There has been a meme in the past few years called Florida Man. In it, it highlights all the bizarre crimes and situations that many people in Florida seem to find themselves in.

Florida man beats ATM, says it gave him too much cash

Drunk Florida Man Uses Taco as ID

The list goes on, ranging from funny incidents to some depraved acts of violence. One reason for these whacky headlines is because Florida’s laws allow journalists to obtain information much easier than other states. However, another reason is that Florida has a mental health crisis. While Florida Man headlines can be funny, they highlight a darker issue in Florida, and in the US at large, and that is a population that needs mental health treatment.

  1. Let’s Look at the Facts

According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Florida’s mental health crisis is eye-opening. There are over 650,000 adults living with a mental illness that is serious. Then, there are over 181,000 children who are dealing with the same thing. This is just accounting for the serious mental illnesses. There are probably even more who have mild mental illnesses or are diagnosed. Not to mention, people who have developed mental health problems thanks to abusing drugs or alcohol.

Even an occasional bout of depression can be devastating on an adult and requires the most care possible. But too many people in Florida don’t get the mental health treatment they need. With Florida, it isn’t just the poor and marginalized who aren’t receiving treatment, either. Florida is 49 in the rankings when it comes to the best mental health programs. They only spend $37.28 per person annually.

Mental health treatment should be something that more people are aware of. Counseling, diagnosis, and medicines should be more available to the public. Someone should not be ashamed to find the treatment they need. And yet, too many Americans, and especially Floridians, are dealing with an undiagnosed condition or a condition that is not receiving any treatment.

As for how much the state is spending on treatment, it is over $700 million. Meanwhile, they spend a billion every year on the prison system. Too many people are going to prison for petty crimes rather than receiving mental health treatment.

  1. What Can You Do?

It’s difficult for a single person to make a difference, but it’s possible. Obviously, too many people are suffering for you to help everyone. Adults, children, and our veterans are dealing with all sorts of problems.

Here are a few things you can do to help.

  • If someone is dealing with a mental health issue, be empathetic and listen to what they have to say. Obviously, you can’t help all your friends, but what you can do is be there for them and recommend them receive the mental health treatment they deserve. People can receive treatment in person or from services such as Regain.
  • Spread the word about May’s Mental Health Awareness Month. All it takes is a few clicks.
  • If you suspect you or a family member has a mental illness, try being diagnosed and receive the mental health treatment you need.
  • Remember to keep your mental health up even if you don’t have an illness. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and don’t forget to talk to someone if you need to express your feelings.
  • Donate to the less fortunate. Oftentimes, that homeless person needs mental health treatment more than anyone else.

These are just a few ways you can help. Perhaps one day, there will be less Florida Mans for the world to see.

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6 Most Important Considerations for Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a new business can be thrilling and challenging. It could be terrifying when you think about all the details and every resource you need to get up and running. If you’ve done your research right, it will be easier to know what you are getting into and exactly what you need to succeed.

Most people choose to start their own businesses because they are ready to share their ideas with the public. And want to do what they love in their own way.

Others want to create a work-life balance that works for them. Ultimately there can be great opportunity to make money if everything goes as planned. The risk is worth it, most of the time for people who are entrepreneurial.

According to The Guardian, consumer spending on UK gym membership soared by 44% in 2014, driven by the growth in popularity of new, budget gyms.

The demand for affordable, high quality, no-contract or flexible contracts fitness centres is continuing to grow. People are now interested in staying fit more than ever. The popularity of budget gyms, including Pure Gym, EasyGym, Anytime Fitness and DW Sports, are most likely driving the increase even further.

If you are thinking about going out on your own and starting a fitness business this year, this will help you get started.

Find your niche

1. Decide on your niche market right from the beginning 

Which market do you want to serve and why? This should be very clear to you. Do your research and find out a profitable niche that can scale. Weight loss is popular. There are other less popular ones like injury management and even endurance athletes. You could also choose powerlifting, crossfit, yoga, or whatever you prefer that works for you.

But remember, going after a popular niche means more competition. It should be a niche you are genuinely interested in. That way making it a business won’t be difficult.

The planning process

Launching a brick and mortar fitness business can be overwhelming but once you get your planning right, you will be off to a great start. Put everything on paper. It pays to keep records.

2. Cost

Consider your fix costs (business registration, legal fees, rent, premise renovations, utilities, hiring and educating trainers, wages, décor items and furniture, initial marketing) and monthly expenditures.

What will be your monthly protected costs? How will you fund the business before you attract paying customers? How many active clients will you need to break-even or generate your desired level of profit? Think of every little thing that you will need to spend money on to before your business opens and plan a contingency.

Getting started right

3. Purchase appropriate equipment

Make a list of all the equipment you’ll need to get started. JLL Fitness have a great range of commercial gym equipments you can check out. Things like dumbbell sets, bars, exercise mats, weight benches, treadmills etc. cannot be compromised. They are the most important things you need for a fitness business.

4. Make it insanely easy to register

Set up a a great and easy to use website to educate and inform prospective clients of your offering and packages. And most importantly give new users the opportunity to register and book fitness packages right at the comfort of their homes. Make it flexible. Your prices should be competitive.

Getting a website up and running is no longer a difficult or expensive. There are great DIY websites available, such as Wix and Squarespace. This is one of the first things you should do once you are ready to kickstart your fitness business.

5. On discounts and special offers

Attracting customers or users is one of the hardest part of starting a business. It’s no different for fitness businesses. Give people a reason to become members. Why should people choose you over your competitor next door?

Special deals and launch offers can be a great idea and really draw people in. You can offer a few days or even weeks for free and start charging once users establish fitness habits. When you are getting started, make it big, exciting and tempting. Set and stick to your urgent end date to get people signing up as soon as possible.

6. Focus on amazing service to leverage worth of mouth marketing.

The first few people who register for sessions at your fitness business can make or break your new startup. Give them the results they crave and make your sessions the best part of their week.

The aim is to get them talking about your fitness sessions to their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is crucial for every service-based business, and in the case of a fitness business, it’s key.

Final words

Building a successful business takes time, focus, persistence. Starting a fitness business is probably going to end up costing more than you thought. But that’s not a reason to give up or abandon your dream career.

Do everything in your power to sustain the business once you get started. You probably won’t see profits for months. Plan for setbacks.

Focus on attracting and retaining clients and your business will grow as planned. And build a team of trainers who share your same passion and want to see your business succeed.

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