In the past decade, people’s attitude towards fitness has changed. Almost everyone these days is involved in some form of fitness to keep themselves in top shape. As a result, the fitness industry has grown quite a lot. Many new businesses are thriving and offering custom services to clients. Despite COVID, the global health industry is projected to grow steadily in the coming years.
This gives perspective to certified personal trainers who wish to start their own fitness business. But starting a business is easier said than done. There are a lot of key factors that need consideration to build a successful business. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Do Your Research
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to do a lot more work than regular businesses to get your idea off the ground. This means lots of extensive research, looking up niches, and predicting the next popular trends. Luckily for you, a lot of information will be available on the internet. You can look up business reports of already established companies to understand the industry trends.
Aside from that, you’ll need to figure out the legal stuff that needs to be taken care of before you can start your business—for example, registration, bank accounts, and investments. If you’ve got the finance, you can hire a financial advisor to help you set aside budgets and plan your business.
If not, you can make use of the countless free sources on the internet to help you out. Keep in mind that the free sources are usually generic. If you want a customized plan, you’ll need to spend some money.
Identify Your Target Market And Get Certifications
The first thing you need to do is figure out your target market. Even in the fitness industry, there are a lot of specific certifications and services that clients look for. This is why it’s important to determine where the majority of your clients would come from. You’ll need to take your qualifications into considerations as well because you can’t offer medical fitness services if you’re only registered as a personal trainer.
If you want to make your mark in an upcoming niche, you’ll need to enroll in courses and get the relevant certifications. On the other hand, you can hire people if you want to capture an upcoming niche. Another thing to keep in mind is the licenses. A lot of fitness niches these days require licenses in addition to proper certifications. For example, in the field of medical fitness and senior fitness, you’ll need the Medical Fitness Facility Certification before you operate your own facility.
Identify Your Competition
This is the most important thing a lot of new entrepreneurs forget is to research their competitors. For wellness and fitness businesses, the one main advantage is that if the competition isn’t in your area, you can somewhat ignore them. If you’re going to be an in-person business, your competition will be the businesses operating in your area that cover the same niche as you. But as we all know, after Covid, everyone is rushing to gain a dedicated online presence. AS a result, your competition can come from anywhere in the country.
You’ll need to study their business model and understand how you can compete against them and create a better service. For example, if your business will offer hybrid training sessions while the competition only has online sessions, you can gain leverage by marketing to the local customers. Or you can offer personalized services that will give clients better results at the same time. The options are many, but it all depends on your approach and business plan.
Create A Business Plan
After doing your market and competitor research, the next step is to develop a business plan to put your findings into action. Business plans essentially follow the same pattern regardless of the nature of the business. These plans are extensive and involve in-depth market research, competitor’s services and analysis, plan for marketing your services, plan for deriving sales, and financial projections. You need to describe all of the mentioned things in great detail so that potential investors will take you seriously.
This is especially important if this is your first business venture and you don’t have any prior experience in setting up or running a business. Because investors only invest their money when they find someone serious and credible, which is difficult if you’re starting out. These metrics and in-depth industry research would strengthen your case, and the financial projections would ensure the investors that your business will thrive in the long run.
Invest In A Good Insurance Policy
Now that you’ve got the basic things done, you’ll need to start worrying about how you’ll offer the services and where you would offer them. For example, if your business provides offline training, you’ll need a facility that can accommodate clients and has the relevant equipment. As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to purchase such a facility unless you’ve got a lot of money. Instead, you’ll need to lease it for a period of time. Even with the lease, you’ll need a financial guarantor that’ll take responsibility if you’re late on your payments.
For that, you’ll need liability insurance. This insurance will help you protect your personal assets from the business ones in case your business runs into issues. It’ll keep you from going into debt and losing your personal assets. Many companies offer liability insurance plans at an affordable rate. But don’t go for the one that’s the cheapest; contact a few companies and go through their quotes. Figure out which one’s the best option for you, even if it’s a bit pricey.
After that, you’ll need to figure out the insurance of your equipment in case there’s an accident. Gym equipment costs a lot, especially if they’re some specialized medical equipment, and often clients are not careful with their usage and can damage such equipment. You can’t blame the clients as it will show poorly on your business ethics. The next best thing is to get the equipment insured. That way, if there’s an accident, the insurance company will pay for the damages.
Get An Employer Identification Number (ENI)
In order to file taxes and avoid penalties, you’ll need an ENI. ENI is also useful in opening a bank account in your business’s name, taking out loans, speeding up the process, and establishing credit for the business. The ENI can be obtained online by registering through the IRS. After registration, you’ll get your Employer Identification Number within minutes. Keep in mind that if your business is owned solely by you, you won’t be required to get the ENI.
However, if you’re opening your business with partnerships, then you’re legally required to obtain an ENI. Even if your business is operating as a sole proprietorship, it’s a good idea to get an ENI number for the benefits mentioned above. It’ll also help you establish your business as a separate entity and make it easier for you to expand it.
Have An Interactive Website
The first step in giving your business a face has a website. Many new business owners go through all the legal stuff and don’t pay much attention to having an online presence. Everything these days is online; if potential clients want to find a fitness training service, the first thing they’ll do is look online.
If you don’t have a website, chances are you’ll lose good business. An important thing in creating a website is to make it interactive and user-friendly. Many businesses fail to get customers because their website is cluttered, and there’s no proper information regarding their services. These businesses only focus on getting their contact information out so clients can reach them.
You have to understand the dynamic of how things work these days; people want to know as much as they can about a business before they set up an appointment. Meaning, putting out your contact information won’t do your business any good. Instead, try showing your services with descriptions, pictures, and videos to give the clients an understanding of your business. That way, clients will be compelled to get in touch with you, and you’re more likely to get business.
Install The Right Equipment
If you decide to market yourself as an in-person or hybrid trainer, you’ll need to invest in some workout equipment to facilitate your clients. The equipment you’ll need will depend on your services. For example, if you’re offering yoga classes in the park, you’ll need to make sure that all your clients have a yoga mat and relevant yoga equipment like an exercise ball or a resistance band. Having equipment will also make a good impression on the clients, and they’ll consider your services more credible, which is what you need to spread word of mouth to other potential customers.
Similarly, if you’re gearing up to launch a full-blown gym service, you’ll need proper weights, treadmills, stationary bicycles and other exercise equipment that satisfies the needs of all of your clients. Besides getting the equipment, you’ll need to get it insured. Be sure to look up different insurance policies for different pieces of equipment. If the equipment is for medical use, it’ll be a lot harder to repair in case of any damages. So you’ll need to select the policy carefully.
Invest In Online Training Platforms
Being an in-person only or online only trainer will limit your clients. What you need is to offer both services so you can reach local as well as out-of-city clients. But with online programs, you’ll need to do extra research. How will your programs run? Will you offer a bundled-up program for a fixed price, or will your sessions be interactive and delivered through an online learning system?
If you choose the latter, you’ll need to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver your lessons and track your client’s progress. On top of that, you’ll need to develop a proper interface so your clients can signup and use the LMS easily.
Brand Image And Marketing
For an online business, brand image is the most important thing. You may have noticed that many brands have great products and services, yet they fail to gain many customers. While some have mediocre services but a high influx of clients. That’s all in the brand image. The more your market your service, the more audience you’ll reach. But it isn’t just about marketing; you’ll need the audience to relate with you. For that, you’ll need to make demographic-specific campaigns to get the attention of the audience.
Social media is a great way to reach youngsters and young adults, but what about the older population? Well, some of them use social media, while some of them don’t. So, you’ll need to employ new and old-school marketing tactics to reach them. This means extensive social media marketing as well as email marketing.
Expand Your Expertise
This step comes a little later. Once you’ve established a sizable clientele, you’ll need to expand your services to get more clients and keep the existing ones interested. There is two way to do this; one, you can enroll in other certifications like a medical or senior fitness course, like the ones offered by W.I.T.S. Education and become a certified instructor in these fields. Or you can hire more crew members to give more personalized training. For an online business, it’s easy for you to get further certifications and expand your services.
However, for in-person training, that’s next to impossible. You’ll have new clients and existing ones coming in expecting personal training. You won’t be able to do this alone, so in this scenario, it’s better to hire more experts.
Are you looking for a certification that’ll help you manage your fitness training business? Take a look at W.I.T.S. Education’s Fitness Management Course. This course is specifically designed for people who wish to run their own business in the fitness industry. Besides that, at W.I.T.S., we offer many courses related to fitness training such as Personal Training Course, Health Management Course, and Senior Fitness Course. Each of our courses is designed keeping in mind the latest developments in the industry. Check out our top courses.
Apart from that, college students can take advantage of our NCCA accreditation system and earn credits for their courses toward their college degrees. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us.