Running a fitness business is great. But there are lots of reasons owning a fitness business might not be right for everyone. Take it from someone who’s done it. Here are five reasons to not start a fitness business.
Starting a Fitness Business is More Work Than You Think it Will Be
It always sounds like a great idea to be self-employed. You have the freedom to do what you want, and you’re tied down to a 9-5 job. However, I wish I could say owning a fitness business was that easy. I am twelve years into owning my fitness business and I am finally (within the last two years!) feeling like I have the freedom I always wanted when I set out to be an entrepreneur. Yes, that means it’s been about ten years of hard work and very long hours to get my business to where it is now. Now I can let the business run itself with the systems I’ve created and choose the hours that I want to work. It wasn’t easy. It was a long road, but it was worth it.
Running Your Own Business Isn’t Always Financially Rewarding
No, you’re not magically going to become rich, at least not right away. There might be a lot of investment or overhead initially that might have you stressing to cover each week from your brand new business. However, as long as you have a long term plan it will all work out. Stick it out for the first few years and let your business grow, and you will reap the financial benefits eventually! It might be a good idea to hire an accountant or business mentor to help you with this if you are not good with numbers.
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Say Goodbye to Your Friends or Family…for a Long Time
This is not even an exaggeration, people! Being self-employed means you are dedicating yourself to your business, which you have to do at first to ensure its success. I went through many years of saying, “I can’t, I have to work,” and having friends or family respond with “I’m worried about you, you are working too much.” It’s funny because I knew I was working a lot but I always saw the light at the end of the tunnel (the light that I am living now) and nothing could keep me from that.
I’m not saying that the only way to be successful is to never see other people in your life, I’m saying that you have to make an effort to make time for friends and family and schedule these things in—just like you would for clients or business meetings. Today, I’m a mom to a 21-month-old son and thanks to all my hard work over the years, I am now able to stay home and spend my days with him, create my own work schedule, and focus more on my online training at home—while my fitness studio runs itself!
Get ready to Multi-Task for your Fitness Business
Until you can hire people, you will have to be the personal trainer, program creator, social media manager, accountant, janitor, receptionist, and customer service agent. You might not have the funds when you are initially starting out to outsource tasks, meaning you will have to do it all yourself. This is not permanent and will give you a good idea of what tasks take up the most of your time, so that when you have the means to hire people to join your team you will know exactly what you want to outsource. My advice to any business owner is to hire people to do the things in your business that you are the least skilled at, or the ones that you enjoy the least. This leads into my next point…
Being the Boss Means Having to Hire and Fire People
This is something I learned the hard way. Hiring people to work in your fitness business (whether it’s online or in-person) is the way to give yourself a little more freedom. However, it’s important to be very picky with who you hire to represent your business. This can be difficult, but with practice, you learn how to hire—and for me, my team has helped get my business to where it is now. Think of specific qualities and certifications when hiring people to work in your business. Most importantly, hire the right personality and attitude for you and your clients. As much as education is important, I have found that personality (especially in the fitness industry) is just as important.
I hope my funny little list helps you make the right decision about starting your own business! I can honestly say that although it’s not easy, and all of these points are true. For me it has definitely been worth it in the long term. It’s always more motivating to work hard for yourself and do something you are truly passionate about. After all, most of the time it doesn’t really feel like work. Be strategic and organized, and have fun!