How To Build & Expand Your Fitness Network

Trainers and fitness coaches talk a lot about doing the “extra 1%”; a principle that when consistently applied, transforms seemingly small actions into noticeable progress. 

For those committed to fitness, the “extra 1%” could mean doing the extra rep, using your best form even when the instructor isn’t watching, or finishing the final 30 seconds of your AMRAP strong.  At The Fitness CPA, we know that putting in that extra 1% as a business owner is the difference between mediocrity and excellence, too.

So, as a business owner, how do you achieve that extra 1%? One relatively easy way is by expanding your fitness network. 

Networking can give you a competitive edge, add more value to your business, and ultimately lead to a gym full of happy, paying members.

As gym accountants with years of experience, we can vouch for the fact that the success of fitness businesses heavily depends on the support of their community.

For fitness business owners, it’s important to consider who you impact and to identify who is part of your network.

But where do you start to build your network outside of those members who are already part of your gym? Who can you rely on to help you with local market knowledge or find your next hire?

To help you get started on expanding your fitness knowledge and network, we’ve compiled a list of some great places to look into. 

Skip ahead if you’d like:

 

How to Build Your Fitness Network

Fitness Owners & Instructors

The first group you should consider networking with is other fitness owners, trainers, and instructors. 

Let’s face it, we’re all in this together! And more often than not, many owners are more than happy to share tips and ideas. They’re also the most valuable source of knowledge when it comes to your local market.

These industry peers may know of potential trainers or instructors you can hire, insights about what type of free trial offers have done well in your area, or ideas about gym lease spaces that are currently available on the market if you’re looking to take on your first lease or add a new location.  Last year, one of our clients took over the lease of a competitor’s space just by staying in touch with the other owners.   Last month, they achieved their first profitable quarter ever!  Now that’s a turnaround story worth celebrating!

So, start connecting with other gym and studio owners, as they’re a great place to begin building your network.

 

Other Business Owners

After you’ve established connections with fellow fitness professionals, it’s time to look beyond the fitness industry. Other business owners, even those outside of the fitness industry, can help broaden your community outreach and will ultimately help grow your membership base.

Business owners have a sense of camaraderie with one another and love to see other entrepreneurs succeed. So take an interest in the local businesses around you.

We recommend frequenting your local businesses and getting to know the other owners by name. Bring your employees to the restaurant next door to celebrate hitting your recent membership goal. Choose your neighborhood hardware store when purchasing supplies for repairs around your gym.  And never underestimate the power of a reputable barber or stylist to help forge connections with other local business owners. One of our most successful multi-location owners hands out business cards with promotional offers everywhere he goes.  When done genuinely and with a mutual sense of shared interest, it’s that type of outreach and networking that has allowed this owner to grow three successful locations.

And always remember, the best way to get involved in your area’s business community on a grander scale is to try and help others, whether it’s volunteering at the upcoming 5k race or helping a neighbor mend a fence.  Your reputation as a person will precede you as a business owner. 

TIP: Offering help to others is the best way to see it come back to you tenfold.

 

Your Professional Connections

Now, let’s talk about the third group in our network, which includes all of your professional colleagues. We’re talking about your accountant, attorney, and other advisors that you work with to keep your business running smoothly.

But that’s not all! You can also connect with other professionals like business brokers, commercial real estate brokers, financial planners, insurance pros, business coaches, former colleagues, and even former bosses (if you’re still on good terms, of course).

And if you’re really looking to expand your network, you can always join professional organizations, alumni associations, chambers of commerce, and community service groups. 

These groups can provide you with a ton of resources and connections that can take your business to the next level.

 

Your Friends & Acquaintances 

Lastly, we have friends and acquaintances. 

Friends are people who would pick you up from the airport, while acquaintances may still be interested in your concept or in sharing it with others. 

Grassroots marketing and community events are not just about adding members to your studio or facility, it’s about growing your network and building connections that will pay dividends over time.

Invite your friends and acquaintances to all your fitness business events, where they can enjoy a free class, some wine and cheese, or a workshop on nutrition. 

In fact, invite everybody! There’s no additional cost to have friends and acquaintances come to these events, unless you’re already at a packed house. 

And if you’re at a packed house, you’re probably not reading this post. 😉

Well, that’s a wrap! We’ve covered a few different groups you can connect with to expand your fitness network.

In a previous post, we talked about using your network to access second-generation leases, but there’s so much more you can do. You can meet other managers, teachers, and attend workshops to learn new things and get inspired for your next business idea.

We highly recommend giving your networking skills a try. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, networking is a powerful tool for growth. You never know what opportunities and doors it could open up for your business.

Just remember, successful fitness businesses don’t just happen on their own. You gotta put in that extra 1% effort to make it happen.

So go ahead, start networking and building those connections! And if you need help making financial improvements to your fitness business, we’re always here to help. Get in touch with our experienced accountants and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Until next time!

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