Skip to main content

How to start your own business as a personal trainer

Looking to start a personal training business? Begin with a business plan.

Every business owner, no matter the business size or sector, requires a strategic and growth-focused business plan. Personal trainers, whether self employed or working for a gym, require a business plan to help set them on the path to success. A personal training business plan should effectively guide you through each stage of your business, offering structure and management while identifying and optimising growth opportunities along the way. Consider your personal trainer business plan as a living and evolving project for your business, one that can develop with you as you grow and one that can evolve when opportunities for even greater growth arise.

A well thought out personal training business plan will help you take a step back and think objectively about the key elements of your personal training vision and mission, and inform your decision making as you move forward. In this article, we take you through the ins and outs of creating a successful personal trainer business plan. Any person who makes a living or is seeking to make a living as a personal trainer requires a business plan. Even if you are still employed by a gym – it’s never too early to consider your future trajectory.

A personal trainer business plan refers to a written description regarding the future of your personal training business. It should be designed to guide every aspect of your business, from products and service to people, location, costs and income. Your business plan should be able to articulate what you do, why you are doing it and how you plan on reaching your goals. Depending on your needs and goals, you may be able to use your business plan to impress potential investors, attract customers and employees or deal with suppliers. 

A business plan is usually 10 – 20 pages, however there is a lot of room for variation and it depends on your goals. Now that we have a greater understanding of what and why you need a business plan – let’s take a look at how you can start creating one.

How to start a personal training business plan

1. Write your mission statement

Your mission statement is 2 to 3 sentences that explain what your personal training business aims to do and why. The “why” part of your personal training business statement is vital as it’s what differentiates you  from the competition. 

Focus on 2 things in this part of your mission statement:

  1. Your core values 
  2. Your philosophy regarding personal training

Your core values outline your beliefs and who you are, while your philosophy should highlight your belief system regarding personal training. 

In order to substantiate this section, ask yourself why training is important to you, and why your target clientele will benefit from your offering. By answering these questions, you will be able to convey the value you offer clients. Learn more about how to identify your personal training niche in our article, here.

2. Assess the industry and your competitors

Before you are able to figure out where you fit in within the personal training and fitness industry itself, you need to understand what the industry looks like. This requires research and it is important to late a look at the relevant markets:

  • Local market
  • National market

In order to fully understand what these markets look like at the moment, research  the personal trainers and gyms in your local area. Even visit a few and talk to any friends you have within the industry to gain their insight. By understanding the industry on a larger scale you will be able to pinpoint what gaps you can fill or what processes you can optimise across your business. An honest assessment of yourself will help you find the answers.

3. Technology to grow your personal training business

When it comes to assessing your competition and assessing how to promote your business, closely evaluate what technology you can use to assist you meet your goals. For example: what personal training booking system processes are being used to make things easier for clients, trainers and gyms. Find a booking system that is able to make your processes as smooth as possible, ensuring you are able to manage your business in the most efficient and streamlined way. 

Personal training booking software and customer management solutions can give your business an  advantage, placing your entire booking process, from calendars and classes to payments and management, in a single location. This kind of  attention to detail will make converting prospects to  clients easier and ensuring you present a high degree of professionalism at all times.. 

Gymcatch can assist here, offering industry-leading  personal trainer business management software. The software enables personal training business owners to save time, increase revenue, and give great service to customers, offering a place to plan and manage sessions, automate bookings, design and sell packages, and embed booking capabilities into business websites. Learn more about how Gymcatch can help streamline your personal training business and add to your business plan, here.

4. Explain revenue streams

Begin mapping out your income sources and see how they will or won’t work. Ask yourself how you are going to deliver your service? Are you going to train your clients one-on-one, offer group classes – or both? Will you do smaller group sessions at your local gym or will you focus on online training? 

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to addeverything as some of the most successful businesses only offer 1 or 2 services – don’t feel pressured to add more. Sometimes less is more – and more doable. You can always add classes and services as you grow – and that is the magic of a business plan, it can grow with you.

5. Outline Operating Costs

Write down all the expenses you will need in order to run your business successfully. This includes everything from rent, equipment and insurance to personal training booking software and administrative fees. Add all of this up, get your operating costs together and work out the minimum income you will need in order for your business to exist.

Then it’s time for revenue projections. Put together a high-low chart that comes with a column that outlines worst case scenario and best case scenario. If you are comfortable with both those results then you can move forward. If you aren’t – get back to strategizing expenses and pricing until you are.

6. Create a Marketing and Sales Plan

Begin by assessing your skills, talents and strengths and decide on what you can work on yourself – be this social media videos or content creation. Understand what tools you will need to make your marketing and sales plan run smoothly – and focus on building a network around your plan. Once this is done, create a plan that you are able to take action and define how often you will deploy your resources. A video once a month? A post every day? 

Learn more about how you can attract and reach personal training clients in our article, here.

Over time you will be able to refine this section as you learn what works and what needs improvement.

In summary

A business plan is never truly finished, it is an ever evolving document that scales as you grow. Everytime your business shifts in a new direction, your finances and technology will change alongside. Everytime there is a change, take a look at amending your business plan to suit your growth. 

Technology plays a crucial role in the running of any business today – and personal training is no different. A powerful, easy-to-use and cost-effective booking management software is vital for any personal training business and Gymcatch offers the ideal solution. The software is also designed to scale with your business as it grows and is a perfect way to begin managing and planning your business. 

Get started with Gymcatch today.