By Sean Gagnon, Special AFS Contributor
For 10 years I volunteered as a coach for my son’s youth sports teams. I coached his baseball and football teams from kindergarten until he went oﬀ to high school last year. It was a big commitment, but an invaluable use of my time!
Not only did I get to spend quality time with my son but I made many lifetime friends with the other dads in the program. A few of them were entrepreneurs like me and I think I was naturally more drawn to them. There is a group of us that gets together a couple times per week to play racquetball…at the one guy's HOUSE!
These are some big time business owners with businesses well into the 9 figure range. I am by far the smallest business in the room so when they talk business - I shut up and listen. They don’t know it but I’m in what I call a “racquetball mastermind group”!
The teams are always the same and the games are always competitive. I think the competitive nature of entrepreneurs at this level is oﬀ the charts. We had a game today and the lesson I learned was one that we can all apply to our businesses and yield immediate results!
We lost game one by 2 points. We won game 2 by 2 points! Game 3 was tied 13-13 (Game to 15). We won the serve back and I said to my friend “2 more”. He looked at me and said, “1 More”. I thought he had his math wrong. I said, “It’s 13-13…. 2 more.”
He stopped, picked up the ball and walked over to me and said, “I know the score. You can’t get 2 points at once. 1 MORE.”
I’m sure he was talking about the game and he didn’t know he was teaching a lesson but he was. When it comes to our businesses there is always so much to do. Sales, marketing, personnel, finance, it goes on and on. It can be downright overwhelming! The principle of ONE MORE can relive this pressure and put you on the path to success. It can certainly be applied to all areas of your business but let's look specifically at how to apply it to SALES and OPERATIONS.
The One-More Approach to Sales
It’s no secret that sales is the lifeblood of any business. That’s not to say that it’s the most important part as I believe in an integrated system that must all work together. However, without sales, without cash flow, businesses die. Most owners know the monthly revenue target they need to hit in order to sustain operations and move towards profitability. At any stage of business, this can be overwhelming on the first of the month when the ‘register’ is at $0! Faced with this large gap we often fall prey to manipulation instead of purpose.
To get people to take action many times we offer discounts, specials, and devalue our services just so we can ‘make the sale’. Though this may work in the short term it does not create LOYAL customers.
To get people to take action many times we offer discounts, specials, and devalue our services just so we can ‘make the sale’. Though this may work in the short term it does not create LOYAL customers. When a better oﬀer comes along your customer can be easily swayed to the shiny new thing. Loyal customers are ones that stick with you and continue to bring you business regardless of what your competition is oﬀering. They give you great testimonials and refer you to their friends! The way to get LOYAL customers is to remember WHY you got into the business in the first place. When you can convey this purpose to your customers and you can connect on this level you will attract customers who are aligned with you and your purpose. Not customers that are just looking for a deal or the lowest price!
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of sales you have to make. Get ONE MORE of the RIGHT customers and then get ONE MORE and ONE MORE after that. This is how you eliminate the transactional nature of your business and create a strong, profitable and sustainable following.
The One More Approach to Operations
The other side of business is operations. Finance, maintenance, marketing and on and on. Most fitness entrepreneurs got into the business to focus on FITNESS not these other areas.
However, these other areas are also critical to the long-term success of the business. The principle of ONE MORE applies equally here as well. If you are faced with monthly maintenance of your facility don’t try to tackle it all at once, break it down into pieces. Today cardio, next week strength, after that facility - ONE MORE. If you are faced with financial tasks break it up - today is receivables, next week payables, after that reporting… ONE MORE. If you are working on the marketing make ‘buckets’. This week the social plan, next week direct mail, after that email marketing and newsletters….ONE MORE.
Being overwhelmed is simply a state that we allow ourselves to fall into. In actuality, it’s not real at all! When we try to ‘do it all’ we end up really doing nothing well and instead spend our time ‘checking boxes’. Ultimately to grow you need to build a team and we will discuss this next month. However, for the next 30 days apply the principle of ONE MORE to all areas of your business and I suspect you’ll be much further down the road when we meet again.
Oh - what happened in the game? We got ONE MORE…. then ONE MORE. 15-13…. WE WIN….and so will you!
Sean Gagnon is the founder and president of The Abs Company. He received his master’s degree in clinical physiology from the University of Florida. For over 10 years his company has been focused on core-based functional training products for the commercial and consumer fitness markets. The Abs Company products can be found in over 10,000 facilities and millions of homes in over 40 countries worldwide. The company mission is "We Change Lives from the Core”. Sean and his team are proud to do just that every day!