The current economic situation is tough for small businesses and sole traders. Costs are soaring and clients are feeling the pinch. Take action now and you’ll come out the other side with a smarter, stronger business.
How to build a stronger business in an economic crisis
This isn’t the first time the economy has been in a bad spot, and it probably won’t be the last. As self-employed people, you need to know the best ways to bulletproof your businesses against rising costs and tightening household budgets.
It’s easier and cheaper to retain a client than it is to find a new one.
We advise you look at it from two angles: how can you cut costs so you run a leaner business, and how can you boost or protect revenue? Let’s get in to it with our 10 top tips for strengthening your fitness business at this time.
1. Review your business running costs
Set aside time to look at your outgoings – not just the big things like rent, but smaller things like journals, memberships, and subscriptions to software services. Scrap any you no longer need, and consolidate as many as you can. This is a big part of our mission here at Striive, a platform that can replace multiple subscriptions under one roof for a fraction of the cost!
2. Chat to your accountant
Accountants aren’t just there to remind you about your twice-yearly tax bill. Get in touch with yours and ask for a review of your accounts, tax deductible allowances and anything else that might save you money.
3. Ramp up your client comms
It’s easier and cheaper to retain a client than it is to find a new one. Now is the time to increase your efforts at client relationship management. Send voice notes, remember key dates like birthdays, and go the extra mile to make the customer journey memorable.
4. Create useful freebies
Think about small, high-value things you can create for clients. Ideas include very short videos which you can use as responses to FAQs, or PDF downloads covering popular topics. Make it something that packs a ton of value but doesn’t take you long to create.
5. Say thank you
Make an effort to thank existing clients. You don’t need a reason. Send cards (ecards can be free!) or if you have the budget get some merch made up. Let them know it’s a thank you for being a great client.
6. Have a referral strategy
Do you have a formal referral strategy? If not, get one done! It could be as simple as letting all clients know that they will get £10 off their monthly membership when they refer someone who signs up.
7. Get serious about social proof
Ask all existing clients (and any recently-departed ones) for a written or video testimonial. Turn this into social proof for social media. You can get more than one post out of every testimonial – a Canva carousel, a quote-style graphic, their before and afters with text, their video, or you telling their story.
8. Connect your community
If you have face-to-face clients or group coaching, consider putting on a social event. It doesn’t have to be drinks or a party, how about hiring an assault course for the day or all going paddleboarding? When people feel part of something special, they’re less likely to leave and more likely to rave about you to others.
9. Tell everyone what you do
Don’t assume people really understand what you do, especially if you offer specialist services. Tell everyone, make an extra effort with networking, and try teaming up with other professionals to get your name out there.
10. Rethink your services
Listen to what your clients are telling you. If 1-2-1 is too much for people’s budget, consider offering small group. If your 12-week online course keeps getting no sign ups, use your social media to ask people what they want – then deliver it. It’s never been easier to pivot and launch different services. Make the most of technology, social media, and online communication platforms.