By Liz Callham, AFS Community Expert

Our industry is constantly changing with new trends, equipment, and fads. As current and aspiring business owners it's critical to stay on top of these trends in order to stay relevant and ahead of the curve in a crowded and competitive market.

But sometimes the best way to stay relevant is looking inward. 

In our industry, there are numerous ways to seek out continuing education. But did you know that just by offering a continuing education course at your studio can keep your employees motivated and provide a unique opportunity to market your studio in new ways?  

Adding a continuing education class can spark excitement, generate new ideas, foster positive employee reinforcement and even help you attract new clients and new employees! Here's how:

Find Out Your Employee Interests

In order to have the right educational offering, it's a good idea to know your own employee interests, right?  Reach out to your current employees and find out if they'd like a class on foam rolling, kettlebells, or maybe getting recertified in CPR by the American Heart Association.  Once you determine where their interest lie, then you can determine what organizations to reach out too.


Host the Class at Your Studio

Seems self-explanatory, but this is really the best way to expose your brand to your community.  By opening up your studio and providing your equipment for the class, you can leverage this opportunity and trade with the CEC providers. Many times the CEC provider will supply you with a few free entries for your employees as well! 

Consider Renting Out Your Space

If hosting CEC classes at your studio becomes a more regular occurrence, think about renting the space for future sessions. As business owners, this is a prime opportunity to create an additional revenue stream and host a class every quarter.  

Make Sure You're "Photo Ready"

The term "photo ready" is one that was driven into my head while working in many health clubs and gyms.  It basically means that any time you have members, clients, or others walking through your facility that at all possible times every area looks like it would if you were taking a picture and showing it to someone. 

Think about it, just by hosting a CEC course allows you the opportunity to market the course and open your doors to other fitness professionals that live or work around your studio. This is a prime opportunity to showcase how you conduct business and how clean your facility is which could possibly lead to new business or even new employees! 

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Is your staff prepared?
  • Are they professional and friendly?
  • Are you providing an experience just like you would for your clients for those taking the class?  You should (provide water, maybe some snacks and go the extra mile). 

All of these elements go along way and we all know how important word of mouth marketing can be.

Leverage the CEC/CEU Class for Your Own Benefit

Now that you've hosted the class, your employees have the additional knowledge they can pass on to their clients!  The more excited they are about what their studio is offering, the more inclined they'll be to talk to their clients about it - which in turn can lead to more referrals for your business! 

Sometimes engaging with your staff can yield opportunities you'd never think about. Research what's possible and determine ways to expand your knowledge. Examples might include new stretching techniques from a massage therapist or bringing in a yoga instructor who teaches the basics of meditation and relaxation.  Any education can be spun into a positive! 

Good luck!

Liz Callham received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA and Health Fitness Specialist through ACSM. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.

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