Being a personal fitness trainer is a rewarding job in many ways. From the satisfaction of helping individuals get fitter and in better shape, to helping to keep yourself at a good level of fitness, a career in personal fitness training comes with many rewards. The good news is that you don’t have to be a body-builder or yoga fanatic to train to be a personal fitness instructor and even run your own personal fitness business. All you need is enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. Though like with every sought-after profession, the personal training industry is competitive. From getting a qualification to building up at network of clients, take a look at the following advice on starting your own personal fitness business.
Is personal training for you?
Personal training is a rewarding career, knowing you’re helping people get fit and reach their personal fitness goals, is without doubt a satisfying feeling. Though it is important to remember that personal fitness is a competitive industry. It requires tenacity, commitment, hard work and devotion and if you’re not 100% committed, you might find that it isn’t the career for you.
A good listener
Personal training is a socially interactive job that is centred on building and maintaining relationships with other people. It requires someone who can listen well to others whilst compassionately offering guidance and advice. As Start-Ups acknowledges, “Being a good listener and able to relate to a lot of different people is almost as important as your ability as a fitness trainer.”
Professional personal trainers require professional qualifications and if you don’t already have one, the first stage of starting your own personal fitness business is to gain a qualification that is recognised in the industry.
Diplomas in personal fitness provide a fast-track route to individuals wanting to embark on a career in persona fitness training and start their own personal training business. There are different levels of diplomas in fitness and personal training, which offer various qualifications. For example, the Level 3 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness and Personal Training will mean learners achieve the Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training on the completion of this diploma.
In this competitive industry it is common for personal trainers to study and train in more specialist areas such as obesity, cardiac rehab, pre and post-natal fitness, arthritis, asthma, eating disorders and many more specialist areas.
Similar to every profession, the more skills and knowledge a personal trainer has the better equipped they are to offer fitness and training support for a broader range of people in different circumstances. As a result, it is well within any wanting to start their own personal training business to attend further courses to enhance their skills and knowledge base in specific fitness areas.
Being a personal trainer isn’t a ‘9 – 5’ job and with people wanting to conduct training and exercise sessions around work and family commitments, it is imperative personal trainers are flexible in terms of the hours they work.
As personal trainer Jennifer Brilliant tells Entrepreneur:
“This is such a personal business and you’re dealing with people one-to-one. Things come up and you need to remain flexible.”
Keep up-to-date with industry changes
Like with any industry, in order to remain competitive and run a successful personal training business, you will need to keep up-to-date with any changes or developments in the exercise and fitness sector.
In order to remain familiar with developments and the latest trends, many personal trainers attend seminars and conferences related to the industry and the latest advances in training techniques. You may want to attend a weekend course in a specific area to enhance your knowledge and skillset and ensure your personal fitness business is up-to-date will all new advancements and trends.
Learn how to manage a business
Running any kind of business requires specific knowledge and skill sets. Anyone wanting to run their own personal fitness business should familiarise themselves with what’s involved with managing a business well. This includes business management elements such as outlining business goals, bookkeeping and tax return duties, employment issues if you want to take on more staff. If you feel you lack business management skills, it might be a good idea to attend a business management course or some kind of business coaching training.
Generate and maintain a client-base
All successful businesses rely on clients or customers and none more so than a personal training (PT) business. In fact, one of the key reasons so many PT businesses fail is through an inability to generate and maintain a regular client-base. As Entrepreneur highlights:
“High client turnover and low client retention rates make it hard to run a profitable business.”
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of generating a strong set of clients in the personal training industry. If you’ve yet to develop a word of mouth advertising revenue, approaching leisure centres, gyms, fitness centres and sports halls to explain that you are a recently qualified personal trainer looking for work, can be a good way to build up a network of clients.
Of course getting clients is one thing, but keeping them is another. The personal training industry is extremely results-driven and failing to help clients reach their targets and see results can quickly lead to them dropping out and going elsewhere. It is therefore important to be realistic and honest with clients from the off-set. Refrain from promising they’ll have a figure to rival Kate Moss’ or a fitness level Usain Bolt would be proud of, in several weeks’ time. Instead be realistic, honest and help keep the client motivated so that they achieve their realistic goals and ambitions within a set timeframe.
Set up your own website and get online!
Creating an online presence will help you reach a broader potential client base that is not defined by geographical boundaries. Traditionally, personal training requires physical contact and therefore close geographical proximity. However, as Startups.co.uk advises in its article about starting a personal training business, there appears to be a growing market for training people virtually.
Use the internet to create your own website, give yourself and strong online presence through social media, and even show off your fitness training skills by posting marketing videos online, you never know you may start gathering a network of clients looking to be trained virtually, then you really could reach out to a market void of proximity restraints.
Offer something that stands out and is unique
Carry out research in your local area to see what fitness centres, gyms and other personal fitness instructors are offering. Ask members of the community what they would like to have available to them in terms of health and fitness activities. Draw on the interest from the local community and offer something different that caters for specific groups, ages and abilities. For example, you may offer fitness training for disabled people or stay at home mums. Providing niche fitness training will help your personal fitness business stand out in a heavily saturated market.
This blog post was written by CMS Fitness Courses (CMSFitness). CMSFItness are specialists in health and fitness training. Based in Huddersfield, CMS Fitness Courses offer a diverse range of high-quality personal training and fitness courses in the West Yorkshire region. CMS Fitness is recognised as a premium provider of health and fitness courses that offer a variety of commercial and government-funded training programmes for people of varying ages and backgrounds across Yorkshire.