What we’ve learned from 6 months of podcasting

It’s important to celebrate your milestones in business.  And today marks our first six months of podcasting.  We’ll spare you the chalkboard out in the front yard pic. Or maybe since we’re only 6 months, we’d be all curled up on a blanket with our chalkboard.  Haha!

But seriously, we’ve learned quite a bit from talking each week.  Hopefully you have too!

Instead of sharing about what’s working in our business or teaching you something amazing, today we’ll talk about what we’ve learned from each other and from you during these six months of podcasting.

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We all had different takeaways from our time podcasting.  They ranged from building confidence, to more trust within our team, and just having fun.

During the episode, we talked a little about how easy it was to start podcasting.  Here is a list of all the equipment and tools we use to record and host each episode.

Blue Yeti USB Mic:  The key to starting a podcast is ensuring you have great sound and audio quality.  And after a little Googling, I found out that almost every podcaster has a Blue Yeti USB Mic.  As the name implies, you easily connect it to your computer to record your sound.  I purchased Vintage White, but other colors include black and silver.  We don’t use a wind screen, but that might be something we try in the future to see if the audio improves.

Screen Flow: Ok, so how do you record and edit?  You get Screen Flow!  And Screen Flow is great because it allows you to record both video and audio.  Editing is pretty easy once you learn how.  And if you’re recording across both video and audio, there is a feature to record what you’re doing on your computer screen–an excellent feature if you record and create courses.  Ahem, see the link below for my courses!

Anchor: And then after you record, you must figure out a place to host your podcast.  I chose Anchor because it’s free.  I’m currently evaluating some other hosting options that are paid–just trying to figure out what additional value we’d get from a paid service.  I’m not entirely happy with the analytics we get from Anchor, but for our start, it’s been perfect because it’s easy to use and helped us get the She’s On Her Toes Podcast onto 10 listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.

If you’re thinking of starting your own podcast, I hope these tools are helpful.  I had actually purchased the mic and Screen Flow to create my online courses–so technically our podcast startup costs were free.  But if you’re just starting out, you could expect to invest about $300-$350.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

How do you know if it’s a successful day?

This is not your father’s success.  In today’s business world, and especially in the business of fitness, success is not defined as climbing a corporate ladder and getting a gold watch at the end of your career.

In fact, I’ve heard that today’s business world is more comparable to navigating a jungle gym than a ladder–lots of lateral moves or sudden changes and the ability to hop off and then get back on again.  What do you think?  Seems to be pretty spot on to me.

Today, it’s more about fulfillment of a mission, achieving at work and at home, and continuous learning or personal growth.

So, how do you know if it’s a successful day?  Can you even track progress with these more conceptual daily goals?

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It’s important to define what success means to you, individually.

We’ll talk about how we define success running two fitness studios and how we keep at it even if things don’t seem to be going the way we want.

Throughout the episode, we referred to The Day Designer, which is the planner we all use.  Check out more about why we’re committed to staying organized and how The Day Designer allows us to make it happen and keep each day on the success track.

The new 2019 planners are available for order and we just got ours!  Since we each have to have a different one, it’s always fun to negotiate who gets which cover (Listen for some funny banter about how we had to make our decisions in the episode.)  But … I think everyone got which one they wanted!

She's On Her Toes 2019 Day Designer

Too funny!  We match!

Emily got Brushstrokes (top left).  Carolyn got Ink Me In (middle).   Christina got Patio Tile (lower right).  We like to order right away, because some patterns sell out!

The Day Designer:

It’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class. The appointments are on the left and the to-do’s are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page. There is also a spot to prioritize your top three to-do’s which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.

You can check out free downloads of a day’s page hereto test out how the planner might work for you. Another great free download is the Monthly Goal Progress page—I use this to make sure I’m on track with my larger goals and tasks that can’t be completed in just one day.  And, the Food & Exercise Log or Weekly Meal Plan pages are helpful to hold yourself accountable to your workouts and healthy meals. Check out the Day Designer here.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

Podcast Episode 15: How do you manage a team in the Gig Economy?

We’ve all heard about gigs and side hustles.  But what does the Gig Economy mean for your business.  If most of your employees are part-time, or have multiple jobs, how does that change the way you manage them and find success in your business?

The Gig Economy goes beyond driving for Uber and Lyft.  With opportunities for your employees to sell multi-level marketing products via Facebook, influencer blogging, and a plethora of part-time openings in brick-and-mortar stores, it’s likely that many of your employees won’t just be working for you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that “gig” workers represent approximately 34% of today’s workforce and by 2020, that number will increase substantially to 43%.

In this episode, we’ll discuss the opportunities and challenges that “gig” workers bring to your business and how you can effectively manage this workforce.

Did you know … we’re on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts AND now … Spotify?!  Listen to the She’s on Her Toes Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast Episode 12: 3 Ways to Beat the Summer Fitness Slump

It seems counterintuitive. Wouldn’t you want to workout in the summer?  All those shorts, cute sundresses, rompers, and bathing suits show more skin and require more confidence than your baggy winter sweaters. But, alas.  No.  What seems like a busy time for fitness is actually known in the industry as the dreaded summer fitness slump.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast here.

You know, that time when it seems like almost all of your clients head out of town to the beach, the mountains, fabulous trips to Europe and the Caribbean, and a few more trips to the beach for good measure.  It’s a time for fitness studio owners to hunker down, spend as little money as possible, clean out your back-storage room, and anxiously await your vacationing clients to all come back for a busy Fall—please come back!  Pretty please!  You haven’t forgotten us, right?!  You have to workout eventually …  seriously, we miss you.  Come back soon …

But what if you could evade the summer slump?  Is it possible to actually grow your client base in the so-called slow summer months? You’re damn right it is.  In fact, adding clients in the summer is possible—yes, there is a segment of the population that doesn’t take a 3-month vacation.  Unfortunate as they are (poor “vacationless” souls), they can keep your summers busy which is a great morale boost for your Team not to mention nice for your finances. Here are my top 3 ways to beat the summer fitness slump:

Don’t Switch to a “Summer Schedule”:  It’s tempting to think that when a large segment of your client base heads out of town, you’d be better served to switch to a “summer schedule” and eliminate or consolidate classes.  While it seems that you would save money by not having to pay a teacher for a class that’s not full, you’re actually giving clients a reason not to visit your studio.

The first summer Pure Barre Winston-Salem was open, we decided to eliminate the 9:45 AM class because attendance was really low.  We rationalized that clients would just come to the 8:30 AM class or another time in the early morning or afternoon instead.  This was a huge mistake.  Clients who regularly took class at 9:45 AM thought we had taken the class off the schedule permanently and we actually lost about 15 clients who just couldn’t understand that the class would be added back at the end of August.  Head hits desk.  Bourbon is poured.

Lesson learned.  Now, I don’t switch to a temporary “summer schedule” which eliminates otherwise popular class times.  Removing classes can confuse your clients and thus give them a reason not to keep taking class at your studio.

Do Schedule Pop-Up Classes or Community Events:  The key to attracting new clients in the summer months is to host community events or free classes that are open to the public. In addition to creating interest in your studio for new clients, community classes are also fun for your existing client base—a win-win for your business.

But as a business owner, there is a lot of risk involved in hosting a class outside.  You’re trying to re-create an in-studio experience outside where things such as traffic noise, weather, and a host of other factors could potentially ruin the experience for your paying clients and any new clients just learning about your business.  Ah!  It’s a lot of pressure!

If you invest in the proper equipment and have some back-up systems in place, hosting a Pop-Up or outdoor class should be pretty painless.  How did we do it?

First, we invested in the proper equipment including a branded tent, branded table and tablecloth, a portable speaker, and wireless microphone.

KD Canopy:  We purchased our tent from KD Canopy several years ago and it’s been used a lot! While the company will tell you this tent can be set up by 2 people, you’ll have a much easier time with 3 or 4. The quality of this tent is great and it’s easy to pack up, move, and store.  We also added on a branded tablecloth, which we’ve used many, many times more than the tent.  Definitely get the tablecloth!  It was an easy add on that is a staple to our marketing efforts at events.  Both the tent and tablecloth have been great purchases and make a very professional first impression.

Weltron WAS-TUBE 5 Portable Bluetooth Active Tower Speaker ($455.04):  We literally just bought this speaker after learning about it from a company we had been renting equipment from for our previous outdoor classes.  While the cost seems expensive, we were paying the rental company $400 for each use of their equipment, so this speaker has already paid for itself and we have several other outdoor and off-site events planned before the year is out. I bought this speaker through Amazon using American Express points, making it virtually free (another way to save).  Pretty amazing—which also describes the sound quality of the speaker.  Did I mention it’s extremely easy to set up, break down, and transport?  Simply connect your iPod or other player to it and turn up the volume.  If you’re looking for professional-sounding equipment for indoor or outdoor use, look no further.

Samson Airline 77 Headset Wireless System with Fitness Microphone ($299.99):  This is a similar model to what we use in our studios, which is a huge advantage to teaching a class in an unfamiliar environment.  You can easily connect this system to the Weltron Tower Speaker and have both music and the mic working at the same time.  Just plug the mic in, connect, and use.  It’s that simple.  We had a back-up mic just in case.

Announce a Multi-Month Challenge: Initiating a multi-month challenge is a great way to keep existing clients engaged and regularly taking classes in your studio during a time that would typically be slower.  It’s also a great way to keep client energy high and keep your studio relevant.

Starting June 1st, we are kicking off the Ruby Barre Challenge at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons.  What is the Ruby Barre Challenge?

  • The Ruby Barre Challenge is a 7-month Free Challenge that anyone with an active package can participate in.
  • Clients are challenged to take 15 classes each month staring in June and finishing in December.

Here’s a picture of the Challenge Board we created …

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What do you think?!  We actually had to get a second board … but I love the “ruby” magnets that everyone can put by their names to keep track of their progress each month.

At the end of the Challenge, we’ll have a celebration for everyone that successfully took 15 classes each month.  And for the first time ever, all Challenge winners will sign a red barre that will hang on the wall at the studios.

While many of your clients will take the summer months to spend more time traveling than taking classes in your studio, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the so-called summer slump. By taking the time to plan some great events and keep things fun and engaging during the summer, you can actually keep building your client list which can mean thousands in additional revenue for your business at the end of the year.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast here.

Podcast Episode 8: How to Hire A Rock Star Team, Part 2

We talked so long last week about how to hire a great team, that we split the discussion into two parts.  Join us for the second half of our discussion on how to hire the right team of employees for your business …

If you’ve already read the book, She’s On Her Toes, you’ll remember the definition of a fitness business, but let’s just refresh:

“A fitness business is a commercial, profitable enterprise that can be run without you so you can be a role model in the health and fitness community you are creating.”

To get your business to run without you, you’ll have to be a true leader and create the vision, mission and culture for your employees to follow.

Taking the time to write your business Vision, Mission and Culture statements is the most valuable process you can complete when it comes to building a team because it establishes clear parameters for who you want to hire. If a candidate you interview doesn’t agree with any part of your Vision, Mission and Culture statements, then they aren’t a good fit for your business.

It’s great to talk about why it’s important to hire a great team … but … how do you actually go about hiring these amazing individuals?

Did you know I have an online course, How to Hire A Rock Star Team?  Yep!  I do!

The course is a comprehensive, step-by-step plan to create your own hiring process.  There are 15 lessons complete with videos, audio lessons, and worksheets.  This is the exact same process that I went through to create my own hiring process, so I know it works.  It’s the exact same process that I use today when I’m looking to interview or add a new member to my team.

In the course, you’ll learn how to create an environment that attracts only the RIGHT employees to work in your business.  You’ll also create a complete hiring process including how to:

  • Write an exciting job description
  • Post a killer advertisement
  • Conduct the perfect interview
  • Ask the right interview questions

I talk non-stop about how hiring the best team is literally THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do for your business.  It is!

In fitness (and most membership-based businesses), you can’t promote yourself to a successful business.  Meaning, even if you had the most awesome deal or promotion, it will be a total flop, if you don’t have the right team to sell and deliver an incredible experience to your prospective clients.

It’s all about the experience!  Who offers the best experience?  The best employees!  That’s right, people provide the best experience.  Not promotions!

And how are you, the over-worked and over-whelmed small business owner supposed to do it all?!  You can’t. This is why it’s so important to hire the right team to help you out.

While the course is designed for fitness studio owners, the same principles apply to any small business owner and even some large business owners.

Be sure to check out the amazing bonus materials … they might just be better than the course itself!  And … I also have a list of THE BEST interview questions to ask to hire the right employee.  There are some questions that I use specifically to hire for my fitness studios.

Click here to purchase:  How to Hire a Rock Star Team

Click here to listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes or Apple Podcasts

Podcast: Episode 7, How to Hire A Rock Star Team, Part 1

I take full responsibility for my business successes and failures.  I made all the decisions to shape my business.  But it wasn’t until I looked at running my business differently that great things really started to happen for me.

See, the definition of a business is:

A commercial, PROFITABLE, enterprise that works…WITHOUT YOU.

This means that you are free to work ON your business not IN it.  The business is fully functioning without you.

–Brad Sugars, Founder of ActionCoach

Does that describe your business?  Can you stay home or go on vacation and everything will happen without you?  Will the doors be unlocked and clients served? Will you see money deposited into your bank account?  If the answer is no, then you own a job, not a business.

Once I realized how important it is to hire the right team and give them the responsibility of running my business, then things started falling into place.  Hiring the right team is the difference between owning a job and owning a business.

And in Episode 7, we talk about how to hire a rock star team.  We’re not looking to hire warm bodies to go through the motions.  We want rock stars that strive for excellence and make the business great.

 

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I love this picture of my Team!  They gave me a framed copy for Christmas last year.  It’s in my office–this is the view from my desk.

There are two very important personalities that every business should have.  According to Mark C. Winters, author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business, every business needs both a Visionary and an Integrator.  Once these two people are working together, that’s when great things start happening.

The Visionary comes up with the big ideas, but within the Integrator they will fall flat.  Why?  Because the Integrator knows how to execute.  Both roles are critical for a business to grow and succeed.

Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business 

Here’s the link to take the quiz and find out if you’re a Visionary or an Integrator.

Can you guess who the Visionary is in my business?  Who’s the Integrator?  Listen to the episode and learn which roles Emily, Christina, and I fill.

Click here to see if you’re a Visionary or an Integrator.

Click here to listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts.

Don’t forget about the Build A Better Business 5-Day Challenge!  It’s not too late to start.  Click here to learn more.

Build A Better Business 5 Day Challenge

As business owners, we wear a lot of hats—CEO, Director of Marketing, Scheduler, Head Janitor, Costco Supply Shopper—the list goes on.  But seriously, can someone please let me retire from IT Specialist?!

Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day … but haven’t made a dent in your to-do list?  Does it seem like you’re working just to pay American Express?  Are you on the verge of massive burnout?  #beenthere

Then, the Build A Better Business 5-Day Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time for you!  The Challenge starts, Monday, May 14th!

Oftentimes, as busy business owners, we are so focused on the day-to-day and getting our massive to-do lists complete that we fail to recognize if all this work we’re doing is really moving our businesses forward.

What do I mean by that?  Well … if you’re doing lots of things, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

Yep.  It’s time to take a cold, hard look at how you can build a better business over the next 5 days and whether it’s time to hire an employee to help you take your business to the next level.  Each day, I’ll walk you through a quick, mini-lesson, on how to become more effective and efficient in your business.  You’ll spend about 15 minutes each day making some small improvements—these are the exact steps I took before I took a big leap forward and hired enough employees to help me run my business.

The Challenge starts Monday, May 14th.  Here’s what you can expect over the 5 Days …

Day 1: Find the Remedy to Never Having Enough Time  

I’ll show you how you can easily and quickly determine where you’re spending your time. This is gold!

Day 2: Prepare for Change

Even after 1 day, you’ll be ready to make a change to build a better business.  I’ll walk you through how to plan and prepare.

Day 3: Create the Right Business Environment

“If you build it, they will come.”  Right?! Yes!  I’ll help you get started on an important step before considering hiring a new employee.

Day 4: Double Down on Extra Time

At this point, you will have extra time.  I know it seems too good to be true!  I’ll help you determine the best way for you to maximize your priorities as a business owner.

Day 5: Design Your Ideal Day

No explanation needed!  You’ll create your ideal schedule and I’ll give you the tools to actually make it happen. #forreal

Completing these 5 steps was a huge eye-opener!  And … totally transformed the way I worked in and on my business.

All you need is about 15 minutes each day for the 5 days starting Monday, May 14th.  Are you ready to build a better business?  Are you in?!

I’m in! I want to Build A Better Business!

Click here to receive access to a special Challenge Google Drive with each day’s quick, mini-lesson.  Remember … you’ll only spend about 15 minutes each day building your better business.  I’ll also be on Instagram Live at 6:00 AM EDT to walk you through the steps.  6:00 AM!  I know, but it will be great to start the day off thinking about all the good things you can do to make your business better … and it was the only time that I could consistently join you for these messages all week.  For you night owls … just watch the videos later in the day.  No big deal.  Follow along @shesonhertoes on Instagram.

Click here to gain access to the Google Drive with all 5 mini lessons to Build A Better Business!

Podcast: Episode 6, When Are You Done in Business?

When are you done in business?  There seems to be an unsubstantiated rumor out there that there is some finish point when you’re building and working on your business.

In a lot of things, there is a beginning and an obvious finish.  But, business is a little different … the finish line isn’t always obvious, or within reach.

She's On Her Toes

When you’re building your business, you’re always tweaking things, making adjustments.  You don’t just start, open the instruction manual, follow the directions, and get to the finish line.  There’s always something new to be done.  There’s always a change to be made.  The finish line is always moving out ahead of you.

In the She’s On Her Toes Podcast, Episode 6, Emily, Christina and I talk about when you’re done in business.  Meaning, we ask and answer the following questions:

  1. How do you know when something isn’t working and move onto something that does work?
  2. How do we accept change in business?

And we talk about the idea of pivoting.  Because sometimes you have a great idea, but it’s just not working the way you wanted.  So … you pivot, or turn on your heel, and move in a different direction.  We talk about some case studies including how we approach clothing sales and client retention–actual problems we faced in the business and how we adapted and changed course to correct the problem.

 

If you haven’t already purchased the book, Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days, by Joey Coleman, buy it now.  It took me 2 days to read because the book had valuable, actionable information on how to improve your client retention.

She's On Her Toes Never Lose A Customer

Never Lose A Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days ($20.80): One of the questions this book poses is “How big would your company be if you still did business with every customer you ever worked with in the past?”  Holy sh$t.  Um yeah.  Customer retention is the single most important thing your business needs to focus on, yet we often spend the majority of our time and money on client acquisition instead.  Author, Joey Coleman discusses how you have 100 days to keep a customer for life and the 8 phases of this timeline.  The book walks you through all 8 phases and shows you how to implement them in your own business.  Pure gold.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts here.

Podcast: Episode 5, Do You Root for Others to Fail?

The concept of one’s own success resulting due to the failure of others is very real. In a time when there have never been more opportunities for women, and small business owners, people in general, why do we continue to have a scarcity mindset? Why is living with abundance so hard?

In Episode 5, we talk about living with abundance and why that can be challenging in our ultra-competitive world.

Living with abundance means that opportunities are unlimited. If someone gets more, that doesn’t necessarily mean someone else gets less. When you live with an abundance mentality, you have a strong personal worth. You feel secure. You are open to all possibilities. You’re creative and fulfilled. Sounds awesome, right?

So, why is it easier for us to root for others to fail, rather than champion their success? Have we really reached a point where our world is so cut-throat that we only recognize our own success when others fail?

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts here.

She's On Her Toes

 

Podcast: Episode 4, Is Traditional Client Service Dead In An Online World?

Has the Internet and Social Media rendered traditional client service or customer service dead?

I’m talking about—a client walks into your business, you sell them something, they pay, and then you keep in touch to earn the next sale.

In today’s Social world, things are different.  Clients have access to all kinds of information about your business including how you talk to clients through your Facebook and Instagram accounts.  In fact, prospective clients have probably already formed expectations about how they’ll be treated before they even step foot into your business.  Or don’t even give you a second look after they do their research!

But while technology has changed the way we approach client service, there are some things that apps and the Internet can’t replace—things like greeting clients by name, smiling, and writing thank you notes.  These traditional, (eek, old fashioned!) practices can go a long way in distinguishing your client experience from your competitors’.

Join the conversation about how to excel at client service in our fast-paced inter-connected business world and listen to the latest She’s On Her Toes podcast here.

To help you create the best client service and client experience in your own business, I’ve   compiled a list of my favorite business books on the subject …

The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue ($16.83): If you own a fitness studio, or any membership-based business, buy this book … now!  If you don’t current offer membership options at your business, buy this book … now!  Creating “members” rather than clients is important when thinking about the “customer for life” concept.  My copy of this book is marked up, dog-eared, and well-read.  I keep going back to it all the time when building my business.

Never Lose A Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days ($20.80): One of the questions this book poses is “How big would your company be if you still did business with every customer you ever worked with in the past?”  Holy sh$t.  Um yeah.  Customer retention is the single most important thing your business needs to focus on, yet we often spend the majority of our time and money on client acquisition instead.  Author, Joey Coleman discusses how you have 100 days to keep a customer for life and the 8 phases of this timeline.  The book walks you through all 8 phases and shows you how to implement them in your own business.  Pure gold.

She's On Her Toes Never Lose A Customer

Think and Grow Rich for Women ($14.66):  I really enjoyed hearing Sharon Lechter speak and her book was just as insightful.  When Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich in 1937, he included 13 Steps to Success—but at that time all the major business minds and heads of companies were men.  Sharon goes through each of the 13 Steps and applies them to the lives of modern women.  Sharon’s message is that as women in business, we either sell or we serve.  As in taking the time to understand our clients and serve them to the best that we can using the best means that we can help them out.  I love her concept of living “one big life” instead of trying to find the elusive “work-life balance” that never quite seems attainable.  A must-read!

I’ve used teachings from all three of these books and incorporated them into the client service and client experience at my studios.  I’d love to hear if they bring you value as well.  Email at [email protected] or comment below to share.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts here.