Starting a personal training business can be a rewarding and lucrative career.
Let’s explore the 7 essential steps to launching a successful personal training business. This is not an exhaustive list but a great 7 step guide to get you started and on he right pathway. From the first all important step of ensuring you graduate with a acccredited qualification that launches your career in the right way to setting up your business correctly and marketing your services to gaining your first client.
1. Study and Get Qualified
Before you start personal training any clients or launching your own business it’s essential that you first study to educate yourself and then gain your qualification. You want to look for a reputable qualification that is underpinned by an awarding body that is recognised by CIMSPA and Ofqual, in the UK, and someone like National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, or the International Sports Sciences Association, in the USA
In the UK you will want to look out for a Training Provider that offers personal training qualifications awarded by Active IQ or Focus Awards. The Fitness Group offers internationally recognised personal training qualifications that meet UK standards and have 4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot
2. Researching your target market and competition
You may even start this whilst completing your qualification – start thinking about and researching who your ideal client will be. In your local area who is your competition? Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, research your competition to see what services they offer and how you can differentiate your services, or improve on what other trainers offer in your local area.
3. Defining your personal training business brand identity and USP
Once you’ve researched your customer and your niche, you will now want to think about brand identity and your unique selling proposition (USP). What will make your services differnent from any other personal trainer where you work? Or if you are offering online services, can you enhance on what is already out there?
Your business should reflect your values, personality, and the type of clients you want to attract. At this stage you will want to think about your business name, logo, website design, and social media presence. However a word of caution, dont get too hung up on any of these things that it stops you launching, they all can grow and improve over time (and they should).
4. Setting up your business location
Where will you train your clients – will this be in your local gym or within a larger national commercial gym?
Or will you launch completely online?
This consideration should be part of step 3 too, where you are based should integrate with your vision and brand identity. Ie the local bodybuilding only gym is going to attract a different client from your high end health club gym. Again this decision is not forever and it can change and shift with time, you will get to know who you like working with and your location can change as your business progresses
5. Pricing your services and creating packages
Usually personal trainers either charge by the block or monthly packages. If you charge by the block you will give a fixed price for a block of 8 or a block of 10. Similar to how driving instructors commonly charge for a block of lessons for example. The problem with this approach is that a client can cancel (within the guidelines of your cancellation policy) and the block timeframe becomes deferred. This results in uncertain income for you and your business. Alternatively, you can charge per month for say 8 sessions (2 per week) – this will allow you to create certainty and set the customer up for a direct debit each month. This ensures you can forecast your income and it also means you dont need to constantly re-sell your package at the end of each block
When creating your pricing structure, consider your target market how much they are willing to pay for your services (ie step number 3)
6. Marketing your personal training business
How will you attract your first client and your tenth client? These methods will develop and grow over time, your first client may come from a family or friend. Your tenth nay come from a word of mouth referral. There will probably become a point when you will want to consider ‘paid marketing.’ There are many different options you can use to market your business, here are some examples below:
- Social media – free posts. Benefit – free. Con – Limited Reach
- Social Media – Paid Posts. Benefit – higher reach. Con – skill to set up and cost requirement
- Word of Mouth – Benefit – Free. Con – Limited reach depending on network of existing clients and requires wait time for positive outcomes to take place to generate word of mouth
- Free training sessions to friends and family – Benefit – Free. Con – Limited reach depending on network of friends and family
- Taking Group Exercise Classes in your Local Gym. Benefit – exposure to a new network of individuals. Con – requires specific qualifications for group classes like Spin
7. Build and maintaining client relationships
Your ability to build and maintaining strong client relationships is going to be key to the success of your personal training business. This goes beyond getting brilliant results, its also how you engage and communicate with. your clients. What keeps your clients over the long term is your ability to get amazing results and have a strong engaging relationship
Starting a personal training business can be a challenging, you are often running your own business too. However will huge client demand for personal trainers growing every year it can be very rewarding. Always put your clients needs first, deliver a great service and importantly ensure you shout about your great service so other prospective customers know about it!