We all know that business plans are important, and you likely fully intend to create one… someday. Consider this blog a friendly reminder to prioritize working on your business plan for your fitness center or studio as soon as possible. And if you’re thinking, “I already opened my fitness club so I don’t need a business plan,” think again. The numbers prove that business success is judged in the long term.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that nearly 80% of new business survive the first year, but by the five-year mark that number is down to half. In 10 years? Just one-third of businesses are still operating. Want more proof? Here are five reasons you need to create a business plan for your new fitness business (or the one you’re already running).1.) To Become A Fitness Market Expert
While understanding your own business is critical, you also have to think big picture. Through your research for the business plan, you should gain a high-level view of the fitness industry as a whole. The more expertise you gain, the clearer an understanding you will have of your fitness center or studio’s place in the broader market, and how best to operate within it to find success. Further, you’ll be better equipped to forecast market downturns or identify potential industry disruptors, enabling you to adapt your business with a changing market.
2.) To Unify Your Team’s Mission
A well-researched business plan gives you the opportunity to define your business mission, the overall goal or passion that inspired you to start your business in the first place. What do you hope to accomplish? What need are you fulfilling? If your business is successful, what demographic, community, or customer group is benefiting? By defining your business mission, you can rally your team around this central goal. You’ll find your staff much more motivated than a team simply working for their next paycheck.3.) To Set Benchmarks For Measurable Success
Success is an exceedingly vague term when it’s undefined. How do you define success for your business after one month? One year? Ten years? Through your research on the fitness market, you should be able to create clear benchmarks you want to achieve as your fitness center or studio develops. Create quarterly goals for the first year at minimum and roadmap overarching goals throughout the first five years. You should define benchmark goals for both your business as a whole and your management staff. By clearly defining what you expect your managers to achieve, you give them the best starting point to hit those goals.
4.) To Create Professional Relationships
You need to get your business plan in front of professional eyes. That means sharing it with lawyers, accountants, peers in the industry, and any applicable consultants. By sharing your business plan with professionals, you boost your business’s viability. Why? Because they know the familiar pitfalls, practices that lead to success, and ways that your inexperience can create unnecessary problems for your new business. Best of all, through these interactions you educate yourself. Some people decide to expand into new businesses after starting their first, and this beginning experience can prove to be the best classroom to learn and grow for future success.
5.) To Raise Funding
No one is going to invest in a business they don’t understand. Not a bank, a venture capital firm, or even your mom -- well, maybe your mom but you shouldn’t ask her to do so. A well-crafted business plan should be simple to read, well organized, and easy to understand. This document takes your future fitness business from vague concept to a concrete idea. Even if your fitness club is already operating, a business plan can help you secure fresh funding to take your business to the next level.
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