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Starting A Personal Trainer Business: 10 Essential Business Tips

Are you looking to turn your passion for fitness into a rewarding career as a personal trainer? Whether you’re just starting out or already qualified, embarking on the journey of launching your own personal training business is incredibly exciting (and a little scary). But fear not, we’ve put together 10 essential business tips for starting a personal training business.  From getting qualified and laying the groundwork, to attracting clients and managing your enterprise. 

10 Essential Business Tips For Success.

1. Embrace Your Passion for Fitness

Let’s kick things off with the driving force behind wanting to start a personal training business: your love for fitness. Think about why you’re drawn to this industry. Is it the satisfaction of helping others achieve their fitness goals? Perhaps it’s the joy of seeing someone transform their health and confidence right before your eyes.

For me, it was a combination of both. I’ve always been passionate about fitness, and nothing beats the feeling of knowing I’ve made a positive impact on someone’s life through my work as a personal trainer. But, over the years I realised that my skills were better suited to training personal trainers. I found that I was good at teaching and supporting people as they re-train and transition into a new and exciting career. 12 years later T2 Fitness has become a leading training provider of fitness education and have helped 1000s get qualified as successful personal trainers. 

Make a few points about the key things you love and use this to outline your mission as a business owner. Having a firm idea about why you exist and what you’re trying to achieve will help keep your messaging consistent and ‘on brand’. 

2. Education and Certification

Now, let’s talk qualifications. In the UK, you’ll need a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Certificate and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training to become a fully certified personal trainer. Just make sure you choose a provider who is recognised by CIMSPA and offer awards that are accredited by an OFQUAL registered provider. For more details see our guide on the different Awarding bodies, accreditations and fitness qualifications in the UK fitness industry.

Having proper qualifications sets you apart from the amateurs. Not only that, it is a legal requirement in order to work at most gyms and clients would expect to see your credentials. 

We’ve got a really good roadmap to becoming a personal trainer where you can find information about qualifications as well as employment options and advise for starting a Personal Trainer business.

Today, T2 Fitness is an “enhancing” CIMSPA centre. This is the highest rating awarded by the professional body and was achieved for our ongoing commitment to our educational programmes and support that we provide.

3. Do Your Research

There are two parts to this step: 1) check out the competition and 2) research your clients. 

Competitor Research

For this you’ll want to check out the local competition. Who are they, what do they say and what do they promise? Make a note of the things you like about your competitors, how they attract customers, and what you think they could do better at. This will help you establish your own blueprint for success. It will also help you with the next point of defining your offering and brand identity. 

Customer Research

There are a lot of great resources online to help you build customer personas. Think of these as a profile of your ideal client and include as much information as possible like: 

  • What motivates them
  • What are their main pain points (aims)
  • Where do they hang out
  • What values do they hold
  • How can you reach them

Both of these pieces of research will help you to establish any gaps in the market and understand how you can serve your clients better.

4. Define Your Niche and Brand Identity

Personal Fitness is ALL about the tailor-made approach. As personal trainers we design fitness programmes around individuals based on their physical and mental profile. And your business should be no different. When establishing your business it’s crucial to define your niche and carve out your own unique identity in the market. Use your own strengths to carve out your niche.

Whether you’re passionate about helping busy professionals squeeze in quick, effective workouts or you specialise in training athletes for peak performance, finding your niche allows you to target your marketing efforts more effectively. Being clear about your goals and objectives will help you attract clients who resonate with your style and expertise. 

During my time as a personal trainer I found strength and conditioning training to be really effective for the clients I was working with. I therefore, began learning more about it so I could truly specialise in it. Now we offer a Level 4 Strength and Conditioning course for elite performance. I still love teaching it and exploring the biometrics and mechanics of it with our students. It’s a specialism that I am proud to be known for. 

5. Craft a Solid Business Plan

Now, let’s get down to business – literally. Crafting a solid business plan lays the foundation for your success as a personal trainer. It’s like having a roadmap that guides you towards your goals and keeps you on track when things get hectic. When I first started my personal training business, I sat down and meticulously planned out every aspect, from my target market and pricing structure to my marketing strategies and financial projections. Having a clear plan not only helped me stay organised but also gave me the confidence to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Check out site like Gov.uk or Start Up Donut who have excellent help with writing plans

6. Marketing and Client Acquisition

Marketing is the key to attracting clients and growing your business. In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for personal trainers. At the very least I’d recommend creating:

  • A Facebook business page: Facebook has become a bit of a ‘market place’ over the years but with a business profile you can post to local groups, attract followers and start building an engaged community. 
  • Instagram: Instagram is slightly different to a Facebook profile and it is used by a much wider demographic. The key to being successful with Instagram is to keep it personable and genuine. Use your bio to outline what you do, where you’re located and how people can contact you. Just remember to engage with people! Find people that are interested in fitness and give them helpful comments. 
  • A Google Business Profile: Setting up a Google Business profile will help you appear on maps when someone searches for a ‘personal trainer near me’. Set it up and remember to include the service area you work in. If you’re working from a gym you won’t necessarily be able to claim an existing premises as your business but you can certainly list the places you work from. 
  • A website: It takes a long while for search engines to crawl and index new sites (especially with new domains) so establishing a basic website early on will help in the long run. You can use platforms like wordpress.com or Wix to create basics and affordable websites. 
  • Personally, I’ve found that sharing valuable content – whether it’s workout tips, healthy recipes, or success stories from clients – not only helps me attract new clients but also builds trust and credibility in my brand

7. Client Feedback

The best way to promote your business is through social proof. Once you start working with clients make sure to get their feedback. Encourage them to leave a review on your newly established Google Business profile or on other review platforms like Trust pilot. Search Engine Journal has put together some interesting facts about the power of the online reviews and customer behaviour. This includes the staggering statistic that 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online. 

A lot of Personal trainers we’ve spoken to worry about obtaining reviews in case they attract negative reviews. However, negative reviews are an opportunity to show how good you are at resolving issues and dealing with complaints. Just make sure you respond, explain how you’re doing to improve your service and don’t worry about it! It would be completely unrealistic to gain 5 star review 100% of the time.

8. Client Relationship Management

Building strong relationships with your clients is the secret sauce to long-term success as a personal trainer. It’s not just about delivering killer workouts – it’s about being a supportive coach, a trusted confidante, and a source of inspiration for your clients. I’ve always made it a priority to really listen to my clients’ goals, concerns, and feedback, and tailor my approach accordingly. Whether it’s celebrating their victories, offering words of encouragement during challenging times, or simply checking in to see how they’re doing. Fostering genuine connections with my clients has been the cornerstone of my business.

Think about how you’re going to record your client’s progress. Will you use a spreadsheet, a CRM system? Trello is really handy for managing multiple clients/projects and it’s free. 

9. Legal and Administrative Considerations

Let’s talk about the less glamorous side of running a personal training business: the legal and administrative stuff. Trust me, I know it’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s absolutely essential for protecting yourself and your clients. From obtaining liability insurance and drafting client agreements to keeping accurate records and staying compliant with industry regulations, taking care of the legal and administrative aspects of your business ensures smooth operations and peace of mind for everyone involved. 

Personal Trainer Business Resources

You’ll find lots of information about insurance over on our guide to becoming a personal trainer. Over on our shop we offer unique business resources like our Personal Trainer admin packs. These have been carefully crafted to provide ready-made forms and templates so you can hit the ground running. You’ll find essential forms like the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ), Informed Consent forms, programme templates, diet plans and periodisation templates for those working with the clients with a time-specific goal or event. 

10. Continuous Learning and Growth

Finally, never stop learning and growing as a personal trainer. The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve requires a commitment to continuous education and professional development. Whether it’s attending workshops and seminars, pursuing advanced certifications, or seeking mentorship from seasoned professionals, investing in your own growth not only enhances your skills and knowledge but also demonstrates your dedication to your clients’ success. For specific help with running your personal trainer business we offer an advanced Personal Trainer course called PT+. This will introduce you to advanced concepts for better client support and includes an entire module on digital marketing. 

At T2 Fitness we offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to fitness professionals. With courses like spin class instructor, Stick Mobility and aqua aerobics instructor you can gain valuable CIMSPA CPD points. Not only does this look good to future clients and employers but it also keeps your knowledge fresh and your passion alive by widening your remit. 

For those looking to develop a unique set of skills you can always consider specialising in a certain area like a diploma in exercise referral or become an Ante Natal exercise instructor. The key is to really understand what you’re passionate about. Once you’ve found a niche, success will follow. 

Start Your Personal Trainer Business

And there you have it – the essentials of starting a personal training business. Remember, building a successful business takes time, dedication, and a whole lot of hustle, but with passion, perseverance, and the right strategies in place, you can turn your dream of becoming a personal trainer into a reality. 

So go ahead, get qualified and remember to refresh your skills regularly. With T2 Fitness Education you can embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence. When you train with us we offer career-long support to each and everyone of our students and graduates. You can always contact me, Stu by leaving a reply or by reaching out directly

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