Over COVID I know a lot of my friends have pivoted to being self employed or have started new businesses. I'm going to be releasing a few blogs going over some quick tips on things I've picked up over the last few years running Clairmont Conditioning, hopefully so you can avoid similar traps!
Marketing: I'm a big believer in "First of Mind Marketing". This means that when your field is brought up in conversation, you are the first thing that pops into their head. I've had lots of referrals come to me over the years because they mentioned wanting to hire a coach and my name has been brought up at a dinner party, or a sports game or at a work event. If you can make yourself the go-to professional in your group of friends/family, you are going to find success in their circles. This means don't spend $$ on facebook ads until you are through and through top of mind for your circle.
Taking Action: A good plan now is better than a great plan never. Something that has worked very well for me in my career is applying a "Just Do It" mentality. It's better to just put yourself out there and edit later than it is to try and create a world class website/videos/blog/etc... 2 months later.
Who You Are: Something I've come to learn is that when putting yourself out there it's much better to just be yourself when creating content and advertising. I am a huge dork who loves dungeons and dragons, memes, my derpy cats, and a couple other things I'm sure. I spent a decent amount of time trying to portray myself as an elite level trainer, professional, the "wake up and do 100 push ups" kind of trainer we all see on #thegram. I've come to realize that:
A) all the people who position themselves as 24/7 fitness gurus are mostly full of shit
B) being yourself actually helps! You attract clients who appreciate you and your quirks and build better relationships.
Core Skills: As a small business you need to do two things: "Do a great job and make sure everyone knows about it." You need to be a great practitioner to have something to advertise. We've talked about the marketing already but when it comes to your skill/product you need to understand that your next sale is only as good as your last performance. Running your own business allows lots of flexibility, but everything falls on you - make sure you don't forget what made you start your business in the first place!
Subject Matter Experts: When I first started my business I thought I was going to bootstrap it and do my own accounting. Then 2 months later I realized I didn't know how to pay myself so I hired a bookkeeper who had to spend time undoing all the things I messed up. (Thanks Anita) When you are the sole producer/creator/professional in your business your biggest asset is your time. Time = money. Let's say I pay myself 10$ per hour, and an accountant charges 20$ per hour. At first glance you would assume that you're saving 10$ per hour doing this yourself. BUT - you will quickly realize it takes you 3 times as long to do something you're not familiar with and you are more likely to screw something up. Apply that logic to the rest of your business. What can I offload that will actually save me time(money) and what can I do myself?
That's it for this week! Happy to chat through business stuff with anybody who wants to!
Mylan Clairmont MSc, CSCS