For business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere, the New Year represents an opportunity to set out new goals for your programming, revenue, and overall growth.
In the health and fitness industry, the New Year represents a great opportunity for your business to grow thanks to peoples’ common resolutions to get healthy and in shape after the holidays.
However, as excited as you may be to take advantage of the health rush, keep in mind that competition to capture new clients is tough.
What can you do so your health and wellness business stands out from the crowd and retains clients? How can you make sure your business is prepared for growth?
In this article, we talk about what you can do to prepare your health and wellness business to reach your goals by addressing four categories:
- Reflection and evaluation
- Legal preparations
- Programs and services
Throughout the article, we’ve also suggested other articles and infographics where you can find detailed information about specific areas you might be interested in growing your business.
Take Stock of Your Business’s Experience and Learn from It
Before preparing to make changes to your business, it is always a good idea to evaluate everything your business has experienced throughout the year and take inventory of how your business currently stands. This process is also beneficial for identifying lessons the year has left you and using them to create a more effective strategy moving forward.
Take a moment to reflect on the following:
- How external changes affected your business
- Which programs and services captured the most revenue and what made them successful
- Which programs and services captured the least revenue and why they didn’t work
- Feedback you got from your clients
- The biggest challenges to running your business
- Which experiences brought you the most personal and professional satisfaction
- Whether your time management strategies were effective
- Whether you experienced burnout and why
- If software memberships were well utilized
- Whether your staff and external contracts met your needs
Based on these reflections, plan for the future of your business by capitalizing on the business’s strengths and strengthening the business’s weaknesses.
As you plan for your business’s future, don’t forget to ask yourself what your personal goals are and how achieving these goals will impact your business.
Legally Preparing Your Business for the New Year
As busy coaches, it is easy to get caught up in the daily schedule of programming and one-on-one coaching and not spend time on the administrative aspects of your business.
Take a moment to do a self-audit of your business’s different aspects to determine the best way to prepare for business growth.
Work Within the Scope of Your Practice
As your business grows, so will the scrutiny of your business activities. Whether you are offering services as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, health and wellness coach, or another specialty, make sure that you do not offer programming or services out of your scope of practice.
If you are unsure about what you can legally do or not do with your certification, we recommend you check out these articles and guides:
- Is Your Personal Training Business Legally Compliant?
- Nutrition Practice Laws: How Can I Practice in My State?
- What You Can and Can’t Do as a Health and Wellness Coach
- Offering Nutrition Advice: What You Can and Can’t Do
Registering Your Business
Is your business registered? Or are you offering your services as a self-employed individual?
If you haven’t done so, you might want to consider registering your business in your state. Most health and wellness coaching businesses choose to register as a limited liability company (LLC). Registering your LLC is a relatively fast and low-cost process (ranging from $30-$200 depending on the state), and it may help to lower your taxes. You can file for an LLC yourself or ask for support from a legal service.
You can find out more about registering your business at the Small Business Bureau’s website.
File Your Annual Reports
Businesses need to keep their annual reporting up-to-date. If you own an LLC, you’ll likely need to file your annual or biannual reports with your state’s Secretary of State. The annual reports let shareholders know how the business is doing financially and what the plans are for your business’s future. If you don’t have time to prepare the annual report, you may want to outsource report production.
What happens if you don’t file your annual report? Your state may revoke your LLC status, or you may have to pay fees.
Make Sure Your Taxes Are Up-to-Date
Depending on how you are conducting business, you have different tax requirements. If you are working as a freelancer, for example, you should be filing quarterly taxes. If you are doing business as an LLC, you either need to file as a partnership or corporation.
If you are unsure about the best way to file your taxes or don’t have the time to file your business’s taxes, you may want to consider using a filing service or hiring a tax accountant to make sure your taxes are paid up.
Have the Right Contracts and Forms in Place
While a contract isn’t mandatory for some health and wellness professionals, it can help to secure payment and outline responsibilities. One of the key elements of working with new clients is setting up a contract. The contract should specify:
- Service details
- Billing and payment policies
- Termination of contract
- Cancellation policy
Remember that if you want contracts to be legally binding, they should be prepared by an attorney.
Other forms you might want to have include liability waivers and health history forms.
You can learn more about the essential forms here: 8 Essential Forms for Personal Trainers, Health Coaches & More
Preparing Programming for the New Year
For your business to keep growing, it needs to be continually innovating to meet clients’ evolving needs and respond to trends within your niche.
No matter how great your current programs are, it’s always worth spending time taking a critical look at them to see how they can improve.
Here are some suggestions as to how to begin innovating your programming:
- Review current guidelines and research: Do your programs respond to these guidelines or are they outdated?
- Determine if your programs will respond to the future needs of current clients: For many health and wellness coaches, your clients hope to see some sort of transformation, whether it be emotional, behavioral, or physical. Do your current programs have an opportunity to grow with your clients or will they “graduate out” of your services?
- Consider growing your team: Will you need additional professionals to meet your clients’ needs? Perhaps hiring professionals from different fields will help you to diversify your services.
- Evaluate the benefit of package services: Package services and programs may help you leverage your time and current clients better than hourly services.
- Take your services online: If you haven’t already done so, online services will allow you to expand your reach significantly and could boost your income.
- Consider integrating apps and software into your services: Apps not only help you to diversify your services, but they can also make your life easier! We have guides to apps for personal trainers and nutrition consultants.
If you are unsure about how to innovate your programming, you might need to take a moment to redefine your niche and do some market research.
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Build a Marketing Plan for the New Year
The cornerstone of any business that wants to grow is an effective marketing strategy. There are several components to a marketing strategy, including ads, referrals, e-mail marketing, and social media marketing.
The right formula to build a marketing plan for your business depends on who your target clients are, your current and projected social media presence, whether or not you have an e-mail database, and whether or not you have a budget for targeted digital or print ads.
As you build your marketing strategy make sure to consider the following:
- Branding: In addition to the visual consistency of your materials, are marketing materials aligned with your business’s voice, tone, and values?
- Target audience: How does your target audience behave, and how will you get them to notice your business?
- Established platforms: Where does your brand already have an established presence? It might be Facebook, Instagram, in a specific geographic area, a podcast, or somewhere else. You can use your current platforms to get the word out about how your business is growing and evolving and opportunities for people to get involved.
Below we give you an overview of some of the components you may want to integrate into your marketing strategy through the end of the year and into the New Year.
If you have an e-mail database, you can use it to build an e-mail marketing strategy. It may include outreach to existing and past clients to keep them on board, e-mail strategies to generate leads, or a combination of both.
You can use e-mails to send out newsletters, tell people about your new programming, and motivate people to sign up for your services.
Here are some great resources for you to learn how to use your e-mail lists to help grow your business:
- 6 E-mail Templates to Encourage & Check-In with Your Clients
- 15 E-mail Marketing Secrets for Health Coaches and Personal Trainers
- 9 Ways to Generate More Leads with E-mail Marketing
- Growing an E-mail List: Tips for Certified Personal Trainers
- How to Start an E-mail Newsletter That Your Clients Look Forward to Reading
Social media offers seemingly endless opportunities for generating new client leads. Rather than just creating brand awareness, you can use social media as a concrete way to attract clients and sign them up for your programs and services.
Some of the creative ways you can use social media to grow your business include:
- Investing in social media advertising
- Creating posts and stories that promote your gated lead magnets
- Using social media features like Instagram Reels to boost your brand and create calls to action
- Motivating clients to visit your site
- Interacting with communities and accounts that align with your brand
- Making it easy for people to contact you
- Connecting with followers
- Collaborating with other brands and professionals
Do you want to learn more about how to integrate social media into your marketing strategy? Check out these articles:
- How to Generate New Client Leads with Social Media
- How to Use Instagram Reels to Boost Your Fitness Brand
- Top Social Media Platforms for Personal Trainers
- 10 Types of Social Media Posts for Nutrition Marketing
- Insider Tips to Gain a Social Media Following for Your Fitness Coaching Business
When people see your face on other businesses’ websites or in the news, you automatically increase your celebrity status. When big names recognize your expertise and look to you for an opinion, your business’s reputation gets a boost.
You can celebrate your feature on your own social media, and followers of those other outlets will also be able to spread the word about what you do.
How do you go about it? Check out these articles:
- How to Get Featured on the News as a Health and Wellness Expert
- Tell us your story as an AFPA grad to be featured on our site
The time leading up to the New Year can be a great opportunity for you to grow your business, increase your income, renew your programming, and get on task with the administrative aspects of your business.
In this article, you learned how to prepare your business for the New Year by making sure your business is legally compliant, renewing and updating your programming, and creating a marketing plan.
AFPA is proud to see our graduates succeed. To this end, our blog has hundreds of articles on growing and maintaining your coaching business. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular articles in this blog and encourage you to go back and explore some of the links we’ve included above to increase your chances of success in the New Year.