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  • 1st March Instructor Newsletter

    Choreographytogo Instructor Newsletter

    1st March 2012

    Note from Rachel

    It’s March Already 2012 is charging along at a fine old rate and so is this week’s newsletter and live events. Firstly, I can’t contain my excitement about hosting my new Create your Online Fitness Business Seminar which I’m holding at the NEC, details below. And, of course, fast approaching is  IFS in Blackpool as we roll into convention season with Fitness Fiesta, Blackpool and Fitpro all happening within weeks,  I’m trialling, prepping and getting organised for this busy time.

    The latest Kick Start Fat Loss for Fitpros has been my busiest group to date and we have had some fantastic results so far.  The support and help of the Facebook group has also been the back bone of the whole program as have the workouts. I filmed 21 new workouts for this round of the KSFL and the group have been working out with me every day during the programme.  Its a full time job answering all of the questions, supporting and motivating the group but well worth it. The next KSFL2012 is a 14 day and starts on Monday 12th March 2012.

    This week’s newsletter sees a really interesting article by Claire Mockridge about why she doesn’t want to own her own studio. I thought this was a useful and  balanced article to include this week and give you some points to consider before you take the leap. Every time I chat with instructors the topic of owning your own studio comes up as it seems to be the dream of so many. I’m actually with Claire on this one, years ago I would have killed to own my own studio but now with the opportunities the internet, social media, online fitness programs bring to the table the thought of leases, managing staff,  property to upkeep, dealing with councils and parking, rates and more bills etc it’s a world I now find wouldn’t be for me.

    BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not for you and if that is your dream you must go for it. I know there are lots of Choreographytogo members operating super successful studios and doing extremely well and if so I would love to hear from you and about your studio. So, as a balanced newsletter you can read Nicki Carless’s brilliant article about how and why she opened her own studio and how well its going for her. I hope you find these articles balanced and useful in helping you make your mind up if owning your own studio is for you.

    New Downloads

    Hustle – I wrote an article this week about hustling the local media in your area. If you haven’t had a ring round and found out advertising rates and pushing yourself to get on the local radio then it’s time you did. Newspapers are feeling the pinch and many will be up for a deal on advertising, so let your fingers do the walking and make some calls. But you have to pick up the phone..Dont just be a keyboard warrier, make some calls and get in front of people.

    New Facebook Pages

    I stayed up till very late last night watching the live streaming from the Facebook conference on how the new Facebook Pages for Business are being rolled out. Theres some great new features and a Facebook business page will be crucial for any Fitpro wanting to build an online Fitness Brand. Check out the Choreographytogo page and do leave some comments, I’ll be posting videos today and I’m also looking for budding presenters to upload a video of your teaching to my page. Details here

    How  to Build Your On Line Fitness Business – Live EVENT in Birmingham NEC with Rachel Holmes and guest speaker Andrew Crawford

    Bring your lap tops, Bring your ideas and Bring your enthusiasm as this is a new first of its kind event!

    The date is Saturday 28 April at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham NEC 930 – 530am . I’ve got tons of new ideas , systems and strategies on teaching how to get set up and create your online Fitness Business. PLUS, the Fitness Industry’s leading accountant and Tax Advisor Andrew Crawford will be speaking on Trade Marking, Intellectual Property, Copyrighting and Accounts advice.

    Due to the demand for spaces I have moved the day into a larger conference room at The Holiday Inn Express, NEC so I now have an additional 10 extra places.

    I will be covering Networking, Public Speaking, Running Events, Creating Online strategies, Creating Online Courses and Webinars, Writing ebooks. It’s going to be action packed and brilliant for arming you with the best information on how to get your fitness business online.

    The NEC is an easy venue to get to by road, rail and airport. Why not come by train? It’s easy and painless. If you want to stay over the Holiday Inn Express is very reasonable but the event is booking up really quickly so don’t hang about on this on.

    To grab a seat on the day Click Here

    My Gold 90 Day Coaching and Mentoring Course is Open  from today.

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy mentoring and coaching, I have had some fantastic results with the people I am working with, many of you are now familiar with articles from Katie, Jill, Sally, Claire, Cori and Alice. They have gone on build successful, sustainable and recognisable brands and businesses. I am now taking on 5 new coaching clients this weekend. If you are interested in me working with you  then check out the 90 Day Coaching Page and Jump on board. Here is the link to the 90 Day Page or you can Tweet me or Facebook me

    Is it Time To Reconnect to your Local Media by Rachel Holmes?

    If you haven’t used newspaper advertising for a while then why don’t you reconnect and see if they have any better rates these days. Newspapers are massively feeling the pinch as advertisers are leaving them in droves in search of social media advertising.

    Give them a ring and see if there are any advertising deals on the table. Do some hustling and see what deals you can get 🙂

    Whenever I start a new community class I always advertise in the local paper. 20 odd years ago adverts and leaflets were the life blood of my community classes. I would spend £150 – £175 most months on ads in the local paper that everyone in the community read ( at the time)

    They would always include my press release and picture and the feature would fill my new classes. I became the only person advertising all year round in the paper, it was great for my business and brand. But then the advertising costs got out of hand, no longer would they put in my picture and press release and the cost escalated. I stopped advertising.  Luckily I had built up a good following, had a great mailing list and then as time went on a very active email list.

    But newspapers have fallen on hard times too. They are losing advertising hand over fist in these tough economic times, if you look at your local paper I bet the amount of pages has significantly reduced.

    It’s time to reconnect and see what deals are on the table for you.

    The Pain of Fantastic Teachers
    I think so many fabulous teachers out there aren’t as financially successful as they ought to be – because they don’t sell themselves and their services properly.

    You can be the best, most knowledgeable Instructor, but if you don’t get the message out no one will come.

    “I’ve been on every Fitness course going, I have more qualifications than anyone I know,” Laura told me the week she started her new community classes.

    “I just don’t have a clue how to market and promote it and the thought of traipsing round houses pushing leaflets through doors fills me with dread!”

    “And, you know what Rachel, I just don’t have time to do all of this online promotion and Facebook bores me……”

    It’s a problem that almost every Instructor and Personal Trainer starting a new classes or personal training business faces. You can be the best – but if you don’t know how to get the word out–how to market your products or service–there’s no way you can get the customers you need for your business to survive, grow and become  sustainable.

    Here are five essential steps to follow to get great marketing in local media.

    1. What is your market?

    Decide who your main customers are.

    As a group:

    How old are they?
    Where do they live?
    What kinds of jobs do they have and what are their interests?
    The better you can sketch a detailed profile of the kinds of people who will be your main customers, the better you’ll fare in the next four steps.

    2. What kinds of media do your main customers use?

    Each type of media has its own target audience. Each radio station, newspaper, magazine, or TV program tries to interest a specific segment of the population. The trick is to match your main customers with the kinds of media they use.

    The local newspaper may be geared to homeowners over the age of 35 so if you teach a Fitness Pilates class that is aimed at women over 40 the local rag may be a much better way to advertise than sticking  posts up on Facebook and Twitter? Of course use Social Media to build your brand and engage with people but if you want to attract older adults, the grey pound, baby boomers you wont find them all on Facebook (yet)

    If you aren’t sure what group a media outlet is targeting, ask their sales executive. Maybe you have a class that will be of interest to people living in a certain catchments. Flyers delivered door-to-door inside the local paper or with the post is a great way to let prospects know about you.

    Effective media can be anything that conveys your message. Media choices range from million pound adverts to a few free pens with your name on them.

    3. The key to effective marketing is consistency. You have to hit the audience with your message again, and again, and again.

    Marketers use the Rule of Seven. Prospects must see or hear your message seven times before they consider buying.

    Don’t blow your entire marketing budget on a one of advert. Try and barter a deal where you can advertise for a month or so on the run. That’s how you get marketing success.

    4. Sell the main benefit of your class or service. Make your marketing client-centred

    How does your class or services improve your customer’s life? What problems will it solve if they attend?

    Surprisingly for many Instructors, people wont make a choice on how many qualifications you have and how “Fully Qualified” you are. ( I see this strap line on every Fitness Instructors Flyers)
    Your marketing should drive home this most important benefit as clearly and directly as possible.

    Customers buy benefits!

    When you advertise the features of your product or service, connect those features to the benefits they will bring the customer.

    5. And finally, and this is the biggest, don’t miss out on FREE publicity. Radio, TV, newspapers, newsletters, and magazines are constantly on the lookout for good stories. Prospective customers will be impressed if a media outlet features a story on what you do.

    Is there something about you or your business that would interest other people?
    Is there something about your business that is newsworthy?
    Maybe you have useful information to share with others.
    Consider sending a press release to your local newspaper. Better yet, make a phone call to the news desk…Yes actually pick up the phone and speak to someone.

    Do some hustling on the phone, get the deal and get some advertising in your local papers.

    Go on do it today!.

    In fact do it every week…Don’t give up after 1 press release. Consistency is the key

    I’d love to hear about your endeavours with the local press. Please comment below. or Tweet me @RachelHolmes

    Are you selling a short-term diet or a long-term lifestyle solution? by Jill Gardner

    Do you struggle with keeping clients after bootcamp has finished?

    Do they drop out half way?

    Do they struggle to maintain their new body after?

    Or are the diet plans too extreme for most clients to adhere to?

    Here are some examples:

    Drop a dress size in 4 weeks

    21 days to a new you

    28 days to a new body

    Drop a dress size guaranteed in only 2 weeks

    2 week to a flat belly detox

    Lose 10lbs in ten days

    I don’t know about you but to me it sounds like your selling a destination?

    Most people still behold the dieting mindset.  They are either on a plan or they are off a plan. It’s all or nothing. Worse, they are still not taking ownership for their diet and health. They want someone to tell them exactly what to eat and when, how much exercise and exactly what to do.

    If you can, imagine a learner driver. They have the driving instructor to first show them the controls, how drive, how to control the engine etc.  They get their learner plates and practice daily slowly gaining confidence. Eventually they pass their test and are free to go it alone.  Without these stages in place, daily practice and without the driving instructor, a learner driver would never pass their driving test.

    So how can we replicate this in our bootcamps and courses?

    First the description needs to imply a journey or a lifestyle. For example I don’t offer a guarantee to ‘drop a dress size’ – some will disagree – but I want the focus to be on them gaining their life and health back.  I want them to learn about their metabolism, how they work and to learn to respect their unique bodies. Everyone is different and needs to treated as such. If we don’t try to educate or coach their mindset to appreciate this then it will never change. So think about your client’s journey and experience. What can you add to help them on their journey by encouraging them to take ownership? There is no destination with reaching your ideal body. Because even if your clients arrive there they will have to learn how to maintain for life! And this is another part of the journey that most people struggle with most.  How can you help them with your offerings? What else can you do to ease their paths and keep them there?

    Workshops, teaming up with other professionals such as life coaches, network with holistic practitioners for relaxing reflexology treatments, hair and beauty, cookery courses, time management workshops, vision board meetings, regular social events – the possibilities are endless but you can start to build a lifestyle package to match your client avatar and build in discounts and members only groups for like minded people. This builds you a community of people that are your tribe.  You will become the source of continued inspiration and motivation for a journey that never ends.

    It’s a journey not a destination!!  I’d love to hear your ideas for your fitness businesses!

    Big love, small tummies. Jill Gardner – the Fat Controller

    Jayne Nicholls

    Ha, ha, how many people have tried my House of Fraser, if you don’t ask you don’t get with me this week? Love it ! Today is all about smoke and mirrors. I went to see the Iron Lady a few weeks ago and 2 things stuck in my mind. First we see Margaret Thatcher asked about the difference between her era and now to which she answers ” in my time people wanted to do something and now they just want to be somebody” and the second she was asked, ”how do you feel Margaret?” to which she replied ”why don’t you ask me what I think!”. I found myself applauding and nodding, as these two things really do ring true. This week as I see the most bizarre cases of outright lying on Facebook as fantasists tout business ideas to other people who think that success is something that is achieved from their laptops with minimal effort and even less interest, is this what our industry has come to? Back in the real world I experienced a fantastic group of instructors who all demonstrated individual ideas and great potential for training clients in so many different ways and this opened my eyes to the way that our industry is changing. There is a whole new group of instructors who want to think and want to make change, we have not seen this for a while and it is a very powerful shift. Bring it on is what I say and then we can start to see some realistic rewards for our efforts.

    Jayne Nicholls currently touring the 2 day Freestyle Fitness Yoga Certification

    Why I don’t want to own my own studio

    By Claire Mockridge – Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert

    Hi there everyone,

    The title of this article might come to some of you as a bit of a shock, but just to reiterate, I don’t actually want my own fitness and/or Pilates studio.  Weird, eh?

    I get the distinct impression that many of us FitPros have huge hopes and dreams that one day, we’ll make it big and open up our own premises.  I’m not trying to put a damper on things if you’ve already starting looking at venues, you’ve researched the local area, you’ve found the perfect place, with all parking, lighting and good signage potential etc, or indeed you already run a successful gym or studio.

    All I’m doing here is, for those of you in that “undecided” phase, I’ll share with you some of the reasons why I, personally don’t have any aspirations to own my own premises:

    ·        I’m happy running 9 classes a week, and don’t want to take on any more.  Don’t get me wrong, I have the time to run more classes a week, but, if I’m financially in a good place right now, why should I change this?  Remember: putting on more classes, doesn’t necessarily make you more money.  There are plenty of other ways of building your business profit.  More on this shortly.

    ·        I like being my own boss.  One of the reasons I run my own business is because: a) I’m not good at being managed (I’m much better suited to an unsupervised role!), and b) I don’t like managing people.  If I were to take on my own studio, someone, somewhere would need to be under my direction, and I just don’t have the skills to deal with it, nor the inclination.  I’m just being honest.  We all have our own strengths and weaknesses.  Put me in front of a sea of pregnant and postnatal women and their babies and I flourish, ask me to tell someone off and I flounder.

    ·        I’ve thought about the practicalities, for example, I don’t know the first thing about DIY, so I would literally freak out if the boiler died; or if I arrived at the studio to find it flooded, because the toilets weren’t functioning properly.  Another practical thing: I also really, really, really don’t like cleaning, but, deep down, do I really want to pay someone to clean my studio for me?  Do you want to be mopping out the toilets at 10pm at night, ready for your first PT client the next morning?  This doesn’t appeal to me, at all.

    ·        I like being part of the community.  I think there’s potential for me and everyone other FitPro reading this, to gain the recognition for what they do, as a community Instructor, in the community, without the flashing lights, in whatever “community” they choose, if you see what I mean.  Just because someone owns their own studio, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve hit it big on Broadway, in my eyes.  They may actually be in a huge amount of debt, to be fair.  This is a situation I never want to be faced with, so I’ll stick to knowing that I can pay the rent in my cheap-as-chips halls, without worry of where my next meal is coming from.

    ·        And here we go, onto the money stuff.  I really want to expand my offline business, and if you’re as excited about this particular aspect of your company too, then congratulations and welcome aboard!  It’s not going to be an easy journey creating products and programs etc, but, if I know for one, if I tried to open up a studio, this would detract from my goals and objectives of growth.  I don’t think it’s impossible to do both, but, one of your lines of business would suffer, whilst you concentrate on the other income stream.

    ·        My parents owned their own security company from our family home for 25+ years.  I watched and experienced every high and every low in this business.  Five years in, they expanded and took on staff, and this is when all the problems started.  Their business was all-consuming and we didn’t go away as a family on a holiday very often at all, in fact I’m really struggling to remember many holidays with my family at all in my teenage years (cue the violins – lol!).

    ·        I’m one of those people who wants and NEEDS to take time off from their business, unlike others.  In fact, I’ve scheduled 12 weeks off this year.  How many holidays are you taking?  The odd Bank Holiday here and there, or a real chunk of leave that enables you to re-charge and really relax?  If I owned my own premises, I honestly don’t think I’d have this flexibility.

    I guess it’s all down to what we value, isn’t it?  Ask yourself: What is it you really want from your business?  Do you want your name in lights above your studio door, or more easily accessible for everyone on the internet and social media instead?  Have a good, long, hard think about this.

    If you’re like me, and you’re in a happy place where you are right now, why change?  Tweak things here and there as you go along your path.  Plan for the future.  But, maybe what you think your aspirations are, actually aren’t yours, they’re someone else’s.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    If qualifying and teaching Ante/Postnatal is in your plan for the future, I can certainly help you.

    Why not join my Private Facebook Group for FitPros who either a) want to get qualified to teach pre/postnatal or, b) are already qualified, but want hints and tips on making their business more successful:!/groups/clairemockridge/

    Tour date for my Pre/Postnatal Exercise and Marketing “Bridging the Gap” Workshop is 19-20 May 2012 at David Lloyd in Derby.  It’s not just pre/postnatal exercise content you’ll learn here, it’s also the marketing and business acumen skills required to find, retain and build rapport with pre/postnatal clients.  For more details of this Event, see:!/pages/Claire-Mockridge-Bridging-the-Gap-for-AntePostnatal-FitPros/325163320855018

    Or, join me on:




    Claire Mockridge

    Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert

    Is it really harder when you have kids? by Sally Ghafoor Get Health Savvy

    Now if you’re reading this you obviously are a regular reader of c2Go, which means you are always reading all the helpful info on setting up and running a fitness business to a high level, so why aren’t you using those tips? Are these some of the reasons?

    Lack of time

    Lack of money


    Too busy…. I have kids I just can’t do everything that I have been advised to, it’s alright for the writers in that newsletter telling you what to do to be successful but they haven’t got kids!

    So I am going to take a look this week at the “I have kids excuse”

    The above “too busy” statement I read recently on a social network site, the thread was actually quite a long one saying how it was alright for those who run a fitness business telling them to do this and that, however they didn’t have kids so didn’t know how hard it is to run a business with kiddies. Sometimes it just wasn’t achievable.

    Hmmm I thought to myself, the contributors to the thread could have written an article or planned what direction/niche they are going to excel in in the time they had spent moaning that certain fitpro’s were better at business because they didn’t have kids.

    I have a very dear friend whom doesn’t have children, however she is a shining example of a person who is busy being busy, I say to her so when can we meet, and her reply will be “well on Sunday I am doing this, Mon I am doing that, Tues I am with so and so” Get my drift? In the time she has spent texting me what she has to do in the weeks ahead, I could have met her had a cuppa and a gossip. She is always telling us how busy she is and there is hardly time to breathe, she will find the extra time when she has kids, everyone can find the time for everything they want/need to do.

    Now I am not debating that it is harder when you have kids but it is not impossible, I had to pull out of a 2 day course this weekend that I was due to go on – reason childcare issues, yes it does happen but we have to adapt. I have 3 kids, and they are a big age range so have different hobbies that I have to ensure they attend, right now one is revising for GCSE’s the other for his SAT’s, whilst their 3 year old brother runs riot annoying them, so is my household hectic – yes! Do I run my own business – yes, so the burning question is how? (oh and they are all boys, muddy outdoor boys whom seem to give me enough washing for 10 people!)

    Now I am a worrier, if I have something that is unfinished, I have this grip of uncertainty in my tummy, how can I explain this – you know when you had been a bit naughty at school and you’re sat outside the headmasters office and there is that feeling of anxiety in your stomach, that is what I get. If I do not write down what I need to get done, there is that little reminder some stuff is unfinished, but I can never quite pinpoint what it is and end up procrastinating and not getting it done.

    I don’t have “to do ” list as such, I write down each day in my diary what I need to do and cross it off if I achieve it, if not it goes into the next day’s list. However this stops me becoming busy being busy, first thing in the morning the list is written and it fits in around my day – I don’t keep going through it in my head I am very laid back, yet manage to achieve my work!

    The problem is as parents I think we feel we don’t have a choice, we feel we have so much to do and we need to do it fast, until its finished to ensure we stay in control, if we don’t do this we lose control and stress ensues. Guess what not everything needs to be done at once. It’s all in the time management but not to be so hung up on getting stuff done immediately, I am very laid back, I have the ability if someone rings for a play date with the kids I can just go, as I know I can pick up those things later that need doing and they are still done on time.

    So what is it really? Fear of failure? Are you avoiding the tasks in hand, maybe completing other non-priority jobs instead? Are you getting caught up giving those cupboards a quick clean instead of doing something on your business? Or maybe you feel you have so much on your plate you don’t know where to start? Worried what people may think of what you’re doing?

    Address the real reason for procrastination, having children/lack of time isn’t the reason as there are plenty of extremely successful mums out there whom have maintained being an at home mum with an awesome business without either mum or child suffering so you can too!

    Sally Ghafoor or find me on twitter @sallyghafoor

    Why I decided to open my own Studio….by Nicki Carless

    It has been a dream of mine for many years now to have my own Fitness Studio. I spent many years teaching fitness classes at gyms in and around my area, travelling many miles to and from classes, as well as travelling to people’s homes in order to do Personal Training with them.

    In my experience the management within the gyms I worked at was appalling. They just didn’t have any!!! I would put 100% into giving the best class that I could, spending hours and hours and lots of money on training, attending workshops, putting together choreography for my classes etc. I very rarely got any recognition for the great classes that I taught for them even though my classes were always well attended and the members loved my classes.

    I often dreamed, if only I had this gym, I could do so much more with it!

    After completing my Pilates certification 12 years ago, I decided to rent a hall in the community and start up my own class. No one else was teaching Pilates in my area in the community at this time and I thought it would be a chance for me to offer something to people who don’t like attending gyms. It was successful and eventually I was running 3 Pilates classes in the Community as well as teaching in many gyms. About 5 years ago, I started running Bootcamp classes from one of the venues that I was hiring for Pilates, which was a great success. Then almost 4 years ago I started teaching Zumba in the Community. Over the last 12 years I built my community classes up to over 20 classes per week, teaching a variety of classes to about 150 people per week. I was running these classes from various venues in Bromsgrove, my home town and South Birmingham. My classes were the busiest community classes in my hometown and due to the growing numbers; I put on more classes to meet the demand.

    This meant I was spending a lot of time travelling to different venues, unloading and off loading my equipment to and from my house to my car to the venue!!! I was also spending a lot of money in rent.

    I had been putting some money aside from the money I was earning from my classes with the intention of using it to open my own Studio one day. The deciding factor came when I received a letter from Birmingham City Council giving me notice on the room I hired from them to teach Zumba due to a conflict of interests!! Basically, they were kicking me out to put their own instructor in. They had seen my numbers grow and the new Manager, who clearly wanted to make a name for himself, thought that he would put his own instructor in and poach my clients and consequently take my business from me. I had built up the class from nothing to 2 very full back to back classes. I was not going to let this happen so I spent a whole week of running around looking at other venues, phoning people to try and find an alternative venue for my classes so that I wouldn’t lose the business I had built up. Fortunately, I did find an alternative venue and all of my people followed me.

    I had also heard that one of my other venues that I hired and still do, was going to be sold sometime this year. Most of my income comes from the classes I teach at this venue and I knew it would be hard to try and find another venue of a similar size on the same nights due to the amount of other Zumba classes being set up in my area.

    Another venue I was hiring, gave me 7 days notice to leave by text and again I was in the same position of phoning around to try and find an alternative venue for my busy Sunday classes. I did eventually find somewhere on a temporary basis but it could not be permanent.

    My monthly rent for hiring rooms was also really high. For what I was paying in rent to hire different halls, I could have my own venue 24 hours a day for just a little bit more. This would mean I could add more classes, run fitness workshops, fitness days etc. I could offer more to my clients if I had my own venue.

    It was these factors that led me to start looking seriously for a venue of my own. I looked at a few places before I decided upon the one I have now. It is an industrial unit on an Industrial Estate in my home town.

    In the meantime, I had been mentoring one of my pupil’s, Mel who I knew would be a great Instructor so I encouraged her to do her ETM training and Zumba workshop. She began helping me by coming up on stage with me in class, going onto the floor to help new people in class and in return I mentored her. We have become great friends and we work so well together, I asked her to come on board with me and I am so glad I did. Together we can offer more for our clients and this has enabled us to keep some of our community classes going as well as running The Studio.

    The Unit had to be completely refurbished it as it was just an empty shell. It has one large area which we use as the studio, a reception/office area and two toilets. There is plenty of parking in the area for my clients and as Bromsgrove isn’t a big town, the location is easy to get to and isn’t that far from the venues that I had previously hired. I negotiated with the lettings agency to have the first 3 months of each year I am renting it at half rental. I took the lease out for 5 years in total.

    The Unit wasn’t available until 1st December 2011 and due to the previous tenants being awkward about letting us in to measure up we had to wait until we collected the keys before we could start measuring up properly and arrange the work that needed to be done. So December was extremely busy arranging people to come in and quote for the work we needed, suspended ceiling, dance flooring and mirrors etc as well as making sure that the work was carried out in a logical order.

    Our husbands (both had been made redundant so they were free to help manage the work) and Mel’s dad did most of the work. Together they did the electrics, painting, carpentry etc and were on hand to take deliveries and be there to manage the other work that needed doing. This took a lot of stress and responsibility from me. I was still teaching my normal classes, so it would have been extremely difficult for me to have fitted those in and being at the Unit at the same time. I really believe that things happen for a reason and our husbands being made redundant meant they were free to help us. This also saved us a lot of money too.

    We managed to turn it around quite quickly from what it was into a fitness studio which would be ideal for us to run our classes from. We have simply called it The Studio. We had our open weekend on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd January 2012.

    The open weekend was a great success. Lots of people attended our taster classes we put on as well as just popping in to see us. We had our family helping us too.

    Many of our community classes have moved to The Studio and we have also added some extra classes to our timetable too. We have kept a couple of other venues and as there are two of us, we can manage this well. We did this because a couple of our classes were out of the area and the classes are still busy. The other local venue is a large venue and we would not get everyone in The Studio from these classes. They were getting too busy anyway, so by having an extra Zumba class on at The Studio means that there is more choice for people and this has helped manage the numbers. Also it would prevent anyone else using the venue for Zumba and trying to poach our clients, which we knew would happen!!! When this venue eventually closes, we will at least have other classes available for our clients to go to.

    We have added some different classes to our timetable and these are proving to be popular with our regulars as well as attracting new clients and keeping me happy!!

    We have been open for just over 5 weeks now so it is only early days for us. We are busy and our classes are as popular as they were when we were just hiring out halls in the community. Our clients love their new venue and the new classes we are offering them.

    For me, having my own venue means less travelling around, no more carrying equipment around in my car, unloading and off loading equipment at the different venues I used. I don’t have to worry about being kicked out of my venue because they want to put their own instructor in or they are going to sell or increase their rent because they see you are doing well!! I don’t need to ask anyone else’s permission to stay late if I need to. I don’t have to clean up someone else’s mess before I can carry out my class.

    In this economic climate it was a big decision to open my own Fitness Studio, however, Mel and I are so passionate about what we do that we will make it work. I have a great business partner in Mel and I have a very supportive family and friends who help us out. Yes, there is a cost involved in refurbishing your own venue. Yes, initially I will be working longer hours to ensure that it is successful, however I have always worked really hard….I am not afraid of this but I want to reap the rewards, not give them to someone else. I have lots of ideas that I want to put into practice which can happen now I have my own Studio. These would have been difficult to do before.

    I did not make this decision lightly and I would not have done it if I hadn’t had the capital to do it. I did not want to borrow any money for the refurbishment. It would not have been an option for me if I had had to go into debt for it. I also had a good client base. I wasn’t starting my business from scratch, however, this has taken a few years to build up…..I have worked hard to gain the good reputation and recognition I have in my hometown.

    For me, opening my own Studio was the next step and I am so glad that I have taken that step. I have lots of other dreams that I want to achieve and I know now that they are all possible. I still can’t quite believe that this dream I had many years ago has now come true. Anything is possible if you want it and are prepared to work hard for it. I am so excited about the future of The Studio and the other openings it will bring!!

    Nicola Carless

    I’m Lost for Words… Andrew Crawford

    This may or not offend you….but if I lent you money to help you out I would expect you to pay it back quickly as possible….  If there was any extra I would not expect you to pay yourself a bonus after paying me back some of my money!!

    RBS was given a £45bn bailout by the taxpayer during the height of the financial crisis, rescuing it from collapse.

    Taxpayers own a 82% stake in RBS

    The chief executive of RBS has launched a robust defence of the £800m bonus pool paid out by the taxpayer-backed bank amid £2bn of losses.

    “Many people – taxpayers – will ask, quite properly, how it is if we are losing all this money we are still paying bonuses?”

    If you made a loss….where did the ‘bonus’ money come from??

    “The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (also known as RBS Group, LSE: RBS) is a British banking and insurance holding company in which the UK Government (HM Treasury) holds an 84% stake.[2] This stake is held and managed through UK Financial Investments Limited, whose voting rights are limited to 75% in order for the bank to retain its listing on the London Stock Exchange, at which is where it’s primary shares are” Wikipedia

    Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the British taxpayer, has reported a loss of £3.54bn for 2011.

    Lloyds was the first bank to announce bonus clawbacks related to PPI mis-selling from executives.

    PPI sparked controversy after it was revealed numerous consumers had been sold the insurance without understanding the cost was being added to their loan repayments.

    The practice of simultaneous sales of PPI and credit products has since been banned in the UK.

    Lloyds bonus pool for 2011 was £375m.

    Let’s not even go there with Northern Rock?

    Check this for basic economics… bought for £1.4bn,,,,sold for £700m….!! Abig fat LOSS…

    These people look after our money…yikes…!!!

    Lost opportunity

    If this money is tied up saving the skins of wreckless businessmen then what could the money have been spent on to better Britain instead?

    Here’s a clue – we have a million unemployed kids….numerous homeless people..under funded schools, hospitals..low paid Police, Nurses..etc..EMPTY buildings…!!!

    Think about it……. if you gave or diverted £2bn of the bail out money to help hospitals and £3bn to renovate empty buildings you’d still have £40bn change.!!

    So …do we own the banks?

    They’re having a Steffi Graff…..!!!

    I dare you to go into one of ‘OUR’ banks and ask for a cup of tea and the profit and loss figures for the week…..!!…I fact it was black coffee with 3 sugars….but no one laughed except the people waiting in the queue.

    No the public doesn’t own the banks and we have no right to ask for a say in how it is run.

    The government represents us, they are not delegates and we don’t give them a delegated authority, we give them an absolute authority to make decisions as they feel appropriate. They made the decision to bail out the bank and they used the only money they have, tax receipts, to pay for it.

    Once taxes are paid to the government it’s no longer ‘our’ money, it is theirs, that’s the social contract we have both made.

    So Andrew………

    What has banks losing phenomenal amounts of money (Sorry Jax), using the excess to pay fat bonuses and us British Taxpayers who really don’t own b*ll*x  got to do with Tax & Accountancy?

    Well…in real life some businesses and individuals alike do lose money some years….that’s just life…!!

    What can be done about this and more importantly how can you utilise losses if they do occur.

    First things first……if you did make a loss…you definitely CAN’T pay yourself a bonus..!!

    Why?………Because if you made a loss there should not be any cash there to pay yourself a bonus….or did you hide some under the mattress….tee hee..!!

    Correct me if I’m wrong ….but I thought bonuses were paid to reward efficiency…and profits…!!  ………I must be getting old…you get me blurd?

    Company Losses

    In short, if your company made a loss, you can do 3 things:

    1.        Offset the loss against profits of the same accounting period, then

    2.        Offset the loss against the previous 12 months, then

    3.        Carry forward against future trading profits

    1 & 2 are all or nothing claims therefore no partial claims are allowed.

    Individual Losses (Sole Trader)

    As a Sole Trader your losses can be used against net income in the current year and/or the preceding year.

    These are independent of each other. No partial claims are permitted so the Personal Allowances may be wasted.

    Once the net income has been reduced to nil in a year, any remaining trading loss can be used against capital gains of that year.

    Losses that cannot be utilised are carried forward against future profits of the same trade.

    Employed & Self Employed

    For you guys &’s a lot easier.

    You would usually make a loss on your self employed income. This is because your full time employed work is supplementing your part time self employed work.

    To get your tax refund each year, offset the loss of your self employed work against your full time employment.  Simples.

    Imagine this…

    Imagine if one day we all got hacked off by Wasteminister….opps…I mean Westminister and we all withdrew every penny of our money from RBS/Natwest and invested it elsewhere (not Lloyds/TSB)…..(I suggest the ‘Commercial Bank of Crawford’) …..replace ‘Crawford’ with YOUR surname.

    There would be no queuing, no 3 forms of  ID, no maximum…withdraw as much as you want!, no 90 days advance warning to withdraw your own money, no 3 – 5 delay in cheque clearing, 24/7/365 access to your money, bank holidays?? What are they?.no half day closing, no using your money without your permission, no bank charges…no PIN numbers,

    Don’t know about you…..but I’m Lost for Words..!

    See ya…

    Andrew Crawford

    Ps Sorry Jax …you deserve your bonuses my ‘Scottish Connection’ life friend xx

    Visit our website at: for more FREE resources and articles.

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    Andrew Crawford can be contacted on twitter @tax4fitness or

    Have a fantasic Thursday

    Love Rachel xxx

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