Time to Reset Your Fitness Business During COVID19

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At a time when the world is going through tremendous fear and uncertainty in our industry (like others) has been shaken to its very foundation. With this has come great individual and collective struggle. The doors of our industry have, for the most part, temporarily closed. Will they reopen? Most certainly. Will it be the same industry when it reopens? Most certainly not. Just as global environmental and economic health will have shifted greatly so will the health and fitness industry. It is at such times we have an opportunity – not by design but rather by default – to reflect and reset.

Setting vs Resetting

What does it mean to ‘reset’? We often take words for granted or fail to consider their possibility of meaning. I know I do. 

 

Set
  • put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position.
  • put or bring into a specified state.

 ‘Set’ can mean to be in a specific place or position but also to come into a specific state. ‘State’ refers to the condition of something. 

Reset
  • to set again or differently

Therefore, reset can mean to move something back to its original place / position or fix it in a new / different way. It means we can choose to keep our position and state the same or seek a new one. 

At the time of writing I like most, if not all, have seen my business wilted down to zero income. Ouch. We (Pivotal) offer coaching, education, and consulting around the world and 100% of the industry is closed for business. This is both an important and urgent circumstance that demands an immediate and significant response. Our default is typically to hustle. Hustle is good. Grit, determination, persuasion. But hustle won’t change a global pandemic nor the greatest economic challenge of a generation. For us, we have no choice but to reset. The question is: do we want to return to the same place and state we were in before? Or do we want to reopen for business differently (personally and professionally)? 

We have decided to adapt and choose the latter. This is not to say we are ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’, far from it, but rather upon an honest appraisal of what was, what is, and what may come to be, it is time for a new chapter. We intend to shift our state and position – not necessarily our purpose. This has resulted in a new business playbook and a three-year strategic plan. This was not in our ‘plans’ and has taken long hours every day for the past three weeks to develop. 

Business plan development is a detailed step by step process and needs an article unto itself. However, a business plan ultimately serves your purpose and intention so before you ‘crack on’ with strategic objectives, performance metrics, market analysis, and the like, it would be good to press pause and reflect on the critical factors that impact and direct your business plan. Here are a few of the impact factors that we reflected on 

Your Brand. Your Story.

Why do you (as a business) exist and what would the world look like if you achieved your vision? If you do not have clarity and conviction of purpose it is unlikely people will hear your story or feel compelled to join it. This means you must get clarity on your brand archetype ASAP. Archetypes are not just necessary but essential to how your audience hears your story and more importantly how they feel about themselves when they do. When people feel they understand, like, and trust you …they buy. As humans, we are wired with innate motivations and emotions that drive thoughts and behavior one of which is an inherent desire for relatedness and community. This becomes all the more powerful when we can harness and direct a community toward a common purpose. Does your brand do this? Perhaps your story has shifted over the years (mine has) and now is a time to find a new voice and new audience. Some previous members will return, some won’t and some will wait. This is an opportunity to change your voice and be heard differently. 

Are you attracting the type of people into your business that you desire? Not just the ones who pay the bills but those you actually want in your community – and life. It starts by getting clear on the story you want to share, i.e. your vision, mission, and values (more on this in the webinar). How you share this story will be influenced by your archetype. Your imagery, language, colors, your voice, – all of it – is designed to be heard and felt by the right audience for you, not just any audience. This includes those that work for you as well as those your serve. Kaye Putnam has a fantastic site for exploring who you are and how you want to world to hear and feel you. 

A guiding principle for Pivotal is:

“we do work we love with people we love. We do work that matters with people that care. There is no third option” 

Simply put, we won’t do work that doesn’t matter with people we don’t like. Everything we do in business is a personal statement of who we are in this world. Any money you may lose as a result of letting members or staff go (who don’t match your intention and attention) will come back 3-fold down the line both in reputation and revenue. This is an opportunity to be brave, create new boundaries, and attract into your life that which you truly seek.

The Why. The What. The How.

A reset of brand and business first requires a shift of mindset. We have just spent two weeks honestly resetting our Vision, Mission, and Values (VMV). VMV are not words just to make us feel good or a smart sound bite. They are the very GPS on Why we exist, What we do, and How we show up in the world. They must have significance and relevance to us as human beings and equally in growing the business. To do this they possess 3 critical components

  • Clarity. If I asked your CEO, sales manager, receptionist, coaches, cleaners, to tell me your VMV, would they all be able to state them with clarity and purpose? Confidence without clarity is a disaster. Does everyone on the bus know where you are going, how you are getting there, and why?
  • Actionable. Can your team demonstrate an example of your VMV? One of our values is Kindness: respect and celebrate the beauty in all people. If I am unable to give you an example of how we demonstrated that today, its meaningless. 
  • Measurable. This one is critical. Do your performance metrics (sales, profit, brand engagement, etc.) actually map to your VMV? If they do not it is unlikely your passion will become your paycheck.  If it matters to growth it should be measured. 

Our webinar will discuss some specific ways you can turn your VMV into strategic initiatives. Some fantastic reads in the meantime include

  • Start With The Why, Simon Sinek
  • The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber
  • Fundamentally Different Daniel Friedman

The Playbook

The playbook quite simply is your ‘menu’ of strategies and plays. In business, this refers to your services, products, and how you intend to sell and service them. Do you want to reopen your doors with the same playbook as before or reinvent it? Most likely you will have a combination of both. At Pivotal we have decided to let go of things that were not creating a good ROE (return on effort!), add some new items to make us more scalable with greater net profit, and explore new ventures altogether. All great sports teams expand and upgrade the playbook each year (and their talent). So do great businesses. This is a time to be bold, creative and upgrade the playbook. 

Reinvention takes innovation. Innovation requires different information. Different information requires different exploration. More work! Reinvention requires we either change the way we are doing things or change the things we are doing. Ask yourself honestly: am I asking the same questions, seeking the same answers, looking with the same filter? Have the courage to look outside your comfort zone. There is what we know, what we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know. A reset often takes a leap of faith into the unknown. 

Our industry is a good example of incremental innovation, in other words, we make incremental upgrades to what we have always done. This is a good thing and works great for solving linear and slower evolving problems. An example of this is the Dyson vacuum who changed vacuums forever by creating cyclonic separation technology to remove dirt and dust. All vacuums are concerned with dirt and dust, but Dyson created cyclonic technology and they were game-changers. 

Solutions for more dynamic and complex issues (our industry!) are often created by recombinant innovation. This innovation combines different systems, ideologies, and industries to create breakthroughs. Examples include behavioral economics, wheels on luggage, or Uber. Waze Navigation App is a great example of this using smartphones, GPS, digital maps, cellular systems, social networking concepts, and the Internet to provide a real-time navigation application that is used by millions of people. Some parts of your business will need incremental innovation but perhaps this is a time to rethink with a different filter – a time for recombinant innovation. It’s a time to seek mentors, sounding boards, and contacts in different industries, cultures, and communities. Our webinar will talk about the power of Diversity and Collective Intelligence. 

How we show up during and after this pandemic will say a lot about who we are and what is important to us. When we do reopen for business its essential we have clarity on Our Story, Our Playbook, and possess the willingness and readiness to ‘think’ differently. 

By Scott Hopson, Pivotal Cofounder & CEO

 

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