Making the decision to start your own personal training business is both exciting and frightening. It’s exciting to start something new but intimidating because starting something new (regardless of what it is) is never easy. It’s even harder to do when there is no plan laid out to ensure the venture will be successful. It’s just like baking a cake without a list of ingredients, the measurements for each ingredient, or knowing the right temperature to set the oven. You could get lucky … but would most likely end up with a disaster in the kitchen.
To be successful in building a personal training business you need to do three (3) things:
- Prepare your personal training business. (Ready.)
- Market your personal training services. (Aim.)
- Sell your personal training services. (Fire!)
Although the list is short, many people make the mistake of putting these steps in the wrong order.
- Ready. Fire! Aim. (you’re prepared and you start selling before putting together effective strategies to make selling productive)
- Aim. Fire! Ready. (you’ve developed effective strategies and are successfully selling but are not prepared to deliver the services)
- Ready. Aim. Fire! (you’re prepared, have developed effective strategies to target sales and are successfully selling services)
A significant amount of time, effort and (potentially) money goes into building a personal training business. Using the wrong approach could waste valuable time and effort, result in unbearable frustration, and end up being very costly in the end.
READY – Prepare Your Personal Training Business
Running a personal training business is more than just helping another person exercise. It is a business with pros, cons and expectations that need to be well understood. The following are essential steps to follow as you prepare for the official launch of your personal training business:
- Researching the industry
- Getting certified
- Establishing your personal training business
Making a career change is something that requires a good amount of thought before taking the big leap. Do your homework, discuss your thoughts and ideas with friends and family members that you trust and be well prepared before you take the next steps.
AIM – Market Your Personal Training Services
Once you’ve taken all of the appropriate steps to create an “official” personal training business, it’s time to develop strategies to market the services you offer. Marketing is the process of communicating the value of your services to your potential customers. This can be done using a wide variety of media (i.e. face-to-face, in print, online).
Marketing your personal training business requires two crucial steps (ones that are often overlooked or completely forgotten):
- Establishing your marketing budget
- Identifying select marketing strategies to implement
FIRE – Sell Your Personal Training Services
Now that you’ve established the budget and identified specific marketing strategies to implement, it’s time to start selling. Unfortunately, that may not be as easy as it sounds. “Selling” is something that doesn’t typically come naturally for most personal trainers. Personal trainers choose this profession because helping others makes them feel good. Many of them say they would train clients for free because they love what they do so much. Regrettably, doing that wouldn’t make for a successful (or profitable) business.
Selling doesn’t come naturally for most people. When they are faced with asking for the sale, many stumble through and may not close a sale very often. Poor selling abilities will not help to build any business, whether it is selling personal training services or widgets.
Selling is a skill that needs to be learned, just like doing a push up or squat properly. It is a process that takes time and effort to learn, but will result in real sales when done right. Effective selling is a seven (7) step process (in order):
- Presentation and demonstration
- Handling objections
- Follow up
This final step is what can make or break a personal training business. You may be the most amazing personal trainer in the world but if you can’t get people to pay for the services, your business won’t survive.
Next Steps …
As you can see the journey to starting a successful personal training business will take time, effort, and patience. The effort will be well worth it, if you are ready for the task, and this could be the last career you will ever need to pursue.
The first step begins with better understanding the fitness industry. Click here to read more on the history of the fitness industry.