striking a balance
9. You work too much on the wrong things
You need to focus on generating income...full stop. Anything else is a hobby
10. You don't know where to start when it comes to marketing and selling your services
Get training, buy some in and get to know it as well as, if not better than Personal Training.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Basic Blogging and Article Writing for Personal Trainers - Top 7 Tips

The more prevalent that the internet becomes in publicising a personal training business, the more of an essential skill it becomes when someone starts a personal training business. Writing articles and blog posts can be some of the most cost effective ways and efficient ways to drive traffic towards your website.
Some of the advantages could be that it costs nothing to get started, it can provide good link juice to your websites, you can optimise with keywords relevant to personal training and more specifically your personal training niche. Couple this with the fact that a good article website usually gets high traffic and has an option for other people to use your content on there site with the condition that they include a link back to your site.
Some disadvantages could be that it does take a considerable time and commitment to write the required amount of articles, its a long term strategy meaning there is no quick cash here and there is also the creative concern, how do you keep coming up with quality articles?
Here are my top ten tips on writing articles and blog posts
1. Commit to writing 3 times a week. Accept it is going to take time and build your articles and blogs up gradually. The more articles and blog post with a link back to your page, the more your traffic and clicks will accumulate
2. Every time a Personal Training client asks you a question, make it into a blog post or article. You can also expand on each question e.g if a client asks you "how do I lose weight?" You could write about "how to lose weight" and another on "how to lose weight over 40" or "How to lose weight when you gain easily" etc.
3. Use your Articles and use them for inspiration for your blog posts, this saves time
4. Keep your articles to 400 words, keep your paragraphs short and easy to read and keep your style easy to read and relaxed.
5. Have your keywords in your article title wherever possible and in the text of the article, don't over do it once every 100 words should do
6. Don't forget to input your keywords, make sure they are relevant to your article and your niche
7. Always include a link to your site, remember the reason why we write articles and blog posts, its not to win journalistic awards but to drive traffic to your webpage and demonstrate your expertise.