Running a Successful Personal Training Business Part 1
The fitness industry is a very magnetic industry that attracts people from all walks of life to want to be a Personal Trainer or Fitness Trainer. The motives are varied and honest.
This industry like the real estate industry has one of the highest turnover rates for many reasons.
One of the biggest reasons for the turnover is the lack of due diligence people do before entering the industry. The saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” rings true in this situation. It is a point I have mentioned in previous AIPT blogs and will continue to say. There is not a day that goes by that I have a conversation with a student completing their personal training certification, “have you any ideas what you will do once you have completed your course”?
An alarming rate will answer, no I have no idea, or I have a mate who might help me out.
So how can this article help you be one less statistic?
For starters, research the industry, discover the opportunities and the business avenues personal trainers’ work within. Begin to create a scope of what your business will look like once you have it ready to operate. During this period you should gain knowledge of the following areas:
· Start-up costs
· Target market – client base
· Environment of operation gym, outdoor, home gym
· Charge out rate
· Services you offer
· Potential break-even timeframe
· Marketing plan
These are just some of the consideration required to be a successful personal trainer. The great thing about this process is it gives you the clarity to whether you can start your business now or implement steps toward starting your personal trainer business.
If you are in the latter position what options do you have to enter the industry still and gain experience and save money for equipment or bond for rent? It will depend on your previous work experience to which options would suit you. Most of these positions are not full-time work, but it’s a step into the industry, which will keep your desire alive and help to work toward starting your own business. These positions may be at club reception, club sales or as a group exercise instructor. Remember in this period you are probably working part-time, saving and purchasing products or services to start your own business eventually, so be smart with your money and maintain an optimistic outlook as this process may take a little longer than you think. It also gives you plenty of time to meet people in the health and fitness industry and learn the positives and negatives, so hopefully, you do not make the same mistakes of the people offering their experiences.
Most of your big fitness chains and 24hour gyms structures lead you toward a rental model. Where you are a business working within a business, when researching you will find certain chains have dedicated staff whose responsibility is to support and grow Personal Trainers within that club, to use the systems and procedure to help you grow and maintain a successful business. Lean upon these people and be open-minded to what they can teach you. For smaller 24hr gym chains you will find that they are run by gym managers or potentially the gym owner.
As you operate within a club, your marketing plan is wholly different from the outdoor boot camp business example used earlier. The chain will have promotions the trainers can use to leverage prospective clients, which will then be your responsibility to service them professionally and maintain their business.
When conducting your research, you may come across certain chains that will have what they call a tier system for new Personal Trainers starting up in their clubs. The system is set up to offset a short term wage while you build your client base to a fully self-sustainable business, this will be an attractive and positive step for a good percentage of keen trainers wanting to start in the industry.
A very large number of trainers in the industry will graduate with a certificate IV in Fitness, and most times forget what their scope of practice is, training low-risk clients. In the first couple of years of your business, you will begin to get a stronger understanding where you might want to specialise, and this will, of course, require further study. Be mindful a certificate IV is the foundation of your knowledge not the end of the road. There is so much more to learn especially if you want to work with a specific client base such as pre-post-natal, sports specific or even offer more in-depth nutritional advice.
In my next blog, I will provide further advice on each of the structures and how to market yourself and or utilise different products/ services to assist in acquiring new potential clients.
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