How to Start a Fitness Business the Easy Way – Sublease vs StandAlone?

You may have been in a bookstore recently and bought a cup of coffee from a famous name coffee shop while you were in there.  That coffee company has subleased space from the bookstore company. What a great idea, adding a complimentary business to an existing business.  People pop in for a latte and maybe buy a book – or the other way around.  There is an obvious advantage for both businesses.

Could you do this with a starting fitness business and what would be the advantages?

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How to Choose a Fitness Franchise Model

It’s important that before you go off and sign a franchise agreement with some random fitness franchise that you’ve been eyeballing, read the advice that this blog has to offer because it can save you from investing in a franchise that doesn’t have your personal interests at heart.

It’s been said that franchise businesses have a five times higher success rate than small private businesses because most people already know, like and trust franchises due to the marketing that they invest in their business. The lesson here? Franchises beat small businesses in terms of success rate.

Whether you’re looking to join a food franchise or start a fitness franchise, the success rate is a lot higher when you go the franchise route. The reason being that franchises usually start with their own locations to prove the concept, create the systems, and craft an operations process so that they can sell their model to people who are looking to open a small business.

The issue with most fitness franchises is that not all of them start off with a proof of concept. They will instead, go to market with just their idea of what the business should be without proving it. This is a huge red flag for personal trainers because if you’re looking for fitness business opportunities and the fitness franchise you’re looking into hasn’t taken the time to prove their business concept, then you’ll more than likely end up as a test subject and not a successful franchise owner.

That’s only one tip you should be aware of...

Here are some other things you should think about before taking the fitness franchise plunge.

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Checklist for Starting a Fitness Business

Planning is Essential

One of the biggest mistakes when starting any fitness business is lack of planning. I’ve seen many small businesses fail – and not just fitness businesses – because the owner hasn’t set aside enough capital, fails to market his business effectively, or simply doesn’t understand what’s involved with running a small business.

You’ve had (another) bad day and you regularly drive past a property that’s been for lease for a long time.  It’s perfect for a fitness business – you think – and next thing you know you’re meeting with a realtor who’s telling you all sorts of wonderful things about the place. The rent is affordable. You have the necessary month in advance and deposit, plus enough to turn on the utilities.

But have you got a business plan? Have you really got all the capital necessary for starting a fitness business? Can you honestly say you know exactly what you need to do to promote your business effectively and do you have the finances in place to sustain your lifestyle while you build your business? Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset, or are you just a dreamer?

It’s time to plan.

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Fitness Business Time Management

As a fitness business owner - even if you’re just starting out and you’re a one-man operation – you’re essentially a manager. Look up the word manager in the dictionary and you’ll find a definition something like this: somebody who is responsible for directing and controlling the work and staff of a business, or of a department within it.

Enter Fitness Business Time Management

If you’ve ever worked outside of the fitness industry, say in an office or retail, managers spend a lot of time in meetings discussing ways of improving business, and time management is a major concern. The cost of labor is the largest expenditure for many companies and managing the time that staff spend doing certain tasks can mean the difference between profit and loss.

But how does that apply to your little fitness business?  Well let me put it like this, why are you doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing – and yes that may mean cleaning your studio – when you could hire someone else to do it for a measly few bucks an hour?

If the answer is “I can’t afford to hire someone” my response is you can’t afford NOT to hire someone! How is vacuuming your studio moving your business forward?  All that’s doing is wearing you out, prolonging the hours you work, and diluting the income you get from doing more lucrative things – the reason you started your own business!

This is where the 5% rule comes in.

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How To Retain Clients – Fitness Boot Camp Business Retention

No we’re not talking about bloating and water retention here – we’re talking about how to keep the clients you’ve already spent a lot of time and money recruiting - Fitness clients retention that is. And that’s the key. Marketing is time-consuming and expensive and if you hate the closing process it only makes sense to do everything you can to keep the clients you already have coming back.

There’s always going to be a certain amount of natural attrition, if a member moves out of the area for example, but if people turn up irregularly and then disappear completely, you’re going to have to find out why.

Fitness Business Retention

Fitness Business Retention

Relationships with Clients

From the start of your fitness boot camp business you should always be building solid relationships with clients. By getting to know them and showing an interest they are more likely to be honest with you, instead of sliding away and refusing to answer your phone calls.  If you’re getting a large percentage of clients who don’t renew, then something’s up and you need to know the reason.

Send a friendly email containing a well constructed but short questionnaire, that also offers a limited time coupon with a deep discount if they do renew.  Leave a space for comments and take careful note of all the responses and take action.  You’re boot camp sessions are too strenuous, some haven’t seen results they were hoping for, they’d rather do Pilates – whatever – these are all things that you can address – especially if you see a common thread.

Do whatever it takes to get those clients back into the fold. Offer Pilates sessions; offer a free personal consultation with the client so she will achieve the results she wants. Those few minutes can ultimately save you a lot more time and money required to market and recruit new clients. Read the rest of How To Retain Clients – Fitness Boot Camp Business Retention

How to Sell Personal Training & Boot Camp Programs

If you’re terrified of and don't know how to sell personal training, try this exercise. Next time you strike up a conversation with a stranger in a restaurant or supermarket line ask them if they’ve ever considered personal training or joining a boot camp.  Steering the conversation toward that question shouldn’t be as hard as you think because you look incredibly fit, happy and healthy and they will naturally be curious as to how you do it.


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Now ask why they haven’t joined a boot camp or seriously thought about personal training, and make a mental note of the excuses. These are the objections you will encounter all the time when you reach the point of closing a potential client.  Get used to these standard objections because you’re going to have to work on ways to overcome them. I strongly recommend that you take a look at The Close Clients system as it is the best complete how to sell personal training system out there. The most common objections boil down to just a basic few: Read the rest of How to Sell Personal Training & Boot Camp Programs

Understanding Fitness Business Marketing

It doesn’t matter what business you want to start or have already started, finding the right marketing strategy is going to be the way to get paying customers through the door, and fitness business marketing is no different.

You can’t be All Things to All People

You can learn a lot from looking at all kinds of advertising when planning a marketing campaign for your fitness business. Big name advertisers concentrate on one thing only when they set out to create a television ad for example.  Let’s say it’s a new kind of whitening toothpaste. The company may also make mouthwash, toothbrushes, shampoo, and soap and just about everything else you can find in a bathroom, but they concentrate on one item only to get their message across.


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How to Generate Fitness Leads without Marketing

One of the most important aspects of starting a fitness business is marketing.

If nobody knows you exist, you’ll be closing the doors in no time at all.

In the beginning you probably won’t have many clients. Some fitness professionals manage to create a following while working for someone else and those clients will follow if he opens his own facility but it’s rarely an adequate number to pay the bills and make a profit.

A monthly budget should be set aside for marketing for at least your first year of business and factored into your startup costs. You should also concentrate on targeting your advertising towards the market you wish to attract, so it’s going to take some research to discover where you will get the most bang for your advertising buck.

It’s also expedient to monitor the responses you get from all your marketing campaigns. If you’re using newspapers or magazines including a coupon from which you can monitor the source will be very helpful. Groupons and coupons that can be used with smart phones are gaining rapidly in popularity.

Of course you will probably start a FaceBook page and a blog for your fitness business and you can also code any coupons and special offers accordingly. The best way to get attract new members initially will be by offering freebies and coupons.

Now, let’s say you’re a few months down the road and you have a growing clientele, how can you use your new clients to generate business for you and why should you?


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How To Sell Fitness (or more of it!)

In order to have a thriving fitness business you’ve got to be an excellent trainer AND an excellent salesperson as well. If you’ve been in sales you know the most difficult part is closing, and it’s no different when selling personal training.

I’ve come across lots of excellent trainers who have no clue about the psychology of selling and how to close, so I’m going to explain the most effective way of closing most fitness clients without ever having to sit down or waste hours of your time.

If you get five or six people coming through the door every day looking for fitness training, you certainly don’t want to spend six hours a day dealing with people who end up making excuses and coming up with the same run of the mill objections.

Knowing how to sell personal training and how to sell fitness effectively gets easier, and for many of us who already “get it” closing rates can be anywhere from 90% to 100% and it will only take a few minutes every time.


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