If you haven’t yet ventured into the lucrative and gratifying world of corporate fitness, ask yourself why. It’s a tremendous opportunity for growing your business, especially when statistics show that companies such as Coca-Cola saved more than $500 per employee every year by implementing corporate wellness programs into their work place.
Personal trainers and fitness leaders can capitalize on corporate fitness, using it as a ticket to wealth while changing people’s lives for the better.
The two largest hurdles keeping personal trainers and fitness managers from entering the corporate fitness world are fear and doubt—fear of the unknown (what is a corporate wellness program? How will I create one for corporate fitness?) and doubt (how do I get started in the corporate fitness world and become successful?). But I can assure you that it can work for you. And you have the tools to make it work.
During the past 20 years, I have had success implementing corporate fitness programs at places such as the new World Trade’s Freedom Tower in New York City, MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and the New York City 2nd Avenue Subway Line. In each instance, because of the improvement in employee health resulting from the corporate wellness plans, everyone benefited. Employees realized improved health and stamina and were able to perform their duties competently and with little if any time off. The companies benefited because of good employee production. Major projects were completed as scheduled with minimal sick leave, time off or fatigue factors.
Here are 10 tips about how to get started in corporate wellness and grow your business:
1. Prepare in advance. In order to be known as the corporate trainer, you must brand yourself prior to venturing into the wild. Create a separate page on your website for corporate fitness, (Make sure you have a website. If you don’t, utilize free sites such as WIX or Yola to build a simple yet professional site for yourself to showcase your talents and credentials.)
2. Do your homework. Before you approach a company about a wellness program, do some research first. Find out what type of company you will be contacting, the types of employees who work there, and the workplace environment. That way, you will have a basic understanding of what the business and its employees do so you can gather the information relative to that company for your presentation to them. Statistics will help build value in your programs. The keys to creating your plan are personalization, adaptability and finding the need of the company/individual so you can fulfill it.
3. Set realistic goals. Some people like to go from 0 to 100 in one quick try. I’m all for that, but that isn’t realistic. Set yourself up for success instead of failure. Be clear about what you wish to accomplish and focus on one goal at a time. For example, I shoot for 50 calls per week to new companies and try to set five new appointments minimum to present in person. It’s a good goal. Sometimes, I make it; sometimes, I don’t, but it is a realistic goal. So remember to set realistic goals.
4. Be persistent. You may not always get through the door on your first try or make contact on your first call. Stop by to say hi many times if possible, definitely more than once. Bombard their social media with tips, questions and comments to get noticed. Doing this reaps benefits as you maintain contact without being pushy. Eventually, they will respond.
5. Pass the gatekeeper. Use social media channels and online networking sites such as LinkedIn to leverage your networks’ connections and make contacts to get your foot in the door of a new company.
6. Always give before you get. Educate your prospects so they can make well-informed decisions about their health, the health of their employees and/or your services. A 15-30 minute seminar/workshop is a great icebreaker to get your foot in the door of most companies and helps them realize the value you can bring to the table with a customized wellness program.
7. Make it fun. Explore practical ways to create accountability among people working together by incorporating games, rewards, team-building exercises, and fun into your program/workout. Have a big “bag of tools” when it comes to creativity, and keep in mind the word “custom” when creating programs.
8. Create a niche. Us your strengths when creating a corporate wellness program. Relate the program to the needs of the company/individual. Keep it short, sweet and exciting. Add music if that’s your thing or maybe use props. This is where your creativity as a trainer can help you to become unique and give you the edge on the corporate fitness playing field. For example, I use my Stretch and Flex 12-Minute Program as my niche to introduce fitness into the workplace. It has created many opportunities for group classes, private training, seminars and more. If you create your niche, it will likewise open doors for you.
9. Provide ongoing support. Most people are motivated when you’re there and the energy is at its highest, but what happens days or weeks later when you’re gone? Offer ongoing weekly support in the form of newsletters and daily or weekly workouts on your social media channels and website. Create an app similar to mine (FitnessLane.com), where people can log on anytime and stay motivated with new or old workouts. You can provide these services for free or charge for them depending on your arrangement with the company/individuals.
10. Reward yourself. For every small victory from making a new contact to signing a new corporate deal, you should celebrate your success. Give yourself a high-five, put a pin up on the board, do some burpees, or run a few miles—whatever drives you and keeps your motivation and momentum going so you can grow your business.
Jon Douglas Gallo is an industry veteran with a background that includes more than 20 years in sales, business development, management, coaching and leadership. As a business owner and general manager, he has earned a reputation for building cohesive teams that consistently generate outstanding results. Gallo's strengths include a foundation in industry best practices and professional ethics. He is noted for his motivational personality with an informed and direct speaking style. Gallo is co-founder of FitnessLane.com, a free, 24/7 online fitness channel with a companion mobile app, designed to help people get fit and stay fit. He has been published in The New York Post, Women’s Day, Girls’ Life, Leading Edge, Jacqueline Luxe, Ever Beautiful, and he has authored a new book, The Ultimate Guide to Joining a Gym. As a living health advocate, Gallo maintains a healthy lifestyle and has a passion for optimal health. He can be reached at [email protected].