Business Start Up Checklist
1. Complete vision/dream for your business
2. Complete market research/analysis
3. Decide on products and/or services you are going to provide and to whom
4. Visit your local small business development center (SBDC)
5. Create a business plan
6. Set up policies, procedures, systems, operations and manuals
7. Choose your business legal structure
Again, be sure to utilize your local small business development center (SBDC) http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html for local resources to help you choose your legal structure. Process and required documents will differ in each state.
We've also found Nolo press guides to be extremely helpful in making this decision. www.nolo.com
8. Set up a business address
If you're going to operate your business from your home, you have two choices for your business address:
a) Open a post office box. We suggest using a post office box for privacy reasons. Having a P. O. Box will also help you keep all of your business mail separate from your personal mail. http://www.usps.com/receive/businesssolutions/poboxservice.htm
b) Use your home address. If you are operating on a really tight budget you can use your home address.
9. Set up your business phone
You can use a cell phone or a land-line as your business phone. Whether you use a land- line for your business phone or if you decide to use a dedicated cell phone as your primary business number, the biggest benefit of having a separate phone number is that whenever the phone rings, you'll know it is a business call.
10. Register your business in your city
Process and required documentation will differ in each city. A great resource is to help you with this process is your local small business development center (SBCD) http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html
11. Business license
You may need to obtain a business license to conduct business in your city or town. Process and required documentation will differ in each city
12. Fictitious business name
If you are using a Fictitious Business Name for your business you will need to file a Fictitious business name document with your office of county clerk, registration recorder.
13. Seller's permits
If you business will be carrying or selling any inventory you may be required to obtain a seller's permit.
14. Service marks and/or trade marks
Process and required documentation will differ in each state. The best place to find information is your local Small Business Development Center. (SBDC) http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html
15. Set up an office area to help keep everything organized and purchase miscellaneous office supplies
It is really important to be able to keep all of your business information organized. It is worth investing extra time figuring out how you are going to keep yourself organized before you start servicing clients. We suggest using a file cabinet to keep all of your business documents and paperwork all in the same place. Make sure to create a separate folder for each item.
16. Open a business bank account
Part of having a business identity is to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. The best way to do this is to open a business checking account. Many
credit unions and banks offer business accounts.
17. Purchase portable exercise equipment – Resist the temptation to carry the "gym" with you. You really can provide excellent service without carrying tons of equipment with you. We recommend tubing, a stability ball, balance apparatus, adjustable free weights, medicine balls and an exercise mat.
18. Make sure all certifications are current (CPR, First Aid, Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Strength Coach, etc)
19. Purchase liability insurance
Your certifying organization and professional memberships all have coverage plans for liability insurance.
20. Create and order business cards
You can design your own business cards or you can also use business card templates. Many templates include graphic design software tools. You can also use ready-made templates offered by companies. Be sure to create a lead generating business card giving your prospects a Call To Action.
21. Professional memberships
Join professional trade organizations. These organizations will help you stay up date with the latest trends in our industry. The IDEA Health and Fitness Association is an example of a professional trade organization. Trade organizations also provide discounts on continuing education courses, can assist with liability insurance and allow you to network with other fitness professionals.
22. Make sure your vehicle is reliable
Get a tune up, oil change, make sure you have quality tires etc.
23. Cell phone
Always carry a cell phone in case of emergencies or if you need to get in contact with any of your clients. (Of course, make sure to turn your cell phone off while you are working with your clients.)
A GPS is a life savor to the mobile fitness professional.
25. Create a website for your business
A website can be used as advertising and a place to collect contact information for your mobile fitness business. Thankfully you don't need to know much about HTML coding anymore if you use a decent web design software tool, but it sure helps if you know HTML. Some web hosting companies also offer tools to help you quickly design a website or they may offer to design a basic site for a nominal fee. Another option is to use a website template. If you don't want to spend the time creating and updating your website, you can also hire a web designer.
Machelle Lee and Ryan Andrews own and operate The Invisible Gym.
Our frustration with the lack of resources for the mobile trainer led Ryan and I to start presenting at Health and Fitness conferences and we also created a resource manual called, The Mobile Fitness Guide To Business Success!
It is our hope that mobile training become an integral part of the health and fitness industry and we are trying to create a mobile training community!
If you have any questions about mobile training you can contact us at: email@example.com
Keep a pair of sunglasses handy, the future of mobile fitness training looks bright!
Machelle Lee owns and operates, The Invisible Gym in Santa Cruz, CA. Her mission is to inspire people to become physically active and enjoy the benefits of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.