As a kid I remember camping out in the living room, Andy Griffith on the TV, and helping my Dad sort through a huge drawer of receipts. Never knowing what he was doing, I just helped put this piece of paper in the ‘tools’ pile, or this pink slip in the ‘materials’ heap. It wasn’t until Accounting 201 at SUNY Plattsburgh that I realized my Dad was doing some of the back-end business work that has helped him thrive as a General Contractor for almost 40 years.
I’ve never been a fan of the phrase ‘best practice’- I think BEST is subjective to the business itself, but a lot of Personal Trainers and probably most in service based industries need some ‘better’ business practices.
Consider exploring these three things as you set yourself up for 2019…
1) Meet with a small business accountant.
Those membership renewal fees, client gifts, continuing education expenses, and new shoes you bought on sale all play a part in your business. Whether you are a 1099 or a W2 there are certain tax regulations and accounting practices you should be aware of to maximize your $$$. Meet with an accountant to help set up your own small business practice and know what benefits match your employment status.
2) Do you plan on retiring as a Personal Trainer/ Strength Coach?
If you just said ‘yes’ then you should be taking the steps to do so. Does your employer have a 401K retirement option? No? Do you have your own IRA opened? Do you know what an IRA is? Have you accumulated any assets that pay out after you retire?
Bonus- Are you familiar with disability insurance? What about life insurance? What happens if you are unable to work?
Fitness is an industry where we give so much to other people…at some point you need to think about how to best protect yourself as well as plan for your (very bright) future as a professional in this field.
3) Address your internal systems
A common theme that surfaces with guests on the 3 Things Podcast is this notion of dialing in your day to day operations. This can be as simple as using a planner and mapping out your week…finding out how to write client programs in a more efficient manner (check this out if that is an avenue you need…)better. Maybe it’s itemizing the things you need to do before you leave the facility so you can safely ‘check out’. To each their own but take the time and map out your personal systems to make yourself more efficient in 2019.
If you have these three things figured out - awesome! I would say you are ahead of 99% of other professionals. If some of these things are foreign concepts to you, pull up google, and find some locals who can help answer your questions!