Are you a fitness fanatic? Do you have professional training? If so, you may want to know how to start a personal training business. Better yet, you probably want to know how to grow it quickly. Here’s a guide that will help you.
Personal training is a satisfying and fun career option for people who enjoy living an athletic, health-centered lifestyle. It gives you direct contact with your community and allows you to truly make a difference in the lives of others.
There are a variety of roles you will qualify for after having received training. You can manage a gym or even work as an educator, running workshops and teaching others.
The demand for personal trainers has grown in recent years and it’s continuing to. This profession is expected to grow 10% by 2026, a higher rate than other industries.
If you want to know how to start a personal training business, you’re in the right place. This article will show you how to turn your love of fitness into a career.
We’ll also cover some ways you can quickly grow that business. Just keep reading.
How to Start a Personal Training Business
Not many people are able to turn their passion into a career. Let alone, a lucrative company.
Starting out your own personal training business has its challenges, but we’ve got you covered. This is what you need to do to get started.
Certification requirements vary by state, so check with your state board to figure out exactly what you need to do in order to be qualified. It’s best to use a nationally recognized program with an accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
A certification program can take between two months and a year to complete. It depends how much time you can dedicate to your studies.
A degree in exercise science or kinesiology usually takes the place of certification.
However, if you plan on having a specialty, (some trainers want to work with pregnant women, for example,) you might need additional training.
Register Your Business
You need to register your business name through your state government and department of revenue. If you plan to operate as a sole proprietorship, you can use your social security number.
But if you hire employees you’ll need an Employer Identification Number. It’s mandatory.
The tax regulation requirements are different in each state, so keep that in mind as well.
You’ll need to obtain a business license next. There aren’t any licensing regulations set in place for personal trainers, so you shouldn’t run into problems here.
Check your city’s zoning regulations if you’re going to run the business from home.
Find a Place to Work
Even if your goal is to own your own gym or studio someday, working with a local gym can help you at the beginning of your career. Ask a local gym about working as an independent contractor.
This will give you full access to equipment you might not be able to afford when you’re just starting out. Plus, you’ll be around potential clients every day.
You may even have opportunities for self-promotion by taking over a class when someone is sick, making yourself available on the floor to answer questions, and participating in seminars.
You can also work as a contractor at:
- Physical therapists’ offices
- Local health centers
And of course, you can work at your clients’ homes, your own home, or even parks in your area.
Invest in Some Basic Equipment
This really depends on where you work. If you’re working from a client’s home, for example, they will usually expect you to have a few small things on hand.
- Exercise mats
- Medicine balls
- Jump ropes
- Free weights
- Resistance bands
- Foam rollers
These supplies are fairly inexpensive and easy to travel with if you’re driving from client to client. Just make sure you properly disinfect these items in between uses.
Get Some Professional Liability Insurance
Every personal trainer should have professional liability insurance before they ever work with a client. This will protect you from expensive lawsuits and prevent damage to your reputation.
Obtaining professional liability insurance isn’t that difficult of a process. In fact, if you work from an established gym, they may already have insurance options for their trainers.
Keep in mind that if you receive insurance from your gym, the insurance is only valid on gym property. You will need additional coverage if you’re freelancing on the side.
It’s easy to blur lines with some of the advice you give clients. Especially, if you’d been working together for a long time.
You need to steer clear, however, of giving medical advice. Medical advice goes beyond the scope of duties of a personal trainer.
If your client takes your advice and something bad happens, you will be liable. Insurance will only cover personal trainer duties.
As a new trainer, it’s important to market yourself. Word of mouth won’t benefit you much if you don’t have any satisfied clients yet.
Utilize social media, post business cards, and flyers in locations that make sense, and attend networking events in your area. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by talking to healthcare professionals and pitching a corporate wellness program to businesses in your area.
Now, Here’s How You Can Grow that Business…Fast
With all the work you put into starting your personal training business, the last thing you want to do is wait around for it to profit. You need to take control of the situation so that your hard work truly pays off.
But how exactly does one go about doing that? We’ve gathered some amazing techniques that’ll help you up your client list and profits in very little time.
Here’s what you need to do:
Start Training Groups
There are several reasons group fitness classes are so popular. Some will benefit you as the trainer, others benefit your clients. Group fitness is a win-win.
Benefits to your clients
Let’s face it, making friends as adults is much harder than it was when we were children. It’s easy for people in group fitness classes to socialize when they have a common interest.
Studies also show that people who exercise with friends or a group are much more motivated than those who go at it solo. This easily translates into the fact that 95% of people who started a weight loss program with friends finished and met their goals.
Benefits to your business
Simply put, time is money. If you’re training and charging multiple clients per training session, you will make more money than if you solely trained clients one on one.
Not only that, people talk. If you’re a great trainer, all those clients will tell their friends who are likely to sign up.
Word of mouth is still the most successful form of advertising.
Use an App
You should have a website that tells a bit about yourself and your services. On the site, you should have a scheduling feature and one for online payments too.
But with that website, you also need a mobile app that matches your brand. There were 175 billion apps downloaded last year. Which was a 60% increase from 2015.
People like having the information that’s useful to them right at their fingertips. And when you add a little something extra to the app, like a healthy recipe of the day or fitspo quotes, more clients will download it.
Give Something Away for Free
While it might sound counterproductive, giving a little something away for free is a great marketing strategy. Costco isn’t above it. Giving free samples of frozen pizza increased sales by 600%.
Be smart about the freebies you choose. There is such a thing as giving too much away.
Here are a few ideas:
- One free class for new subscribers
- A free printable workout
- An e-book with healthy recipes
Be creative with the items or services you choose to give away for free. Checking out your competition isn’t a bad idea either. Figure out what they’re doing and make your version better.
Develop a Financial Plan
You can’t successfully run or grow a business without some financial planning. This will help you stay on top of the expenses, keep your company out of debt, and meet financial goals.
Your financial plan should be realistic and all-inclusive. It begins with your start-up costs. These costs vary based on where you’re running you’re personal training business from.
If you’re working from an existing gym, for instance, some of these won’t apply to you.
- Workplace rent and utilities
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Office supplies
Not only do you need to be clear about your expenses, you also need to have a firm grip on your profits. In the beginning, the money you having coming in may not surpass your monthly expenses.
How do you plan on changing that? Having more than one source of revenue within your business will help you during this process. You will need to set obtainable goals.
Do you have questions or want more information about how to start a personal training business? Contact us today.
Want to know what makes us qualified? For 17 years, we’ve specialized in pre-employment testing and offered a full suite of online certifications and training. Check out our website for more information.