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inspiring change

Hack Your Way Through December

Setting your business up for success in the last 6 weeks of the year.

We have officially passed the November 16th mark. In my world, that was the hard stop for hiring, pushing for dozens of new clients and trying to roll out new programs.

Some will argue with my techniques (which is completely fine). These are my tried and true areas I used to focus on when I worked for 16 years in commercial fitness. And if I counted up all of the months I had a budget (148) I missed goal during 8 of them. I can visualize each of those months, especially those months that I was working in NYC at a company that will remain anonymous, which were brutal. For my colleagues who stayed for years, I still don’t know how you did it!

The bottom line is that I had a system in how I ran my business throughout the year, which was done in three different markets (Chicago, NYC and Westchester County in New York). The end of the year can sometimes feel like “wasted time” in the fitness industry. There are two major holidays, clients are out of town, and overall motivation is usually just low.

So what should you be doing these last six weeks of the year? Let’s break it down.

Team Development

For the sake of this article, I will be focusing on discussing working with your team since this is an area that so many managers and owners complain to me that they have no time to do. So create a small curriculum of three to four topics that you want to spend time covering. My go to’s are resetting expectations with your team, program development, and team building. There are many more but the end of the year is a great time to get your team in line with responsibilities and their job description especially if you just brought on new staff. And working on program development can go hand in hand with team building if you buddy up your team to get to know each other and work together on how to strengthen the experience they bring to their clients.

Old Leads Follow-Up

I worked in markets that were driven by relationship building due to our price points. So using the end of the year to reach out to past clients and swaying them to come back before we were bombarded with new members come January 1 was an easy sell. This was also the time that I used to get my seasoned staff some biz (since if they are old leads and know the team, the LAST thing they want is to be put with new fish; you can fill up their schedules come January).

"How to run the race- your planning, preparation, practice and performance- counts for everything. Winning or losing is a by-product, and aftereffect, of that effort." – John Wooden


This is a great opportunity to look at holes in your current system. Whether it’s record keeping, organizing your schedule for computer work or simply cleaning out your office, this is the PERFECT time to do so. Spend some time on your schedule and make notes on areas that suck up a lot of time. Can you create a better way to do that task? Or maybe you can delegate to someone else, or even work on changing what the task is and how it impacts your business? Get creative; getting your computer work in order is key to making more time for your team, clients and members.

Big Fish Recruiting

After so many years working in fitness, as much as I prided myself on hiring and training my staff, it's exhausting. Sometimes you just wanted to land a great seasoned hire who could bring a few clients along and would hit the ground running. Start connecting this fall! Peruse social media, talk to your other trainers, or visit a few local clubs. You never know if people are looking, and this can be a long process. Most people don’t want to make the jump during the holidays, and the New Year can be so busy. Start a recruiting process in the fall to plant seeds that can help you hit that hiring budget come spring or even early summer.

In Closing

The end of the year can be a productive time! I hope these tips helped you with your business and setting you up for success come next year. Click here to schedule a call on how we can work together on creating a plan that is customized for your goals.

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