Time – Money – Clients – what do you focus on as a start-up?

Meet Susan. I met her at a founder’s summit last month. She describes herself as a fitness instructor – but after talking to her for a few minutes, I realised she is so much more.

As so many fitness instructors, she worked in a gym – eight-hour shifts to give advice and special courses to fitness enthusiasts of all ages – until the pandemic hit, that is.

She didn’t stop talking about what I would call holistics and sustainability – basically how training, nutrition, emotions all need to work together and how they need to be applied for the long run – which is not really what she was doing in the gym, where most people knew her just for her Zumba classes and she hardly knew any of the people she was training or advising them for the long run.

Now, she was looking to set up a business. So I asked her: “You clearly know your stuff and it gives you a lot of satisfaction to teach it to people, what’s the biggest thing holding you back right now?”

Well, what she said is so much similar to what a lot of my clients say: “You know, it is funny.” She said, “I really don’t have time to teach much, there is just so much to do – creating a business plan, getting insurance, finding a place to teach, finding clients – big one – getting finance. I wish I had more money to just pay someone to take this off me and I could concentrate on teaching.”

“So how about clients?”, I said. “Well, at the moment not a lot to be honest. I teach a couple of friends. It was easy when I worked at the gym. I talked to potential clients every day. Now, I don’t really know how to find them. If I had money, I could put up a few ads …”

Well, there you have it: Time – Money – Clients, the three things every startup business is lacking. If you had to prioritise, which of these would you try to maximise?


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