As the push toward keeping employees healthy and happy continues to grow, companies are becoming more interested in on-site workouts for their employees. If you recall from part one of this three-part series, I asked you to take an inventory of your skill-set. As a fitness professional, what can you offer a business? After determining what types of classes you can teach and what types of training you excel at offering, it’s now time to find companies that would value and benefit from your services.
Researching businesses in your city can be arduous. Here are a few suggestions on how to navigate this task.
- Do online research. If you live in a smaller town or borough, visit their website and search their business directory. Companies dealing with software, engineering, law, technology, finance and science are more prone to have the funding for a fitness program, so stick with them. If you live in a larger city, research the Chamber of Commerce or local business journals. These resources will provide in-depth information about the size of a company and will often list the name(s) of the executives—aka the decision makers. I suggest looking at mid-size companies with no fewer than 50 and no more than 100 employees. I know 100 sounds like a lot, but in reality, a 10 percent attendance rate at the beginning of a program is really good, so you can plan on teaching five to 10 people. When the program grows, you can always hire another trainer to co-teach with you.
- Attend networking events. Fitness professionals, by nature, tend to be outgoing and social, and this will only help you in your quest to find new business. People need to know what you’re doing and how it can help their business. Local networking groups provide weekly mixers and workshops that will allow you to interact in the professional scene.
- Ask current clients or members of your classes for referrals. These people are your biggest cheerleaders—they love what you do and want to see more of you! If you’re a group fitness instructor, give a quick explanation of your on-site fitness program at the end of your class. Have business cards ready to hand out and ask that they give the cards to their Human Resources department. You’ll also want to write down the name and phone number of their company’s human resources manager so you can follow up.
- Take advantage of social media. LinkedIn is another tool that can put you in touch with the right person. While I don’t recommend trying to link up with someone you don’t know by saying you’re “friends” with them, I do suggest that you search these outlets for names and titles. In addition to the executive team, the human resources manager will play a big role into whether or not they move forward with your program. Once you have their names you can email or call them directly.
- Research company culture. After compiling a list of potential companies, you’ll want to do some more in-depth research on company culture. Often the “careers” or “employee” tab on a company’s website will give you a glimpse into what they offer their employees. Look to see if they currently have a wellness program, offer gym memberships at a discounted rate, have an on-site fitness center, etc. You can then use this information when you meet with them to discuss your program.
In the next and final blog, I’ll be helping you get in the door and sell your program. However, in the meantime, use these tools to start your research. Strive to get the names and contact information for 20 to 30 companies and you’ll be ready to learn how to put all your work into action!
Stay tuned for Part 3!