Five Big Mistakes to Avoid when Starting a Personal Training Business

1. Not Finding your Niche

If you look at the number of potential clients that live within your area, you may be overwhelmed. You might be asking - How do I market to everyone? How can I appeal to the overweight teenager, the mom that’s just had a kid, seniors that need very specialized help and athletes that need intensive sport-specific fitness training?

The answer is that as a fitness trainer you can’t be all things to all people.  You should specialize in and concentrate on developing a fitness business doing what you love doing.  If you hate noisy, overweight, soda-guzzling, fast-food eating teenagers, let someone else deal with them.

Conduct extensive market research before you decide on your niche.  Look at local demographics, and then see how many other local fitness trainers are offering the same services as you’re hoping to offer. Can you offer a superior service or fill a niche that has yet to be exploited?

Find out what extra certification you might need, sign up for the classes and focus.

Marketing will also be considerably easier if you choose a specific niche. Then you can concentrate all your efforts on becoming the go-to person in your particular field.

YouTube Preview Image

Starting-A-Personal-Training-Business---Direction2. Not Planning Your Marketing Strategy

Goods delivered to a warehouse will only leave the shelves if those products are actively advertised and marketed. A fitness business is the same.  You could be the best fitness trainer on planet Earth, but if nobody knows about you, your business will be doomed from the outset.

Many fitness trainers ignore or put off implementing a marketing strategy until they’re really struggling. Big mistake!  It should be something you actively investigate and research even before you have your shingle made.

Plan to be the hunted, not the hunter. What does that mean? If you’ve chosen a very specific niche and someone Googles “weight loss for kids Yourtown” and yours is the only name that comes up. Bingo. You’ve cornered the market.

Instead of having to spend your time marketing and advertising in dozens of different places, you may be able to get away with an informative online blog. Add a lead capture page and/or an opt in box and people will be approaching you, rather than you chasing prospects down all the time.

That doesn’t mean your blog should be redundant and stale. If you want to keep moving your business forward you should answer any questions, post information regularly and send out a monthly newsletter. You can add videos showing you working with clients, before and after pictures of happy clients, and do some affiliate advertising. Who doesn’t like passive income?

3. Not Building Relationships

Fitness training is a very up close and in-your-face business. It’s hard not to build some kind of relationship with your clients. Client retention can be a big problem – many people, (usually the ones most in need) will find any excuse not to turn up for their appointment.

You have to learn to handle the problem. Take the time to sit down with them and see what you can do to help, but without sacrificing your own personal time.  If you can’t work with the client and she’s a constant thorn in your side, it may be better to part ways amicably.  Tell her when she’s ready to start over you’ll be there for her.

Personal service is something that’s sorely lacking these days. Remember that each client is putting food on your table and paying your bills.  Go above and beyond what your client expects. Offer incentives. Find out what your client likes or hates about working out and see if you can make it easier for her.

Above all, make it a fun and pleasant experience. She may reward you with a referral, and if she does, make it worthwhile.

Your clients are paying for your skills and expertise and they need to be told what to do, so don’t be afraid to direct them. Praise their successes and encourage them all the time. You’re a teacher and with the right actions you will build trust and hopefully, a long-lasting relationship. Your clients will respect you for it and will strive to do their best – to please you!

4. Not Considering Starting a Boot Camp

If you’re going to enjoy your business and make a good income, there’s no better way than starting a fitness franchise.

Even if you’re not good at math it won’t take a minute to grasp the fact that if you run only 3 one-hour boot camps a week, each with 25 people you’re going to earn more than if you spend 8 grueling hours a day with 8 different clients, 5 days a week.

Fitness Boot Camps are fun! Whatever your chosen niche, you can adapt your Boot Camps to fit your clients’ needs. Some people are only available before they go to work.  You can start a boot camp at dawn and be eating lunch at home by noon, with the rest of the day available to develop your business further.

If you’re seriously thinking about doing in-home fitness training sessions, think about the time involved and the hours you’re going to spend in your vehicle in between appointments. Boot camps make far more sense. The beauty of starting a fitness boot camp is you’ll soon have enough money to hire other qualified people to help run them for you.

What other way could you train the people you want to work with, have minimum expenses, work out yourself while you’re training others, build relationships, make beaucoup bucks and have fun while you’re doing it?

5. Allowing your Business to Run You

There’s a large burn-out rate amongst new fitness professionals and it’s easy to understand why.

You’re trying to bend your own schedule all the time so you can fit in with your clients’ needs. There is nothing wrong with that, but you simply can’t work every day for 8 hours a day and maintain your own health and sanity.

If you have your own premises, you’re also going to have to keep up with the marketing, advertising, blogging and everyday running and maintenance of the business. And don’t forget the partner waiting patiently at home, the kids and the grass that needs cutting! You can’t do it all.

Learn to say no. Offering huge discounts in the beginning just to get new clients, you’ll soon regret. It’s your business and you call the shots. If you like to spend Sundays at home, go to church and spend the rest of the day with your family, it’s sacrosanct, and no money can ever replace the time you spend doing anything else on that day.

When your business reaches a certain level, plan to hire someone to help you, immediately. Make sure your clients are aware that even though you’re training them today, next Monday they may be working with your assistant. Have your new assistant meet all your clients and discuss their needs with her before she takes over.

Money may be a huge motivator but the work involved in moving your business to the next level might just be too much on your own. Look at diversifying. Starting a fitness boot camp franchise as suggested above, may be the wisest move you ever make. Check out if Fit Body Boot Camp Franchise territory is available near you.

Posted in Boot Camp Business, Boot Camp Marketing, Boot Camp Strategies, How To Start a Fitness Boot Camp Business, Personal Training Business by Steve Hochman | No Comments Yet

Leave a Comment