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Business

Build It and They Will Come

By | Business

By Jeff Tiessen, ParaSport® Ontario Executive Director and 3-time Paralympian

First, who are “they”? Well, in this case “they” are potential clients with disabilities for your fitness facility. Build “what” you might be quizzing next? Well, that depends. It could be one of two things, or both. Both would be best actually… particularly if we’re talking about them coming.

If “it” is accessible space – as in ramps and railings ­– that you’re constructing for customers with disabilities, they might come. For some it’s necessary, for many it isn’t. No denying it, someone who uses a wheelchair for mobility needs barrier-free access to your gym, or your pool and your changerooms of course. I’m a double arm amputee, so stairs aren’t an issue for me (lever door handles inside your facility over round ones would be a treat for me, but not a deal-breaker…. I’ll manage, always have).

If “it” is head space – as in attitudes and education ­– that you’ve imparted on your staff with respect to simple and basic sensitivities and sensibilities toward folks with a disability, then there’s even a better chance they’ll come. Put accessible space and head space together, and you’ve got it covered for us… we’re even more likely to come!

As one of the members of our 1,000 Years of ParaSport® Advisory Team succinctly observed: “Inclusion is only partially about design and mostly about desire.” Think about it this way… people with disabilities are adapting to the world we live in every day, at work, at school, at home, and at play. We’ve got this measure of life covered, for the most part anyway! And we’ll figure it out in your gym too, with the help, knowledge and experience of your professionals of course. Give us someone to ask who’s comfortable with helping, and ready to help us adapt to your environment and help your environment adapt to us. With that arrangement, why wouldn’t we come?

Fitness instructors, trainers, facility managers and owners know – probably as well or better than most – about the importance of respecting, accommodating and celebrating individuality and physical differences. Fitness professionals understand about the wide-ranging variance in goals, milestones, motivation and ability among people, your clients most specifically.

And so it is the same for the community of people with disabilities… from the weeknight weight-loss-inspired bunch, to the weekend wheelchair sport warriors, to the extreme and high-performance athletes, regardless of which disability tag we wear – amputee, blind, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, and the rest.

Roll out the “Welcome Mat.” Invite us. Show us what you’ve got for us. Help us figure out how it’ll work for us. That’s what’s most important. That’s all. We’ll come. Maybe not all 1.8 million of us across Ontario, but that might be a little much for starters anyway!

P.S. Need some help with that? ParaSport Ontario is here to assist and inform activity leaders, fitness professionals and facilities whenever you need it. With 40 years of experience as an organization, a thousand more in our Advisory Team and legions of athletes and activity enthusiasts whom we serve across the province, we’ve got answers, solutions and resources for you. And what’s more, we want to learn from you too… your experiences and solutions. Visit www.parasportontario.ca or call 416-426-7187.

Email Marketing 101: Increase your business with emails (Part 1)

By | Business

Running a fitness business takes a lot of work – whether you’re a boutique gym owner or train clients online. Digital marketing is a great way to help your business thrive, get new customers, build connections and inspire your current and potential customers.

Specifically, one of the best (and low-cost) ways to reach your audience is through email marketing.

Done right, you will see your fitness business take off.

WHY SEND EMAILS?

Establish your business goals first and align your email strategy accordingly.

Some potential email goals are:

Creating brand awareness – If your business is new, you might want to start an email journey by building awareness of your brand.

Generating leads – If you have a great lead magnet, emails are a good way to attract potential clients and get them into your sales funnel.

Lead magnets are free items or services that you can give away to attract clients – this can be a free e-book with recipes, a workout video, or even a consultation! In order to gain access to this free offer, people have to come to a landing page on your website and provide their email.

Increasing class attendance – If you have a class and you want to increase attendance, remind people through emails.

MAIN EMAIL COMPONENTS

All emails consist of several key elements, none of which can be ignored.

From: Is the email from you at your brand, or just your brand?

If you’re running a one-person show, it’s better to personalize the “from” to say Joe/Jane from Fit. Co. However, if you run a studio or multi-chain business, “from” Fit Co. is sufficient.

Subject line: This is the most important part of the email, as it determines whether your email gets opened.

When writing a subject line, keep it short and sweet. Longer subject lines may get cut off in someone’s inbox.

Be specific – if I open your email, I should know what it will contain. Will it be a fitness tip, a free gift, or something else? How many times have you fallen for “clickbait” – where the email subject line or link promised one thing, but when you clicked on it, you got something else? Misleading your audience will cause you to lose their trust.

Body: Assuming someone opens your email, what will they see? Will it be lots of pictures, text, or a combination of both?

If you’re going to use graphics, make sure the person reading the email doesn’t have to scroll down more than once to see your email on their phone. If you’re not sure, send a test to yourself and check the email on your mobile device.

Call to action (CTA): Make sure you include at least one CTA in your email – whether you want someone to register or sign up for a course, view a blog post, reply to your email – let them know!

Make sure this stands out. A prospect should be able to scan the email and find the action you want them to take.

CTAs are commonly put in buttons in a different colour than the rest of the email.

Red is the most common as it stands out, however, you can make your button any colour you want if it better aligns with your brand.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LISTS

Every fitness business is different. For instance, your customers may be aging boomers, golfers, stay-at-home parents or someone else entirely.

Base your content on what you think your target audience wants to see. Address any pain points or needs they may have.

Alternatively, you can build email lists based on the types of classes you offer. If you run yoga classes, you may want to send emails based on different yoga poses and stretching techniques and sell them yoga blocks and straps.

On the other hand, power lifters may be more interested in tips to lift heavier weight while staying safe.

TYPES OF CONTENT

There are many types of emails that you can send, depending on your goals and what you want action you want your customers to take after reading the email.

Welcome emails – Welcome emails may be the very first impression your customer may get if they found you online. This is a great way to introduce potential clients to your business, so make sure it gives off the impression you want to make.

Depending on your brand, your welcome email can be fun and casual, or serious and professional.

Newsletters – Newsletters are a great way to keep your business top-of-mind with your audience.

If you send your newsletters on a consistent schedule (eg. Weekly, every first Monday of the month), your customers will come to expect them.

Sales – If you have a great deal going on, you can send an email telling your customers know. Make sure to mention the discount, the dates the sale is running and how they can make the purchase.

Some other types of content you can include in your emails are:

  • Workouts
  • Recipes
  • Sales
  • Client testimonials or before/after photos
  • Special events you’re attending or hosting
  • Answering customer questions

This concludes part 1 of the article. You should now have a basic understanding of the basic email components, types of emails you can send and how to build email lists.

In Part 2 of this article, we will go deeper into the best times to send emails, as well as best practices and how to leverage the analytics you get from an email campaign.

At canfitpro, we offer an array of advertising options that can fit your fitness business. Click here to find out more.

Positive Stories: Ubivore Sisters

By | Business

Running a business takes guts and a whole lot of risk to step out into the unknown and create something new. There are always new obstacles to overcome, unforeseen risks to conquer and anxiety that has to be pushed aside if you want to see change. Fortunately, the bigger picture – our why – has always been our guiding force… so, when the pandemic hit it was a matter of reassessing and recalculating what we wanted to be bringing to the world. At a time when the global population is experiencing uncertainty, anxiety and spending more time at home than ever before… navigating the challenges that come with living and working from home can be difficult… hey! We’ve got some experience with this!

Being in the yoga industry for over 3 years now, providing natural cork yoga mats, and becoming super zen yogis, we’ve been sharing our expertise on the topic with our community. Mainly about the benefits of bringing wellness into our home, practicing yoga daily, and how creating a space to thrive can have a profound impact on our general sense of well-being.

#WEAREALLINTHISTOGETHER, is top of mind at a time when we are all feeling a little isolated. This is an opportunity to come together and do things differently, to be better!

Our audience can now find online yoga classes by local yoga studios and independent instructors over on our website at our virtual yoga and wellness café and practice in the comfort of their homes. We also have some incredible mini-challenges planned for anyone who is looking to keep it real in the NEW YEAR!!! We hope you’ll join us @theurbivore over on Instagram, we are always excited to connect with like-minded homies <3

Shoutout to all our fellow business homies who have persevered and stayed positive, we see you, we love you, we are in this together.

We’ll see you in 2021!

P.S. We are currently working on offering accessible wholesale pricing on our line of natural cork yoga mats to fellow business owners and studios as we do our best to offer support and continually encourage the switch to non-toxic, eco-friendly alternatives. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will do our best to work with you <3

Emily + Rebekah

The Urbivore Sisters

Business Spotlight: XBody

By | Business

What type of business are you in?

XBody is a manufacturer and supplier of Whole Body Electric Muscle Stimulation devices meant for use in the Fitness Industry. This technology is provided by an Educated* professional, giving the end user a highly efficient and effective way to work out without the need for weights.

Tell us about your business?

Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) has been utilized in the Health Care Industry for decades as it safely enables muscle contraction in order to prevent muscle atrophy during injury. Over the past +/- 15 years it has been applied via whole body suits such as XBody, for use on healthy people with healthy muscles. It thereby provides a way to get fit more quickly and effectively than most traditional methods, and without putting repetitive strain on the joints.

The technology causes muscle contraction similar to how the Central Nervous System contracts muscle through electric stimulus, only instead, we are applying the stimulus externally. By doing this we are able to innervate many muscle fibers at one time which in turn leads to the effectiveness of the workout.

20 minutes of EMS Training in conjunction with simple movement is scientifically proven to equal approximately 90 minutes of traditional resistance training. It is also extremely useful for people with injuries as they can work around those injuries and strength the corresponding muscles!

How long have you been in the industry?

XBody has been in business since 2010 and has devices in over 83 countries worldwide. Pre-COVID-19, there were approximately 40,000 XBody workouts happening EVERY DAY throughout the world!

What attracted you to the fitness industry?

As the General Manager in Canada for XBody Canada Inc. my background was first as a Registered Nurse, and then as I Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach. I made the switch because I felt prevention of illness instead of treating illness was my passion. My personal story has much to do with my working in the EMS industry for over 10 years. With many years of lifting weights, I was having extreme pain in my lower back and neck. On investigation I was found to have serious degeneration in those areas and was advised to stop lifting weights. I was devastated.

Yet I was fortunate that one of my clients found EMS Whole Body Training in Europe. We brought a device to Canada and I used it with huge success. I was able to stop lifting weights and kept fit and strong with the device. Because I was now a believer, I started using the system on my clients, with results that rivalled anything I’d seen before. Finally, I became involved in the business 5 years ago so I could bring the technology to other Canadians!

What has been your greatest challenge as a business owner/operator and how did you overcome it?

Given this was a start up business in Canada, I had to learn everything from the ground up. At the same time, because we were the first in Canada to sell this type of equipment, education for B2B and B2C has always our main challenge. We have found world wide, that at the beginning stages, people simply don’t know the technology exists and once they try it, they love it!

Given in this industry typical advertising generally doesn’t work, the goal is to get people in the Training Suit. With that in mind, one of our major ways to educate was to take part in the canfitpro trade show and other smaller shows throughout the country. Also, through social media creating a buzz and curiosity about the product.

And of course, currently with COVID-19, we struggled initially due to our purchasers being considered gyms and therefore being shut down, even though the training is with small numbers. One trainer usually trains 1-3 clients at one time. Also, our supply chain and shipping was challenged.

However, we took this time to innovate and create new products to respond to the ongoing challenge we will be faced with in the fitness industry.

What do you hope your buyers achieve within your product/service?

I want our buyers to be aware that XBody is a Leader in the industry for a reason. With safe and reliable equipment, infrastructure with second to none service and support, we are committed to ensuring you have all the tools you need to have a successful business. We in fact went above and beyond as a manufacturer with our Acticare 360; a series of informative manuals that can go far in helping you have the best success with your business.

There are many business opportunities with this device. Our purchasers can have a dedicated studio with EMS Training (Microstudio concept), or you can add it as additional offering in your current studio (Shop-In-Shop) which sets you apart from the other gyms or Wellness Centres, or you can do mobile Training and train people in their homes or offices (Personalized/Corporate Training) since the device is now more portable than ever.

We want to provide, now more than ever, Personal Trainers with these business opportunities in a world where often their jobs no longer exist given the challenges that big box fitness facilities are currently and will continue to face.

Tell us your greatest memory/highlight in your career?

Just before COVID, I was at one of the largest Fitness Shows in the world, FIBO in Florida as in 2019 we had received our FDA clearance for sales in the US. I was asked to be on a panel of experts in the Whole Body EMS field. In the end, I was given high accolades on my extensive knowledge of the industry as the questions invariable always came to me.

But what is even a larger ‘highlight’ for me, are all the stories of success the purchasers of the device continually share with me. Hearing how they are able to help their clients achieve their goals and beyond, keeps me working long days to continue to get the message out there!

How long have you attended canfitpro events?

XBody has been attending canfitpro events for the past 6 years.

What is the percentage of Canadian business you currently have?

As mentioned, we sell in 83 countries around the world with over 5,000 devices sold, but XBody Canada Inc. is completely devoted to having all our business focus on Canada with only Canadian Sales Agents and Service and Support in house in Canada.

How do you plan to grow your Canadian business in the next 12-24 months?

XBody has responded very quickly to the current crisis in the world of Fitness. Because we have always been world leaders in innovation with in-house R&D, we were able to reacted quickly by launching a device called XBody GO, only this past month in Canada that can make Training more mobile than ever and works wirelessly to allow for social distancing.

We now also have Training Suits that can be put on by the clients themselves rather than requiring close contact with the Trainer.

With the mobile device, Personal Trainers can more easily get into the business as they don’t need an expensive bricks and mortar location and would not be classified as a gym. Because this is small number training (1 Trainer to 1 Client or 1 to 2) a safe environment more easily controlled.

We are not finished as in the coming year we are launching additional industry changing products which will simplified EMS Training and go even further in ensuring a safe and comfortable experience!

Necessity is the mother of invention and what I am most proud of is how this company rose to the challenges we are facing and have created products that will allow for a more enjoyable, safer experience for the end user and providing our buyers with a more portable and economical entry into this fast growing market!

 

*Education is provided by XBody through the EMS Trainer Institute, and is part of the terms of purchase of the device.

canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series: November

By | Business

We hope you continued to enjoy the first-ever canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series! Thank you for joining us to not only make the November event a success, but all the Virtual Series unforgettable! We hope your experience with us was positive and successful, as we couldn’t have done it without you.

Please remember to check your email to fill out a post-event survey to help increase their effectiveness in the future.

Take a look at some of the event highlight photos:

Congratulations to our canfitpro's got talent winner - Cher Obediah!

 

What you missed...

Muscle & Mindset: Creating Group Online programming for Today’s Women
With Lisa Mastracchio

Your Walk is Whack!
With Kennedy Lodato & Jason Persaud

Transform Yourself into a Kick Ass Version of You
With Maureen (Mo) Hagan & Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO VISIT OUR NOVEMBER TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS?

Cocoon Fitness Pod®

DTS Fitness Education

Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Fitness Marketing Group

Functional Movement Systems

Gallagher

Gleevie

GoodLife Fitness

Human Kinetics Canada

KEISER

Life Fitness

Matrix Fitness Canada

Mobility Tape

Muscle Activation Techniques®

New Era Grafix

NPE

One Day to Wellness

OptiMYz

Pelvienne Wellness Inc.

Pliteq Inc.

PLUS FIT Accessories

POLAR

Power WearHouse Inc.

Productive Fitness

Schwinn

TELUS

THINK Yourself® ACADEMY

Trainer Plus

TRX

Unsinkable

VTMN Packs

ZUMBA®

STRONG Nation™

We hope to see you back in 2021 for more canfitpro events. Thank you and see you soon!

 

Photo credit: Dawn Bowman Photography

Canada Revenue Agency opens applications for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

By | Business

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to support millions of Canadian workers and businesses throughout the pandemic. Through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), the Government is providing targeted, direct relief to businesses, non-profits, and charities that continue to face the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, opened the CERS to receive applications from qualifying organizations. These organizations can now apply directly for the subsidy for the period from September 27 to October 24, 2020 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Business Account, or Represent a Client portals.
Applications for the second CERS period (October 25 to November 21, 2020) will open on November 30.

In response to concerns raised by stakeholders about the program, the Government is proposing to amend the CERS in order to allow applicants to include eligible expenses in their CERS application before the expense has been paid. This means that organizations can include rent and other eligible amounts already paid in respect of a claim period as well as amounts that are payable for the claim period when submitting their CERS applications. Amounts that are not paid at the time of the application will have to be paid no later than 60 days after payment of the subsidy.

The CRA has launched a CERS online calculator and application form that are designed almost identically to those of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The calculator guides applicants through a step-by-step process that allows them to determine the subsidy amount they can claim, based on the information they enter.  The CERS web pages include detailed information about eligibility requirements, how payment periods are structured, and how the subsidy is calculated.

The CRA will collect applications over the coming days and, on November 30, process applications received to date. Qualifying organizations whose claims successfully clear the CRA’s automated verification system and that are registered for direct deposit should expect to begin receiving payments starting on December 4.  In cases where the CRA does not have enough information on file to process a claim, we will ask organizations to provide us with additional information so that we can verify their eligibility before we process their application.

The CRA recognizes and appreciates the important role that stakeholders are playing in providing feedback on how the CERS program will operate. We look forward to continuing to work closely with businesses, non-profits, and charities and their representative organizations as we deliver the CERS program.

Quotes

“I’m proud that the Canada Revenue Agency is once again stepping up to deliver another important program to businesses, charities, and non-profits that will help them get through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERS is the seventh program delivered by the CRA since the start of the pandemic, and they have incorporated all the lessons and feedback from previous programs to provide businesses, charities and non-profits with tailored support that is easily accessible and meets their needs. Canadian small businesses owners and employees can always count on the CRA to put people first, especially during their time of need.” – The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our government has provided continued support to businesses and workers. With the application process for the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support now open, employers impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access the help they need to get through the winter and the second wave of the virus. We will continue to do what it takes to support Canadians through this crisis.” – The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Quick Facts

  • The new CERS is a successor to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and delivers direct, targeted, and accessible rent support to qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19 without the need to claim the assistance through their landlords.
  • The new rent subsidy supports businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses.
  • Qualifying organizations that were required to shut down or significantly limit their activities under a public health order will have access to Lockdown Support, a top-up subsidy of 25%, meaning that they could receive rent or property expenses support of up to 90%.
  • Eligible expenses include commercial rent, property taxes (including school taxes and municipal taxes), property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages (subject to limits) for a qualifying property, less any subleasing revenues. Any sales tax (e.g., GST/HST) component of these costs is not be an eligible expense.
  • The rent subsidy parameters apply until December 19, 2020 with future parameters in 2021 to be adapted and targeted as needed.
  • Applicants can visit CRA login services to create a My Business Account or Represent a Client account and apply for the CERS.

Canada Revenue Agency
BACKGROUNDER

The Government is taking targeted action to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, qualifying organizations can apply directly for the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This means qualifying organizations can apply for the subsidy without the need to claim the assistance through their landlords. Applicants can claim the subsidy retroactively for the period that began on September 27 and ended on October 24, 2020.

Eligibility

The CERS provides direct support of up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses to tenants and property owners for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. Eligible expenses include commercial rent, property taxes (including school taxes and municipal taxes), property insurance, and interest on commercial mortgages (subject to limits) for a qualifying property, less any subleasing revenues. Any sales tax (e.g., GST/HST) component of these costs would not be an eligible expense.

Qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order may be eligible for additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent of eligible expenses.

In response to concerns raised by stakeholders about the program, the Government is proposing to amend the CERS in order to allow applicants to include eligible expenses in their CERS application before the expense has been paid. This means that organizations can include rent and other eligible amounts already paid in respect of a claim period as well as amounts that are payable for the claim period when submitting their CERS applications. Amounts that are not paid at the time of the application will have to be paid no later than 60 days after payment of the subsidy.

To be eligible, organizations must be individuals, taxable corporations and trusts, non-profit organizations or registered charities. Public institutions are generally not eligible for the subsidy. Eligible entities also include the following groups:

  • Partnerships that are up to 50 per cent owned by non-eligible members;
  • Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible entities;
  • Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
  • Registered Journalism Organizations; and
  • Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.

Applying for the CERS

Qualifying organizations can apply for the CERS through the CRA’s My Business Account or Represent a Client.  Visit CRA login services to register.

As part of the application process, qualifying organizations are required to register in My Business Account or Represent a Client for a new Business Number Program Account Identifier, used specifically for the CERS program.  This can be done online and takes just a few minutes. Organizations also need to provide specific information and attest that they meet the eligibility criteria for the program.

The CRA has launched CERS web pages, including an online calculator, to assist qualifying organizations in preparing their applications.  Organizations are encouraged to use the CERS calculator, which guides applicants through a step-by-step calculation of the CERS and helps them determine the subsidy amount they can claim based on the information they enter into the calculator.  Applicants who take advantage of the CERS calculator will be able to use the printable statement feature to enter required information into their application, enabling them to submit their claim quickly and easily.

The CRA will collect applications and optimize our automated verification process based on information gathered through the applications that are received. This will enable the CRA to process applications through our automated verification system on November 30 and begin issuing payments within 3-5 business days.  As such, qualifying organizations can apply at a time that’s convenient for them over the coming week.

Qualifying organizations are also encouraged to register for direct deposit as this is the fastest way to receive CERS subsidy payments.  Organizations that are not registered for direct deposit should allow additional time for their cheque to be delivered by mail.

Additional information is available on the CERS How to apply web page.

CRA validation of CERS claims

The CRA recognizes that many businesses, non-profits and charities have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and is making it a priority to deliver CERS payments as quickly as possible.  To this end, the CRA has developed validation processes allowing many claims to be paid without manual intervention, and ensuring that interventions to verify information are handled quickly and with a minimal administrative burden.

To ensure that payments can be issued in as timely a manner as possible, the CRA will process claims through an automated verification system that compares claimant information with information already on file.

In situations where the CRA does not have claimant information on file, or where we do not have enough information on file to verify a claim, we may contact applicants to request additional information, such as lease agreements.  In addition, we may need to contact third parties to validate information such as mortgage payments.  We encourage organizations in this situation to provide any additional information we request without delay, as this will help to expedite the processing of the claim.  A list of the types of documents we may request is available on the CERS web pages.

For more information

Please visit our CERS web pages and our CERS infographics (Take a look at the new Canada Emergency Rent SubsidyThe Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy has got you covered, and We’re here to help) for more information about the subsidy and the application process.

Canadians who would like to obtain information by phone can call 1-800-959-5525.  This line offers access to agents who can provide information about eligibility requirements, calculating the CERS, or how to apply.  The line is operational on extended hours from November 16 to November 27, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. local time. After November 27, it is expected to go back to regular hours, from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 6 p.m.

To learn more about how the CRA continues to support Canadians through the ongoing pandemic, go to CRA and COVID-19: Changes to taxes and benefits. To get the latest information please bookmark this page as we update it often, and be sure to follow us on our social media channels.

Diversifying your income with Affiliate Marketing

By | Business

Diversifying Your Income with Affiliate Marketing

COVID-19 has had a major effect on the fitness industry with gyms closing and trainers out of work. We know that many trainers are currently struggling to make ends meet without a consistent paycheck coming in, and we want to help. One of the best pieces of advice that we can offer to personal trainers is to diversify your income. This means that you would have revenue coming in not only from your training services, but from other avenues as well. Setting up multiple revenue streams, especially some that are passive, can lead to more job security and less work in the long run. None of us could have predicted this pandemic, and none of us know how long it will last, but by diversifying your income, you can feel more secure to get through these trying times.

What is Passive Income?

As a personal trainer, you can only work so many hours. If your only form of revenue is from your training clients, eventually you will reach your max. hours and will no longer be able to increase your revenue.  This is where passive income comes in.

Passive income means that you are earning revenue with little to no ongoing work on your part. It is, essentially, passive. Passive income typically requires more work up front to ensure your product or service is set up properly, but eventually you will be able to step back from the project while still continuing to earn revenue from it.

When you diversify your income, you can earn extra cash as well as provide more value to your clients with additional resources and support.

Examples of Passive Revenue Streams for Trainers

  • E-Books
    • What would you consider to be your area of expertise? Can you write about it in a way that is useful and applicable to others? Determine what area(s) of your expertise will be of value to your audience and create an e-book centered around that idea.
  • Pre-Made Workout Programs
    • Design a program that can be used by many and sell this on your website.
  • Products
    • Selling branded products, for example clothing or equipment, is a great way to make some extra cash as well as market your personal training business. The equipment can be especially useful for your clients while they are working out from home.
  • Affiliate Marketing
    • Partner with a brand you trust and offer discounts and trusted recommendations to your clients.

Affiliate Marketing

Through affiliate marketing with brand partnerships, you can earn commission for marketing the products of another company. Typically, the company you partner with will give you a discount code for their products that you can share with your clients and community, and you will earn a percentage of sales made using your code..

This is great when offered by a company that you like, use, and trust.

Kaizen Naturals Affiliate Program

Kaizen Naturals is a Canadian manufacturer of proteins and supplements that offers an affiliate program for personal trainers. Support your clients and earn cash back by signing up for the Kaizen Naturals Affiliate Program. With this program, you’ll be given a unique 20% off discount code for kaizennaturals.com that you can share with friends, family, and followers, and you’ll earn 10% cash back on all net sales made using your code.⁠⠀

Feel good about recommending a trusted, natural, Canadian brand of supplements to your clients when they inevitably ask for your recommendation.

Excelling in the Affiliate Program

Authenticity

Authenticity is key to excelling in affiliate marketing. Your clients trust you and your opinion, and it’s vital to stay true to your values by promoting only products that you believe in. With the Kaizen Naturals Affiliate Program, you can use your discount to purchase products for yourself and test them out, if you haven’t already, prior to recommending to your clients.

In order to remain transparent with your followers and clients, you should also disclose that a material connection exists between yourself and the brand with which you are partnering. This relationship disclosure will not only ensure that you are adhering to Ad Standards regulations, but will also maintain the trust between yourself and your clients.

Knowing What to Recommend

The supplements that you recommend will vary from client to client based on their lifestyle and goals, but a good place to start with all clients is with a protein supplement. Protein supplements should be taken post workout in order to begin re-building the muscles that were broken down during your training session.

Some other goals include increasing strength and building muscle, enhancing recovery, increasing energy, and improving nutrient intake. And there’s a supplement that can help progress your clients towards each of these goals.

Supplements are not necessary to see results in the gym. However, they can help your clients

  • see results faster
  • achieve more
  • take their goals further than they thought possible
  • find the energy to workout
  • recover after workouts
  • ensure that they are consuming beneficial nutrients
  • fill nutritional gaps
  • increase nutrient intake after exercise
  • improve poor eating habits.

Need more information on the different types of supplements and their uses? Check out the Kaizen Naturals Beginner’s Guide to Supplements.

Marketing Ideas

There are many ways to market your discount code. The most successful way for you will be different than the most successful way for the next trainer. It will depend on your relationship with your clients, where you are active online, and how you choose to market yourself. Below we’ll list some of our favourite methods.

  1. Direct recommendations. This is the best and most effective way that we’ve found to market your discount code. When clients are asking for nutritional or supplement advice, you can offer your recommendation and provide them with your discount code.
  2. Social media marketing. Share your story on social media. Show what supplements you are using and explain when and why you take them. We also recommend adding your discount code into your bio on Instagram so that your clients can refer back to it when they are ready to make a purchase.
  3. Blog posts. Write a blog post about supplementation and share your discount code within it. Think about what questions your clients might ask and share your answers in the post.

Support from Kaizen Naturals

Here at Kaizen Naturals, we want to help you succeed. We offer a number of marketing support items to get you started, including posters, business cards, and social media graphics, all with your unique discount code on them.

Interested in learning about the other items we can provide? Send us an email at affiliates@kaizennaturals.com.

About Kaizen Naturals

Kaizen means constant never-ending improvement. It is a dedication to deliver innovative products made with the highest standards and quality ingredients. It is a commitment to create naturally clean nutrition, made right here in Canada. After all, we know that in order to live your best life, you need to push boundaries, raise standards and always try your best.

Our goal is to produce trusted, clean nutritional supplements, certified by NSF, the world leader in independent testing. Our products are non-GMO as well as gluten and peanut free.

As we continue to expand and innovate, we do so with cutting-edge research and development, Good Manufacturing Practices and environmentally mindful business practices.

We’re social! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Business Spotlight: Power WearHouse

By | Business

What type of business are you in?

We are a health and wellness company, that specializes in weighted wearables. Unlike many other fitness equipment companies, we are not in the business of introducing a new exercise or changing people’s lifestyles. We believe in the democratization of fitness. Our weighted wearables simply and effectively amplify the benefit of existing training and exercise routines for everyone from professional athletes to weekend warriors to those simply trying to lose a little weight.

Tell us about your business?

We sell products that increase the intensity of your workout. There are two ways to do this. You can either add time or weight. All of us are time pressed. Adding a weighted vest, shorts, wrist or ankle weights allows you to effectively and easily increase your burn.
We’ve heard our vests are so comfortable that it is easy to forget that you are wearing them. They fit like a second skin. Interestingly, we’ve had a great response to our products from the osteoporosis and autism communities as a result! And we are thrilled about it!

How long have you been in the industry?

We’ve been in business since 2019.

What attracted you to the fitness industry?

I am a certified Pilates Instructor. I live a very active lifestyle from travelling around the world scuba diving to stand-up paddle boarding. Through my own fitness endeavors, I thought there was a hole in the market for a comfortable, breathable, made to last weighted vest designed for everyday people. So, we set about designing this line and sourcing other complementary items. I wear my weighted vest and wrist weights on the reformer, running and during rowing classes. Our products are highly relevant for virtually any kind of workout, from aquatic training to walking around the block!

What has been your greatest challenge as a business owner/operator and how did you overcome it?

Our great challenge so far has been dealing with the many complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the supply chain. Our factories were shut down for several months and are still working at half capacity. Ocean shipping has slowed and air freight is now even more expensive. Steeply rising insurance premiums have significantly increased our operational costs. Sales have also been challenging as many retailers are over-inventoried as a result of their bricks and mortar locations being closed for some time so they are reluctant to take on new products.

Like other businesses, we’ve had to adjust to the new consumer environment. For example, given the weighted vest production delays, cautious consumer buying and closure of gyms/studios, we have introduced a new range of lower priced items that support getting more out of your at-home workout. This has always been part of our business model but the timeline has been greatly accelerated.

What do you hope your buyers achieve within your product/service?

I hope our weighted wearables become a part of daily life for our customers. That they see the benefit, and enjoy the thoughtful product design, details and lasting quality that help get the most out of their workout.

Tell us your greatest memory/highlight in your career?

One of my greatest memories was receiving a national leadership award for innovation when I was a Senior Vice President, General Manager at Rogers Communications.

How long have you attended canfitpro events?

This is our first year at a canfitpro event. canfitpro is a strong and supportive professional community; we’ve signed up for all the fall conferences.

What is the percentage of Canadian business you currently have?

Our business is mostly Canadian at this point, but with our social media and influencer strategy we are picking up more business in the U.S.

How do you plan to grow your Canadian business in the next 12-24 months?

They say it takes a village to raise a child and I say it takes a community to successfully launch a brand. I am beyond appreciative to our team from around the world including Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the U.K. who are sharing their expertise.

We expect to launch with a major national sporting goods retailer this fall. We also have an active affiliate sales program along with a digital and influencer strategy.

For more information and to view our products, visit our website.

Keystone Fitness Equipment Superstore: Build your home or professional gym for less

By | Business

What type of business are you?

We are Canada’s leading provider of refurbished and used commercial fitness equipment.

Tell us about your business?

With over 30,000 square feet and more than 2,000 machines in stock, Keystone offers the largest inventory of used equipment in Canada.  We employ a large staff of experienced commercial fitness equipment technicians as well as a knowledgeable sales team.

How long have you been in the industry?

Keystone has been operating in the fitness industry for more than 20 years with automotive industry roots that date back to the 1950’s.

What has been your greatest challenge as a business owner/operator and how did you overcome it?

Our greatest challenge by far was sourcing used commercial “gym-quality” equipment while at the same time keeping it affordable.  We have achieved this by establishing long term relationships with national gym operators and by relying on word-of-mouth and referrals from customers rather than expensive advertising.

What do you hope your buyers achieve within your product/service?

We hope that our customers can buy the same quality of equipment they have at the gym for their own personal training studios or home gyms without breaking the bank.

What is the percentage of Canadian business you currently have?

Keystone’s focus is on the Canadian market at roughly 95% of our sales.  The remainder of our sales are to developing countries with more basic needs.

What equipment is essential for a home gym?

The easy answer is “whatever they use at the gym” but the essentials our clients demand are typically dumbbells and an adjustable bench or an Olympic bar with plates and a power cage… along with their favorite piece of cardio equipment.

I have limited space at home. What equipment would give me the most benefits in a small space?

For cardio equipment that would be a Spin or Stationary bike with wheels that can be easily moved out of the way.  The ideal piece of strength equipment for a small space would be a 2 stack Functional Trainer that tucks nicely into a corner… there is not much you can’t do with one of those!

Should I get free weights or weight machines?

Right now?  Whatever you can find 🙂

Where can I find dumbbells and plates at a reasonable price?

Kijiji and Facebook are not where to look currently for reasonable prices on free weights.  Keystone has a large inventory of Olympic plate & dumbbell sets that are still at pre-pandemic prices.

Where have all the Indoor Cycling bikes gone?

Into people’s homes!  The demand for Indoor cycles has never been greater and it has been tough to find used bikes at a decent price.  After being out of these bikes for 6 months Keystone has finally received hundreds of new and used commercial bikes for home and commercial use.

Why are neighbourhood “garage gyms” such a big deal?

In a time where socializing is discouraged, people are building the coolest Fitness Caves!  One neighbour gives up their garage and turns it into a Fitness Studio.  Everyone pitches in and buys a piece of equipment then they all workout inside their own “fitness bubble”.  Real fitness equipment is a huge step up from the milk jug kettlebells we saw in March.

Is one-on-one training making a comeback or is virtual training replacing it?

Studio owners who can offer this type of training in a one-on-one atmosphere can naturally follow the current rules so there has been a resurgence.

I’m opening my own fitness studio. How can Keystone Fitness support me planning and executing it?

Keystone can assist with free layout planning, equipment sourcing, financing and delivery/set up making it a seamless and affordable solution.

Is the quality of refurbished fitness equipment comparable to new equipment?

A refurbished piece of fitness equipment from Keystone is as good mechanically as the same piece of equipment when it was new.  We use original equipment manufactured parts whenever possible and replace all parts that are subject to wear to ensure many more years of trouble-free operation.

Is used, non-refurbished equipment available as well?

Yes, for those who want to save money or simply have more equipment to use we also offer used/serviced equipment.  This equipment receives basic service to check for proper, safe operation as well as lubrication and adjustments prior to leaving our facility.

To get your own fitness equipment, visit the Keystone Fitness website.

Jim McPherson Jr.

President/Founder of Keystone Fitness Equipment Superstore, Jim has been in the industry since 2000.

 

Lessons Learned: Transitioning to Online Training

By | Business

By James Breese

In today’s world of choice, those who want to get fit have two options: hire a personal trainer or look for an online training program. Each option has its pros and cons, and while in a post-COVID-19 world everyone is now “offering” online personal training, it isn’t the best solution for everyone. Sometimes, an in-person personal trainer is the best choice. However, we now must accept, as personal trainers, online training isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon – in fact, it’s only going to get bigger as more and more people are hesitant about re-joining a gym. This means one thing, we as trainers need to adapt fast to this new emerging market or risk missing out.

Technology has changed every aspect of the way businesses operate. It was only a matter of time before it hit the world of personal training. Even Apple is investing heavily in health care and wellness. According to Tim Cook, CEO, “health care is big for Apple’s future.”

However, in the grand scheme of things, online training is still in its infancy.

As the rise of online training continues, so does the rise of fitness marketing companies. These companies and individuals are starting to make some big promises. They’re preying on the fears and insecurities of trainers, and as a result, trainers are jumping in with two feet despite what some might consider wild promises.

These include:

  • Earn $10,000+ a month.
  • Grow an online training business for a guarantee of increased income and freedom.
  • Afford more time with family and friends.

They’re very enticing and it’s no wonder that so many personal trainers are now turning to these online companies for help. Wouldn’t you? Who doesn’t want to earn $10,000+ a month, right?

Before you start investing your hard-earned money, I want to share with you the best bit of advice I can offer to help you get online for free and maybe save you a few cents, and a bit of heartache too. I learned the hard way, and I hope this advice will serve you well and help you avoid the same mistakes I made!

There are three secrets to getting started with online coaching. They are:

  1. Choose the correct software for you and your business.
  2. Develop a system of assessments suitable for online training.
  3. Getting your first online client(s).

Step 1: Choose the Correct Software for Your Business

Online personal training software is not just a valuable tool to create, deliver, and maintain your coaching services – it is essential for your business to make you stand out and look more professional. The more clients you have, and the more complex your business becomes, the more you and your clients will rely on the software to keep in touch and stay on track.

Personal training software should make your life easier. Too often, it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s because people chose a platform that wasn’t suited to their needs or tech skills. The challenge is picking the right one for your business. My advice here is to take up two to three offerings with some different providers (we use True Coach at Strength Matters) and make use of their 30-day trials. Get comfortable with the software and determine which is the best fit for you. There’s no one platform that’s right for everyone. Then when your free trial ends, take the one that best suits your needs.

Step 2: Develop a System of Assessments for Online Training

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started online was by not having a system of assessments that were suitable for online training. I thought I could just get through it. Boy was I wrong. Let this story be a tale of caution. The day I decided to do online training I emailed my entire email list and overnight we secured 82 new clients (this isn’t the norm ty the way, this is after years and years of hard work). Within three months, only seven stayed with us. SEVEN!

Why? Because we were disorganized, had no systems, and we couldn’t assess people to put them into certain categories or deliver a truly personalized service. We were truly terrible at delivering an online service. With online, you can’t visually see what’s going on like you would when someone walks into your facility and not everyone is as competent as you in doing certain movements or assessment procedures.

The way we got around this was creating assessments around the four pillars: health, movement, strength, and cardio. Then, I tested them out with my mother – I did the ‘Mom test’. Could my Mom follow the instructions and do them correctly? If it was a yes, we kept them in, if it was a no, we disregarded or modified them accordingly.

Either way, don’t do what we did, avoid my mistakes as I’d hate for you to lose 75 clients too. With your new shiny online training software, figure out how you will deliver assessments, play with the software, and try them out on yourself – don’t assign them to clients yet. Make sure you know how it works first!

Step 3: Getting Your First Online Client(s)

This is the exciting bit – getting your first online client(s)! However, contrary to what some of the online marketing companies are telling you, don’t go spending money on Facebook advertising, or at least not yet anyway! There’s a lot of expensive mistakes you could still end up doing (like me). So, before you go inviting every man and his dog to join your online training services, my advice would be to follow this simple methodology to get your first online client(s):

  1. When you are comfortable with the training software AND have your assessments nailed down, invite YOUR BEST in-person training client who is tech-savvy to try this new system out with you. They will be more forgiving and will be excited to join you on this journey. Stick with just one client for now, until you feel comfortable.
  2. Once you’ve spent time working with just one client online, repeat the process. Invite your next best client to join you so you have two people. There is a big difference between working with one and 10 people online, so don’t jump to big too soon.
  3. Keep repeating this process until you have as many of your current in-person clients using this new software as you can handle or want. Then when you’re ready, and only then, is it wise to start advertising it – as you’ll already be comfortable to handle any online eventuality that may come your way. And trust me, they will.

Online training is a liberating experience for personal trainers – it really does allow for the lifestyle you have always dreamed about. It’s one of the best things we ever started to offer at Strength Matters. However, it’s also quite daunting. Hopefully, by following the advice above, you won’t be overwhelmed, and it won’t cost you too much money to get you started. And remember, this new shiny piece of software will work just as well for your in-person clients too. It becomes a big talking point and they start to share their app and results with friends and family – which becomes a referral network for you.

About James Breese

Besides chief dream maker at Strength Matters, James Breese is an author, speaker, podcaster, and vlogger.  You’ll mostly find James in the mountains of Wales or Austria as well as drinking coffee, going to the cinema, listening to live music, playing cricket, and watching his beloved Wales rugby and Manchester United soccer teams.