Whether you have taught at a gym or studio or have a little experience giving classes online, now is the perfect time to take advantage of launching your very own personal training business.
As more and more fitness customers look online for new solutions to keep up with their fitness routines from home, there is a brand new opportunity to get in on the action and start growing a successful business.
While starting a business can come with its set of challenges, the new good news is that there are now more resources than ever, including gym management software, to help personal trainers achieve their goals and tackle common obstacles early on.
In this guide, we will take you through the steps of launching your own PT business, and the role software can play in securing your businesses success from day one.
There are a few important items you need to check off your list before booking clients:
- You need to earn your training certification
- You need a business plan and goals
- You need to choose the right software and set it up properly
Concluding you already have step 1 checked off your list, especially if you came from another gym or studio, let’s start with planning!
Creating your business plan and business goals
What are you looking to achieve in running your personal training business? Are you hoping for massive growth early on? Do you want to expand or bring on lots of coaches and staff? Do you want to focus on a specific type of fitness category? Do you want to become a leader in the industry?
Defining your goals and establishing a plan for your business will keep you on track and give your business scope to grow. Your goals and objectives can be as simple or creative as:
- 5 new clients a month
- Increase revenue by 20% over 6 months
- Teach a masterclass once a quarter
- Open a physical gym or studio by next year
…and so on. Once you define your goals and have your plan you’ll have a roadmap to follow that will guide your future plans and decisions moving forward.
That foundation will give you a clear focus that you can refer to and add to as you go. Knowing what you’re looking to achieve will help you shape your business and build.
Focus on a speciality or demographic
When you were creating your business goals did you have an ideal client in mind? If you did, now is the time to go find them. Target marketing can help you find and attract the type of client you are looking for.
In the beginning, stay focused and don’t try to overshoot your shot by being the all-in-one business service. You’ll ultimately burn out trying to cover too many bases and wear too many hats.
Be specific in your offering and find clients that fit the ideal mould. They can also help you find more. Think of focusing on a speciality or target market not as narrowing your search, but prioritising those who can help your business grow.
And once you grow, you broaden that scope as your services expand.
Online vs. in-person… or both?
The question of the year…’Do I teach online, in-person, or both?’ While this is ultimately up to you, many new personal trainers have found that teaching online has proven to not only be successful but has allowed them to reach more potential clients.
Thanks to the power of Zoom, personal trainers are able to reach their clients from anywhere and teach anything from a one-on-one private session to a group class effectively. This doesn’t rule out the ability to train with your clients in-person, it just gives you the possibility of doing both.
A way to navigate this from the start is to test out different formats and find out what works best for you. Personal trainer, Sarah Maxwell, has been teaching in-person classes and private sessions for over 33 years. With the new wave of online classes, she transitioned her personal training business to teach online full-time.
However, if necessary she also will give the occasional in-person class or masterclass while live streaming. She found that teaching online was a better way for her to run her business.
However, she is also aware that some of her clients prefer to train with her in-person, so she hasn’t completely ruled that out, rather adapted to both.
According to Sarah, this period of time is brilliant for personal trainers because now they are not limited to only accessing their clients and their clients them by being in the same room. There is more flexibility and thus opportunity to grow.
What if I want to open a physical gym or studio in the future?
If owning your own physical gym or studio in the future is a part of your long-term goals, giving online classes can also help you build up your clientele while you grow your business and get you to that point.
When it comes to picking online vs. in-person, don’t worry too much about sticking with one medium, especially as people rediscover their levels of comfort.
Just be upfront and honest with your clients about what you intend your business to be and keep them in the loop. That will help them feel like they are a priority and make them want to stick with you no matter what or where you teach.
Spread the word on social media
With your business plans and software ready to go, it’s time to gain some clients. Letting your network know about your new PT business on social media is a great way to start building buzz and finding potential clients to book.
Social media is a project on its own, so don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel here. Start out with a few posts letting them know what services you offer, and direct them where to book and how.
You can add your website link right into your bio making it easy for new clients to check out your site and go on to sign up for your classes.
Ask your network to help you spread the word. There is no shortage of camaraderie in the fitness community, and there are enough clients to go around.
Facebook groups and networking with other coaches and trainers and they will most likely have a few suggestions of people to bring on as clients to get you started.
Create a customer referral program
Welcome new clients via a customer referral program. Your software may come with a tool for you to easily create a referral program and incentivize existing and new clients.
If you already have clients, encourage them to lend a hand and bring you business by rewarding them with free class credits. You’ll save time and effort looking for business, while your clients help grow your client list and their community.
Choosing the right personal training software
Once you have your business plan and goals shaped, the next step is to get started with software to launch your business and give your clients somewhere to book. Personal training and fitness software, helps business owners manage their customers, memberships, classes, bookings, and staff all in one place.
Your software can help you streamline your business admin and tasks. It will also give you important data and insight based on your clients’ and business activity that can help you make important decisions that will spark growth and help you achieve your goals.
Especially when running their business completely online, personal trainers can benefit greatly from using software. Rather than attempting to manage everything on their own, software can be a huge time-saver and comes with incredible support and assistance.
Your clients will be able to come directly to your website and manage their own bookings, allowing you to focus on building an excellent customer experience. With more time to put your clients first, you’ll be able to build strong relationships with them while also growing your business every step of the way.
With many options out there to choose from, it’s tricky to find the right one, especially when each offers something different than the other.
What you want to avoid is investing in a tool that will take up more of your time than save it, force you to wear too many hats, and result in your loyal clients slipping through the cracks.
Having an idea of what you need and want to achieve will help choose a system that will make running your PT business, simple, easy, and fun. So ask yourself…
What do I want to achieve?
It’s up to you to do the work when it comes to training and teaching your clients. Your software can’t do that for you.
What it can do is give you the tools and features to provide your clients with an enhanced experience training with you and give them a quick and easy way to book.
Software can also help you streamline your administration and easily collect payment from your clients. Everything you need from your client can be done online, in advance, allowing them to show up and for you to get started with class right away.
On top of that, think about your goals. Goal-planning is a fundamental part of creating your business plan, so remember to keep those in mind when shopping for software.
How do I justify the value and price?
You also have to take into account the value and price. Typically most trainers start out with just a few clients in the first stages of launching their business.
So finding software that is not just affordable but offers incredible value will make investing in its tool worthwhile and justifiable. Paying for expensive tools that costs more than you earn will have you drowning to make your payments, and you’ll end up putting pressure on your clients.
Go back to thinking about what you want to achieve and your goals, and allow that to help you determine if the cost matches the value it will bring your business.
How much flexibility will I have?
Flexibility to work on the go is very important for personal trainers, especially because clients can have them going from one place to the next in a short period of time.
Finding software that allows you to do everything you need from your mobile device or laptop will give you the flexibility you need to manage your business anytime, from anywhere.
What kinds of tools and integrations do I need?
Every software comes with its own unique set of tools, features, integrations, but there are a few key one that you want to look out for when investigating software.
- An online booking system – your clients will be able to book directly through your website. Your online booking system will show them your class schedule and all important details they need to know before booking.
- A streamlined and organised dashboard – everything all in one place. Your dashboard is home to all of your tools that will help you manage your business.
- Payment integration to collect and automate payments – when your clients book and pay in advance, you won’t have to worry about whether a client paid or late or missing payments.
- Reporting tools – to help you monitor and track your business activity that will give you important data and insight to make important business decisions.
- Zoom integration – easily give classes and sessions online with Zoom. Your clients will receive a link to the Zoom meeting and join class and be marked off the register just as they would in-person. Zoom is the highest-rated platform for online classes due to efficiency, security, and ability to give class and see all your students at once no matter how big your class is. Zoom also allows you to customise and design your classes using its own creative features to give your clients an even better class experience.
- Member mobile app – your clients will be able to register and amend their bookings on the go, without having to contact you.
If the software you are looking for has the right price, value, tools, functionality, is user-friendly, includes Zoom, and has these tools, you’re on the right track.
While daunting at first, launching your very own personal training business is very exciting and rewarding. You are stepping into a new world where you get to be both a business owner and a person making a difference in someone else’s life. Now the only thing left for you to do is get started and get moving. You can do it!