With the obesity epidemic spreading across the western world, it seems that the weight loss and fitness industries are poised for growth in 2013. In a recent report from Finance.yahoo.com, results from the American Council on Exercise fitness trend survey “show fitness professionals are experiencing more career opportunities than ever before, and obesity epidemic concerns have led both individuals and employers to collaborate with fitness professionals in an effort to inspire healthier lifestyles.” With nearly 40% of customers citing weight loss as a goal, the desire for a healthier lifestyle was the popular goal.
ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. said, “the public demand for a healthier lifestyle has propelled a career in fitness to one of the top job opportunities in 2013″. The Huffington Post says that health and fitness trends for 2013 will see fitness professionals taking centre stage. “The American College of Sports Medicine has listed certified fitness pros as their number one trend for the past six years, the number of accredited trainers, coaches and others continues to surge.” So if you’ve been toying with the idea of taking your passion for fitness and turning it into a career, now might be the time to act. Before you take the leap to going pro, here are a few tips to consider;
Use your current gym as a place to canvas opinion and gauge where there are gaps in the market. Are you into a niche form of exercise that the mainstream classes don’t yet offer? Can you see a demographic that aren’t currently catered for?
According to the Finance.yahoo.com report , there will be a surge in collaborations with other health professionals, “as understanding grows of the necessity for alignment between fitness, nutrition, stress management and behavioural modification — components required for overall wellness — fitness professionals will seek collaboration with peers in the medical field to develop a 360-degree approach.”
They have also cited an increase in employer advocacy where businesses are implementing work-place wellness programmes. Fitness trends are leaning towards a return to no-frills activities like body weight training, yoga and boot-camp along with increasing interest from the over 50s population. There will be increased interest in nutrition, “despite national efforts to enhance understanding of nutrition and provide access to healthier options, many still struggle to eat a balanced diet, according to survey results.”The Huffington Post reports a growth in mobile group fitness, health apps and self-monitoring, heavy lifting for women, high intensive interval training and themed races.
In order to put together a viable business proposition, you need to have a crystal-clear vision of what you as a fitness professional can offer your clients.
As much for your own sanity as the bank manager’s, you need to have a comprehensive, coherent business plan, outlining what you will achieve with the venture, a timeplan and projected costs and profits. If this sounds a daunting prospect, there are numerous online tools and templates that take the guesswork – and the fear- out of putting together a plan. As the old saying goes, fail to plan or plan to fail!
That goes for funding and training as well as physical equipment! Unless you have substantial savings, it’s likely you’ll need to seek funding or investment to start up a business. Find out whether you might be eligible for any business bursaries or financial aid, or if there are local investors you could pitch to.
Set up a business bank account that will allow you to make business purchases and receive income. By keeping the costs and earnings from your fledgling business separate, you’ll find book-keeping a lot easier come tax time and you’ll be able to monitor the profits and losses at a glance. This method comes in very handy when you’re also having to work another job to make ends meet and will ensure there’s no confusion as to how much money you’re really making from your new business.
Will you need to obtain qualifications before you declare yourself fit to teach others? Even if it’s not a legal requirement, the right qualification from a well-regarded industry body can provide a firm endorsement of you as a skilled professional.
Think about how best to spread the word about your fledgling enterprise, and who you want to appeal to. Professional-looking business cards are now available inexpensively online and are great to have to hand when networking. For smaller concerns, notice boards in schools, church halls and libraries can be handy, as can simple word-of-mouth
If you’re setting up something bigger, inform local newspapers, TV and radio channels and see if you can get an item featured. Be clear and consistent in communicating what you are offering and to whom it’s targeted. Whatever size your business, you need to understand and appeal to your demographic in order to recruit the right clients.
Make use of free social media channels at your disposal. If you’re unsure how to set up and manage Twitter and Facebook accounts, seek advice on using to your best advantage. Videos streamed over your personal YouTube channel can be a great boon for fitness enterprises, showing the business in action.
About the Author: A lifestyle journalist from London, Kitty Hastings has years of experience writing about health, fitness and finance. She recommends http://www.eccount.com/the-eccount/, a leader in the field of companies specialising in helping people with debt. Kitty’s articles appear in a wide range of publications both in print and online – and she loves nothing more than relaxing with a cup of tea and a great book and adores anything vintage.