Why Having Multiple Revenue Streams Will Take Your Business from Good to Great

You know that you should diversify your investments.  You wouldn’t want to invest 100% of your money in one stock.  You’d want to diversify to an index or simply across multiple stocks in several industry sectors to protect your money and minimize the inevitable ups and downs of the stock market.  But what about diversifying your business revenue?  Have you thought about safeguarding your business by adding multiple revenue streams?

No.  That’s ok.  I didn’t consciously think about it until about eight months ago.  But in order to run a successful fitness studio (or business), you need to have multiple revenue streams.  Here’s why…

You will protect your biggest asset

My business is my biggest asset.  I’m guessing your business is your biggest asset as well.  And while I don’t sit around constantly contemplating the sale of my studios, it’s important to remember that they are an asset of value and a great deal of that value comes from the predictable revenues or memberships that have been sold.  I am always working to make sure that our reoccurring memberships which we call Pure Barre Platinum (12-month contract) and Open Barre (month-to-month no contract) equal my fixed costs and salaries.  The more reoccurring revenue or membership revenue that your business can count on, the more stable the business is—the more valuable it becomes.  Working to grow reoccurring revenue also has the added benefit of reducing your stress because you’ll know how much money your business is expected to earn each month and there won’t be any worries about how you’ll pay your rent or your employees.

 You can increase wallet share

I discussed this in last week’s post about the value of your distribution channel, but if you can find a product or service to sell one client, you can probably find something else to sell to them in the future—you can increase wallet share for your business.  What else could you sell to your existing client base?  For my business, it’s workout apparel and accessories.  If a client has a membership, selling them workout clothing is a great second revenue stream.  It makes sense—clients would need workout clothes to take class.  What else could you sell your clients to gain wallet share?

 A cash infusion can fuel growth

Developing an additional revenue stream could mean a cash infusion for your business that can fuel growth or allow you to reinvest in the business.  What does this mean?  For my studios, we sell student semester packages three times a year.  Since the students pay for several months in advance, that’s three times a year we receive a significant cash infusion to save for tax payments, purchase additional equipment, make studio improvements or simply add to the studio savings account.

Diversifying your business revenue will take your business from good to great and ensure your biggest asset remains your biggest asset.  But how do you develop multiple revenue streams and increase leads?  That’s what I’ll delve into in my next post—how to increase leads and ensure you have a steady stream of leads to grow your business.

Until then, stay on your toes!

How TV Was Killing My Productivity

Back in June, I had an epiphany that TV was responsible for killing my productivity, so I cancelled my cable TV service.  Wait, what?  No TV?!  No TV?!

One of the biggest things wrong with my life was that I simply never had enough time to get everything done both for my business and in my personal life.  After I read a book called The Compound Effect, I realized that I did in fact have plenty of time, however, I was wasting it or using that time ineffectively.  And TV was a huge time-suck.

Think about it.  How much time do you spend watching TV?  How much time do you spend watching TV that isn’t uplifting or impacts your mood in a negative way (Real Housewives anyone?!).  How much time do you spend watching shows you’ve already seen (um, HGTV)?  What would happen if instead of watching TV, you did other things, like read, write a blog, plan goals for yourself or your business?  How much more would you get accomplished?  In a day, a week, a month?

Don’t worry.  There are plenty of things that I can watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  And most importantly, all the mindless, stupid TV that I was watching before is not a part of those services.  Oh, and I’m saving over $1,000/year by not paying for cable.  Not too shabby.

The decision to cancel cable probably seems a little drastic to most of you.  I’ll do my best to answer all the questions swirling around in your head right now…

How do I watch the news?    –So here’s the thing about the news.  Most of it doesn’t impact me or my business at all.  A lot of news is depressing and irrelevant to what I’m trying to accomplish in my life.  And as a bonus, I didn’t have to watch one political ad during Election Season.  Do you wish you hadn’t watched any political ads in 2016?  I’m sure you do.

When I cancelled cable, I cancelled my Wall Street Journal subscription as well, which was actually harder to adjust to than not having cable.  I have the WSJ and NYT apps on my phone and have alerts set up, so if something big happens, I hear about it.  WXII, one of our local news stations, has an app as well.  Or I can log onto the WXII website and keep up with news and weather by watching live, which is what I did when tracking the recent snow storm we just experienced.  And this is kind of interesting.  I find that if it’s really important, someone will tell me about it.  Who knew?!

Um, sorry.  What about Fixer Upper?   –Haha.  I do love Fixer Upper.  So, it turns out that a lot of HGTV shows are on Netflix including the first two seasons of Fixer Upper.  The latest season of Fixer Upper is available on Amazon—you will have to pay for it, but at $24.99 for the season, you’re still coming out ahead from paying for a cable subscription.

What about sports?  –I don’t watch that many games on TV.  I’m either going to watch them in person—Go Deacs!—or going to a friend’s house to watch with a group.  Not a big loss there.  But last time I checked, ESPN had plenty of apps.  And it’s kind of amazing to see what people have to say about games live on Twitter.

What about HBO, Showtime, etc?  –I really like the show Billions, so eventually I’m going to break down and buy access to Showtime on Amazon which is $8.99/month after a 7-day free trial (this would include access to all Showtime shows and movies each month—pretty good deal compared to what the cable company charges).  But the second season isn’t out yet, so I’ll save my money until it is.

What I’m trying to say, is there are plenty of things for me to watch without having to pay for cable TV.  And since I can’t just mindlessly turn on the TV, sit down and scroll through the channels—I actually have to figure out what to watch, with intent—I’m not accidentally wasting hours and hours watching shows I don’t even like or put me in a bad mood.  If I chose to binge-watch something, I’ve made the decision to binge-watch because I’m interested in watching and I’m good with it.

What am I doing with all this extra time?  Well, I’m writing this blog, working on my business, spending more time with friends and reading—I’m a big reader.  Here’s what I’ve been reading in the past few months.

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy:  I recommended this book in a previous post because it literally changed my life.  I even bought a copy for everyone on my Team as a Holiday gift and I’m pretty sure most of them have read it. This book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes.  And it really works. Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner.  Read it.  Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect.  See what happens.  I’m going to keep talking about The Compound Effect in my blog, so you should probably just break down and buy it—then read it.

How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie:  This book is amazing.  I wish I had read it years ago.  It’s an especially good read for this time of year (January) since we tend to be more receptive to change and making better choices.  In the book, Carnegie, discusses many topics including how to make a good first impression, how to criticize other people without them hating you, how to become a good conversationalist and many more.  It really all boils down to listening to others and The Golden Rule.  Who doesn’t need a reminder to do unto others as you would have others do unto you?

The Bourbon Empire, Reid Mitenbuler:  I love bourbon.  But this book is about more than liquor.  It’s a book about business, marketing and plenty of American history sprinkled in.

Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home:  Domino Magazine was the best magazine on home décor and style that no one knew about—which is why it stopped being published back in 2008 or 2009.  Oops.  It has since come back as a quarterly publication.  For a long time, I could only find it at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores, but now you can actually subscribe to it.  Yea!  Since I want to buy a home this year, I’m enjoying flipping through this book as well as Domino: The Book of Decorating (which I already own) to stay inspired and excited about this impending HUGE purchase.

SUCCESS Magazine:  I used to just pick up a copy of this when I was at the airport.  But a few months ago, I bit the bullet and bought a subscription.  Each magazine includes a CD, which is great to listen to in the car.  If you believe that surrounding yourself with successful people leads you to being successful, then this magazine is for you.  I always pick up some great ideas from each issue.  Warning: If you are in the fitness industry, like I am, you will find the articles and “tips” about working out and eating healthy super-cheesy and lame.  But you have to keep in mind that most people don’t prioritize their health like we do—or make a living promoting health.  Drink another green juice and be glad you’ve got one less area of your life to worry about.

There you have it.  All the topics and things I’ve been filling my head with instead of bad TV shows including The Real Housewives and the seemingly limitless stream of House Hunter reruns.

In my next post, I’ll give you a list of my favorite podcasts, one of which, just gave me a list of some amazing books to read.  And the circle continues!

Until then, stay on your toes!

Why it’s Important to be a Bulldog in Business

In an effort to start getting my new office set up, I was cleaning out some papers and found an article I had saved from 2006.  I know.  What the heck was I doing with a 10-year old piece of paper ripped out of a magazine?

The title of the article was “Only the Bulldogs Survive” and it was written by Jeffrey Pfeffer.    Under the headline he writes, “It’s perhaps the most crucial ingredient of corporate leadership, and you can’t learn it in business school: The stubborn determination to get stuff done.”

I actually have two English Bulldogs.  They aren’t very good at listening, snort a lot, and burn more calories chewing a bone than most of us do in a cardio class (they really get into bone chewing).

I’ve been thinking more about Pfeffer’s message because when you’re a business owner, you have to be the bulldog and stick up for yourself and your business.  No one else will look out for you.

In a previous post, I discussed how I almost lost my business because I made a hiring mistake.  This year, I also had to fire my accountant because he made some pretty significant mistakes both preparing my taxes and completing my monthly book keeping.  Luckily those mistakes were in my favor and I didn’t owe the IRS or the State of North Carolina any additional tax money, however, it’s taken me several months to clean up the mess and amend my returns.

I bring this up, because if you have hired someone to work for you, don’t be shy about asking questions.  If you’re writing them a check, you deserve a detailed explanation for the work they are completing.

I know enough about accounting to be dangerous but not enough to be lethal.  I knew something wasn’t quite right with the work I was seeing from my old accountant.  It seemed like he wasn’t reviewing the work done by his associates.  Every time I asked a question, it was answered in a way that just didn’t seem to add up (no pun intended).  And I ended up over-paying my taxes.

Now, I have a new accountant.  If I ask him a question, he answers in plain English, which I appreciate.  I’ve also been working with a new book keeper each month and together we review all transactions.

And most important, I have set up my books so they help me make decisions about my business.  Each month I can see at a glance whether my net income is being driven by an increase or decrease in revenue or if it’s my expenses that have increased or decreased beyond where they usually are.

Is being bulldog-stubborn and a having a no-quit attitude the key to business success?  You’re damn right it is!  Without the conviction to follow your business plan despite all of the obstacles you can and will encounter as a business owner, you’re not going to get very far.  But I do try to keep the drooling to a minimum—the studios are carpeted.

In my next post, I’ll discuss how much of a risk it is to be successful and why it takes courage to succeed in business.  Heavy.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Start 2017 with Some Inspiration

I love reading this poem.  And with Arnold Palmer’s passing this year, it seems fitting to read it and remember a great athlete and successful businessman—who of course, went to Wake Forest.  Because so many successful people do.

I hope reading it inspires you.  Cheers to a New Year and a time to take your business to the next level!

 

Whether You Think You Can or Can’t You’re Probably Right

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think that you dare not, you don’t;

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,

It’s almost certain you won’t.

 

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;

For out in the world you’ll find

Success begins with a fellow’s will.

It’s all in the state of mind.

 

If you think you are outclassed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise;

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.

 

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

 

*A plaque has hung in my office for many years carrying the above selection of free verse.  I am not aware of its origin, but consider it a pertinent guideline for one to pursue in life and toward specific goals as well.  It has always provided an energizing thrust to my career in golf.

-Arnold Palmer, Professional Golfer

4-1, The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement, Howard E. Ferguson (This is one of my favorite books. So many great quotes and bits of inspiration.)

 

What’s the One Word that will define your business in 2017?

Each quarter I go to a day-long seminar called Growth Club that is organized and presented by my business coach, Mary Ann, and her colleagues at ActionCOACH.  Growth Club is designed for business owners to take a day away from working in their businesses and focus solely on what their goals are for the next quarter.  It’s also a great chance to meet other business owners, learn about what they are doing, and get their perspective on any problems you might be having.  I usually walk into Growth Club needing like eight coffees and leave with wings on my back.  And by the time I get home, I’m exhausted thinking about all the things I need to plan or add to my “to do’s” to take my business to the next level.

At last week’s session, Steve, a coach in Greensboro, asked us: “For 2017, what is that one word that will be your mantra?”  For me, it’s GROWTH.  But only for my business, not my waistline (I own 2 fitness studios, so I should be good on that one) or the number of dogs currently under my care (3, 2 English bulldogs and 1 dog that thinks she’s a bulldog).

Now that I’ve spent the last seven months hiring an incredible Team and ensuring they are working together as a team, it’s time to focus on all the ways I can increase the sales at each of my studios.  In other words, it’s time to develop a marketing strategy and any additional sources of revenue—basically, the fun stuff.

There are several ways I can grow my business:

  1. Open another studio.
  2. Acquire another studio.
  3. Grow the retail side of the business—ie. sell more clothing.

Which am I considering?  Well, all three of course.  When you’re looking to grow your business, you want to be open to all of your options and then pick the one or ones that make the most sense.  Keeping in mind that all growth options should adhere to the definition of a business which is: A commercial, PROFITABLE, enterprise that works…WITHOUT YOU.

I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store for me, my Team and my two Pure Barre studios.  What’s the one word that will be your mantra in 2017?  Think on it and then develop a plan to reach your goals!  Remember, your competition is waiting until January to come up with their goals.  As we say at the studios: “There is never a ‘perfect’ time.  Today is the day.  Start now.”

In my next post, I’ll discuss my three goals for the first quarter of 2017 as well as some specific steps I’ll take to reach those goals.  I have learned that when setting goals, you need to have a reward at the end and there’s jewelry at stake here!  So, these goals will be reached!

Until then, stay on your toes!