It’s the final, frosty week before the Christmas break and what a years it’s been. Group X has really morphed this year. We’ve been chatting and debating on the Choreographytogo Facebook page class numbers, which classes have been consistently busy, ones that have needed the most promotion, ones that have been up and down and the ones that have died and you have decided to take them off. The results are mixed and varied around the UK. It’s an interesting conversation, many Instructors have noticed a drop in numbers due to saturation of a particular class but in other areas one brand is still really pulling in amazing numbers. It’s a varied picture across the regions apart from Pilates classes across the board are pretty consistent.
If you would like to have a read check out https://www.facebook.com/Choreographytogo
Please add your comments it would be great to hear from you on numbers.
The 2 big annual conventions are shaping up to look first class with great sessions and line ups. Both are still running early bird bookings before the end of the year so make a decision and jump on board
IFS in Blackpool http://www.chrysalispromotions.com/
Fitpro13 – The annual Fitpro Convention at Loughborough Uni is 12 /13 April http://www.fitpro.com/convention13/index.html
World Fitness Pilates Day 2013
Kelly and I will be presenting the FP day in Guildford on 20 January & Bristol 23rd January. Hope you can make it https://www.choreographytogo.com/workshop-booking/world-fp/
New Fitness Business Development Day Series
Launching today is new series of Fitness Business Development Days in conjunction with myself and Andrew Crawford. These include Physical 2 Digital, How to set up your own Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting Business and FLIP Your Business – How to Franchisee, Licensees and Protect. The workshops are aimed at all Fitness professionals who are serious about taking their business forward in these 3 areas – Video, Coaching and Franchising. Check out the website for further details http://fitnessbusinessdevelopment.com/
Valuable Lessons Learnt in 2012
Like all of us, I took some massive steps forward (and many back of course) in my business this year; here’s what really worked for me.
Here are 6 valuable business lessons I learned in 2012
Lesson 1: Multi-Leverage is key to getting big results from your time and energy.
It’s taken me 20 years to delegate small tasks and focus on driving my business forward. In the past I have always said “YES” to everything…Extra classes, Extra presentations, Freebie class/masterclass/presentation, in the hope it will lead to something else. I am positive you do the same:
So when my phone rings with an opportunity I consider these 2 steps
a) If an opportunity, task or project arises, I ask myself if the likely results are going to be worth the likely time and energy… if not, it gets scrapped, or, added to my “some day” folder.
b) If I decide to do it, I look for ways to get additional leverage…
For example, if someone wants me to present at their event or speak at meeting etc, a great way to get extra leverage with no extra effort, is to ask if I can film my presentation and use the content on social media. Bingo, no extra effort, and now you have content, or even a product. At the worst case scenario I can use the footage on Social Media, My Blog etc and help build my brand.
Last week I did a one day lecture on creating opportunities in the fitness industry. We filmed it and created an audio and DVD, there was 81/2 hours worth of content. You can do exactly the same. If you are asked to speak or present at various events or workshops, why don’t you get your best classes professionally filmed and then sell it as a DVD to your class members. I bet your class members are always asking you to do a DVD so go for it. Or, create an audio. If you are a Pilates Instructor I bet so many members say “if only I had your voice doing a relaxation audio I’d buy it etc”…be creative and leverage your time.
If you are just getting one benefit from your time and energy, you may be missing out.
Lesson 2: Fitness Online Coaching is growing.
Providing online coaching makes up a huge part of my business. I really love it and it fits well into my business mix. I cut down radically how many classes I teach about 2 years ago and I have replaced the income I lost with online coaching. You can reach so many more people doing weekly online coaching.
What can you offer coaching in? Think about your expertise and what issues and problems you can help people with.
I predict more fitness professionals will be getting into coaching and mentoring in 2013. It could be Mind Set/ Body Image/ Weight loss/ Business / Pre & Post whatever your niche or speciality is.
Lesson 3: “Information is a one-way street”
got the above quote from Tim Ferriss (My hero)… “You are either creating or consuming”… both are essentially saying that trying to multi task is a productivity killer, if you have a product or service/class to create, don’t be reading emails or playing on Facebook… if you want to create a new training program or product, focus on that and get it done, just don’t try and build a website on the same day!
When Creating a new Product or Service:
1) I switched off email, Facebook, my phone etc… I didn’t read a single blog post, or book, I watched no videos, and thought of no other opportunities or ideas.
2) I broke the project down into small, specific chunk, always focusing only on what the NEXT action item was.
3) I outsourced the stuff I am rubbish at and totally focussed on getting the task completed.
Then I got the project finished and launched
As Tim Ferriss says, a task will expand in size to fit the time allocated to it… if I had given myself 3 months, it would have taken 3 months. Instead I gave myself a week and that’s the time it took to complete the individual projects.
Lesson 4: Keep going on courses, have a mentor and keep learning from the best in the business.
You have got to keep learning. If you are looking for a coach or a mentor find someone who is doing what you want to do and ask if they do coaching. Sign up for as many courses as you can. This year I went to IDEA, Fitpro, IFS, plus 2 business seminars, nutrition, a retreat. Next year I’m planning on attending more courses in all kinds of topics, they done have to fitness related….just keep reading and learning
Lesson 5: The comfort zone is like a muscle.
I strongly believe that very little in life or business is done from within a comfort zone.
Think of your comfort zones as muscles, that if stretched, will grow and expand.
Do things that stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone. Do scary things every day if you can.
Lesson 6 Webinars will be the new Presenting Events
I’ve been saying this for the last 3 years that you have to get into taking webinars for your clients. Start to practice holding small webinars. Grow your confidence and use webinars to reach more people, connect with your existing clients and create a secondary income to your physical teaching.
Another year has passed by, and once again we wonder where the time went… we ponder and dream for the year ahead, we lick our wounds and tally up our achievements… we look to what can be done, and what could have been done better. We thank those who helped us on our journey, and give thanks to those who made us love, laugh and even cry.
To all my friends, I hope you had a great year, let’s make 2013 the best yet and lets get our varied health and fitness messages out to as many people as we possibly can in 2013.
Get Your Testimonials by Rachel
As we are coming to the end of the year and you are planning your 2013 marketing make sure you get as many testimonials from your happy regulars was you can. Testimonials can come in all formats:
1.Written testimonials, where you classes write to you with their results from your classes and services,
2.Before and after photos are great for using on social media,
3.Audios – Record audios using your phone and interviewing your happy customers.
4.Video – Get your best clients in front of the camera where they can chat about results and their experiences
We, the consumers love to hear and see what real people think of a particular service before we buy it or try, so make sure you get as much social proof and evidence on as many different media channels ready to use for new year marketing.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas by Jayne Nicholls
What is your reward?
What is it that rewards you about what you do? Today in class, the last of this year for me, someone came for the first time this term, it was so good to see her and it made me happy to think that she is comfortable enough to drop in without embarrassment or fear of not achieving a long term commitment. She came because she enjoys it and she could fit it into her lifestyle. This is a far cry from those who come with the determination of losing a set amount of weight in a set period of time by taking my advice and working to my schedule.
So for me I am rewarded by the fact that I can facilitate the needs of a broad spectrum of people. When marketing new ideas and trends, we are always going to be more attractive to a certain number. If we can maintain a wide audience regardless of changes, while still recruiting new people, we have a recipe for success. This is a membership! What is most powerful about those of us who work in the community is that we have a massive retention without any tie in. This is phenomenal and something that no club can replicate due to our level of personal service and commitment..
We should all be rewarded (especially at this time of year) that we are in the business of rewarding people with the gift of health and fitness, no matter what level they choose to commit to.
Success = happiness or happiness = success? Jill Gardner
I have been taking some much needed time out recently. I had forgotten what I was working so hard for. When running your own fitness business there is so much to think about, so many plates to spin that you easily can lose sight of your vision, passion and focus and just work harder and harder.
For too long I have been working hard on my business. My drive was to achieve happiness from my success. Despite getting more successful I was actually becoming more unhappy! What was going wrong? I was getting more and more great working opportunities, offers of joint ventures, my first DVD produced and cook book signed off to the designer. I should have been delighted to have achieved so much in just over a year. Instead, I was becoming exhausted, drained and I had started to resent my business. I wanted to walk away from it.
You can only push yourself so hard for so long before your body decides enough is enough. So three weeks ago my body and mind decided it had to have a break. I had to take some much needed time away from my beloved class members, classes, filming and writing. The timing was appalling. Right before Christmas and right when I should have been planning my new year’s offerings. But I desperately needed to find out why I was so unhappy.
What did I discover during my time off?
That I was pursuing happiness in the false belief that I would only achieve it when I reached success. I had set my sights on success without actually defining what it was.
How would I ever know when I was successful? I would have kept going and going……
But……I am already successful and so therefore have everything I need to feel happy. Happiness is an attitude and state of mind. So rather than work hard on my business I needed to work hard on my mindset:
Happiness is NOT a healthy bank balance
Happiness is NOT a ripped and toned body
Happiness is NOT book deals, magazine articles and fame
Happiness is NOT millions of followers on Facebook or twitter
Happiness is something you can have NOW!
Happiness is a cuddle with my kids or a chat with a friend
Happiness is a walk to the coffee shop and a cuppa
Happiness is a good nights sleep
Happiness is having health, a wealth of opportunities and helping people
You have to start looking at the great things you have already achieved, the loved ones you have and the journey you have taken so far. Whatever choices you have made in the past were right at the time. You made the best decision based on that moment.
So my message to all Fit-pros out there working their socks off, grinding themselves into the ground. Work out what makes you happy NOW and do more of it! Don’t chase something and miss the moment. You might find that somewhere down the line you have missed a thousand opportunities of happiness and never feel you achieve success or happiness!
Big love, small tummies and lots of #happiness!
Jill – The Fat Controller @itsjillgardner www.facebook.com/hateitchangeit www.hateitchangeit.co.uk
Hope you are all good in the fitness hood.
Want a fantastic year it’s been in fitness, so many changes and new exciting trends.
As everything continues to change and grow in 2013 here are my predictions for the coming year:
More instructors creating their own brands and programmes, whether it be PT, group X or small group training based. Why not create your own dance aerobics class like Zumba and Bokwa have done?
More hybrid instructors who are versatile and deliver high quality PT, SGT and group X, each equally as well. Gone are the days when we can or should have all our eggs in one basket. Of course we need a niche or target market, but we can service our niche with more than one product style.
Fitness professionals with a more active, professional looking web presence. Our potential clients are much more frequently basing their decision on whether or not to purchase our services on the look and feel of our website and social media. This is our first chance to impress and convey our message so we need to look super slick. I’ve been using www.websitesintraining.com recently to help me with my sites, and would highly recommend them.
Workout wear following high street fashion and the emergence of fitness onesies, available in lycra, loose fit and fleece especially for Pilates! I can just see Rachel Holmes in one now!
I can’t wait to see what all of the big conventions have on show this year as they are always as source inspiration.
Here’s to a great 2013!
– Note from Rachel – I will NEVER EVER wear a #onesie
Christmas is such a significant mile-stone, a turning of the year and time of clearly-defined expectations. It is difficult not to become contemplative whilst watching the lights go up, the trees appear in
Windows, and the nights grow longer towards the solstice. My head is full of Christmas memories stretching back through the years, treasured like favorite Christmas cards. Images of my grandma’s house, every surface gleaming with decorations, pretty crystal bowls sparkling with sweeties and chocolates, the ceiling a cosmos of hanging baubles of different sizes and colours. Later, taking out boxes full of tissue-wrapped tiny birds and angels with my own children and hanging them in the boughs of a fragrant tree. Of packing them into bed on Christmas Eve, donning a huge pair of men’s boots, and stamping soot from the fire place across the floor to the obligatory carrot for Rudolph, and the sherry for me, I mean FC. Aaah!
So many happy times and jewel-like recollections. There is always some sadness too: disappointments, mistakes, people who aren’t here anymore. It’s a 10p mix-up of brightly coloured emotions, some delicious, some unwanted. Everyone has stuff to deal with, much of it beyond our control, and some of it damned unfair. This season when everything is supposed to be joyous, perfect and magical, can throw a glaring light on the stuff which isn’t, or is down-right awful.
Through pure good luck I have so-far avoided the terrible end of the awful-spectrum, inhabiting instead the grey-area of usual-crap that we all go through at some time. One year ago I had left my husband and was staying with a friend whilst trying to find somewhere for the kids and I to stay. I was fairly potty; riding a wave of exhilarated freedom, blind panic and absolute terror of the unknown, unstable future. The house was duly found and rented, and then WOOPS! I embarked upon a disastrous fairy-tale to Shakespearean tragedy love-affair, which left me even more potty, terrified and emotionally trampled.
The whole year was a soap-opera roller-coaster of soaring highs and crashing lows, hope and freedom, betrayal and hurt, industriousness and burn-out. Sometimes when I look at the things that have happened I can barely comprehend how
I managed to keep going, and working (coz I had to I guess). I have kept my head above water, and grown my business, but I couldn’t have managed it without my lovely friends and family, as well as practical help, support and friendship from Rachel and Cori. Right now, my children have settled down, and are happier and calmer. Life has changed again, and I am loving work, writing, and being free of the shackles of negative, destructive people in my personal life: finding space instead for someone positive, loving and trustworthy.
I’m hoping that you have had a fantastic year, and that your Christmas will be all Bing Cosby and chestnuts roasting on open fires, whilst jolly friends and family exchange kisses under the mistletoe and everyone is healthy and happy. But the chances of it all being picture-perfect are slim, and if you have experienced difficulties, sadness or just run-of-the-mill monotony, remember that the years come around fast; they are just a little scrap of time, and what may seem overwhelming now will soon fade to manageable or even insignificant. You rarely know what life has got to throw at you, and what will have changed by this time next year. Whatever the case, lots can change if you want to make it happen.
If your life isn’t Christmas-card perfect, remember that things usually do get better. I’m surfing the wave of better-ness and it feels good, but you would never have guessed it if you had seen me at times over the last year. I’m wishing you all the best of luck and love and happiness, but if it isn’t all here just yet, hang in there…………
Vikki Scovell @fitbite www.fitbite.co.uk
How many of your clients are saying one or all of the following…. Cori Withell
‘Well, you can’t be good over Christmas’
‘One drink won’t hurt’
‘I am being good now so I can have a blow out over the holidays’
‘I will come back to you in the New Year when I have put a few pounds on’
Ring any bells? Yeah, me too and I find this really frustrating because they are still thinking in that diet mentality. They still haven’t shifted their thought patterns to adjust their behaviour for the long term so they are going to continue to yo yo and roller coaster on that loss and gain – how can we help them?
I really think we miss a trick with our clients all the time. I think 2013 is going to see a massive shift in the industry and the more Mindful route will become much, much more prevalent in classes, bootcamps, SGT, PT – the lot. After all, how can you possibly help your client long term if you don’t really get to know them? How can you possibly help them to achieve their goals and KEEP those achievements without understanding what those triggers are? We need to really UNDERSTAND how our clients think. They have to completely trust us. How can you help your client with fat loss if they are too scared to tell you that every Thursday night they eat a tin of roses and 8 pain au chocolate (I kid you not) We need to really drill down into what those triggers are. They may not tell us, but they may and we have to be prepared for both. We need to be able to coach them, to be able to ask the right questions so they find their own answers. By doing this you empower the indivi dual to make a choice, that choice will be for life because you have taken the time to help them see what is important to them.
We are not just exercise instructors, we are multi-talented fitness professionals who tailor training techniques to make them client specific and we do that whether in one on one training or group sessions. We are trainers, coaches, confidence boosters, reassurance, counselors, friends and much, much more.
Ask the right questions, help your client find their real reasons for wanting change and your job becomes a million times easier – win-win 🙂
Health and happiness x
Whistleblower….or Truth Teller?
By Andrew Crawford
It may have escaped you but not me….the use of the word..’whistleblower’…!!
As far as I’m concerned they should replace it by the word ‘Truth Teller’ because that’s what they actually really do….tell the truth and blurt it out to the press and ridiculed for doing so.
Just a couple of recent examples…..of Truth Tellers.
The Gas Whistleblower who told the Truth about the big boys manipulating wholesale gas prices.
Charity Calls for Whistleblowers support. Leave Truth tellers alone.
HSBC being fined £1.2 bn… why? Because that bank was laundering money..cash money, drug money and a Truth Teller exposed this.
Remember my article from last week?
Especially this bit…..
“…An HM Revenue and Customs report showed that the tax paid by those earning more than £1 million a year fell from £13.4 billion in 2009/10 to £6.5 billion the following year. The number of people declaring incomes of more than £1 million slumped from 16,000 to 6,000 as they brought forward or delayed payments, moved earnings abroad or chose to work less….”
Well if you bothered to check out the contents of my website you would see this on it innit?…..(lol….you didn’t like that…did you?….)
“…..Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t. Using the £917 million the government has made available to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud, HMRC is closing in on tax cheats…..”
Read that again!!……..”…Using the £917,000,000.00 the ‘mismanagement masters’ known as the government has made available……”
Lord have mercy….. pay off some bills mofo’s …..instead of ‘losing’ that money to the HMRC…!!
Alternatively….(look at the other paragraph for this one)
Tax fell from £13.4 billion to £6.5 billion…. that is a difference of £6.9 billion for those 10,000 ‘Missing’ taxpayers.
Check this out……I would pay 2,500 HMRC staff £50,000 to chase 4 of the ‘missing’ millionaires each. (2,500 x 4 =10,000). Effectively they have 3 months to investigate each person and where they suddenly ‘disappeared’ to..!!
The total bill would be £125,000,000 (£125m) making a saving of £792m (£917m – £125m) which would hopefully bring back in the £6.9 billion…..a better use of that money instead of chasing the ‘Smaller Guy’…..!!!
We could then use the £792m for a big p*** up ……ok…just £92m then…yeah…and I would invite all of you reading this article now….I’ll pay…in fact, I will fund your travel costs and have a box of your favourite tipple in your hotel room ready for your arrival. Of course…..you will turn ‘left’ on boarding the plane..’cause I ain’t gonna be celebrating in this mofo…it would be somewhere sizzling hot…!!! Tee hee hee….
What has the Government giving the HMRC £917m to chase the small guy and make his/her life a misery and they get off on it got to do with Accountancy and Tax??
In comes BRC stage right…….!!
Business Records Checks by HMRC
It’s already started folks……!!! I have had emails about this today.
Listen up………and listen carefully (as if you can hear anything…..!!)
They are sneaky…..I’ll say that again loudly….they are SNEAKY…and try and catch taxpayers out…!!!
Let me Truth Tell on what they do. The HMRC have one year in which to investigate your Tax Return when you have submitted it…..”Just BEFORE” the year is up…..BANG….you may get a letter saying they wish to carry out checks on your Tax Return…!!
On 1 November 2012, HMRC started a ‘new approach to Business Records Checks’ (BRCs). The target audience of these checks are small and medium sized businesses
What are Business Records Checks?
In the context of income tax, a BRC is a check by HMRC that the records of a business are adequate to allow a taxpayer to submit an accurate income tax return.
HMRC consider that a large number of small and medium sized businesses are making errors which are not individually significant but the cumulative effect for the total tax collected from such businesses is very high. HMRC therefore see BRCs as a cost effective way of checking the adequacy of business records.
What are adequate records?
This is one of the difficulties. Unfortunately there is no precise answer to this question. For a trading business, the following would be regarded as adequate records:
a record of all sales and takings, including cash receipts. For example till rolls, sales invoices, bank statements, and paying-in slips;
a record of all purchases and expenses, including cash purchases. For example purchase invoices, receipts, bank and credit card statements, and cheque book stubs.
Why might a business be selected?
HMRC select a number of businesses based on their view of businesses which are more likely to be at risk of having inadequate records. The criteria for HMRC’s computer driven risk analysis is not known but, for example, a business with a lot of cash transactions is likely to be seen as higher risk.
What is involved in a BRC?
After the selection process the following may happen.
HMRC will contact the business, initially by letter, advising that the business has been selected for a BRC and HMRC will get in touch, normally by phone, within a few days.
In the phone call, HMRC will ask approximately 15 questions about the business records to help them determine the adequacy of the records.
From the replies given the HMRC officer:
will assess whether you are likely to be able to submit an accurate tax return from your records. No further action will be taken at this stage;
may feel you could do with some additional help and support to put your records in order. The HMRC’s Business Education and Support Team will subsequently contact you;
may decide you are at risk of keeping inadequate records in which case they will state that you need a face to face visit.
In each case, HMRC will tell you during the call.
What should you do if you receive the letter about BRC?
If you do receive a letter, we would recommend that you contact your Accountant as soon as possible. They can then advise you as to whether it is better if they contact HMRC on your behalf. They may be able to answer the questions without you having the stress of answering them.
If you would prefer to deal with the phone call yourself, then do so but if as a result of the call, HMRC state that you need a face to face visit, please contact your Accountant before the visit. They will be able to attend the meeting to ensure that the HMRC officer comes to a reasonable conclusion as to the state of the records and what action may be necessary to remedy any deficiencies.
Please do not take the prospect of these visits lightly. If HMRC consider that the records are inadequate and no changes are made, HMRC may apply a record keeping penalty (usually £500). That won’t necessarily be the end of the problem as when your tax return is submitted, HMRC are more likely to open an enquiry into the reported profits.
It’s time to dive into your ‘Commercial Bank.’ Hopefully you were saving on a weekly or a monthly basis, now you have a fistful of notes to go and blow on pressies, drink, office shin dig, your little ‘treat’…go on…you deserve it.
I can’t believe it’s nearly a year that’s just shot by. As one gets older, the years get shorter. True??
Tell the Truth and nothing but ……!! xx