Successful personal trainers are continually learning new things and adding to their knowledge to stay ahead of the game. Unfortunately, their job requires a significant amount of time in the day, leaving very little spare time for developing greater knowledge to better their business. In an effort to help, TodaysFitnessTrainer.com has developed the “Ask the Author” series.
“Ask the Author” is focused on getting a different perspective directly from authors of fitness-oriented books and publications. This segment features the author of the new book, “The Business of Personal Training: Essential Guide for the Successful Personal Trainer”.
The fitness industry, and personal training in particular, is estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by over 20 percent by 2018 (click here for more information). As the market grows and the number of personal trainers increases, the ones who build their businesses effectively from the start will more likely survive (as others will fall by the wayside).
Andrea Oh, a contributing writer to TodaysFitnessTrainer.com, has recently published a book that speaks to this subject. “The Business of Personal Training: Essential Guide for the Successful Personal Trainer” provides insight to the business side of personal training and the steps to take in order to secure a long term business.
The Business of Personal Training: Essential Guide for the Successful Personal Trainer
- Title: The Business of Personal Training: Essential Guide for the Successful Personal Trainer
- Author: Andrea Oh
- Release Date: August 2013
- Genre: Business and Finance
TFT: What is the book about?
AO: The book is a “how to” guide for personal trainers who are looking to get into business for themselves or are looking to improve or expand their current business. The content in the book goes beyond personal training or fitness certifications and provides an insight into how an established business successfully operates. If you take a good look at the market, there is only a small percentage of personal trainers that are very successful in building their brand and making significant profits ($100,000+ per year). Many struggle to make $30,000 to $40,000 per year (not including the cost of expenses).
Topics covered in the book include:
- How to structure and operate a business
- Creating brand value
- How to market and promote personal training services
- Effective selling techniques to generate revenue
- How to drive referral business and build customer loyalty
- Ways to expand and diversify the business
TFT: What makes you an authority on the subject matter?
AO: To be perfectly honest … I’ve made the mistakes, was tenacious and stubborn enough to survive the bad times, and came out on top. Now, I can take those learnings and help others avoid the same consequences I faced in business.
I’ve been active and involved in competitive sports my entire life, which ultimately led to a career in fitness. With a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (Sports Performance & Kinesiology) from the University of Alberta, I knew I wouldn’t follow the traditional path. Rather than pursue a science-based research career through the University I decided to go off on my own and start my own sports training business. That evolved into an exciting (and unexpected) career in fitness that has spanned over fifteen years … and is still ongoing.
After five years in the personal training business I then began working with large fitness companies and organizations involved in fitness education and product manufacturing. From what I had learned from these companies in business structure and management, I started two technology companies, with my partners, servicing the fitness industry (one in telephony and the other in active gaming/exergaming). Now, I have the pleasure of consulting fitness businesses and entrepreneurs around the world, including personal trainers.
TFT: What (or who) inspired you to write this book?
AO: I have personally written over 30 manuals and publications in my lifetime (all for other companies or projects). A friend had suggested I take some of my current work and develop a collection of “best practices” for personal trainers. As I looked into it further I realized there were very few personal training books that spoke specifically on business. Also, personal training certification providers did not offer business training as a part of their courses or workshops. I felt a need to fill a gaping hole very evident in the system. What the majority of personal trainers don’t realize is that there is a big difference between owning a business and running a success and profitable one. My hope for this book is to help them understand the difference and take the steps necessary to achieve their goals in business.
TFT: How is this book different from other personal training business books?
AO: Business books targeted to personal trainers are hard to find. After the book was written (to ensure I didn’t lose focus on my own book) I went out and bought two or three. Based on my own comparison between my book and the others, there are a few key differences:
- Background information about the past, present, and future of the fitness industry
- The information can be used to help someone pursuing a new career in fitness, a personal trainer currently employed by a fitness club looking to start their own business, and a personal trainer wanting to grow their current business
- Information on how to establish a strong personal brand
- Marketing focus beyond print media, including the internet and social media
- The book helps personal trainers get started “while” reading the book (assignments to complete after each chapter)
TFT: Based on the information in the book, what is the most important lesson for personal trainers, interested in pursuing their own business, to know?
AO: In order to be successful in any type of business … you NEED a good plan. It’s the same as working out at the gym. If you go the gym each time and choose your exercises and weights “on the fly”, there really is no guarantee you’ll get the results you’re looking for. How many bodybuilding competitors train without a program that outlines their every move for the 12 months (at least) prior to a competition … and win? Getting results requires rules, a strategy and accountability. A good business plan can accomplish all of this for a personal trainer.
TFT: Are you planning on writing any follow up books to this one?
AO: Absolutely! Originally, it was not my intent to write addition books when this process started but what this first book made me realize is that there is so much more that can be done to help personal trainers be successful in their pursuit of financial freedom and success on their own terms. I will be writing follow up books in the “Business of Personal Training” series that will be available starting in 2014.
To download the front matter (foreword, preface, introduction) and the first two chapters of the book, click here. For more information on “The Business of Personal Training: Essential Guide for the Successful Personal Trainer”, visit the book website at www.businesspersonaltraining.com.