When you are running your own business, you don’t always know what you need for success until it’s too late. In today’s world of technology and communication, there is no excuse for not having all the necessary tools you need for your business to run smoothly.
As a personal trainer, you know all the workout equipment that you need to have in your studio. You are familiar with all the brands, styles, and types of equipment – no matter how small. It’s your job to know that.
It’s also your job to run your business smoothly. These tools are also tools of the trade that you need to become familiar with and learn to love. But there are so many options, and they all look the same to someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs. Luckily, we can help. We’ve compiled a list of all the business essentials you need as a small business owner. Take a look!
Business Essentials: Management
Other than having yoga mats, kettlebells, and other workout equipment, you need to equip yourself with some business management tools. These tools are designed to keep you organized so you can focus on more important things, like your client’s fitness plan and their progress!
1. CRM Software
When it comes to picking out a good CRM (customer relationship management) software, there are lots of options to choose from. It can be overwhelming and after awhile, they all start to run together and look the same.
Chances are, you don’t want to spend a lot of money to get a CRM that works for your small business. And the good news is, you don’t have to! A lot of CRM softwares offer free versions with the opportunity to upgrade to a subscription down the road.
For the most basic plan with minimal features, it’s free! However, you won’t break the bank with the paid plans starting at $12 a month. For $12, you get the access to contract management, project management, detailed reports, and many other functions that you won’t find with other base plan CRM software.
On top of the management functions, the base plan doesn’t stop there: you get access to unlimited storage, one-on-one customer support, custom branding, and third-party integration, just for starters!
One of the top features about using Insightly is that it is incredibly easy to use. Even the least tech-savvy personal trainer will love using Insightly. After logging in, the site is intuitive and easily to navigate the eight key sections. The sidebar makes it simple to perform every task you need!
Because Insightly is a cloud-based storage platform, you can access your information anywhere, anytime, on any type of device.
If you want some extra help getting started, Insightly offers an online training program for its users. Look at what this CRM offers, and you’re sure to love all it can do for your business!
Or, take matters into your own hands and compare these CRM platforms!
2. Bookkeeping Software
Keeping track of your finances and accounting might be a foreign concept to you, if you’ve never done it before. Stay organized and finance-savvy with software that is easy and user friendly. Like CRM software, there are many options, some with free base platforms with the option to upgrade if you need more detailed services.
Business News Daily named Intuit QuickBooks Online the best overall accounting software for a small business. Chosen over dozens of other software platforms, Intuit offers the most bang for your buck.
The cheapest plan starts at $10 a month, but doesn’t skimp out on necessary features that a small business owner needs to be financially stable. This plan only allows there to be one registered user, but as a personal trainer, you wouldn’t need to add employees (and if you do, you can always upgrade your subscription!).
The features are endless: finance reports, income tracking, downloadable bank and credit card transaction reports, tax preparation and filing, and data backups. Intuit meets the financial management needs of a small business owner.
QuickBook’s online dashboard is easy to navigate and periodically updates to keep providing an intuitive interface for its users. On the homepage dashboard, there is an account summary and financially summary, so you can see your profits and losses, recent transactions, invoices, and overall status of your business without having to navigate to other pages on the site.
Integrating with over 100 third-party apps and platforms, you will be able to save time by streamlining processes and automatically categorize invoices, processed payments, and sync data in real-time. Apps that are designed for e-commerce, CRM, payroll services, and marketing are easily integrated so you can import and export data into your accounting software for ease of payment and record keeping.
Keeping it easy, QuickBooks has demos and online videos you can watch to learn how the software will make your life easier and your business run more smoothly.
Learn more about other accounting software options here to find what’s best for your business!
Business Essentials: Technology
Going hand-in-hand with business management software, there are some essential tech tools every small business owner needs to be utilizing. The world has gone technological, which means you need to follow suit! Make your life easier and more organized by using tech gear instead of having to juggle papers – you have other things to worry about!
1. Laptop Computer
This might go without saying, but having a laptop computer will make your life much easier. As a personal trainer, you’ll be on-the-go a lot and having access to all your customer data will be very important. Slowly taking the place of desktop computers, be sure to look for one that has the same storage capacity and processing speed and power. When purchasing a laptop, be sure to take cost, storage, screen dimensions, and battery life to ensure you are making a smart purchase for your business.
2. Microsoft Office Suite
This software may be one of the best purchases you make for your business. Office Suite includes applications like Word, PowerPoint, and integrates email, calendar, and management functions while simplifying communication. Design professional PowerPoints, create spreadsheets, and streamline your daily workflow.
Maybe a no-brainer, but it’s the 21st Century – time to have a smartphone and use it to it’s full capability. Mobile technology has evolved and the next-generation iPhones and Androids have opened a whole new world of exec-level utilities and compatibilities. Users are able to run their business from the palm of their hand – remote-access solutions, management application integration, and productivity tools to name a few.
4. Portable Storage Device
SInce everything is online and on your computer, it’s always a good idea to have your data backed up on an encrypted storage device. External hard drives are excellent for storing large quantities of data and can be password protected and encrypted. If you wanted to go a cheaper route, USB flash drives with large memory storage is another good solution. Be sure to get a flash drive that can be protected with a password to maintain confidentiality.
Business Essentials: Marketing
You are your best advocate for your business. Because you are a small business owner, funds for large scale marketing and advertising may not be accessible, but you’re in luck. Nowadays with online networks, social media, and web-based services, marketing has become more affordable and effective than ever.
Any business owner will tell you that having a well-designed website is key to their business. People don’t flip through the Yellow Pages looking for businesses anymore – they all turn to Google. There is a plethora of web design companies online that are incredibly user friendly and many of them have click-and-drag design functions. There’s no need to spend a lot of money for a website if you can handle basic computer tasks!
Many companies have free versions of their website, but offer more functions and features, like a personalized domain, more pages, and premium templates, if you pay a monthly fee. Again, this fee is not going to rob your wallet. Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace are all excellent platforms for websites and are very user friendly for getting started. They all offer inexpensive options for small business owners and provide professional-looking websites!
If you want to go a bit more expensive, but have live customer support, Google Analytics, in-depth website reports, SEO optimization, and DNS management all included, check out SpaceCraft. Their platform offers hundreds of templates and ways to build your brand online.
2. Social Media
Everyone is on social media these days, and thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to market your business. Build a professional network, turn friends into clients, and create ads to your target audience. Using a Social Media Dashboard (like Hootsuite) is an easy way to pull reports and monitor your social media traffic, ad-spend, and even schedule posts so you can simply stay engaged with your followers!
Facebook makes advertising and marketing very easy! All you need to do is create a business page – then share with your whole network of friends! It’s easy to manage your business page from your personal account (there won’t be an extra login to remember!). You can post images, updates, create events, and advertise your business using status updates or using the Facebook Business Manager to create targeted ads for your business. Business Manager does require a small fee to run ads, but you can decide how much you want to spend. It’s all up to you! Facebook is a great way to advertise your business and build your brand.
LinkedIn provides a platform that allows you to network with other like-minded professionals. Make a business page for your small business, and attract followers by sharing updates and connecting with other personal trainers. There are groups you can join on LinkedIn that are targeted to specific professions. Groups let you see industry updates, other professionals, and events that are nearby for your industry. It’s a great way to build your network in a professional setting.
Twitter is a fun way to reach out to potential new clients. Because everything on Twitter is so fast-paced, you have the ability to reach thousands of people very quickly. Follow industry leaders and companies, interact with their tweets, mention them in your own tweets, and watch as your network grows. Be patient with Twitter, because while it’s fast-paced, some Tweets get lost in the million other tweets that get posted every minute. Join the Twitter community!
Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are new to the digital marketing game, but they’re becoming hugely popular with millennials. Posting industry-related images, exercises, healthy recipes, and motivational images can grow your business. Create hashtags for your business, and use popular hashtags so people will be drawn to your account and see your posts. Pinterest can bring traffic to your website by linking to images on your boards. You can add the universal “Pin It” button to your web browser and then pin images from your website or blog. When people click on the pin you created and shared, they will be taken to your website, bringing you more viewers!
Having a website is a good step in the right direction, but having a blog will set you apart from the competition. Blogging not only ads more content to your website (good for analytics and SEO tracking), but it also ads more relevant content to your website. You want to build a good reputation as a personal trainer that knows their stuff – show it in your blog! Write about exercises, dieting, and how you stay motivated to stay fit. Post videos to demonstrate exercises, create infographics, and visual aids that will assist your readers. Using images also helps Google recognize and index your site so more people can find your website by performing a Google search.
Getting away from the digital world, you need to be your own best billboard for your company! Be a walking advertisement. Have branded “swag” like t-shirts, business cards, and even key chains that have your business name and web address. When people see your company name, it’ll be a conversation starter. Promote yourself!
No one else can market for you – make sure you help yourself in every way so people can find your business information and contact you. With so many personal trainers out there, stand out with bright colors and clean crisp designs! Be a good resource for your clients as well as attract new clients. A few simple marketing tactics can do the trick.
Setting up your business isn’t easy, but it should be easier now that you have been given some resources that will help you organize everything you need to run a smooth company! These aren’t the only options out there, but they’re easy, inexpensive, and effective ways to build, grow, and maintain your personal training business! Happy Training!