Why Your Business Could Be In Danger

Think you have the next big business idea? Want to own your own business so you can make a lot of money? Maybe you have a business already and although you’re struggling to make ends meet, you don’t want to give up on your dream. In the video below I will give you three steps to make sure you’re headed in the right direction and making the most of what you offer:

Here are the steps to getting your business out of danger:

Get Clear It’s SO important to know what you want in your business. How many hours do you see yourself working? How much money do you want to make? You get the picture. Plus, it’s even MORE important to know what you want in your life. If you want family to be numero uno, having a big Pilates empire might not be the best fit for you. Doing this Painted Picture exercise will help you know where you want to be.

Find Your Ideal Client Knowing who you’re trying to reach with your business is one of THE most important exercises you can do! Start with the clients or customers you LOVE. What do they have in common? Then create a customer of your dreams. Figure out where he/she lives. How much money do they make? What do they like to eat, read, listen to, watch? Get as specific as possible. Then, delve deeper and figure out what their fears are and how your product or service can help solve their problems.

Do Research Once you have that ideal client in mind, go out and find them! They might already be patronizing your business, or you may have to head out to where they hang to find them. Once they’re in your sights…start asking the questions. What would they LOVE your product or service to do for them? What would they pay for that? What are their greatest struggles, hopes, dreams, desires? This is valuable info you can use in your marketing, website copy, and offerings.

SO…if you like this video, like it! Share it with your friends and on FB, Twitter, and the like. Leave a comment below and let us know any mistakes you might have made when starting your business- it could really help someone else not do the same thing.

Need more help getting clear and growing your business? Book your FREE half hour session with me today!

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The Secret To Having THE Life and Business You Want

What is the picture of your future? Have you projected where you want to be in 6 months, a year, or even three years? Does the thought of this make you puke a little??? Let me put it this way- would you hike an unknown trail without a flash light? Hell no! So why are you trying to run your business while you’re in the dark? The key to being more productive, accomplished, successful, and affluent is creating the blueprint of your dreams. Once you have your plan you’ll know what projects to put your precious time into and can strategically plan out the steps to create the life and business you really want. Here’s how:

Sit down, either with your favorite journal or in front of your computer. Lean out into the future three years. Why three years? Well, mostly because one year will fly by before you can blink a mascara-ed eye, and five years will seem like an eternity and you won’t be realistic.

Get Clear. Be very specific with what you want and cover all areas of your biz and your life: Revenue, profit, staff, how many hours a week you want work, where you will live/work, what you want the state of your body to be, how you want your relationships to work, personal finances, etc.

Don’t get hung up on the details. This is a living document which means it will change and grow. Just get a first draft down on paper and then edit yourself later. As you start to identify your passions and wants you’ll find somethings won’t make the list.

Next, using the picture of where you wanna be, take up another sheet of your journal. Open a new doc. Brainstorm all the things you want to accomplish just this year. Make sure your list has both professional and personal goals. I want to be 10,000 richer. I want to have 50 new clients. I want to have twins. You get the idea.

Now, take a black sharpie and circle 10 things you really want to do. Voila! Here’s your goals! Clarity is power. You have the power to be you want to be.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill

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Want more tips and help getting clear on where you’re going in life and in business? Join us live and in person, Friday January 17th 1-3pm at FORM Pilates USQ. First celebrity Pilates instructor, Lynda Lippin will be spilling the beans on how to get high profile clients and work abroad. Next, I’ll guide you through my process of getting more done and answer your most burning biz-nass questions. Get more info and reserve your spot today here!

 

How to Survive the Downtime Blues

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You know it. You were taught it. You have experience in what correct Pilates posture is and how to keep yourself upright even in the most trying of times. This is the mark of a true Pilates instructor, but who trained you to know how to keep your business upright when it things start to slump? Like many other industries, the Pilates business has it’s peak and off seasons. The summer holiday hits and suddenly you find even your most loyal clients will have their eyes focused on vacation and their tan lines, rather than their powerhouses. So, what’s a dedicated instructor to do when her pocket book has tumbleweeds and she’s searching in the couch cushions for change? Plan baby, plan.

I’m a huge proponent of being in the moment, but if you only focus on your marketing and cash flow in the moment, you’ll be playing a nasty game of catch up during your busy times just to keep your business afloat. It’s time to be proactive and not reactive and turn your summer blues into summertime bliss…here’s how:

Get Analytical with it. Keeping track of how your business is doing- which month’s are the busiest or slowest, which packages sell better, etc. This is invaluable info. You’ll need to know as much as you can to make smart decisions on how to bump up your sales during the sluggish times. MindBody software has reports built in. If you use Quickbooks to keep track of your books, they have reports you can draw up as well, or maybe you’re just starting out and doing things the old school way. Either way- create a spreadsheet (either on your computer or paper). List the months, your sales, what you sold, and who to. This way you can see how things ebb and flow during the year and what offerings are selling and which aren’t.

Draw up a marketing blueprint. Once you have all the data it’s time to plan. We’re halfway through the year, so this downtime is a great to make your marketing blueprint for your second part of 2014. Take the data you collected and then figure out which months you need to up your regular marketing practices. The key here is to have a plan in place before it’s dead in the studio. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah are  almost upon us and you don’t want to be singing the holiday blues too. Plan for the next slump now, waiting will be too late.

Get your juices flowing. Ok, creative time here. I encourage you to think outside of the box. Yes, giving a percentage off your packages is an idea, it’s just not a very good one. During the holidays everyone is offering sale prices and most likely your clients are becoming immune to the sight of them. Maybe it’s time to offer a “stay-in-shape” plan that’s 6 weeks of videos or lessons to help them from getting puffy from all those cookies. Or maybe you can offer a bonus if they buy a particular big package before  the end of the year which will boost your December bottom line. Do you have products? Maybe a holiday gift guide would be a nice reminder that you offer more than just sessions. I always come up with awesome ideas in the shower or on the reformer. Get moving and see what comes up. And one more thing- I highly recommend NOT reducing your prices or offering a big discount. This is the lazy way to market. How can you add more VALUE to your offerings and keep the dollars where they belong- with you.

Get Help. No woman is an island, especially not you. Hire out what you’re not good at. Maybe looking over numbers makes your eyes cross, or you aren’t very interested/skilled at creating killer graphics. Whatever the thing is that you hate, it’s most likely because you aren’t very good at it. Instead of wasting valuable teaching time trying to make your weakness your strength, why not just hire an expert to do it? In business, we call this outsourcing and it works. Yes, it will cost you a little cash on the front end but remember we’re making plans to boost your sales and you have to spend a little to make a little.

My challenge for you is to implement some of these techniques NOW, so don’t wait. Collect the numbers, pull out your calendar, do some daydreaming and leave your comments below. Maybe what you’ve done will inspire others. This is the time to make the most of 2015, the ball is in your hands.

Need a little more help getting yourself ready for the New Year? Sign up for Business Coaching with Pilates studio owner and Biznass Coach, Lindsay Lopez today!

If you’re a Pilates instructor in the NYC area and are looking to grow your business, come and join the first Pilates Cooperative, FORM Pilates. For more info click here!

Learn how to build the business of your dreams! Sign up for FREE tips and tricks below…

Make a Sale Less Sleazy

The other night I was going through my Netflix searching for a movie to watch and came across “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The infamous American drama penned by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Mamet. The film depicts two days in the life of four real estate salesmen and the life of high pressure sales. About 90 minutes later, I sat open mouthed on my couch, ruminating on the master class in drama I had witnessed. What really struck me was how true it was to real life. Just the week before, I had dealt with not one, but two of these slippery salespeople who wielded their Jedi mind tricks. It left me thinking, “there has to be a better (insert classier, more authentic, or maybe honorable here) way to do business and still keep your conscience clear,” but how?

In our business as Pilates instructors, unlike the sales team of Glengarry, we rarely receive training on how to convert a first time student into a life-long practitioner. Depending on if you work in a private studio, in the client’s home, or for a big gym, you might have more pressure to close that sale but close the sale you must. I don’t know about you, but I break into a cold sweat just thinking about cold calling or pressuring someone into plunking hundreds of dollars worth of Pilates onto their credit card. Nevertheless, we all need to put food in our mouth, clothes on our back, and maybe pay the occasional bill or two. Below are my do’s and don’t’s of making a successful sale less slimy and more smooth:

Do let people know what you have to offer. Nothing sleazy or underhanded here; just the facts. I teach Pilates, period. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even know what you do…

Don’t bombard your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks with sales-y posts. Think of social media as the dating period. Would you have a second date if your blind date asked you to get married right away? It takes time for prospects to get to know you and trust you before they buy.

Do give away high value for free. That’s right, be willing to give some of what you got for free. It says to your prospects, “You like this awesome stuff I’m giving away? Uh huh, there’s much more where that came from!” Get your free stuff out to the world by writing informative articles, giving potential clients a comp session, or making free YouTube videos strutting your stuff. Once they see what amazing content you are offering for free, they won’t be able to wait to see what your paid programs are like! The general rule is, free, free, fee.

Don’t try and sell anything that you wouldn’t buy. Authenticity is key here. Let your zeal  and excitement for what you do shine through. Just a little natural emotion when you share about the benefits of a Pilates practice, the advantages of learning it in a professional studio, or the value of multiple sessions a week- can make the sale alone. Passion is contagious and yours will be IF it’s real.

Do use call to actions in your marketing materials and blogs. A call to action is just a simple phrase or link for someone to take action after reading something you’ve put out in the market-o-sphere. For example, you’ve just written a great blog post about the history of Pilates and Joe Pilates himself. At the bottom of your article you could add something like, “If you’re interested in experiencing the work of this amazing man for yourself click here and book a free intro session with me today!” Maybe, it’s not even a sales call to action but rather one to further engage with your ideal customer. If you post something on Facebook about getting your weekly Pilates workout in, ask people to comment below and leave examples of what exercises they found challenging. This leaves a perfect opportunity to interact and continue to build your relationship  with your followers and give away free advice.

Want to learn more about being authentic in your marketing? Lindsay is sharing her tips and tricks at this month’s Biznass Social May 30th in NYC. Click here for details and to register.

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