Running a fitness business can be lonely, especially when you’re the person who started the whole thing off. Whether you’re still solo, or you’ve built a team around you, entrepreneurship often feels like a hard slog.
Don’t suffer in silence. Be honest with people around you about the realities of running your business.
You know what makes it easier? A good support network. Here are a few ways to surround yourself with people who will protect your mental wellbeing and help you grow your business.
5 reasons business owners need a network
- Ideas – spending all your time thinking about, working on, and being in your business can mean you end up in a bubble. Having people in a larger network gives you access to ideas and creativity that will help you differentiate your brand.
- Perspective – things can quickly feel more challenging when you’re in the trenches. Chatting to people outside of your business gives you an extra set of eyes and ears which can put things into perspective.
- Feedback – how do you know if you’re doing a good job? Honest feedback from other people is a great way to make smart decisions about how to grow your fitness business.
- Support – sometimes you really need to get things off your chest, no support or advice necessary. Like-minded people get it.
- Resources – people in your support network will have access to mentors, resources, events and trends that will keep your outlook on business fresh.
A network especially comes in handy for those times you're unavailable and need to find reliable class cover fast. We cover how to go about this in more detail in our blog Finding Your First Class Cover.
How to build a support network as a fitness entrepreneur
Go to business events
Attending business events (whether they’re specifically for fitness businesses or not) will connect you with others, give you new ideas, and link you into an entire network of business owners who understand what you’re experiencing. Be sure to follow up on conversations and connections after you get home from the event.
Network in person
Business networking is still alive and kicking, and these days it’s easier than ever with online options as well as in-person opportunities. Take time to find a networking system that works for you, then give and take in equal measures.
Don’t suffer in silence. Be honest with people around you about the realities of running your business. Friends, family and acquaintances want to support you – and they may know exactly the right person to help with your current challenge.
Become a connector
Some people are naturally great at connecting other people. Perhaps you are, too? Think outside the box to connect business owners, clients, service providers and freelancers. You’ll become known as the person who knows all the best people!
Collaborate with others
Collaborating can be a scary prospect when you run your own business, but it pays to partner up with like-minded people. One-off collaborations or long-term partnerships can increase your reach, help you offer better services and give you much-needed support.
Like the sound of collaboration? Then some form of affiliation or partnership could be a great strengthener for your business, have a quick read of our blog Benefits And Potential Pitfalls Of Affiliating Your Fitness Business.
Mentoring works two ways – could you get a mentor, or are in a position to mentor someone else? There are benefits to both approaches to expanding your support network.
Host social events
If you own a bricks and mortar facility, why not arrange social events or offer it out as a venue for other people? Events inject new energy into your facility and bring new people through the door. Who knows where it might lead.
Running a business of any kind takes hard work, so whilst you're here why not check out our blog 23 Ways To Stay Motivated As A Fitness Business Owner In 2024.