Issue Date: January 2010 Web Features, Posted On: 1/20/2010

Get Help!
By Ernie Schramayr

Entrepreneurs, by nature, are very independent. Typically, they come up with ideas, turn them into concepts and then turn those concepts into money. In essence, they create business. They are the lions of the business world, and while they lead, others follow.

By nature, they like control and power. In measured doses, this is a very good thing. In abundance, it can be very damaging.

It takes a certain personality to be able to manage the risks that go along with developing a business from a simple idea. At some point, entrepreneurs get comfortable with the idea that they have to do everything themselves if they want to survive. This may be a reality at some point, but it is a bad idea to hold on to if you are hoping to really thrive and prosper.

In an earlier article, I wrote about the need to manage resources better and to avoid becoming overly complicated in your business structure (read>>). I related how getting too far from my core values had cost me financially and had come close to killing my business. The message was that you should grow, but do it slowly and not frivolously. In my case, I had gone from delegating to dumping.

In this article, I want to communicate the fact that you absolutely do need help to grow your business and I want to describe what form that help should come in.

To make things as simple as possible, take a look at what a personal training business really does. It finds clients to train. It trains clients. It collects money for training clients. Simple. There is nothing else. As you transition from being a personal trainer to becoming a personal training business, you will be faced with the need to find help at some point. I would suggest looking at these three areas to figure out just where the help should come from.

My suggestion would be to look first at finding another trainer who could handle some of the clients that you currently work with or, more likely, new clients that come your way. As you grow, your time working hands-on with clients should be less and should eventually be transitioned to your new “apprentice.”

The time that you formerly spent training clients could now be used to reach out to new markets and to find more business for your apprentice and for yourself.

While establishing yourself as the face of the organization, you could start doing research to find a bookkeeper with experience in managing small businesses to handle basic administrative duties.

As the training demands on your business increase and you start to explore new programs and services as well as complimentary profit centers, it would be time to look for help in marketing your services, particularly if you lack the skills needed for public speaking and presenting.

So to keep things exceedingly simple, get help in these three areas and in this order:

  1. Find a trainer to mentor to become your apprentice.
  2. Hire someone to collect money and balance books.
  3. Add a creative person to your team to bring in new business to finance growth and expansion.

As an entrepreneur, it might be difficult for you to give up any control in any of these areas, but to grow and prosper, it is essential.

Ernie Schramayr is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of All Canadian Fitness, a private training studio in Hamilton, Ontario (www.allcanadianfitness.com).

Topic: Entrepreneur Web Column

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