Finally…….The Snow Came….WE had been gleefully rubbing our hands in previous newsletters and smugly smiling about January class numbers but, of course, the inevitable had to happen. As it was the weekend I’m not sure how it effected you but boy did it effect Kelly and I who were both on the road travelling to workshops and trying to get home. Poor old Kelly left Manchester at 430 and didn’t get home till nearly 11 and unfortunately we had no choice but to cancel Birmingham Super Seniors. We are both so sorry, but we felt it was the safest decision to make. In nearly 19 years of workshops I have never had to cancel before but this time it was the best option. I made it back from London as far as Northampton and then the snow came in taking me another3 hours to drive 40 odd miles. The joys of the English winter. I really hope the snow hasn’t affected your business too much this week.
Today’s newsletter has some great articles regarding ideas for writing and growing your list from me, plus in light of Harry Rednapp winning his case last night against HMRC, our resident Tax Expert Andrew Crawford remarks on this and considers travelling expenses. My coaching Students Claire Mockeridge and Alice Ramchareen have penned articles on what happens if you get injured and setting up in the community, and as always my goal is to provide you with a useful read, a shot of inspiration, motivation and, of course, confidence to go out and create the fitness business and life you desire.
19 Day Create an Online Fitness Business – Next Course starts Monday 13th
My new Online Business Coaching and Mentoring Course in creating your online Fitness Business has been going great guns. Every day the group gets a new mini webinar from me on a crucial aspect of setting up their online business. Each member then works on that task for the next 24 hours with group support. Each small step brings you closer to building your brand, working social media, writing and vlogging. The Facebook group provides 24 hour help and support. To see how the Entrepreneurs are getting on check out this page and click on the videos to see how far the group have come. The next course starts on Monday 13th February 2012 and you can sign up here ready to start on Monday.
Check out Andrew Scott. He came on the Jumpstart with me 7 days ago Click here and has already achieved so much from the course. If you are desperate to stop working and teaching so many hours and need to get on to establish your business and brand online then don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to create your online fitness business with me.
Quick Fix Choreography
I’ve uploaded my weekly Quick Fix Choreography Block. Hope these help give you a quick shot of inspiration
No Carbs before Marbs?
For 2012 I will be arranging new Weekend Fitness Retreats for Choreographytog’ers in Marbella Spain. They will be weekend retreats with Classes, Business Ideas, Nutrition and FatLoss including the whole KSFL2012 with myself. I am finalising the dates and venues and will be back to you next week with all of the details. If you are interested Tweet me and I give you all the details as soon as it’s ready to go. @RachelHolmes
New Choreography Downloads online this week
|Hi Lo 2 Go with Rachel Holmes
|This is an intermediate download featuring 2 lots of chasses and turns and multi directional moving around the studio. Great for classes that like fast aerobic choreography with lots of hi impact. Click here to view
|Length: 10 mins
|Size: 57.0 MB
|Code: 6PA1 Tough 6 Pack Abs and Core
|Workout with Rachel as she teaches you a 10minute hard core workout using intervals of 35:15 and 10 cool exercises. Designed to strip body fat and reveal a 6 pack! Click here to View
|Length: 10 mins
|Size: 54.0 MB
Are you Growing your List by Rachel Holmes.
I’ve talked lots of times about growing your lists and I wonder how you are all getting on with it. All Fitness Instructors need to build a list with all the emails of your clients on it so you can send out your weekly newsletter, breaking news information, new classes and courses you are running and build an online relationship with your customers. It’s IMPERATIVE to your success. Hopefully, by now you have signed up for a Mail Chimp account or something similar so you need to get your opt in box on your website so people will leave their email address.
So, what can you give away for free to encourage people to leave their details. You need to give away something that you could legitimately put a price on, something of great value to a potential customer. For example a free video download workout, Free class passes, or Free manual etc something that will be useful to your potential customer.
This is your Currency of Connection.
From then on you can begin your customers online journey by sending them your weekly newsletter and updates.
More Ideas for Writing Articles, Blog Posts and Copy for the Busy Fitness Entrepreneur.
The Secret Bullet!
It’s a Twitterized world we now live in!
Blog posts, Tweets, YouTube, Google+, the Facebook Timeline, and tens of thousands of articles, posts and images are flying past us faster than we can read them.
Faster than we can even scan them, depending on the time of day.
What does this mean for the you the Fitness Entrepreneur trying to get your message, brand and engage with your customers ? At least two things that I can think of:
- You NEED to know how to write a real Attention Grabbing Headline
- You Need to know how to write bullet points that COMPEL your reader to read, enjoy, get excited and take action!
Keep your copy interesting, short and useable.
Bullet Points are perfect. I love a bullet pointed article.
Quick, Easy To Read, Gives me the info I want and I can devour it easily!
Bullets keep people reading your blog posts, pages, articles, and copy like nothing else…
The basics of writing bullet points that work
The essence of a great bullet is brevity + promise. What the hell is Brevity?
Brevity has been a hallmark of good writing since writing began, but every one of us living in the Twitter Age possesses an acute awareness of just how important brevity is right now.
Long, complex bullet points would defeat the purpose of writing bullets at all — You need to keep your reader moving through your copy.
Promise is the element that hooks your reader like a fish. You’re making a plain and legitimate claim that your product/idea/service will give them what they’ve been looking for.
How to Construct a Good Bulleted Fitness Article
A bullet expresses a clear benefit and promise to the reader.
Each bullet is like a mini headline
Keep each bullet about the same length and symmetrical – Its easier to read.
Avoid bullet Clutter! ie Bullets/sub Bullets etc
Bullets are for clarity not confusion.
Maintain the same style of grammar on each Bullet.
Bullets are not necessarily sentences.
One of the best ways to make sense of an idea — especially online — is to break it up into digestible chunks i.e Bullets.
Bullet Articles are perfect for the Tweeterized busy Fitness Entrepreneur to write and get the message across to the right audience.
What happens when you get injured?
By Claire Mockridge – Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
I hope you’re well and wrapping up against the elements. Today, I thought I’d touch on something that’s quite personal and a topic that, as Fitness Professionals, we tend to hide from our clients – injuries.
Have you ever had an injury? Are you suffering with an injury now? How are you coping? Are you seeking the right treatment? Have you sought help from an Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor, and it hasn’t helped? How did you come to get injured? Over-use? Muscle imbalances? Did you get the right diagnosis first time, or did you have to see 3 professionals before finding out exactly what was wrong with you?
Several years ago, pretty soon after I qualified as a Fitness/ETM Instructor, I suffered badly with a foot condition called plantar fasciitis. If you’ve had it, or you’re suffering with it now, you’ll sympathise with me, that every time you place your foot on the floor to take a step forwards, backwards or to the side, you feel pain, either in the heel, or under the sole of the foot.
How did I get this injury? Well, you know what it’s like when you first qualify. You say “yes” to every class going, do extra cover work, take on extra shifts at the gym, feel guilty when you neglect your own training and just never stop working. You try to get your name around, increase your profile and exposure, but you still end up with all of the jumpy-jumpy, hi-impact, hard-core classes that make you feel 80 years old when you wake up in the morning.
When I got diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, it knocked me for six. It was so painful I wanted to cry (in fact I did, regularly). I tried to put aerobics routines together to that avoided the steps where I felt pain. I did the exercises and stretches the Physio gave me, religiously. I rested etc. I got properly fitted insoles in my trainers, but, it still took me 18 months to recover, and even now, 3 years later, I get the odd twinge if I overdo things.
So, how can you safe-guard yourself against injuries? Well, I have no magic cure here, I’m afraid, accept to say, stop whatever it is you’re doing that’s making the condition worse. Your body needs rest and lots of it. Seek professional advice, and if you don’t get a proper diagnosis or receive treatment you’re 100% happy with, phone someone else. The first Physio I saw was excellent, and had 15 years Podiatry experience, so it was pure luck that I went to a Physio who knew a lot about feet. But, honestly, if the professional you’re seeing doesn’t really know what’s causing your hip, neck, shoulder or back pain, find someone else, ok, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing it.
One of the main reasons I qualified to teach ante/postnatal women (and later went on to qualify to teach Pilates) was, because it’s easier on the joints. I knew high-impact exercise would end my fitness career if I didn’t do something, and sharpish.
Think about it – everything for pre/postnatal women is low-impact and the emphasis is more on “instruction” than “doing” with these types of classes. You have to be very mindful of technique when dealing with pregnant and postnatal women obviously, so you must have an eye for detail, and not be afraid to get “hands-on” and correct people where you see fit. But, you simply demonstrate a couple of reps, set them up in position, cue the breath and off you go, wandering around the room, busily aligning and coaching your clients into position. There’s not a lot of impact at all.
If, after reading this, you’re starting to think “Maybe I do need to change direction”, or “I can’t carry on the way things are now”, then perhaps it’s your mind telling your body it needs a rest.
Does ante/postnatal instruction interest you? Have you thought about running a class for new mums to help fill in your daytime slots?
If so, 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: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/clairemockridge/
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Travel and Your Business by Andrew Crawford
“What exactly can you claim …What they say…What I say and how?”
Following the long extended month of January, I needed a break from my cell (office), my screens and from my email service… so I invited myself down to good ole Essex wherein lies the ‘Pied Piper of Fitness’ better known as the fitness guru…the legendary Kardy Laguda.
He wined and dined me at the local tai restaurant….what a night that was…lol..!!
Before this, however, I visited the Shortts over there in North London area, (Borehamwood to be precise).
Now, this couple are a good example of great clients ……I just love visiting them, not just because I like them as clients but also sometimes I get a big fat plate of real Caribbean cooking….lord have mercy…..!!
On this occasion….I was late….so had to have cake and coffee instead.
Now…what the blast has Caribbean food, tai restaurants, the Shortts and Kardy Laguda got to do with travel?
Well….was the travel not for business purposes? Therefore… claimable??
The reason was this …….
Up until this time, a Fitness Professional was trying to get hold of me….they were being audited by the HMRC who wanted to disallow their travel from their house to a venue that they worked at.
Here is an extract of one of the emails I received…..I pasted this here because it is typical of some business operations at present PLUS….it will give you an indication as to what the HMRC is looking to disallow….if you ever become inspected…!!
“….Cutting a long story short, I’ve been in the fitness industry 24 years this year and am currently going under a Partial Tax Audit. Everything has been cleared however they have denied my travel expenses. The reason being that I apparently don’t come under the category of itinerant trade. The reason being is that I hold weekly classes, but in the same places – 6 different venues. They are on a completely self employed, free lance basis. He has said if I went to the same clients home and did 1:1 instruction, I would be o.k but to go the same venue weekly for the group classes, classifies it as a commute. I am currently challenging him, and my accountant here is great – but I am his only fitness person he deals with.
The inspector is understanding and knowledgeable and has said that I am a technical first however he would need backup to my argument to convince him otherwise…..”
Ta x rules will deny a deduction for expenses of ‘ordinary commuting’.
Ordinary commuting is defined as travel between either:
a) Home and a permanent workplace: or
b) place that is not a workplace (a hotel or someone else’s home) and a permanent workplace
This means that travel expenses incurred from home to your normal place of work will not be allowable.
You must remember that when these rules were written, I suspect that there was not many ‘work from home / home as an office’ type of thing going on.
Also note the word permanent because this may be an issue for some of you.
Once at work, (permanent workplace), if you travel to visit clients from there, this is not ordinary commuting therefore these expenses are allowable. Therefore office to client travel is allowable.
There is another one…..Substantially ordinary commuting
What is this?
If you attend a college and the journey to the college is substantially the same as the distance to your permanent place of work, no deduction is allowable.
What if I travel from home to a client’s premises?
HMRC will accept that this is not ordinary costs of commuting but only providing that the client’s premises constitutes a ‘temporary workplace’.
A temporary workplace is defined as a place which you attend in the performance of your duties in order to perform a task of limited duration or for some other temporary purpose.
In summary this is the advice I gave her to provide backup to her arguments.
Since she worked from home, this was her permanent workplace or her normal place of work. Therefore travel from home to workplace….disallowable.
Travel from home to clients premises, for one 2 one…allowable
Travel to classes…..allowable
Only disallowable if venues were a ‘permanent workplace’…Since we have established that her permanent workplace is from home, these venues are temporary….especially as she was only in them 2-3 hours a day then moved on to 2 or 3 other clients / venues for the rest of the time.
She was spending more time at home …oopps ….permanent workplace ..in preparation…!!
Unless my interpretation of permanent is incorrect, 3 hours out of a possible 8 hours, by definition, must be temporary.
I will await the outcome and let you know.
**** Remember the HMRC DO NOT like to lose……!!!
**** Update ******* Except in the Redknapp Case
Can you believe that??? HMRC lost in court!!! (Somebody got paid….lol)
A five-year investigation, which is believed to have cost about £8m. The HMRC could not have had a solid case……ALLEGEDLY.
In this world of globalisation it is not uncommon for you to have to take a train, boat or plane overseas for the purpose of your business
On occasions you may find yourself having to travel abroad to participate in meetings, attend masterclasses or research venues for future projects.
As long as you can demonstrate that these expenses, flight costs etc were incurred properly for your business, these expenses are claimable.
I would resist using the word holiday..!!
In a past case the HMRC disallowed all the plane flights…(just like in the case above) the reason was as follows.
They saw that there were 2 names on the flight ticket, and asked who the other person was. It transpired that it was the partner of the taxpayer.
It was also discovered that the second named person was not paid for their time abroad, therefore the HMRC took it that although evidenced by some documentation, that the passenger was the partner of the taxpayer and was not paid for their time abroad, therefore disallowed all the foreign expenditure and travel costs.
Tax tip: If you have to go abroad on business…learn this….
· If a partner is going with you, either pay them or put them on a separate ticket (technically, you cannot claim for them, however, ensure that the expenditure was incurred for the purpose of your business so pay them and claim the full costs…let them invoice if necessary).
· If you are attending a seminar/masterclass, have a copy of the brochure or timetable to show which classes you attended.
· If you were invited abroad and you were not paid for your time… have a flier which clearly shows your name and picture as one of the speakers, then claim your travel and hotel costs.
· If you are on a research trip….. have a diary and brochures of where and who you visited.
Club La Santa springs to mind………….
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Andrew Crawford can be contacted on twitter @tax4fitness or email@example.com
Setting up classes and surviving in the community, part 2! By Alice Ramcharran
So here is the 2nd part of my tips and guide to having a successful community fitness business – I hope that you found part 1 useful and have been able to put some of the tips in to practise already. My next 5 tips are:
1. Develop a thick skin – this is a necessity! Don’t worry about what people think – not everyone will like you or your classes – FACT. And there is nothing you can do about it! Don’t try to please everyone that walks through the door, as no matter what you do some still won’t take to you. So instead, don’t worry about them – instead concentrate on those that do like your classes and keep coming, as they are the ones you need to look after.
2. Don’t be afraid to ditch toxic or underperforming classes – there’s been a lot of discussion about this on various forums of late, and I too have been guilty of letting classes run on for far longer than they should. I can generally tell now after a few weeks of setting up if a class is going to be successful or not, so give yourself a timescale and if it’s not working don’t be scared to ditch it. If you have a long standing class that has started to dwindle too then know when to call it a day – maybe put the class on review and try and put the onus on participants – offer them referral schemes, prizes etc. for bringing new people to class. Do what you can to make the class a success, but again give yourself a timescale and if it’s not working don’t be afraid to stop it and try something else. We are in this as a business at the end of the day, and if you are not making money, or even worse losing money then that just makes no business sense at all.
3. Don’t worry about what other instructors are doing – if instructor Joe Bloggs wants to set up down the road from you teaching the same class, yes it might be annoying but there is nothing you can do about it, so instead of worrying or looking at what others are doing, then concentrate on what you are doing and don’t waste any valuable energy. Chances are you’ll soon find that they are looking at what you are doing and trying to imitate so just lead the way instead.
4. Always stay one step ahead, and at least 6 months ahead. As mentioned before, things in the fitness industry come and go and change. So always stay one step ahead of others, know what the latest trends and fads are and use those to your advantage. Always work at least 6 months ahead too – I’m already thinking about what I’m going to be launching come September time! That way it ensures that you are prepared for changes in trends and can plan in advance for bringing out new and exciting classes.
5. Be accessible- make sure you are there to set up way before class starts so that you can meet and greet and chat to clients as they come through the door and sign in. Also chat to people after the class, and make sure you are available to answer any questions Engage with clients on Facebook too – they want to know what you get up to outside of work, and know you are human to, so interact with them and engage them.
Hope this helps you a little – there are more I could have put here, but running out of space, so please feel free to drop me a line if you need any more advice. firstname.lastname@example.org
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