Note from Rachel
Final Business Builder in Birmingham last week and what a brilliant one is was . So many ideas in one day, great atmosphere and very positive. The Business days have been a massive success and I’m organising new Fitness Business Summit Days from April 2012 again helping you take your business forward. Thanks to everyone that came, it was such a buzz.
Andrew Crawford’s article last week on protecting your business names and Trade Marking generated a lot of emails and conversation so he has come back today with more up to the minute information on this hot topic. You will also find great articles from Sally including a new podcast, Andrew, Marvand new contributor Sarah Johnson, who has opened her own studio in Leicester City Centre – a great informative read.
12 Days of Christmas C2go
I’ll be running 12 promotions from 1st – 12th December with discounts on courses, workshops, choreography, DVDs and membership offers. Each promotion will be at 12 noon and run for 24 hours, there will also be competitions on my Blog and Facebook so make sure you “Like” The Choreographytogo Fan page http://www.facebook.com/#!/Choreographytogo
1st Day of Christmas Promotion is Level 2 Circuits Qualification is only £155 + VAT. Expand your empire and train a class member to teach your Bootcamps and Circuits Classes with this qualification click here for details
Super Seniors2012 with Kelly Reed – Kelly has been brainstorming exciting new ideas for your Seniors classes including a whole seated session as we know so many of you teach seated classes and are dying for new material. Check out Kelly’s workshop information click here The dates are selling really quickly.
Fitness Pilates The Next Level 2012 – The Bristol venue is now sold out, Guildford now has only a few spaces left.f you would like to grab a spot you can book on Click here to book online
Email Automation and Starting your Newsletter by Rachel
If you read this newsletter regularly you’ll know that 8 months before the Choreographytogo website was actually built I started the weekly Instructor Newsletter. I used to send it via my aol address book account. After about 3 months I had too many emails so had to send it out in batches of 50, it took FOREVER. Back then there wasn’t any mail automated email delivery systems ,but now there are lots to choose from
If you are collecting your clients’ emails addresses ( and YOU must be) and you want to create a professional looking newsletter and set up automated delivery and updates, here is my personal review of the best and easiest to use.
Ensure you have all of your emails on an Excel (CSV) Spreadsheet and then you can import your addresses in one go straight into your new system.
Number 1 is MailChimp – super easy to use, FREE, and you can get cracking with it straight away. http://mailchimp.com/ My Top recommendation is MailChimp
Number 2 is Constant Contact – again easy to use and Free, tried and tested Jayne Nicholls uses this for her newsletters http://search.constantcontact.com
Number 3 recommendation is AWEBER – This is for the more technically minded, there are great tutorials online and it has great options and features, it’s about $19 per month http://www.aweber.com
If you’re new to Mail Delivery systems and not confident technically then go for MailChimp – Make sure you add me to your list as I would love to see your newsletter Rachel@Choreographytogo.com
What should you put in your Newsletter? –
Hot Topics for your Fitness Newsletter
Now you have the automation sorted what should you write about?
First things first, when you send a newsletter using one of the above systems you will be able to look at the stats and see how many people have opened your newsletter. It could be anything from 25% up to 70% and it will vary week to week, you may want to trial different words in your subject line to entice readers to open.
The Most Important word YOU have to use in EVERY Fitness Newsletter and Blog post.
The Most Important Word is “You”
Did you find the opening sentence compelling? If so, why?
Or the better question is, who was the first sentence focused on?
Your newsletter needs to be overwhelmingly focused on the reader in order to be effective. Therefore if you’re blogging and writing newsletters for marketing, PR purposes, brand building and connecting with your customers every post and article needs to be aimed at the needs and wants of others – Your Clients/Readers.
You only benefit when readers benefit first.
When it comes to writing engaging content, “you” is the most powerful word in the English language, because your clients are with you because they are interested in fulfilling their own needs ie. Getting slimmer, fitter, healthier, more positive etc. In your newsletter maximize the use of “you”, while minimizing or eliminating “I” and “me”. The newsletter needs to be about the reader and how you and your services can help them.
Every time you finish writing a newsletter, check the focus. How many times does you and its derivations appear? What about I and me? Your newsletter needs to be designed to help the reader
Try it, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Subject Ideas for Your Newsletter and Blog Posts
I hear this all of the time “What can write about…..I’ve run out of things to write about etc, etc”
Here are some ideas to help and inspire you
1. List Article – 5 Top Tips to……. 10 Ways to achieve……… 15 Ideas to…….1000 ways to. You will see list articles everywhere on the covers of magazines as they really attract attention and draw you in.
3.Class member success stories.
Protecting Your Name – Update
Andrew Crawford ACMA
Since the release of the first article, in relation to ‘Protecting Your Company Name‘, I have received many emails. I’m glad you all found it useful.
The common theme surrounded the question as to whether a name being presently used as a sole—trader business could be registered as a company but not run as a company.
The answer is YES.
If you are running a business at the moment and it is not registered you run the risk of someone else registering your name instead of you. And as a consequence, you may be required to change your name. Not nice.
You can however, register your name and NOT trade as a limited company.
You will effectively keep the company as a ‘Dormant’ company that means it will not trade as a limited company.
What is a Dormant Company?
A limited company is deemed to be dormant if it has had no ‘significant accounting transactions’ since incorporation, or since the last filing of accounts.
In other words, if it has not traded during the year, it will be a dormant company for accounts purposes.
A company could be trading one year then dormant the next. As long as you inform Companies House and the Inland Revenue.
You will be required to file Dormant Company Accounts
What are Dormant Company Accounts? (DCA)
Dormant company accounts are accounts which are filed at Companies House on an annual basis by Dormant Companies. These companies are usually referred to as being exempt from audit.
Use form AA02 available from the following link:
When and how often do accounts need to be filed?
The first Dormant Company Accounts need to be delivered to Companies House no later than 21 months after incorporation and relate to the period from incorporation up to the Accounting Reference Date (ARD). Subsequent accounts must be filed with Companies House no later than 9 months after the ARD.
For example, if a company were formed on 01/01/2011 (ARD: 31/01) the 1st accounts should be filed no later than 01/10/2012. The next accounts should be filed no later than 31/10/2013.
What’s the difference between Accounts and the Annual Return?
Accounts are different from the Annual Return. Accounts are the figures of the company and the annual return is a snapshot of general information about a company (not financial information). i.e Director, Secretary, Registered Office etc.
Both are legally required to be filed at Companies House on an annual basis.
Companies House are eager to strike companies off the register if an Annual Return is not delivered on time. This can either be online or by post.
If filing online, there is a fee of £14.00 as opposed to £40.00 if filing by post.
There are differing penalty fees for late filing of the Dormant Company Accounts depending on how late they are filed.
Visit our website at: www.fitnessindustryaccountants.com for more FREE resources and articles.
‘Like’ our page at: www.facebook.com/fitnessindustryaccountants
Andrew Crawford can be contacted on twitter @tax4fitness or firstname.lastname@example.org
Podcast with Sally Ghafoor Click here
Tips to help you set up your Business, whilst still being a Wife & Mum!
By Sarah Johnson
I’ve just returned from Rachel’s Fitness Builder Mastermind Seminar in Birmingham and my mind is buzzing with ideas and I now have 174 things on my ‘To do list’. Our homework is to write an article for the C2GO website! Eeek! What to write? Well I thought I’d share my experiences and give you my tips on setting up your own business whilst being a mum and a wife! I took the biggest leap of my life and set up my own studio in May this year. After 6 months of stress, sweat and tears – The Dancefit Studio was born. The stress is there but it’s not huge, there’s loads of sweat and tears have been replaced with laughter – lots of it!!!
Rachel will laugh at this but here is my top tip list! (Yes I am busy)
1. Write a Business Plan – ‘If you fail to plan you plan to fail’. Has your business got legs? Do you have a market? The answers to these questions will constantly change as you develop your business. If you don’t know your business inside and out, how do you expect your customers to know what you do? It will also show you where the gaps are in your business. You can download free Business Plan templates from Business Link www.businesslink.gov.uk. . Just adapt it for your business.
2. Time Management – Rachel touched on this at the Seminar and it is so true. Schedule in everything; the time to work on your business and the time you spend with your family. Do not neglect your friends and family when you are setting up your business. I am lucky that I have a very supportive husband and family and that they believed in what I was doing.
I love this quote by John Wheeler – ‘Time is what prevents everything happening at once’!
3. Don’t forget to breathe. You will go through a whole range of emotions while you are setting up your business. Crying because the workload is so great, you seem to be progressing one minute when someone throws you a curve ball and you’re back to square one. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and you keep asking ‘why am I doing this?’. Stress is a killer. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete everything on your to do list. The world won’t stop turning if you don’t manage to write your newsletter because the baby was ill. Guilt. This was and still is a huge one for me – guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with my kids and husband and was spending too much time on my business.
An excellent book to read is Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
4. Don’t make excuses/blame the kids/husband/dog for not being able to start your business. It’s your business and only you can do it – take responsibility for it.
5. Childcare – Another huge one that a lot of us struggle with, especially when most of our classes are in the evenings when we should be putting the kids to bed!! The last thing we want to be doing is working all hours just to pay for the child care. At one point we were paying a childminder during the day and then a babysitter in the evening. It didn’t make sense financially, we were rushing about dropping off and picking up, so we made a huge decision, and it has turned out to be a great one – we got an Au Pair!. It sounds really posh, but I could never have set the up the studio up without making that decision. Do go through a reputable agency because they do all the CRB checks, references etc. We used www.SmartAuPairs.com. Our first au pair Hannah was our Mary Poppins. I sobbed when her 6 months was up and she returned home to Hamburg. Our second au pair got home sick after 3 weeks and our third didn’t fit in with our family! I would recommend doing a few SKYPE interviews with them before you make your decision, after all they are going to be living in your home and looking after your children. Our au pairs work 35 hours a week for £90 pocket money or you can get 25 hours for around £75 a week. These hours include babysitting in the evenings. Set out house rules and regulations, their job description and work schedule. Ours cook the children’s meals, make their beds, tidy the playroom, do their washing and ironing all of which frees me up to work on my business.
6. Vision Board/Dream Board. Collect and draw pictures of your dream business. Cut out inspirational words from magazines. Create the vision of how you want your business to look. Put it somewhere you can see it every day to remind yourself what you are working towards. Don’t forget to make one as a family as well for things like Holidays and that new Car!
7. Get yourself a Business Mentor. They are truly invaluable. My Business Mentor used to dance at my studio when she was a little girl!!! I’m extremely lucky that my she is also a motivational coach. She helps me to put my thoughts in order and stops me worrying about trivial matters, and gives me tasks to complete to move my business forward. Ask someone that is relevant to your business. I know that sounds obvious but I do know someone who teaches Belly Dancing classes and her mentor is a 50 year old professional business man who knows nothing about her market!!
8. Just do it. Don’t live a life of regrets, or say ‘If only I had done X, Y and Z’. You may have an excellent idea but you’ve done nothing about it, then all of a sudden you see someone else has beaten you to it. How would that make you feel?
9. Put things into perspective. What are you scared of? Fear of failure is a huge reason why people don’t start their own business. What’s the worst thing that can happen? What if you try and it fails? You lose the money you’ve invested. You can make that back, you can do something else. It is not time wasted, learn from your mistakes and move on. I was stressed beyond belief setting up my studio. I will share with you something that put everything into perspective for me. The day I had the opening launch for the studio, my brother was in Mexico on an overland motorbike tour. He was the mechanic and drove the support truck for the motorbike riders. He was kidnapped by Mexican drug bandits, taken into the jungle with a gun to his head and a gun to his stomach! For whatever reason, they decided not to kill him, they left him to find his own way out of the jungle. I know this example is a bit extreme but it put everything into perspective for me and my whole family. If the studio fails at least I gave it a go. It made me realise we should live life to the full.
A good book to read is ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers
10. Surround yourself with motivational, like minded people. People get jealous and can bring you down and then you start questioning your ability. Don’t listen to them! You can do it!
I want to finish this piece on a high (sorry about the heavy stuff in point 9 but I wanted you to see that nothing is as scary as that!!) You are a people person and obviously love what you do otherwise you wouldn’t be teaching. Make the decision to develop your business, and then in turn you can help people reach their goals and feel good about themselves. You have this amazing and wonderful talent, believe in yourself. Your fitness business can change someone’s life.
I’ve got so much more on this topic and will be posting it in my Blog over the coming weeks, after I’ve written about gestational diabetes and my 12lb 110z children!! http://www.sarahdancefitstudio.blogspot.com/
Dancefit Studio www.dancefitstudio.co.uk
Following the 2011 functional freestyle tour I would like to thank everybody that attended and gave so much. The previous 2 years were both challenging exercise programmes but this year seemed to feel just as/ worse than usual.
The studio powerbags were a hit. Over 150 of them are now in circulation and what I like the most was the multiple usage from boot camps – Fitness Pilates – Circuits – Legs, Bums and Tums.
I have 10 copies of the DVD left if anybody would like one. Email me on
Following my link to the website last week I have had trainers contact me asking if they can attend the residential fitness camp in 2012. The answer is yes! It’s a camp based on education, quality exercise not quantity and up to date research in nutrition and hormone responses to foods. I have 2 specialist chefs that cook our meals. They are amazing. John is already in the semi finals of the Welsh chef of the year competition.
So if you can muster up your friends and clients and get a group booking then we can offer you a complimentary space. For more information please see the website
If you could post the link on your facebook and ask your friends who is interested then you get extra Brownie points. Drop me an email or facebook message to get more info.
My next update is Kettle Bell qualifications
At Blackpool IFS in March 2012 I will be hosting the pre-convention course on Thursday. All day. If you can’t wait that long and would like me to come and qualify you at your venue then we need 10 attendees and we will bring kettle bells if required.
That’s the news update for this week. Join me on facebook at www.facebook.com/fitnessretreat
Enjoy your week. Almost Christmas
You are AMAZING! by Jill Gardner
Ok so it’s taken me best part of 9 years but I am slowly starting to recognise the true power I have to help change people’s lives for the better!
I meet so many Fitpros who are underestimating and undervaluing what they are doing for their clients and community. More than ever the country needs us and we can reverse this current health crisis that is upon us on. We have the power to be the change that needs to be seen in the world RIGHT NOW!
Nutrition is fast becoming recognised once again as a way to prevent and cure disease. We are beginning to see more and more in the media, in stories, and in documentaries about people championing the power of nutrition. Evermore we need to help spread this turn away from drugs, medicine and poor nutritional advice.
What is the difference between these pharamcuetical companies, food manufacturers and drug pedlars anyway? Not a great deal as far as the body is concerned and both are lining their pockets! There is no money in healthy people!
We have a unique and exciting opportunity to bring ourselves forward in terms of recognition and status. No longer ‘just’ a fitness or group exercise instructor we are now pioneering a trend in the turn to great food as nature intended. Never has there been a better time to propel yourself into the status of ‘health professional’ and join the revolution and tide that needs to turn.
So how are you making sure you are on the crest of this wave about to set free? Here are my predictions for the future:
1. Nutritionists will become the doctors of tomorrow
2. Fitness professionals will become pivotal in this revolution away from drugs and medicine and back to food and exercise as nature intended
3. Food manufacturing will begin to meet the demand from newly educated shoppers for real food and start to change and evolve to meet the growth of a society sick of being sick.
How can we stay on top and be on this wave?
1. Learn, read, practise, set the standards and be the change you want to see. Be an example, be the inspiration that the world needs to see.
2. Encourage you clients to take responsibility. It is their ability to respond that we need to harness. Whether it be learning to cook, learning about food, getting them to exercise, reducing their stress levels etc. Get right into the community and be the local hero!
3. If your passion isn’t there then get out of the industry and do something else. This industry needs people that can help fuel this change and make a brighter future!
Finally, If you can’t see how amazing you are then other people won’t either! Until you recognise the power you have to change peoples lives for the better then they won’t either!
Next week I will talk about how to elevate yourself and your brand locally putting you in demand! Jill Gardner – www.facebook.com/hateitchangeit
Please keep emailing, facebooking and Tweeting me with your feedback and any ideas for articles. I’ll do my best to create some with your suggestions.
Have a FANTASTIC WEEK