We’ve spent 17 years working with fitness professionals and business owners. Would you be surprised to know 82% have serious profit and lifestyle issues?
Fitness entrepreneurs are not making the money they want. Their personal lives are non-existent or suffering. And their dreams have become their prisons. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of fitness entrepreneurs ever overcome the obstacles standing in their way.
Why? If there’s one thing we’ve learned by working with over 53,000 fitness businesses in 96 countries over the past 17 years, it’s this: There are predictable stages of growing a fitness business.
Once you understand what they are, you are better equipped to navigate the obstacles that block your way — so you can accelerate getting to the dream business and lifestyle you want. We call this journey the 7-Figure Fitness Entrepreneur Roadmap.
STAGE 1: Solopreneur
When you decide to work for yourself, you quickly discover that success means you must market yourself, sell your services, and deliver results. You must put in lots of hours learning the necessary systems and developing the required skills.
At first it’s great! You’re learning, you’re growing, you’re making more money!
Do this well and you will grow to a 6-figure income. Problem is, there is no leverage in this business model. You’re trading time for money. You slow down, the business slows down, and your income drops.
It’s not unusual for us to speak with clients who haven’t taken a vacation in 5 or 10 years.
So what do you do next?
STAGE 2: The Desert
For most fit pros, the logical next step is opening your own studio or gym.
That’s a great business model and offers tremendous opportunities. You can create leverage and time freedom. You get paid while others deliver client services. You impact more lives – both clients who want to transform their health and future team members who want careers. And you are building a saleable financial asset you can exit one day for hundreds of thousands of dollars if you choose.
Problem is… most fit pros bootstrap it and “open broke”. They lack the systems, skills, tools, and support needed to get their new business over the hump. They fail to create the revenue, profit, and lifestyle they once hoped to gain.
As a result… business and life get hard. VERY HARD. For a long time. Welcome to “The Desert” for fitness entrepreneurs.
You’re still the lead trainer, the business owner, the manager, the membership manager, and more. Clients may only want to work with you. But you need to find time to build a business. Everything depends on it. But you don’t have the needed profit or revenue. What do you do?
We estimate 82% of fitness entrepreneurs who enter The Desert never find a way out. Some shrink their businesses back to solopreneurship. Others work themselves to exhaustion.
To grow past this, you need strong client acquisition systems, strong profit-optimization systems, and a strong team development system. You can’t stay here or your business, health, and relationships will suffer. You must push through.
STAGE 3: Stable, at last
Congratulations, only a small percentage of fitness business owners ever make it here. Leaving the desert means the following:
(1) You consistently find and keep great clients.
(2) Your profitability is “OK for now” but needs improvement.
(3) Your team is good, but with gaps.
(4) You’re still working too many hours.
The good news: Your business is stable and you’re only a few key optimizations away from the lifestyle you want.
NOTE: This is often when a lot of studio/gym owners mistakenly open a second location before they’re ready. Too often they get sucked back into the desert with one, if not both, locations. Don’t do that. Stay patient with a rock-solid long term vision and plan.
STAGE 4: Living the good life
At this stage, you will have a team of leaders in place who run the day-to-day operations while you direct the vision and strategy for your business.
You will need a strong team who are aligned to your core values and excited about a future working with you. Together you will dial in your operations and finances to achieve 30% profitability. Your team will keep your client acquisition systems bringing in and retaining great clients.
At this stage you will have the team and resources required to successfully expand to multiple locations. Often we see 2-5 locations creating a powerful impact in their communities, incredible career opportunities for their staff, and an incredible lifestyle for their owners!
Want to learn more?
Join us for our biweekly LIVE virtual workshop, the 7-FIGURE FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR™. Get the plan to sell out your fitness studio and create a waiting list for your next (or first) location! Includes LIVE Q&A with NPE CEO Sean Greeley. Secure your seat now!
About the Author
Sean Greeley is a founder, coach, family man, author, and speaker who helps fitness entrepreneurs build sustainable and predictable 7-figure businesses. As founder and CEO of NPE, he has dedicated his life to helping fitness entrepreneurs find the clarity, confidence, and courage they need to break through and grow to the next level…without sacrificing their personal life in the process.