How to Overcome “Work from Home” Challenges
There is no secret behind home business success. Building a profitable online or home personal training business involves research and planning, overcoming a fearful mindset and the constraints of time, and taking care of all the tasks that make money.
CHALLENGE: Fear of Change
This may be the number one reason people stay with their jobs instead of starting a home business. There’s no doubt that there is a lot to be concerned about. Will you make enough money? How will you pay for health insurance? What will your friends and family think? This can be rather terrifying. There comes a point in everyone’s life where they feel they’ve got it under control and like who they are. When you finally feel you have a good handle on things why would you want to change at all? This is where that fear comes from that having higher status or more money means you now have to act a certain way.
SOLUTION: Identify Areas You Need to Address
When it comes to pursuing a goal, fear should simply identify areas you need to address. If you’re worried about making enough money, then you need to create a business plan that outlines what you need to do to make the money you need. Fight fear by gaining knowledge and taking action.
You have to remind them that change isn’t always bad nor is it totally destructive of what came before it. New duties and a new station in life won’t destroy a person they merely add new skills and new talents. Be sure to highlight that they can discover new things about themselves that they never knew before but they greatly enjoy it. Lastly above all else stress that they’re still the same person they were before with the same friends and family. When they get home at the end of the day the uniform comes off and they get on with the business of living as they always have.
CHALLENGE: Lack of Knowledge and Experience
There is a great deal that goes into starting a home business: getting a license, submitting a fictitious name statement, crafting business and marketing plans, branding, website building, etc. Even with a list of tasks that need to be done, it can be a challenge to know which to do first.
Running a personal trainer business is a lot like trying to improve your fitness. You need a detailed plan to give yourself the best chance of success. A company without a business plan is like a client without a routine or program.
Start with research that will give you the information you need to know and the tasks you need to complete. Find a local or online course that will give you deeper knowledge about your business idea and the steps you need to take to get started. Consider getting a mentor who can significantly shorten your learning curve and help you get up and in the black faster than on your own.
CHALLENGE: Not Enough Time In the Day
Yes, time is short. You have a family, a job, and other obligations. But so did all the other moms who started a home business. There are two truths about time. The first is that the less of it you have, the better you’ll manage it. People with too much time waste it. The second truth is that you can’t wait for time to come available. Instead, you have to make time.
SOLUTION: Get Creative Making Time
If you’re busy, get creative in making time. Keep a time journal and track your day in an effort to find pockets of time you can better utilize. Are you watching too much TV? Are you willing to give up a hobby in the short run to achieve home business success and ultimately more time in the long run?
You might need to trick yourself to take breaks and set a clear start and end time. Otherwise, you risk burnout. Set appointments on your calendar for the end of the day to get yourself out of your home office. Similarly, set up reminders to take breaks.
You may also want to create physical boundaries between you and your workspace. If you don’t have a dedicated office, even something as simple as putting your laptop out of sight when work has ended can help you avoid the temptation to log back on. Or you can try sectioning off part of a room for work so it feels like a separate space.
CHALLENGE: Lack of Focus and Discipline
Starting a home business involves adding new activities into an already busy life. Many of these activities may be new to you, so you haven’t developed a habit of doing them. As a result, it can be difficult to develop the focus and discipline needed to start and build a home business. Other times, new business owners are very busy, but aren’t achieving any meaningful results because they’re not doing the right activities.
SOLUTION: Know What You Need to Work On
This is where planning and schedule can help. The minute you sit down to work on your business, you should know exactly what you need to work on and have the resources ready. Don’t wait until you’re at your computer to decide what needs to be done or you might waste it casually surfing the internet or checking social media.
CHALLENGE: Ineffective Marketing
No matter how long you have been in business or how successful your training or coaching business is, if you stop marketing your services, you will very quickly see the effects of lost profits and sales. In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way. Marketing is no exception. By knowing how to market, you will save energy and disappointment.
The key here is to understand where your clients are, i.e. where do they go, what they read and watch, etc. Your decision to invest in a specific channel will also depend on your resources. But there are some more or less universal promotional methods that you can use: social media, partnerships, and referrals.
Having a few social media accounts is a must for the business nowadays. It is the simplest and perhaps the most effective way to promote your services and find clients. Be active on social media, post daily, write useful content and try to engage your audience by asking questions, publishing polls and commenting on other peoples’ posts.
Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are good, but I would also recommend creating a profile on LinkedIn. There, you can target prospective clients who work in a particular professional field or attract company CEOs by creating a unique program for them.
Use your network to your advantage to create a larger pool of potential clients. Do not be shy about seeking partnerships with the people in your industry, make friends online and think about other services you can offer in exchange for their mention of yours.
Do not forget about the power of the word of mouth. Be generous and give your services for free to some clients, especially the ones who have a larger network. You’ll be surprised by the positive impact that will have on your business.
CHALLENGE: Cash Flow for Your Home Based Business
From online invoice software to better budgeting systems and effective cash flow management, this challenge can be overcome. However, virtually every small business owner has cash flow problems. One simple tip is to keep strict track of your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.
SOLUTION: Create a Business Budget
A budget is a detailed plan that outlines where you’ll spend your money monthly or annually. You give every dollar a “job”, based on what you think is the best use of your business funds, and then go back and compare your plan with reality to see how you did. The best budgets are simple and flexible. If circumstances change (as they do), your budget can flex to give you a clear picture of where you stand at all times.
A budget will help you:
- Forecast what money you expect to earn
- Plan where to spend that revenue
- See the difference between your plan and reality
CHALLENGE: Staying Passionate
Being a personal trainer or coaching professional takes far more than the surface knowledge required to sit for a national exam. It takes passion, intention, dedication, and a willingness to examine your own weaknesses and identify opportunities for growth.
Even though fitness is a career cultivated from passion. In an industry that focuses on prevention, we even need to prevent the death of our own career. The reality though, even with all the perks and the awesomeness of getting to change a life, being a personal trainer, consultant, or coaching professional is very demanding on your mind, body, and soul.
SOLUTION: Have Confidence
Think back on what made you choose this profession in the first place. What made you feel excited when you first started? It’s likely that you still feel the same way you did at first, it’s just that you’ve grown used to these aspects of your career or business.
Success in life and business is intrinsically linked to the confidence factor. Having confidence allows a person to overcome fears, take direct action, say yes to new challenges, seek mentorship, and ask questions – all components of achieving professional success.
It’s impossible to achieve success by skipping struggles, experiencing failures, and taking wrong turns. Confidence allows us to face fears and traverse the obstacles ultimately helping us reach goals and build ourselves both personally and professionally.
CHALLENGE: Not Diversifying Client Bases
if you don’t know how to get new clients, it can be frustrating. Take a good, long look at your client list. If you have any clients who are responsible for more than half of your business income, it’s time to:
- A) generate more clients
- B) work better deals for your other clients
When your income has you riding one “whale”, that one whale could dash off to do business with someone else. Leaving you in the ocean, possibly drowning, while your other clients and their small incomes.
SOLUTION: Reach More New Clients
Don’t just send an email that says “BUY MY STUFF.” You need to add value and educate. Can you discuss a hot topic? What about linking to your YouTube video that teaches something in detail? You can share a recipe. You can show a technique. You can break down a controversial topic using your education. You can start with just 1 email per week, and based on feedback, you can increase it to 3 emails per week. In the P.S. of your message, you can offer a service or provide a link.
Online promotion is critical, and you will also make an even better impression when you meet people in person. Search your local community website for local live events and mixers. Go to the Chamber of Commerce and ask how you can stay informed about all the community events. Participate in local charity walk-a-thons, 5ks, festivals, and similar events. You don’t always have to be a sponsor or buy a booth (if that’s an option). You just need to be seen and meet great people who can refer and also become clients.
Starting an Online Personal Training Business
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
Is your re-certification coming up? Learn more about earning your CEU credits. You can find the full list of CEU courses here.
If you are ready to start your online personal training or coaching business, don’t forget to learn more about our online coaching course.
There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.
NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.