A large proportion of my client base are involved in the health and wellness industry so we talk about health, fitness and staying in line with this month’s edition focus on longevity, I figured it apt to look at strategies to help you ensure your business’s longevity.
Although there are no guarantees on the survival of your business, there are steps that can assist your company’s staying power.
- Become a visionary.
- Motivate your team to share your vision.
- Build a strong business model.
- Create an adaptable business strategy.
- Know your numbers.
- Have a strong support network.
- Stay consistent and flexible.
- And, most important, never stop learning.
Let’s drill into each of these in a little more detail…
1. Have a Clear Vision
This is the foundation of your business. Before you can grow, it is important to have a clear vision of your future and the expectations of your business and put this down in writing. Questions to ask yourself would be… what type of business model will I follow? Where do I wish to be in 5 years? How large a business do I want?
2. Motivate your team to share your vision
Strive to be the best leader you can be. A true leader develops a management style that generates trust whilst providing consistent motivation to their team members assisting in their growth and development in the roles they perform. They then see their position as a career instead of a job.
Take time to hire the right individuals and look for people with a commitment to succeed, then make them loyal members of your team. These people will have the drive and passion to want to make the business work knowing that everyone will be rewarded.
The number one criteria should be that they have a great personality, have a passion for fitness and are good with people. You can teach them the rest.
Once they’ve joined your team, you need to keep them motivated. Make them feel that they are directly responsible for the company’s success and that they are able to share in that success. One way to do this is to implement a profit-sharing program.
3. Build a strong business model
Does your business model reflect the goals of your company? Have a look at the services you offer to your clients - are there too many options? If so, look to simplify things. Having the right business model in place can help grow your business to where you want it to be.
4. Create an adaptable business strategy
In order for your business strategy to succeed, you need to follow the market. You must be flexible and willing to change. From the way you price your product to the way you bring on new team members to the state of the economy, these factors should guide your business strategy.
Do you listen to your clients, then modify your product to meet their needs? Do you see an untapped market that might be able to use your product?
Could your marketing approach be off, or is there a better way to make sales? Little changes can make a big difference.
5. Knowing your numbers
Understanding your company’s finances means doing more than just monitoring your cash flow. One of the biggest problems startup companies face is running out of cash.
To keep on top of your business, analyze your financials every month. Determine which products and services are making money, which are not, which cost the most money to make and which provide the least amount of margin. Watch your payroll. Review your monthly reports. Be aware of your cash flow at all times. You can’t have a business if you don’t have any money.
6. Having a strong support network
Surround yourself with a loyal and strong team and competent advisors. Acknowledge your strengths, then find others who compliment them. Identify your weaknesses, then find people who can compensate. Advisors will help you face hard decisions, as well as provide advice, input andencouragement.
7. Providing a consistent level of quality to clients and members
It is imperative to provide clients with the highest quality of service or product that you can. If you try to get away with providing substandard work, you will be discovered, sabotaging your company’s chances for longevity. Businesses survive when owners provide clients with quality service. Those are the companies that clients come back to and talk about.
Ask yourself if your services are consistent. To go a step further, owners who care about quality service care about in-house quality, as well. That means hiring the right people and then treating them well. Staff turnover is one way to gauge consistency.
Chances are good that if you have high turnover, your clients are receiving inconsistent service. Clients can tell when employees are satisfied with their jobs — and when they’re not.
8. Stay consistent and flexible
Flexibility means realizing that you don’t have all the answers. It means learning how to delegate authority to those in your team you trusted enough to hire. And it means analyzing your numbers so you can make the difficult decisions that will drive your company forward.
No matter how good a plan or system is today, unless you keep updating it, it will become old very fast. The market is changing constantly. To succeed, your business must change with it. Be open to new ideas and different ways of doing things.
9. Never stop learning
There’s no way to truly master any craft without always looking for ways to improve; learning and applying new skills is the ultimate self-improvement. As a business owner it is important for you to strive to constantly educate yourself both on technical aspects but also on the business side of things too. When we stop trying to better ourselves and learn new things, we essentially stop striving for our goals.
The success of your company depends upon your ability to gain knowledge from your every experience.
Andrew Wallis is a business consultant whose primary focus is helping fitness business owners see the wood for the trees. He is LifeStyle180’s marketing expert specialising in building, creating and integrating solid marketing strategies and tactics into his client businesses. He loves to stick his head under the bonnet of their business to make sure it runs efficiently and effectively. Prior to running his own PT business in the UK and Australia, he spent 20 years in the offshore finance industry managing property and investment portfolios of the rich and famous. When he’s not at work, he enjoys traveling the globe.