Setting Goals for Your Fitness Business: Be S.M.A.R.T | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Setting Goals for Your Fitness Business: Be S.M.A.R.T

Whether you're a beginner or veteran fitness professional, setting fitness business goals is crucial to the longevity and viability of your enterprise. Use the tips below to learn how not only to be a shrewd businessperson, but also how to be S.M.A.R.T.

Schimri Yoyo is a writer for Exercise.com and educator in the Metro D.C. area who thinks in numbers but communicates in the narrative. Schimri is an avid sports fan, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, and San Francisco 49ers. In a past life, he earned personal trainer credentials and covered Villanova Men’s Basketball and Big East College Football ...

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UPDATED: Apr 12, 2021

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Get the Basics...

  • When setting fitness business goals, you should be S.M.A.R.T.
  • S.M.A.R.T goals provide boundaries and outline the necessary steps and resources required to hit certain checkpoints along the way.
  • When setting objectives for your fitness business, you should also include step-by-step instructions or processes necessary to make progress towards success

Are you old enough to remember what taking a road trip was like before everyone had GPS? It was a nightmare.

You knew where you wanted to go, but how to get there and the BEST way to get there was very difficult to navigate. That is what it is like to embark on the journey as a fitness entrepreneur without setting S.M.A.R.T Goals.

Your goals provide a purposeful and focused roadmap for your fitness business management. Without them, you are incapable of properly assessing which features of your gym are actually making a difference for your clients and generating revenue for your business.

Interested in generating revenue for your business? Fitness business management software can help! Request an Exercise.com demo today!

What Are SMART Goals?

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or Achievable), Relevant, Time-Based (or Time-Bound), and they help give you direction and intentionality in your decision-making as a fitness professional.

S.M.A.R.T goals for gyms can help owners to organize prospecting campaigns for client acquisition and improve gym attendance. They can help personal trainers to create marketing strategies to increase their billable hours. They can enable fitness professionals to build a social media following to enhance their brands and encourage client engagement and participation.

The clear and intentional structure inherent in S.M.A.R.T goals provides an easy-to-follow foundation for success in achieving the objectives you’ve set forth. Whether you have short-term goals for a fitness business or long-term goals for a gym, using the S.M.A.R.T goals framework as the template for your fitness business goals eliminates the guesswork and anxiety caused by setting goals that are too vague, poorly planned, or overly ambitious.

Why Is Goal-Setting Important for a Fitness Business?

S.M.A.R.T goals provide boundaries and outline the necessary steps and resources required to hit certain checkpoints along the way. They enable you to be more precise, efficient, and strategic in how you allocate your time, personnel, and capital to accomplish particular tasks.

As a fitness professional, you can organize your fitness business goals into three separate categories: Professional Development, Revenue, and Operational.

Professional Development Goals for Fitness Businesses

The “great” Rickie Bobbie said, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” While operating a fitness enterprise may not quite be the same zero-sum game expressed by the legend of Talladega Nights, remaining stagnant in your own personal and professional development can hinder the growth of your business.

Each year (calendar or fiscal), you should make it a point to add to your personal skillset as a professional. This year, it could be getting an additional certification you have been putting off. Next year can be the year that you attend at least two business or leadership development workshops/conferences. The following year, you can aim to be a presenter or panel guest for one of those workshops.

The point is you want to push yourself to grow and make strides professionally the same way you would push your clients to make progress physically.

Setting professional development goals for yourself and working SMART-ly towards achieving them will not only stretch you and make you a better personal trainer/gym owner, but it will also set a tremendous example of leadership for your staff to follow.

Revenue Goals for Fitness Businesses

Fitness professionals must set clear revenue goals (either monthly or annually) and implement actionable measures to generate that necessary cash flow.

Whether it’s new members added or level of membership packages sold or total point-of-sale transactions, set and monitor revenue objectives to ensure that you and your team are doing enough income-producing activities to keep up with the costs of running a fitness business.

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Implement S.M.A.R.T goals for your gym today.

Operational Goals for Fitness Businesses

These are the objectives and checkmarks needed to manage the business day-to-day. Renovating the basement to add a new weight room and yoga training studio is an example of an operational goal. Increasing monthly traffic to your custom-branded, SEO-optimized fitness website by 30 percent is another one.

Strong operational goals give you and your employees a clear target at which to aim on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis each time you walk through the doors of your fitness facility.

How to Set SMART Goals as a Personal Trainer

When setting objectives for yourself, you should also include step-by-step instructions or processes necessary to make progress towards success. S.M.A.R.T Goals can be utilized as the road markers on your journey toward the completion of your fitness business objectives.

Specific

Your goals should be targeted and unambiguous. The more well-defined and pinpointed your goal is, the more precise the route you take to get there will be. When creating for your business, be as specific as possible. When in doubt, tap into your elementary school lessons and ask the Who? What? When? Where? and Why? questions to help provide clarity and specificity to your vision:

[Note: Not all of these questions will be applicable to every goal set. They are just a framework or filter you can use to refine your goals to be more S.M.A.R.T]
  • Who is/are involved? Answering this question helps to define roles, assign responsibilities, and uphold accountability for executing the goals you’ve set.
  • What resources are needed? This question helps you to organize the tools and talents necessary to make progress towards obtaining your goals.
  • When will it take place? Depending on the nature of the goal, certain times of the day or seasons of the year will be more conducive to working towards those goals than others. Identify those times and dates and be diligent to stick to them to improve/increase the efficiency of your achievements.
  • Where will it take place? Location is not only valuable in real estate, it is also crucial in realizing your goals. For example, you can designate an area in your gym or office that is specifically used to craft gym marketing emails/newsletters. When you’re in that room or behind that designated desk, you (and everyone else around you) should know that you’re committing yourself to that particular task or goal only.
  • Why is this goal important to me? Life is hard and so is entrepreneurship. We often need healthy and helpful reminders to keep us from losing hope and direction. This question serves as both motivation and a moral compass helping to drive you towards achieving those fitness business goals and objectives most important to you.

Bad Example

“I want to be in a leadership position.”

Good Example

“By the end of next calendar year, I want to earn a promotion from shift supervisor to night-time manager of operations.”

Measurable

Whether you’re an athlete, a student, or an entrepreneur, progress monitoring is essential for ensuring accountability and implementing any adjustments necessary to arrive at the desired end.

Measurable business goals should address how many more clients you want to acquire and serve, how much income you wish to generate, and how many staff members you wish to hire and train.

With these goals, you should also assign a person (or persons) responsible for monitoring and executing these metrics and a time frame for which you expect them all to be completed.

Bad Example

“I want my new yoga class to be successful.”

Good Example

“I want to add a total of 24 new students to my yoga class next year, with a minimum average attendance of 12 students per class.”

Attainable (or Achievable)

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make your goals challenging enough to motivate you and your staff but realistic enough that it doesn’t discourage or dissuade participation.

Set yourself and your team up for success by building in little “wins” along the way towards your more challenging objectives. If the journey is too arduous or unattainable at the start, there will be little hope or enthusiasm to continue on to the final destination.

Bad Example

“I want to sign 40 new celebrity clients next year for my platinum-level personal fitness service.”

Good Example

“Over the next 12 months, I want to obtain a nutrition certification and acquire six nutrition clients.”

Relevant

Only pursue goals that are connected to your professional passions. This will prioritize your focus on those activities and events that are in alignment with the big picture vision of your career.

If you have the goal of being a keynote speaker at a fitness conference on the next calendar year, taking a couple of public speaking courses would be a complementary investment that aligns with that goal. However, if your goal is to delegate your personal training duties to others so that you free up more time to be the CEO working on expanding the business, agreeing to teach a night-time advanced plyometrics class would be counterproductive.

Bad Example

“I want to get 1,000 shares of the new dance I posted on TikTok.”

Good Example

“I want to hire an office manager and payroll accountant within the next three months so that I can free up my schedule to attend the Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning Seminar in the fall.”

Time-Based (or Time-Bound)

Giving your goals a specific time frame or deadline will ensure that there is a built-in sense of urgency and accountability for prerequisite tasks to be completed along the way.

Divide larger tasks into short-term goals for your fitness business by chunking them together with regular short-term checkpoints. Use those smaller checkpoints to ensure that adequate progress is being made along the way. If not, you can catch the problems ahead of time and make necessary adjustments before it’s too late.

Bad Example

“I want to add 20 new personal training clients.”

Good Example

“By the end of September, I want to add 20 new personal training clients.”

Setting realistic goals will guide you in the right direction and keep you motivated no matter how hard things get.

The Bottom Line

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals for your fitness business can help you move forward in your career and take your business to the next level. They help you stay on track so that every day you can stay the course you’ve plotted to navigate to your desired destination.

While reaching fitness business goals and objectives can be challenging, using S.M.A.R.T goals as a foundation can organize your process and provide the infrastructure you need to get started.

Something that can help you reach those goals is a reliable gym management software platform. Schedule a demo of Exercise.com gym management software today to learn more.

Learn more about Exercise.com Fitness Business Management Software.

Schedule your demo today.