Passion should be at the heart of any new fitness venture – but to ensure it stays alive and strong, it also needs a smart business plan pumping through its veins. Alan Manly looks at five key considerations.
The excitement has passed, the business plan is looking as good as it’s likely to be, and the reality is dawning that even with the wished-for amount of investment, there will still be a niggling feeling that the plan could do with a little more work. Specifically, the part about profitability.
Addressing this hidden reality is something that all businesses must sooner or later face: when will the idea outlined in the business plan be profitable?
This five-step checklist is a tried and tested tool for helping to determine when – and if – a business idea will be profitable.
Understanding this reality is crucial for any prospective business owner or investor.
Investopedia defines a business as “an organisation or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities… the term ‘business’ also refers to the organised efforts and activities of individuals to produce and sell goods and services for profit”.
Conversely, a business is not a hobby or an activity to pass the time – even if that’s how the idea started. Keep this definition in mind, and let it guide your decision-making.
Many people suggest that having formulated their great new idea, a would-be entrepreneur should start drafting a business plan. Doing so, they say, will assist with defining the idea and exploring market potential.
But what exactly is a business plan, and what should it cover?
Again, understanding the definition offers useful insights into how to proceed.
A business plan, as defined by Your Dictionary, is “a comprehensive plan written by a potential or current small-business owner who is attempting to obtain venture capital financing, a bank loan, or other financing. The business plan is a blueprint for how the company intends to perform”.
It continues: “It must spell out the company’s product or service, give a synopsis of its history, explain how the company is superior to its competition, and outline how it intends to be successful in its target market. Sales projections must be included in the business plan, along with financial performance statistics and future projections”.
So, if your plan doesn’t include all of these aspects, it may technically not be a business plan at all.
Investors are ruthless when it comes to reviewing business plans. And you should be too with your own.
Think like an investor, along the lines of the famed Gerry Maguire quote “Show me the money!” (which, it’s worth noting, was based on the real person – successful sports agent Leigh Steinberg – who uttered that well-known line well before the movie made it legendary).
Don’t leave any doubt about where the money is coming from, or when.
When it comes to “show me the money”, the real answer for a start-up comes down to cash flow. Cash will only ever flow one of two directions: in or out. In is good, out is necessary.
The goal is to ensure the cash coming in is greater than the cash going out. Sounds simple enough, but in practice, the reasons/excuses for more cash going out always seem to far outnumber the methods of getting cash in.
This is where an entrepreneur’s real skills are honed. Guarding cash is not just good business practice, it’s vital. The most ruthless or most likely to succeed entrepreneurs understand this.
Business always involves an element of luck. But successful entrepreneurs know, or learn how, to make their own luck. Famed Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn is quoted as saying “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.
Creating luck isn’t about having blind faith though. It’s about being realistic.
As Sir Richard Branson noted, “business opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming”. If your numbers simply don’t add up, they could be telling you something: that you may need to hop off this bus and wait for the next one.
Alan Manly OAM
Alan is the CEO of Universal Business School Sydney (UBSS) and author of The Unlikely Entrepreneur. To find out more, visit ubss.edu.au.
Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness or Cert III/cert 3 is mentioned, it refers to SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.
Important Information: As of 9th November 2021 SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness have been replaced by SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. A transition period applies to enable currently enrolled students to fulfil their study goals and complete their qualification. The transition period concludes on 8th November 2022. If you have not completed all the requirements by this date you will be transitioned and enrolled into the replacement qualification SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness and SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. View the SIS40221 Master Trainer Program Flyer here. View the SIS30321 Certificate III – Fitness Coach Flyer here.