Strategic Vision: The Roadmap for Successful Fitness Businesses

by | Jul 13, 2023 | Business Owners Journey, Fitness Business Alignment System, Fitness Business Owner, Leadership | 4 comments

(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)


Navigating the Fitness Business Landscape

I state it over and over again – owning and running a fitness business is full of uncertainty and unpredictability.  

Every fitness business has a lot of moving parts. Everyone in the business is thinking, deciding, and acting every day. For a business to be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to those things.  

As the business owner, you need something that helps keep you and everyone else aligned and pointed in the same direction. Something that everyone incorporates into their thoughts, decisions and actions.  

That’s where your Strategic Vision comes in.  

Just as a GPS keeps a driver on course during a road trip, your Strategic Vision keeps your fitness business on track toward its objectives. It provides direction and purpose, so that you can make every decision and take every action in alignment with your overarching goals.

And just like having your GPS tell you where not to go, your Strategic Vision tells you what to say ‘no’ to..

Without a Strategic Vision, your business is susceptible to shiny objects, quick fixes, and constantly changing directions. 


What is Strategic Vision?

It’s common for someone to hear ‘strategic vision’ and immediately lock in on the ‘vision’ aspect.  So thinking about the future becomes thought exercises in overzealous positivity (wishful but unrealistic thinking), or there’s an emphasis on an aspirational future state but none on how it will be accomplished.  

A true Strategic Vision is not merely a vague dream or an unattainable wish, and it’s not merely about defining where your business should be in the future

It’s a clear mental image of what the future of your business should look like, and just as important, the pathway to that future. It encompasses the big picture of what you aspire to achieve and the strategies to make those aspirations a reality. 

A well-constructed Strategic Vision goes beyond a simple statement of intent. It provides clarity and direction. 

Strategic Vision is the combination of your long-term goal for the business and the strategy to achieve it. 


Creating Your Strategic Vision for Your Fitness Business

There are how-to resources for Strategic Vision out there – but not nearly as many as for other business topics. For whatever reason. 

There are three boxes that have to be checked for a Strategic Vision to be effective:

  1. Envision a future AND a path to get there. Like I said above, it’s not just about the goal. You’ve got to consider both the destination and the journey.
  2. Create your Strategic Vision before choosing tactics. Strategy gives purpose to the tactics. Tactics are essential, but they need to be informed by and aligned with the strategy. Without a clear Strategic Vision, tactics lead to chaos. “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun-Tzu
  3. It is a recurring process.  A Strategic Vision isn’t set in stone. It needs to adapt to changing circumstances and evolving goals. Regularly revisiting and updating your Strategic Vision ensures that it remains aligned with the current realities and objectives of your business. Think of it as your business’s living blueprint that requires periodic reviews and refinements to stay effective.

There are three boxes that have to be checked for a Strategic Vision in a successful fitness business to be effective

When it comes to creating your Strategic Vision, it would be very difficult to do well without some type of expert guidance. It’s pretty damn hard to do even with expert guidance. 

The most common and effective approach that we’ve seen is using a combination of guided discovery and a properly structured framework.  

  • Guided discovery: A trained coach or facilitator leading the discovery will elicit and surface the answers that you may not have known you had, to questions that only you can answer.  
  • Structured framework: The right framework is rigid enough to maintain alignment and coherence, yet flexible enough to embrace your unique identity and autonomy. Think of it as following a recipe: the ingredients are provided, but how you mix them, the spices you add, and the final presentation is where you can prepare it to your liking.


Fitness Revolution’s Framework & Methodology: The Strategic Alignment Plan™

We’ve developed our own framework and methodology for helping gym owners craft their Strategic Visions. It’s called the Strategic Alignment Plan, and it was created specifically for fitness businesses.

It ensures that you can clearly articulate the answers to these key questions:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. How are we going to get there?
  3. Who are we going to work with?
  4. What are we going to do for them?
  5. How are we going to compete – and win?

It begins with the fitness business owner’s Long Term Vision for the business.  This is the ‘North Star’ for the business, answering the question of “Where are we going?”

We then begin answering the question of “How are we going to get there?”  Which requires articulating the type of business we’re going to be, functionally and culturally, and key milestones and challenges that have to be addressed along the way. As we surface and document these intermediate landmarks you can see the ‘roadmap’ take shape.

From there we have to determine how we’re going to hit these intermediate steps along the way toward the ultimate goal. That takes us into the marketing strategy, with the purpose of answering “Who are we going to work with?” and “Why are they going to buy from us instead of someone else?”


Templates and worksheets don’t create winning strategies.  

The goal is to finish with a Strategic Vision that tells us how we’re going to go to market, compete, and win.  

To be done well it has to be more than a template. 

For each element of the framework, our methodology guides gym owners to crystal-esque levels of clarity. This is not about ticking boxes with half-hearted guesses; it’s about forging a pragmatic strategy that will actually make their fitness business successful.

Take, for instance, when we dive into pinpointing your target market’s buying criteria. We don’t settle for the first thought that springs to the gym owner’s mind. We dig deeper.

We are on a quest for precision. This is not a haphazard scrawling on templated worksheets. 

This is meticulous and informed crafting. 

And we spare no effort to ensure that every aspect of the strategy is well-thought-out.

We’re not just filling out a Strategic Vision. We’re creating a powerful one. One that will WIN.


Guiding Your Fitness Business with a Strategic Vision

Creating a sound Strategic Vision is challenging. But trying to build a successful fitness business without one is…nearly impossible.  It would be like taking off on a road trip to a destination you don’t know where it’s at or how to get there, and you have no GPS. It’s a recipe for aimless wandering.  

And your business is far too important to set it up for unnecessary detours or dead-ends.  

With a clear, well-articulated Strategic Vision you’re equipping your fitness business with a reliable guide to help you steer your business towards your North Star. And when combined with the other 3 principles of The Core Four, your Strategic Vision ensures you don’t veer off course, and helps you stay focused on your ultimate goals and achieve sustainable success. 

If you’re looking for more clarity and less aimless wandering, take the GrowthCatalyst 2.0.
GrowthCatalyst 2.0 does an analysis on your business, and then delivers you a roadmap that tells you what’s clicking, what’s not, and what you need to do next to take you from your current standing to your next level of growth.

The Fitness Business GrowthCatalyst 2.0

Author: Nick Berry

Nick Berry is an accomplished entrepreneur, CEO, mentor, and author, with a track record which includes founding and leading numerous companies to success since his first venture in 2002. Nick Berry is the Founder and CEO of Fitness Revolution.

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