Entrepreneurs

4 things we learned from Tracy Anderson about expanding your business

When you're an accomplished expert in your field, how do you scale your business to the masses without diluting your brand or making costly mistakes?

Fitness entrepreneur Tracy Anderson is quickly expanding her business and hoping to grab an even bigger slice of the $75-billion-a-year health and fitness market.

CNBC's "Follow the Leader" shadowed Anderson to see her in action as she reviewed plans for opening additional workout studios across the country and introducing meal replacement products at Target stores.


Tracy Anderson featured on Follow the Leader
CNBC
Tracy Anderson featured on Follow the Leader

Anderson expects 2016 to be a year of massive growth for her company.

Here are four top lessons learned about how Anderson plans to move forward strategically, while maintaining her brand's integrity.

Own your weaknesses

Anderson excels at creating highly sought-after fitness and diet programs and products. She's spent nearly two decades fine-tuning her methods. But without formal business training, she'll be the first to admit that she needs help running the day-to-day business operations of the company.

That's where Maria Baum comes in. Anderson hired the finance veteran, Wharton MBA and entrepreneur in December 2014 to focus primarily on planning the business's growth. She values and trusts Baum not only because of her business acumen, but because Baum has conquered her own health battles as a breast-cancer survivor.

Establish a brain trust

You're only as good as the company you keep.

In addition to Baum, Anderson invests in a close-knit team of experts who help to guide and protect her brand. The group includes business partner and close friend Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as a few full-time staff members and a team of attorneys, chefs, architects and fitness trainers. She consults with them almost daily.

Exercise the power of 'no'

With Anderson's wide appeal and reach — she has more than 4 billion media impressions a year across the globe — there are countless requests to have Anderson license her brand or partner with various other companies. While tempting, she finds herself politely declining on many occasions to avoid the risk of dilution or creating confusion around her brand's authenticity.

Be willing to walk away

Along the same lines, if a prospective deal or partnership starts moving in a compromising direction or isn't in the best interest of your brand's integrity, be willing to walk away.

Efforts to create an organic and nutritious meal replacement bar at a low price for Target stores proved challenging. Anderson was asked repeatedly to change the recipe and reduce the weight of the bar to a simple snack size.

That, she argued, would go against her brand's standards, which promote high-quality ingredients and healthy meals, not snacking.

She pushed back multiple times and appeared willing to scrap the deal if her needs could not be met. Anderson is a tenacious negotiator, as it turns out. And now her meal replacement bars are available at numerous Target stores across the country.

Farnoosh Torabi is the host of CNBC's "Follow the Leader," which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. You can follow her on Twitter @Farnoosh.