Repackage and Rejig!
I’m reading and hearing that some Instructors in the community are struggling and a few are giving up their community classes, which is so sad, and I’m heartbroken for them. As a huge advocate of community classes, one of the main reasons I started Choreographytogo and this newsletter nearly 14 years ago was as a free resource to help community Instructors, and to be honest it’s where my heart will always lie. I do think, however, in some areas the community landscape is changing.
Local authority leisure centers, council gyms and the emergence of low cost clubs, PLUS church halls & community venues have jumped on the bandwagon and jacked up their prices, not to mention with PPL cost rises, insurance and the time spent on marketing and PR you have to be pretty darn committed, have a plan and be able to take the rough with the smooth to survive and make a living. It’s definitely an up and down market.
So, what does the discerning Community Instructor do in these changing times?
Of course, EVERYONE talks an amazing game on social media, and you must, it’s important to stay positive and upbeat, but if ends are starting not to meet then what can you do to turn those classes around.
I’ve created an ideas list because I do truly believe that with a few tweaks and changes you can turn things around, and I have said in past newsletters we need to be flexible in how we offer our services to cater for a modern and changing market.
One thing to always keep in your mind is that we all have an amazing product, our classes are life changing, results led, social and fun and provide such value for money it’s incredible. Don’t lose sight of that.
Here are my Ideas I hope they spark your inspiration and motivation to keep teaching in the community.
Change and Repackage
Toning and conditioning classes will always be popular. I always rename and rebrand my conditioning classes at least every year, sometimes more often. So, for Summer Legs, Bums and Tums becomes Summer Beach Body Toning. It has a new logo, a new colour, new brand, new strap line and a slightly different description, but it’s basically the same class just repackaged. I market this like crazy everywhere and hey presto it will attract new faces and reboot old lapsed clients looking for the kick to get going again.
Classes don’t last forever – They have a Shelf Life
The only exception to this rule, I think is Pilates. The numbers pretty much stay busy and constant but everything else has a shelf life and will start to peter out in time. Before it dies do a repackage (see above) It’s not you….It’s the life of a community fitness class and it happens to everyone.
Ring the Changes
Launch specials to coincide with term time so you may do Stability Ball for 8 weeks as a paid course, have a break, then market Kettlebells for 8 weeks then something else etc, etc. This keeps it fresh and exciting and every time you advertise a new workout it will attract a new demographic of people. If you do something with equipment get people to bring their own rather than you shelling out for equipment.
If you have your own brand or style of fitness class then set up a meeting with all of the local leisure centres and council run gyms and see if they would do a profit share with you. Take all of your super professional promotional material, talk about your client base, how you market and explain you will sort out the cover and be prepared to take any dead slots of empty spaces in their centre. You can then advertise your session to their customers and provide them with a ready made plug in package that they don’t have to manage, work out a profit share deal and give it an 8 week trial.
Above all keep it fresh and exciting in the community. Keep repackaging and changing the style of your classes and ring the changes to keep the locals interested, excited and inspired.
I’d really love to hear from you on this subject. Are you a Community Instructor or Community Bootcamp Coach? How are your numbers? What are you doing to keep the numbers coming through the door?
Live Google Hangout – I’m looking at doing a Live Google hangout where you can chat to me about marketing, your community class and any issues you have regarding teaching in the community. If you are interested Tweet me @RachelHolmes or Facebook me on the Choreographytogo Facebook page and we will set that up in the next week or so.
Fast and Furious Fitness Business Tactics with Andrew & Rachel
On 13th July in Nottingham Andrew Crawford and I will be hosting our latest Fitness Business Tactics 1 day Workshops at the Jurys Inn, Nottingham. We have put together all the key information you need to market and promote your business and harness the power of digital media to take your fitness business into the future. Places have been selling quickly as we have 50 seats and the day is only £67 so if you need to help and guidance in this area come and join us in Nottingham. The venue is 1 minute walk from Nottingham train station
Click here to book onto Fast and Furious Fitness Business Tactics
Fitness Pilates Focus Tour with Kelly Reed
Kelly’s new tour is shaping up to be a really busy one as we only have 2 places left on Cambridge and 3 places on London for the opening weekend of 1,2nd June. Fitness Pilates continues to go from strength to strength and kelly has been working hard on brand new material and updates. If you would like to grab a place on Kellys tour
Big One North and Big One South Events
Kick Start Fat Loss will be sponsoring a room at the Big One North and Big One south Event which I’m very thrilled about and myself, Marvin and the Franchisees will be running some brand new and exciting business, nutrition and practical sessions. Booking details will be online very soon and I be sending out all of the information shortly.
Kick Start Fat Loss The 10 Day Beach Body Ready Detox
Looking forward to starting a new 10 day Kick Start Fat Loss™ Detox right bang after this bank holiday. And as its the Summer Beach Body Detox we have 10 brand new home workouts for you to do, Each new workout is named after a super cool holiday destination including the South Beach Workout, St Tropez, Miami, Puerto Banus, Bondi Beach etc. Ive added in new sprint protocols and a tweak on the nutrition! The 10 Dayer kicks of on Tuesday.
Buying in to a franchise by Alice Ramcharran
Back in October 2012 I did something that I vowed I would never, ever do and would never touch one with a bargepole – I bought in to a franchise! What was I thinking?! Going against everything I’d ever thought about franchises, and doing something I said I’d never do!
Now rewind to 6 months earlier and I was forced to stop teaching and take time out (for very good reason though as I went on maternity leave to have a baby!) I’d been running a successful business for many years and it was hard to step away, but it had to be done. I went back to teaching a couple of classes fairly quickly, but even in that time things had changed. Numbers had dropped (I think me stopping was the excuse that some people needed to stop as well as they never even tried the classes with a new instructor, they just disappeared off) and I think the economy started to hit hard just as I decided to go back, and things had just seemed to have got a little ‘stale’. I’d also had a good chance to think about business while I was off and realised that it was probably time for a bit of a shake-up – but what!?
I’d originally done Rachel’s Kick Start program many moons ago, when she first launched it as an online program for instructors. When she launched it to the masses as an online program, I decided to give it another go in August 2012 before I hit the big 40! I had amazing results and lost 10lbs in just 17 days, and got back to clothes I’d resigned myself to never being able to wear again! I was over the moon and was nearly back to my pre pregnancy weight!
When Rachel first sent out the mail about her franchise, I read through with some interest, but was in 2 minds about it. I’d already got a successful business, but was still looking for that something else to inject something back in to it and bring it back to life a little bit. But the more I thought about it, the more I was thinking perhaps this could be it! So, I had a few good talks with Rachel and decided to go for it!
I launched my first classes in January and had a lot of interest with people wanting to know what this new Kick Start Fat Loss was all about, whilst others I knew were watching and waiting to see what happened and what results others got before taking the plunge! I currently have 2 classes per week running, and am looking to set up more over the coming months with other instructors teaching for me, as I just don’t have any extra hours in the day to do it myself!
I’m excited about the future for Kick Start Fat Loss and all of the instructors on board with it up and down the country as we are really paving the way and creating new ideas as we all forge forward. However, I am fully aware that it’s not all going to be a bed of roses and that there will be challenges along the way. So, my top tips if you are looking at taking on a franchise would be:
Make sure it is something you are passionate about. Don’t take it on just because you think it’s a known brand and because you think people will come flocking just because of the name! They probably won’t!
Invest wisely! Do your homework and be sure it is the way forward for you and the right franchise for you. I’ve heard that some companies charge extortionate rates just because of the name. So do your sums, work out how long it would take you to earn that money back, what you’d need to do, how many classes, how many clients.
Be prepared to work hard. Very hard! Taking on a franchise is basically still setting up a business from scratch, it takes time, you’ll make mistakes along the way and it doesn’t happen overnight. However, what you do have is a good, solid brand behind us, you don’t have to worry about time designing flyers, or logos or any branding as that is all done for you. There is also the support of an amazing group of like-minded franchisees, and we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other, discussing what works and what doesn’t work, so you are never working on anything alone.
Have an open mind – we are finding as we go along there are lots of different opportunities coming up that none of us had even considered when we took the franchise on. The list of possibilities is endless and it’s really exciting times.
Make sure that it compliments any existing business that you already run and it’s not going to be a conflict of interests. It needs to run alongside if you already have a community based business and work in conjunction with that.
So my advice if you are thinking about going for a Franchise – then go for it! Just make sure it is the right one and the right fit for you and your business.
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Marvin Burton – Tip #5 Reinvest at least 10% of your wages into you.
The best return of any investment I made was when I spend over £20,000 on my education in less than 2 years. It was better than the house I could have purchased or the sports car that I sold. Each year I train in a different field of interest and expand my skills. In 2013 I have already qualified in project management. I use November – February for my study time as the weather is worse and I prefer to spend more time with family during these months. There is a noticeable drop in the fitness industry over Christmas also. The start of the year motivates me for the coming months.
Price comparisons – here are a few typical daily spends, a take out coffee at Starbucks – £2.50, a loaf of bread at Gail’s £3.50, a glass of wine £5.90, an exercise class anything from £3.50 – £15.00. Where do you stand on this sliding scale of ”value for money’’? Comparably we are offering a 1 hour service with multi benefits therefore the price should surely be in line with coffee, bread and wine.
I pay between £8 – £15 per Crossfit class depending on how many I do a week & £8.50 – £15 for Yoga (the more expensive being Hot Yoga), while these are my exercise classes of choice the quality of instruction is no different to the general community instructor who charges so much less.
While you may collectively shout that your clients will not pay anymore, you surely must consider that there is a market that evidently are willing and able to pay for their exercise sessions if the content is correct. Remember Crossfit gyms are not pretty, they are reminiscent of the old spit and saw-dust set ups and Hot Yoga can be a little whiffy (depending on where you go), it is definitely the content that is exclusive.
Everyone of us has the skill, talent and knowledge to create a ”high end” class that increases our weekly income. If we make the content specific, the attention specific, the coaching specific and the results guaranteed, we cannot go wrong. Now is the perfect time to establish yourself as a multi-faceted talent in your area by capitalising on the trend for niche, elite training in medium sized groups.
All you have to do is get yourself out there.
Do we pride ourselves on a particular programme or class that we teach? Or are we known for a particular class (whatever the reason) How can that be bad…..I’ll explain.
What a week it’s been, had a great trip back to Virgin Active Nottingham and covered Rachel’s advanced aerobics and total body conditioning, which are my absolute favourite classes to teach. These are two classes that can sometimes split people, you have your hardcore hilo’ers that thrive on chorography, who love that mental exhilaration and then other others who don’t want to have to think about or remember anything and just want to work out.
I recorded part of my Hilo class this week at Virgin and uploaded it on my Facebook profile, a tool that Rachel’s always encouraging us to do, get our choreography out there, get clips of us teaching and I’m making sure I get regular recordings to build up a portfolio to try and enter the presenting circuit.
During this last week I’m now just known as ‘a lad who teaches aerobics’. Forget about all those killer HiiT conditioning, Vipr or Crossfit Sessions I’ve done, I’m just a glorified aerobics instructor. Granted banter is inevitable, part of the industry, and believe me being 21 teaching step and Hilo whilst at university you needed a thick skin for some of the comments you can get. I’ve had it all, each gym and health club are just the same to start with.
This week I’ve found myself over thinking things, kicking myself why didn’t I record my Conditioning class instead, maybe I shouldn’t do Hilo anymore, perhaps just stick with stuff I “should be doing”. What I needed was a big slap, and any virtual slaps following reading this are absolutely justified. I recorded the Hilo class for a reason, I was proud of what routine I’d put together, I wanted to use it to improve, I’d ultimately love to present it one day, and just wanted people to see what I can do. Is that wrong?
I think we all have a trait that we’d change, mine is definitely worrying too much about what people think. Whether its people within the industry or outside the industry. I’m going to go out on a limb and say some of the people within the industry can be harsher that those who aren’t.
I remember a step class several months ago I was covering, thirty minutes in there was a gathering of gym instructors just watching and sniggering as it was a lad teaching step. The class was in full swing, it was packed, everyone was flying, I was in my element, yet that completely got to me. Why? If I only could have said something……….I’m just not quick enough.
Ultimately, I have an aim and passion in what I want to do, Hilo and Step is going absolutely nowhere for me, this industry is big enough for us all. New innovations together with old, Veterans with rookies, and with everyone’s individual traits we all have something individual and unique to offer. Something made us enter into the fitness industry, what was it?
My PMA is now at its all-time high, yes been on a bit of a rollercoaster but these things are sent to try us. Believe in yourself.
Facebook: Andrew. Scott
Lessons in being nice
By Claire Mockridge, Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Hi there C2Goers,
Today, I have a short article for you, anecdotal in nature, where I’m going to talk to you about the benefits of simply being nice.
Many years ago, when I first started out in the fitness industry, I trained at various gyms, got to know the Gym Instructors and Reception staff at each venue, and I was always nice.
I liked to talk shop with the Gym crew, PTs, Studio Instructors and office staff and nothing phased me – I was simply there to train and be nice to everyone.
Occasionally, they’d call on me to cover a shift, take a class in the studio at short notice, open up or lock the facility if someone fell ill, and/or step in if someone needed advice on what to do with a pre/postnatal customer. Nice is in my nature. I can’t help it.
Nowadays, I have a small team of cover instructors who are absolutely brilliant. I believe in being nice to them, and they’re always nice back. I don’t call on them very often, and as it happens, I’m away for 2 weeks in June, so I set about the task this week of getting in touch with my team to enquire about their availability for cover.
The first 2 instructors on my list weren’t available. The 3rd, who I’ve been mentoring for the past 18 months, can cover one of my classes, but not the other, because she now has her own successful Pilates sessions up and running on the same night as mine. I think you’d agree that’s pretty nice.
So, I had to widen my inner circle in search of yet another suitable candidate. Let me tell you, it pays to be connected. I contacted 7 instructors in the end and through the powers of “someone who wasn’t qualified, but knows someone, who knows someone who is”; I was given “someone’s” email address. Wasn’t that nice?
It turns out, this certain “someone” was “someone” I met at a gym I trained at over 6 years ago. I only had her first name to go on, so I didn’t recognise her at first, until in her third email back and forth where she said: “By the way, Claire we have met before. I used to work at the xxx gym and I remember you from there”, and went on to say: “You certainly have come a long way since then. I look forward to catching up with you again soon and it’ll be a pleasure to work for you!”
I think you’d agree that’s pretty nice. So, today’s lesson is: stay connected to people who cross your path and be nice, because you too may never know when someone you met 6 years ago needs your help, or when you need theirs.
Have a nice day!
Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert
For details on my next Pre/Postnatal Exercise & Marketing Workshop see: www.clairemockridge.com/workshops
Early Bird Price of £77 ends Monday 27 May 2013, so you’d better be quick!
Do You Turn Left On A Plane?
By Andrew Crawford
That statement is weird to most but makes sense to some.
Firstly though, I want to send out my prayers to the victims of the Oklahoma Tornado what a tradegy.
Not to mention the crazy mofo who cut of a soldiers head….right here in London……wt…..!!!!
We live in a crazy world folks. Oh…and Arrow finished on Monday…Shame..!!
What with the ‘Big Boys’ not paying their taxes in one hand and on the other, ‘Smaller Boys’ being named and shamed for avoiding tax…..there doesn’t seem to be a balance here.
Oh…I nearly forgot….
Petrol price fixing…..!! (Quelle Surprise…!!! …as if we didn’t know this already….!!
If you charge the authorized mileage allowance amount of £0.45 per mile, have you ever considered this?
“Does petrol prices, insurances and servicing etc mysteriously go down AFTER 10,000 miles??? “
Anyhow……back to turning left on the plane.
Hold on Andrew, what the …has turning left on a plane got to do with Accountancy and Tax.??
Well, in order to be able to turn left you need to Control High Interest Debt
Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities. Liabilities are debts. The more debts you owe, the lower your net worth will be. Therefore , not having the disposable income to enjoy the delights of what turning left on a plane can bring. Plus whenever you have debts, you also pay for the interest, that’s why you lose more.
For practical reasons, it’s understandable why people borrow. Take for example; buying a car or a home, it’s hard to shell out cash for large expenses. That’s why debt is a tool that, when used wisely, can benefit the borrower. However, the borrower must comprehend that a debt is still a debt and must be paid in due time – with interest.
Have you checked out some of my spreadsheets….here’s one
This shows you the dramatic difference in your wealth between BORROWING money (say £5,000.00) and SAVING money! Check it out on this page…
When people don’t manage their money well, they get in financial trouble. It’s a cycle. They run short of cash, that’s why they borrow. Then they’re not able to stick to a budget so they can’t pay the debt.
Reasons why people get into serious debt are:
– High cause of medical bills
– Settling divorce finances..Lord Have Mercy
– Spend-aholic or could not control spending urges
– Wasn’t able to save
– Not in the know on financial and credit matters
Here are some quick tips:
Make a budget and do your best to stick to it. When it’s payday, have an amount allotted for the bills that have to be paid as soon as possible. This includes setting aside some for credit card debts (if you still have one of these)
Save 10% of your salary for emergency. You don’t know what could happen the next day, next week or next month. (Knock knock….Hi David…I’m pregnant…!!!)
If you have to borrow, research the loan. Study the interest rate and the penalty fees. Then after borrowing, make a budget of how much you can save so that you can pay promptly.
You can control your credit card debt by looking at the interest rates of any loan you’re considering to sign up for before doing so. Interest rates vary and it is practical that you get one where you wouldn’t lose as much.
As much as possible, have at least one or two credit cards. Too many credit cards in your wallet can indulge you in buying something you don’t really need. Have you noticed how many store card are offered to you??
You just buy things because you know you can. However, you’re not sure if you can pay off your debt when the occasion arises.
If you want to cut down on high credit card bills, you can:
Pay cash instead from your commercial bank
Limit yourself on charging. Record it and do your best to not exceed that amount. You must always, always keep track.
Choose the credit card that offers the lowest interest rate and has no annual fee.
Just because you’re getting a free gift or a discount on a purchase, you’ll sign up for that credit card. This is their marketing strategy for possible customers. All your details are already ‘prefilled’.
Most importantly, pay bills on time. This is for you to avoid late charges, plus additional interests.
Just bear this in mind: if you don’t pay
on time then it will be reflected on your credit history. This could result in you having a hard time borrowing the next time. Banks and other credit lenders check your credit history before they grant your loan. Creditors look at the recent two-year history and those who have credit record that contains a lot of late payments or defaults may not be able to get the loan.
To put it simply, in order for you to invest, the best advice I could give is to choose the right loan.
Look for the lowest interest rate. The interest that you save can be spent on other investments or travelling experiences.
Check out this spreadsheet…
This allows you to calculate your Freedom Figure. That’s the amount you need ‘in the bank’ in order to have an unearned income (from interest etc.) which would allow you to live at your present level.
The key is maximizing your net worth by minimizing your liabilities and maximizing your assets. Know how much you have and strategize on how you can increase it without losing much of it just to pay for debts.
Have a play with my Net worth calculator
Find out exactly how much you are worth right now. Or not, as the case may be!
I am excited to announce that myself and Rachel Holmes have just launched ‘Fast & Furious Business Tactics” workshop happening in July in the good old city of Robin Hood….. Nottingham.
Come and join us where we will ‘Spill Forth’ ideas and strategies which can be immediately implemented into your businesses today.
Here are the details.
Once you implement these tactics the results will enable you to turn left on the plane.
Have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend