4 Things to Maximize Your Chances of Success in Your Business

By | Blog, Business Help, Financial Help, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Marketing, Starting a Gym | No Comments

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics from the SBA that only 50% make it to the five-year mark and just one-third get to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.

If you’re reading this and you’ve made it to your 2 year mark, your 5 year mark, or maybe even your 10 year mark… huge congratulations!  We all know getting to any of these milestones is no small feat.

Because, let’s be honest… the road of an entrepreneur is never an easy one.

It often feels like going on a hike… barefoot, through a densely wooded mountainous forest, at night, with no flashlight, no food or water, and certainly no cell phone reception.

Even for the ones who seem like they have it all together.

What about the road for those who don’t make it to the 5 year mark? Or, maybe even a better question… for those that do? Starting a business and staying open 5 years is a monumental undertaking.

We’ve spoken with countless gym owners who are tired. We’ve spoken to ones who look like they’ve built a huge business because of the number of members they have, but they’re not profitable. For those people, business isn’t fun, it’s stressful. These owners got into the business because they loved helping others, and now it’s turned into the exhausting business of well, running a business.

So how can you make sure that you’re in the small percentage of folks who actually succeed and don’t get burnt out along the way?

Here are a few of the key things based on our experience:

1. Pay Attention to Your Cash Flow. This is the number one sinker for small businesses. Most people who start a business aren’t a “numbers person”, so they don’t ever really have control over or understanding of their numbers. Huge mistake. As a result, they don’t pay themselves, and are constantly focused on not having enough.

Suggestion: If this is you, stop putting this off. Commit now to focusing on getting comfortable with and knowing your numbers. First things first, order a copy of Profit First today, and set up your business using this financial system. It will get you in control of your numbers, have you paying yourself right away, and radically change your cash flow challenges. But, be prepared to work the system. There are no magic bullets!

2. Have a Marketing Strategy in Place. You would never (or very rarely) start a vacation or a building project without a plan. So, why do so many small businesses open their doors without a plan for how they are going to grow? Many owners we talk with are years in and haven’t created a marketing plan. Working without a plan will only get you so far. With so much competition rising up, those who have a plan that they’re executing on will be the ones who get out in front of the pack.

Suggestion: Join Hub. For the month of May in Hub, we’re focused on helping all Hub subscribers develop and execute on their Marketing Plan. We provide the how to, templates, courses, resources, and the expertise needed to ensure Hubsters are focused on the right thing.

3. Surround Yourself with Other Like-Minded Owners. A strong, supportive group offers you the ability to positively change. To see what others are doing, and use their experience to make changes in your own business, can be a game changer for your business. It gives you the accountability to actually make the changes. And then it provides encouragement and high fives when those changes happen.

Suggestion: Again, join Hub. Our Hub subscribers have come together to form one of the most powerful communities of gym owners that exists in the industry. They are quick to say that our private Facebook group has been one of the biggest benefits of being a Hub subscriber. It’s a safe place of question asking, idea sharing, and high fiving. Just being a part of this group is worth the price of admission. To take it a step farther, you can apply to join a M3 (Momentum MasterMind) group. These are small groups of 6-8 like-minded gym owners who meet weekly. They are led by a 321Go Business Coach and are all in similar places in their business.

4. Admit What You Don’t Know and Get Help. Another big reason businesses fail is because of the incompetence of the leader. This is not meant to be a derogatory statement at all, it’s just that many gym owners aren’t equipped to run a business. They just don’t know what they don’t know. And none of us know everything. But, the ones who admit what they don’t know and are willing to invest the time and money into really learning and applying what they learn are the business owners who will be around for the long haul.

Suggestion: Find a business mentor, join an accountability group, listen to podcasts, read blogs, and become a part of a motivating and inspiring FB group. The resources are there, you just need to tap into them. Invest your time and money in ways that will grow your knowledge, and ultimately your business.

Your business is your baby. Your creation. It’s everything to you. It can become everything you dream it to be, you just have to choose the best ways to invest in it. And then, execute on what you learn.

We very much want you to succeed. So much so that everything we create and offer here at 321GoProject is geared towards that. Want to jump on a call with us? Click here to schedule one. We’d love to chat!

The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from everyone else.  – Brian Tracy

Have You Lost Your Why?

By | Blog, Business Help, Hub, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

We all start something – a new business, a new hobby, a new adventure – because we love it. In the beginning, our vision for success often consumes our thinking, our conversations, and our activities. And it’s incredibly fun. We’re inspired by just the thought of success. Everything is new. People encourage our vision. Things feel like they are coming together. We’re going to get to live our dream.

And then…

Reality sets in.

Maybe it’s 6 months down the road, or 6 years, but life happens and we’re sitting alone wondering what in the heck we’re doing. Those encouragers are nowhere to be found. Money is hard to come by. The days are long and our energy is low. The newness has worn off. We have no idea how to get more people through the door. The business is running us and keeps demanding more and more of what we don’t have to give. Some days, maybe most days, it’s just too much.

This weekend we had a gym owner post in our private Facebook group. “Really excited to be here! We hit a major boom for our gym around 4 years ago but in the process of growth we lost our way and more importantly our WHY! The gym was regular for 2 years before it started to drop off. We took the plunge with the Hub to give us a clear direction and to simplify the complication we caused in our business. Actually to say I’m excited is an understatement.”

This got me thinking…

How many gym owners out there have lost their way and their why?

How many of you started out, excited to help people and do what you love, and are now just going through the motions – tired, discouraged, lonely, on the verge of burnout?  You didn’t realize when you started out that you’d have to be a marketing expert, a writer, a therapist, a toilet scrubber, a financial whiz, an event planner, a social media poster, a floor cleaner, a videographer, a lease negotiator, and the list goes on.

Now your business – that thing that used to be a fun dream to think about – feels like a massive burden. Where once you only wanted and expected the best, now you’re satisfied with good enough. Your purpose is nowhere to be found. It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. People are counting on you and it feels like too much.

You may even be considering closing up shop.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We have created a community that is honestly like no other in the industry. We’ve been involved in the CrossFit / fitness world long enough to know that it can be tough out there. Where can you go for answers to your questions that won’t make you feel like an idiot? No matter how successful we are, we have questions (or we should). We all need a safe place where those questions can be answered.

We spent the last year and a half developing Hub to address all of the above.

We know that many gym owners can’t afford one-on-one business coaching or a high price tagged monthly service. They just need something that won’t break the bank to get them going in the right direction.

If this is you, Hub is your answer.

Our goal with Hub is to create a welcome oasis from noise and offer a source of knowledge and camaraderie for the affiliate community.

And it’s working. Check out these recent comments we’ve gotten in just the last week…

“I just wanted to give a big SHOUTOUT for Hub and this amazing group page. Since joining in January, I have gained focus, understanding, and direction in how to make the business into my vision. Upon numerous business systems created and marketing strategies developed, my most proud accomplishment is converting my members to new membership options.”

“The hub has helped us tremendously:)”

“I can’t tell you how much I have learned in the last 4 months! It’s incredible, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come in these next 4.”

Because we know that every dollar spent is one that doesn’t make it into your pocket, we want you to try before you buy so we’re offering a 7 day free trial of Hub. No commitments needed, no strings attached. Just jump in there and try it out. If you like it, keep going. If not, just cancel.

Let the community surround you so that you re-find your way and why. We’re here waiting to help… you just have to take the first step.

How to Turn Your Goals into A Marketing Plan for the Year

By | Blog, Business Help | No Comments

You have some goals for the year, but don’t yet have a marketing plan for the year set. Look no further.

We all know how important having a marketing plan is for your gym, but where the heck do you start?

Most gym owners never write one down, mostly out of fear or wondering if they will get it right. By writing a plan down means commitment and accountability. On the flip side, it also means peace of mind and clarity for you and your coaches. All heading in the same direction.

How satisfying would it be to have your year planned out so all you needed to do was execute on your plan?

NOTE: Join us for a free webinar on “Creating a Simple Marketing Plan for the Year”. Signup below.

Your marketing plan for the year doesn’t have to be rocket science, it just needs to be pulled out of your head and written down on paper.

Here are 3 things you can do today to turn your goals into a written plan.

We are going to go in more detail with the execution part of your plan in our upcoming free webinar, so join us.

1. Assess

Start with the customer. They are the champion. Build your plans around your customer’s needs and goals – not around your product and tactics.

What does your target customer look like? Who is the best member fit in your gym? Who makes up your current members? Families, young professionals, soccer moms, corporate peeps. Maybe you want to increase the amount of guys in your gym? Maybe you would like to get more older peeps in your gym?

Understanding who comes in your gym will help direct your marketing efforts.

2. Identify

What are your goals for the year? My guess is you already have some goals in place you would like to see accomplished. Are they written down somewhere? If you don’t have any goals set yet, this is a VERY important step.

You would never say, let’s go on vacation out west and start driving. You’ve got a destination in mind. These are your goals. Write them down and share them with your team. Showing others helps make you more accountable. We all need accountability in our life.

So create a short bulleted list and make them measurable. Also, make them realistic – “more members” often = more net revenues. More leads equals more members, better retention.

Here’s an example:

  • Hold 1 offline retention-based event monthly comprised of 75% members & 25% future members
  • Hold 2 local fundraisers – minimum 60 attendees
  • Generate 50 new Personal Training leads
  • Create 2 new co-branded partnerships
  • Run 2 Automated Lead Nurturing Campaigns with 10% conversion
  • Sell out 6 internal programs (nutrition, endurance, and women’s weightlifting) – 2 tracks each

3. Plan

Now it’s time to create the marketing plan and tactics around your goals.

What campaigns/events during the year can you run to help you achieve your goals? Try to break them out into categories.

By planning out your year, peace of mind will come.

Click on the graphic example of a planned out Marketing Event Calendar from CrossFit Turbine. On our upcoming webinar, Stefan, from Turbine, will discuss how he created this example and his mindset behind it.

TIP: Keep it flexible. Plans change, so ensure plans are usable by a clear vision for the year and keeping detail to a shorter term 90 day focus.

This is why STRATEGY/Having a Plan will always trump one-off tactics. Tactics are the vehicle, strategy is the map.

There isn’t a perfect plan. The idea is to just have one and then execute on it.


On Feb 23, at 11am CST, we will help you create your simple Marketing plan for the year. Signup! Limited seats available.

Join Us for the Webinar!

Feb. 23, 2017, 11am CST

Full name*

Want New Clients? Pay Attention To These 10 Things…

By | Blog, Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Culture, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

Your business is probably changing lives, I will certainly give you that. The fact that every day you open your doors to the world in an effort to help them become better humans is nothing short of amazing. You may work a full-time job and then also run your business because it’s your passion, and that’s incredible. Or, you’ve sacrificed everything so that others can benefit from the thing that you’re an expert at, and that’s admirable.

But what if you could capture more leads?

Most of us get so immersed in our businesses that we forget what it’s like to be the new person just discovering us. We don’t think about how someone actually sees us for the first time. We fail to put ourselves in “their” shoes. If you’re a business owner, there are a few things you’d do well to keep in mind when you think about how a new potential client may view your business.

Here are 10 things I’d like to say to business owners to help them gain my business:

  1. My first impression of you is formed by looking at your website. Unless I hear about you from a friend, 9 times out of 10 I will find you through your website. There are 3 things I’m processing as soon as I click on your .com… #1 – “Does your website look current and fresh?” (if “no”, I actually don’t even consider the following 2 questions, I just move on to check out your competition). But if “yes”, I ask #2 – “Does it look like I would fit in there?” (by looking at your pictures), and #3 – “Does the vibe you’re communicating through your website look like something I would want to be a part of?”. All this happens in the first 7 seconds.
  2. If your website passes the 7 second test, then I go to your “About Us” page to see if you look like the kind of people I want to connect with. Your About Us page definitely matters to me… Do you look fun? Do you look relatable? Your staff pictures (videos are even better so I can get to know you a little) and how you write your bios are decision makers for whether I’ll reach out to you… or not.
  3. I found your website because I googled something. Maybe it’s “best workout in Charleston”, or “fitness gyms in Charleston”, or something similar. If you don’t show up in the top 5 (or better yet, top 3) when I google these things, I’m not going to find you and I’ll reach out to someone who does show up.
  4. When I search for you, I’m definitely going to read your reviews. What are people saying about you? How many people are saying nice things? What are the negative things? (I may even look at these first, if there are any.) Subconsciously I’m thinking that what other people say about you and how many say great things will most likely reflect the experience I will have with you.
  5. Written testimonials don’t matter nearly as much to me as video testimonials. Written testimonials, while ok, can sometimes feel contrived. They don’t feel nearly as genuine and engaging as being able to watch someone (in under 90 seconds) use emotion to talk about why they love being a part of what you are providing. They make me want what they have.
  6. It’s intimidating to come into your business for the first time. I’ve most likely been “researching” you for a while (weeks or even months). And, now I’m here because I’ve liked what I’ve heard, seen, and read. But, we all remember what it’s like to be the “new kid”. It feels like all eyes are on you. Everything feels awkward, but exciting. It’s hard to not know what everyone else knows – the culture, the language, who likes who, what the staff is like, am I wearing the right things, will I fit in, etc. It feels like the first day of 5th grade at a new school all over again. You make me feel welcome (and not like the odd man out), I’ll be forever thankful and stick around.
  7. I’m not necessarily looking for friends at the place I do business. Especially in the service industry, like fitness, often times we proclaim how great our community is and we say that’s what differentiates us. But, for the most part, people aren’t coming into your gym looking for new friends. It will be a by-product, most likely, but it’s not what I am focused on initially. Don’t tell me how great your community is, show me.  
  8. If I email you and get an automated reply (“Thanks for writing. We’d love to talk to you. Blah blah blah”), that doesn’t feel genuine to me. Automated email replies feel just that – automated. I’d prefer it so much more if you’d just reply back to me within 24 hours (the sooner, the better) with a personalized email, making me feel like you really were glad I reached out.
  9. If you don’t answer the phone when I call, I’m probably going to move on to your competitors. I know we all are busy and it’s not always feasible to pick up the phone every time, but when you do, it makes a huge difference. Oh and when I call, I’d love it if I felt like you were really glad I called (smile when you’re talking).
  10. No one cares about your business like you do. I’m checking out your business because of what I need. I have a “problem” and I think you may be able to help me solve it. But, honestly, I only care about your business to the point that it serves me. I know that may sound selfish, but it’s the truth.   

You’re probably no different. Start paying attention to the process you go through when you are in need of someone’s services. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings that a new person experiences.

There is a lot of competition out there. When you show up in big ways (which are often creating by doing a lot of little things right), people will take notice and want to be a part of what you’ve built.

 

In summary, here are the ten things. How are you doing on each of these?

  • Invest in an awesome website (this will pay you back in dividends).
  • Make your About Us page fun.
  • Show up in the top 3 when people search for you.  
  • Have great reviews, and a lot of them (at minimum 25-30).
  • Put video testimonials on your website (at least 3-5).
  • Make people feel “at home” at every point of contact with you.
  • Show the power of your community.
  • Get rid of automated response emails when someone first emails you.
  • Answer your phone.
  • Keep clients needs always at the forefront.

Stuck on some of these things? We can help. Check out how.

If you want to schedule a quick call with us, we’d love to chat. Just click here to find a time that works with your schedule.

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon. (julie@321goproject.com)

You May Not Want To Hear This, But…

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership, M3 | No Comments

You’re Fat.

And so am I.

Let me prove it to you.

List out how many articles you’ve read in the last week. Name the podcasts you’ve listened to over the past 7-14 days. Write down how many pages of a book you’ve consumed recently, and how many video tutorials you’ve watched lately. Think about the conversations you’ve had that have spurred you on in the last few days.

Now… write out what you’ve actually done about all that information you’ve consumed.

What action items have you completed that brought about a change in your business or yourself?

If you’re like me, you can’t even name all that you’ve listened to and read… even just in one week.

(think about all the articles you’ve stopped on while scrolling Facebook.)

We live in an information overload age. It used to be hard to get a book or blog published. Not now. Articles are a dime a dozen, and many of them are really good. Self-help books line the bookshelves, maybe your bookshelves. Business books abound. Just this past week, I’ve been referred to 9 of them, every time someone saying, “You have to read this one.”

So, why do we do it? Why do we keep consuming like our life depends on it? Why do we feed our minds an excessive amount… all. the. time?

Because learning is good, and consuming is easy. It makes us feel like we’re improving.

But, unless we’re actually doing something about what we’re consuming, the simple truth is our minds are just getting fat.

In the fitness industry, we fight obesity every day, but what about our minds? As a business owner, if change is going to happen, it has to start with you.

How many journals have you started that only have 15 pages written in them? How many goals have you set that just continue to remain un-hit? I cleaned off my desk yesterday and had 7, yes SEVEN notebooks that I had started. Like a new notebook will somehow help me be more diligent.

So, how do you tighten up? How do you get your mind fit?

Do something about what you’re consuming.

Decide today that you’re not going to allow yourself to read another article without acting on one takeaway. Just one.

Don’t listen to another podcast without writing down the one thing you’re going to do as a result of sacrificing 20 or 45 minutes of your day.

As you’re reading a book, take notes. Write out your action items from your notes, and then do them.

m3logov1Join a MOMENTUM Master Mind (M3) group of like-minded business owners and a 321Go Business Coach who will hold you accountable to actually GSD (get sh#t done).

It’s time to take action.

We’re already 1 month into 2017… how’s your year going?

Are you making the changes you hoped… or is it just more of the same?

Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results only breeds frustration and more of the same.

It’s time for me to clean house, friends. Maybe you too. Let’s get rid of the proverbial chips and ice cream, and start working out our minds so that our businesses will be healthy and strong.

Schedule a quick call with us to see how we can help.

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com).