Do’s & Don’ts of Running Your Own Bootcamp

Do's & Don't of Running A Bootcamp + Free Webinar!

My photo from when I worked at Inner Strength Bootcamp ^

You may be thinking of starting your own bootcamp (or other form of registered program) or you may be in the midst of one already. Either way, here are some best practices to think about in order to make the most out of your business:

First, the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t stay outside forever.
    Unless you live in a perfect climate, have a plan to move inside eventually. The weather will eventually get cold in the winter (unless you live in San Diego), bugs will be out in the summer, people will want showers before they go to work, etc. Outside is a great way to launch your business and keep starting costs low, but have a plan to eventually move in. You can still head outside on nice days as a treat!
  2. Don’t get aggressively territorial.
    You’re not the first person in the world to come up with the idea of running a bootcamp in a park. Try to find a space that somebody isn’t already in (don’t be a jerk and set up next to one that’s already going). If somebody encroaches on your space or you have an issue with another professional, sit down and have an adult conversation. Remember: There’s enough business to go around.
  3. Don’t be such a hard-ass that people get injured/sick.
    The days of “no pain, no gain” are over. If you’re in this business to help people, they should be getting better, not worse. Injuring clients is awful and shows an extreme lack of knowledge and professionalism. Also, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot – negative press travels faster than positive.
  4. Don’t make a mess of the scenery if you’re in a park.
    It’s great to use a beautiful outdoor space for your workouts, but trampling on flowers isn’t cool. Neither is ruining the grass or leaving trash in the park. Respect the land you’re on as well as the other people that may be around utilizing the area.
  5. Don’t try to be everything.
    Pick a focus/niche and stick with it. You don’t have to be bootcamp, and cycling, and tai chi, and pilates.

And now for the Do’s:

 

  1. Cover your bases.
    If you want to be taken seriously, you need to take your business seriously. You’d better act like a professional. Have a waiver no matter what. If you’re outside in the park, make sure you have the proper permits to operate a business on public/private land. If you’re inside, check the floors/walls to make sure slamming med balls or sand bags isn’t going to damage anything (I made that mistake once). And make sure you’re not disturbing anybody nearby. Whether you’re indoors or out, nearby people or businesses don’t want to hear you. Most people go to the park or beach to chill. Neighboring tenants don’t want to hear your yelling and playlist while they’re trying to conduct meetings during business hours. Think about noise when choosing your location.
  2. Think outside the box. 
    There are only so many bench dips, step ups, squat jumps, and push-ups people can do before they get bored. Be creative with your programming.
  3. Keep in mind a certain comfort level for your peeps.
    I’m not saying people are going to be super high maintenance, but nearby bathrooms are a good idea, well-lit areas with ample parking make people feel safe, and nobody wants a rash from having to lie on chemically treated grass.
  4. Have a back-up plan. You’ll eventually need one. 
    A: If your bootcamp is outside and it rains, have a nearby shelter or indoor location ready to go… as well as a way to communicate the plan to all your clients ASAP.
    B: If there’s bad weather (e.g. a snow day for everybody’s kids) or an instructor has an emergency and you need to cancel class altogether, what will you do? How will you notify your peeps? Make sure they know what to do and how to get this information at the last minute.

 

Want More Info?

I’ve been there! I’ve worked for several awesome bootcamp companies and I ran my own successful bootcamp for years. I’m sharing some of what I learned in this free webinar with some helpful information about running your bootcamp!

Sign Up To Watch It Here:

Share Button

My Favorite Business/Entrepreneur Podcasts

image via

If you’re running a business, or thinking of starting one, you’re likely constantly looking for guidance. Whether it’s advice on how to get started or proven ways to enhance performance, there are loads of “business gurus” offering their help. Podcasts have become my favorite resource lately because many experts have started their own shows. Also, they’re efficient AF. I can listen on my run, while walking my dog, on my commute, or while I’m making breakfast in the morning. Here are the ones I’ve found most helpful and to-the-point lately: [Read more…]

Share Button

Helpful Business Resources {Books, Podcasts, & Links}

large-1via

While my degree in Exercise Science certainly helped me establish myself as a fitness pro, it lacked in business info that would help me as a self-employed fitness pro. In college, classes like marketing, management and public speaking were on my agenda to take, but I’ll be honest, I took these intro classes as night classes so I’d only have to go once a week (15 times per semester). And since you could technically miss 2 classes, I only really had to attend 13 of them – college logic that’s been biting me in the ass ever since.  Over the years of seeking out business content on my own, my colleagues have suggested many helpful resources to check out. While these don’t in any way take the place of an actual business degree or course, here are some of the books, podcasts, and TED talks that have helped me along the way:  [Read more…]

Share Button

Best Practices for the Self-Employed (Or just me…)

If you are self-employed, you are well aware of the pros and cons:
Pros: you’re in charge, you make your own hours,
call your own shots, and your boss is the best boss in the entire world.
Cons: you’re constantly working, you pay your own insurance,
 you owe taxes, you don’t get paid vacation,
and your paycheck varies depending on how much business you bring in.
I love running my own show, but I’m a Type B personality
and probably the last person that should be running a business.

I hadn’t planned on being self-employed, that’s just how it worked out. I realized I liked it way better than being “held hostage” by a company/boss. I also realized, though, that I’d much rather play than work. So without an actual boss to answer to, sometimes I’ve gotta give myself a pep talk and a swift kick in the arse to be productive. Here are some of the things that help me stay on track:

Contribute to Business, Taxes, Savings, and Retirement FIRST. 
I am aware that is this regular business practice and common knowledge, but I majored in Exercise Science, not Business, Accounting, or Economics. I was slow on the uptake. This lesson was learned after my first really good year. I had made a lot of money, saved a lot for myself, then got blindsided by a HUGE tax bill. I was so bummed to see everything I’d put aside go straight to the IRS. When you run your own business, you get paid last. After that moment I had to switch things up. Money comes in, %30 goes straight into the tax savings account. Then I make sure I have everything I need to keep my business running smoothly: equipment for my bootcamp/clients, marketing materials, upkeep on my certifications/conferences/liability insurance, etc. Then other percentages go into my savings and retirement accounts. THEN I see what’s leftover. And that’s what I make for the month… Sometimes it’s a great month. Sometimes it’s not. But every month is in the black, not the red. So that’s always a good thing.

Do my business expenses the first week of every month, while I’m paying bills.

Business taxes used to drive me crazy… mostly because I did them once a year; on April 14th. I’ve since changed my ways, hired a CPA and keep really good records. Since I pay all my bills the first week of every month, I decided that I would also use that time to go ahead and record my expenses from the previous month. I can get all my spreadsheet ish done at one time (and usually in just half an hour or so), file the receipts away,  and not have to worry about it for a few more weeks. This is making tax time far less stressful!

Tackle the biggest obstacles first; before the end of the day Tuesday.

Sometimes, this just isn’t possible, but most of the time it is. So I put my head down and make it happen. By getting the most dreaded items checked off my to-do list first, the rest of the week seems far less daunting. When I’m really feelin’ good I go ahead and start the next week’s work early. It makes everything easier in the end.

Have all/most of my week’s work done by Friday morning. 
Again, this doesn’t alway happen, but it’s something I strive for. I want my weekend to be fun, not stressful. Since most of my weekends are working ones spent traveling out of town for conferences and education courses, I get home most Sunday nights around 11pm or later. NO time for doing things that need to be done by 6am, Monday morning.
Clean out my inbox every Wednesday and Friday. 

Some weeks this is impossible, but most it’s not. I just have to DO IT. Doing this first on Wednesday ensures that I respond to anybody I missed at the beginning of the week and my inbox doesn’t get out of control. Doing it again on Friday ties up any loose ends before the weekend starts. Sometimes I dread answering emails and piles of questions, but I love knowing that it’s done and that I’ve responded. I hate when I’ve written somebody and they take more than a few days to respond, so trying to golden rule that ish!
 

Any best practices you guys live by?

For Best Practices for the Self-Employed Part II: Balance, click here

Share Button