The Fitness Business Annual Planning Session

by | Dec 19, 2017 | Articles, For Business Owners, For Fitness Pros, Stage 3 | 1 comment

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2019)

Achieve More Faster With This Planning Routine

“A goal without a plan is just a dream…”

I had to look it up but Antoine de Saint Exupery is creditted with that well-known quote.  You probably use some form of it to motivate your clients and explain the difference between what you do and what they may find in typical gyms, from typical trainers.

But, do you approach your business the same way?

Most business owners get so caught up in working in their business they never take a breath, look up and plan for their future success.  They hope that someday they hit their goals.

Now, don’t get me wrong…

Doing the daily work is what allows you to accomplish your goals.  However, if you’re working on the wrong stuff it’s all for nothing!  Let’s make sure you have a great plan to help you reach your goals and build a business you love.

The Fitness Business Owners Annual Planning Session

Do you spend more time programming for your client’s than you do creating a plan for your business?

That ends today!  Because we’re going to lay out your Annual Business Review™ and all the steps you need to take if you want a great plan for the year ahead.

If you’re reading this and it’s not time to do your annual planning, that’s okay too!  You can easily use this in your Quarterly planning.

You can do this no matter the time of year, size of busienss or type of business.  The best time to start is now!

During your Annual Business Review (ABR) there are a few prerequisites:

  1. Complete your Annual Business Analysis
  2. Compile your Financials Metrics and 4 Marketing and Sales Pillars™
  3. Review your Strategic Alignment Plan™ (if you don’t have one, you’ll create it during your ABR)

These simple tasks will help prepare you for a successful ABR session.  It’s possible to complete your ABR ahead of time, but it’s kinda like jumping into your workout with doing your movement prep or warm up.

How Long Should Your Annual Planning Last?

This differs depending on the size of the business, not just in revenue but in team members.  At Fitness Revolution we plan for a full 2 days out of the office for our Annual Business Reveiw.

If you’re familiar with our 5 Stages of A Business Owner’s Journey here’s what I’d suggest for each stage:

  • Stage 1: 2 Hours of dedicated planning time
  • Stage 2: 1/2 Day of dedicated planning time
  • Stage 3: 1 Full day of dedicated planning time
  • Stage 4: 1-2 full days of dedicated planning time
  • Stage 5: 1-2 full days of dedicated planning time

As your grow your business and start venturing into Stage 3 and beyond there’s a good chance you’ll need to bring in members of your Leadership Team to participate in your ABR.   With a coach you may be able to expedite the process a bit and get a crisp plan in place quicker, but it’s still recommended that you dedicate some time to reflect on your business without having to worry about your day to day tasks.

You’re probably thinking “Ryan, your NUTS! That’s too much time…”

This will be some of the most valuable time you spend working on your business and it’s the foundation for all the work you’re going to put in over the next 90 days and beyond.  It’s where you build your plan to hit your goals!

At first it will be difficult, almost painful to step away from the business.  It gets easier and you get better at doing it.

This is why we give you these frameworks and processes to follow, it allows you to make the most of this time without having to figure it all out on your own.

No matter the amount of time that you spend on your ABR the framework is still the same…

How To Run A Successful Annual Business Review

It’s best to start with the outcome in mind.  At the end of your ABR you want to have:

  • Your Annual Gross Revenue Goal
  • Identify Metric Goals such as New Clients, Net Clients, Operating Margin or Retention that are important for your business success
  • 2-4 key objectives for the year
  • 1-3 Quarterly Rocks that align with your annual objectives
  • An updated Strategic Alignment Plan

Step 1: Check In

During this time check in with yourself and your team, if involved, and rate your business, life and health.  This allows you to evaluate where you see yourself, good or bad, and increase your self awareness.  This works particularly well with your team or a business coach as they can get a pulse for where mindset is and where some potential issues could be in your life/business.

It’s always great to starting a positive as well.  Typically not all of these areas are going to be in dumps.  There’s a good chacne at least one great thing is going on in your life and you get to celebrate it here.

Step 2: Rock Reporting

This section of your Annual Business Review is designed to get a Done/Not Done status report on your previous Quarterly Rocks.  Remember, these were supposed to be the MOST IMPORTANT projects or benchmarks in your business for the pervious quarter.  We want to keep tabs on them and hold yourself and team accountable for getting them done.

If you follow our process for setting these SMARTR Rocks™ you’ll have a clear picture of where they stand.

Step 3: Previous To-Dos

If you had meeting to-dos or tasks that needed to be done from a previous Monthly or Quarterly Business Review check in on their status and get an update from the responsible individual.  This allows for continuity from meeting to meeting and establishes a culture of accountability.

Step 4: Strategic Alignment Plan Review

At this point you want to to either fill in your Strategic Alignment Plan or review your completed plan to ensure it is updated and accurate.  Go through step by step to evaluate your Core Values, Long Term Vision, Core Offer, Local Market Positioning, Ideal Client and check in on your yearly/quarterly goals.

If you are missing a key component or need to update one of the sections typically we would coach you to create a Rock or establish a to-do to use one of our tools to help you get it up to date.  It’s typically not a valuable use of your time to try and crowdsource the information and get it completed in this meeting.  Assign it to the responsible individual and let them take it and run.

Step 5: Set Your 1 year Goals

Now it’s time to set your targets for the coming year!  These should get you a little bit (or a lot) closer to your Long Term Vision.  You will look at your projections for Gross Revenue, evaluate your marketing plan  and create mielstones for your big projects.

This can be a tricky task the first few times.  If you have trouble this goal setting post may help you out.

Step 6: Set Your Quarterly Rocks

Now it’s time to drill down and focus on the next 90 days.  What has to happen for you to be on pace to hit your annual goals at the end of the quarter?

If you can clearly answer that question you’ll be off to a great start.

Avoid the mistake of taking on too much at this stage.  You’ll overestimate what you can get done in 90 days the first few times.  Focus on the most important items and leave the rest for later.   Heck, if you get all your Rocks done early you can always tackle more projects.

Step 7: Evaluate your Issues and Opportunities

Your SAP is a great place to keep tabs of issues and opportunities you don’t want to lose but can’t focus on right now.  Evaluate this list and prioritize the items you can solve right now that will have a big impact on your business.

This is the time to really dig in and find solutions to make these go away forver.

Step 8: Review Rocks and Goals

It’s time to wrap up your planning session!  Review your Rocks and Goals to ensure they are still accurate after completing your ABR and then get to work on putting together your SMARTR Rock Planning Sheets™.   Typically, if it’s not done before the ABR you can spend a few days planning out the steps to get your Rocks done.

What’s next?

Get to work on implementing your plan!  A great business coach can take a well prepared coaching client through this exercise in about 60 minutes, especially after they have built a good working relationship.  It does require work on both the coach and the fitness business owner’s part to make that 60 minutes effective.

Spending some time with your team or on your own going through this exercise ahead of time will make any time you have with a coach more effective.

If you have a team it’s time to head back to them and cascade the plan so they can help you hit your goals.

Need help…

It’s not easy to get through this alone.  Often times a business owner is too close the issues to really be able to step back and see the path to hitting their goals.  That’s why a coach is so valuable when creating your plans.  They challenge you to look at things differently and help you develop as a business owner.   If you’d like to see if coaching could be a good fit for you let’s give it a test run!  Apply for a complimentary coaching call today…

The Fitness Business Annual Planning Session

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