We all know business plans are important, and you likely fully intend to create one, someday. Consider this a friendly reminder that it’s critical to have a business plan, even if you’re already running your studio. Here are five reasons why: 

1. To Become a Fitness Market Expert

Doing the proper research for your business plan can give you a high-level view of the fitness industry as a whole. The more expertise you gain, the clearer an understanding you will have of your studio’s position within the broader market, and how best to leverage that position to find success. Further, you’ll be better equipped to forecast market downturns or identify potential industry disruptors, enabling you to adapt your business with a changing market. 

2. To Unify Your Team’s Mission

Business plans are an opportunity to define your studio’s mission, i.e. what you want to accomplish, who you want to serve or the culture you want to foster. By defining your business mission, you rally your team around this central goal. This gives you a staff motivated by something bigger than simply their next paycheck.   

3. To Set Benchmarks for Measurable Success

Success is an exceedingly vague term when it’s undefined. Through your research, you should be able to create clear benchmarks you want to achieve as your studio develops. Create quarterly goals for the first year at minimum and roadmap overarching goals throughout the first five years. In addition to goals for your studio, don’t forget to set benchmark goals for your management team as well. 

4. To Create Professional Relationships

You need to get your business plan in front of professional eyes. That means sharing it with lawyers, accountants, peers in the industry and any applicable consultants. By sharing your business plan with professionals, you boost your business’s viability. Why? Because they know the familiar pitfalls, practices that lead to success and ways that your inexperience can create unnecessary problems for your new business.

5. To Raise Funding

No one is going to invest in a business they don’t understand. Not a bank, a venture capital firm or even your mom — well, maybe your mom but you shouldn’t ask her to do so. A well-crafted business plan should be simple to read, well organized and easy to understand. This document takes your future studio from a vague concept to a concrete idea. Even if your club is already operating, a business plan can help you secure fresh funding to take your business to the next level. 

Kevin Talley is the digital content coordinator for Club OS. He can be reached at ktalley@club-os.com