One of the best and fastest ways to grow your business as a Bodies Coach is to grow your group sessions. After all group sessions are without question the most reliable, stable, and beneficial way to develop a long-term, sustainable training practice.
Private training is great in the sense that you can make sufficient money by simply acquiring one client per session, but it is exactly that same reason that makes it inherently unstable and inconsistent. People take vacations. People get sick. People have financial issues, etc. If your entire practice is based on private sessions, your business can take big turns for the worst at virtually anytime, and with very little warning. Building your training practice entirely on privates can be financially rewarding, but it's a less stable and secure way of building a solid practice over the long haul.
With that said, please know that private lessons help play an important part in building a solid practice, but it should not be the exclusive type of session you strive to acquire. Ideally you want to build your core practice around group sessions and bring in privates to augment the groups. By “group sessions”, I mean a session conducted with two or more people. Small groups are great if you have four people in a program that are all paying you $20/each, and your normal private session rate is $60/hour. You're making $20 more per session, and if just one of those four people cancels, you're making the same amount of money as if you were doing a private session. If everybody shows, you make even more money. Group sessions are just good business.
Group sessions do take longer typically to setup and grow to the ultimate number of participants you want. Once there, however, it can be extremely lucrative if you are great at the following steps:
1. Who Is Your Target Client? This is an often-overlooked part of the sales and marketing process, and arguably the most important. In today's world with obesity and overweight rampant in several different US population segments, you can very easily target niche markets and do extremely well. Some examples are the senior market, the youth market, the lower back pain market, the knee issue market, the hypertension market, or the high cholesterol market, etc.
What market demographics do the health clubs typically do very poorly with? Curves became the fastest growing franchise in history by targeting the plus size women’s market. Women who were too self-conscious to go to a health club flocked to Curves. These are not small markets either. They are incredibly big markets that are also tremendously underserved. This is what you should ultimately be looking for from a financial standpoint. With that said, you also must be passionate about serving this particular group. Which groups are you most passionate about serving? If you can find a strong market segment that you also have genuine passion to aid, you have a recipe for financial and emotional satisfaction.
Think about who your target market is first. Think about the area closest to your home and about the particular communities there, and whether or not their interests are being well-served currently.
2. Design Your Program To Meet Your Target Market Needs Now that you have selected one or more target markets to train, you need to design a program that meets their needs really well. This doesn't just mean creating one workout. This means developing a series or a system for improving your target markets’ health in the long term. Figure out the details of every session. Know what you're going to do every step of the way.
This doesn’t just mean design a fitness course curriculum. It also means think about how and where you are going to teach it too. Is it a program that you're going to be able to bring enough tools and equipment to service the entire group? Is it a program that you're going to require your participants to buy equipment to participate? Can participants bring their equipment easily to each session? If participants have to provide their own equipment, is this a large barrier to entry? Or are you going to teach this program at a facility that already allows you access to the equipment needed to run a very effective program long-term? These are all great questions that require your thought and attention. A strong program design is critical to your success. You want to be reasonable, practical, and not overburdensome to your prospective clients.
3. Consider The Economics How many people can you reasonably teach in one session? You must be candid, and practical about your analysis. How many people can you reasonably teach in a session in terms of the capacity of the space you're thinking about using, your amount of equipment needed in order to service everyone, as well as how many people you can effectively teach where each and every client has a really positive experience? What class capacity will the market reasonably bear? You need to reflect on everything that will ultimately impact the number of clients that you can reasonably have in each session.
For example, you decide that six people is the maximum number of people that you really should have in each session. You also decide that the most reasonable session duration is 60 minutes. A $20 per session price also seems reasonable for your demographics. Accordingly, each session has a maximum revenue generation potential of $120.
Great. Right? Not so fast perhaps. The math just starts here.
Do you need to use somebody else's space? How much money is that space going to cost you? If it's going to cost you a full 30% of your session rate, then you have to take that into consideration. If that's the case, the most you will make per session is $60 per session when your factor in both Bodies 20% cut and Host’s 30% share. Are you OK with making a maximum of $60 per session? If not, there's something wrong with your business model. Because the numbers just don't work.
Perhaps you should consider finding some way of teaching this program with more than six participants. Then you can potentially charge less which ultimately will lead you to a much bigger potential market.
For example, you figured out a way to teach this program to 15 to 20 clients per session. You decide to reduce your price down to $10 per session knowing that you will likely have three to four times the amount of people that are financially able to be long-term participants in your program. Plus, if two or three people each session don't show up, it's a much smaller percentage of uncollected revenue that you're losing. It’s also a lot lower risk, not to mention that you can easily take reservations and book classes where you're guaranteed the maximum revenue potential every class.
Let’s also do the math. If you're able to draw just 15 people on average to each session, at $10 per participant you're making $150 per session, and your share would therefore be $75 per session. As I mentioned earlier, you're also doing it with less risk and greater stability, not to mention the potential is greatly increased in terms of bringing in additional private lessons and guest referrals.
Let's not forget that if you were able to get 20 participants per session, you're now making $100 per session.
My point is not to advocate larger session sizes, although that often results in a much better return on investment for Coaches. My goal is to have you truly analyze what's the best economics for setting up a session so that you ultimately achieve the financial success you want. You would be surprised how many business owners really do not look and analyze what they're doing economically during the setup or design phase and ultimately fail as a result.
Here's some of the things to think about... How many people can I reasonably get in my session? How much can I reasonably charge to get maximum capacity at each one of my sessions? Think about all the other things like where am I going to teach this to get the capacity I'm looking for? How are participants going to get equipment? What equipment do participants need to put on a great program? And above all else... Be extremely realistic. Don't "blue sky" yourself.
4. Find A Great Location Secure the Location that you're going to teach your program.
More to come.