June 18

By Ralph

June 18, 2019


When I made the decision to start my personal training business, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get it done.

All I knew was that I hated working in a cubicle doing the same things everyday learning nothing.

Not only did I hate working a boring desk job, but I also hated the thought of having to work for anyone but myself.

Which is a big reason why I decided to start my training business, rather than work at a big box gym. And if you’re like me, you probably feel the same way. 

And although I did my research on how to get started when building a personal training business, there was still so much I had to learn.

But i’m the type of person that doesn’t mind learning as I go.

But for those that are looking to go the more cautious route, below I will provide for you 6 key fundamentals of starting a personal training business.

1.) Know Your Target Audience

When I decided to get into personal training, my mindset at first was to help people get into shape.

Of course I knew obesity rates were rising, and that there was a market to help people live a healthier lifestyle.

The issue I faced was that I never targeted a specific group. My goal of helping people get into shape was too vague.


So I had to learn how to narrow my focus a bit.

Look, you don’t have to be a fitness professional to know that there are many paths to choose in the fitness industry.

So when trying to figure out which area to focus on, it can get a bit overwhelming.

And as with any type of business you get into, you always hear from those with experience, to find your niche.

The same advice applies when it comes to personal training. Basically, choose a target audience you want to go after, and become an expert.

Some niches are:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Elderly
  • Sports and Performance
  • Weight Loss
  • Muscle Building
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Youth

Whatever niche you decide to choose to work with, just make sure you become an expert at it. This will allow you to focus your energy into learning how to help this particular group.

You will also notice that those you work with will see you as an authority figure in that field.

Making you the go to person which will help you build a loyal following that provides you income to many years.

2.) Understand Marketing

Since you’ve chosen to be a business personal instead of going the employee route, that means everything falls on YOU!

You can’t rely on your employer to provide you with equipment, the training space, and most importantly, the marketing.

As a business owner, you are in charge of everything.

From personal experience, other than money, marketing will be one of the most important aspects of your business.

Mainly because it is what will lead to you actually making money which of course is crucial.

There are many ways in which you could go about marketing your business, but it’s important to figure out which ways will be most effective for your business.

Some ways include:

  • Build a website
  • Posting flyers
  • Attending events and handing out business cards
  • Referrals
  • Special Promotions

The methods I listed above, some are more effective than others. But finding the one that works best for you will be key.

Remember, the goal should be to bring awareness about your business to as many people as possible.

Now if you were to ask me which one is most effective, based on experience and also where we are as a society, then I would go with building a website.

The reason is, you can reach more people with less effort. Not only that, but more and more people are using the internet everyday.

Also building a website allows you to market your business even more with one single site.

As long as you understand the online world, you can open up multiple revenue streams to help supplement your personal training business.

3.) Make Sure Your Business Is Set Up Properly

If you’re serious about building your business, then figuring out how to structure your business is crucial.

Although this part of the business can seem a bit intimidating, it's actually pretty simple.

When I got started, I set myself up as a sole proprietor since I would be the only person operating my business.

All I had to do was fill out some paperwork with the city I lived in, pay the fee, and my business was created.

What will also be important when forming your business is how you organize your money.

Opening up a business account is crucial so that you can separate your business purchases from the personal.

This will save you tons of headache when it comes tax time and have to write off expenses.

It’s also good to get into the habit of structuring your business if you decide to expand it beyond just personal training.

Maybe you want to own and actual gym, or maybe start selling products.

How you structure your business will be important when trying to maximize every dollar made or spent.

For this I would recommend speaking with an accountant when trying to figure out which type of business will be best for you.

4.) Invest In Yourself

Speaking from experience, business for sure isn’t easy. But what I can tell you is that it is never boring.

What I mean by this is, I am always learning something new. Compared to when I used to work an office job and I was doing the same thing everyday.

You will quickly learn that in business, there are things that will go well, and there are things that will go wrong.

Regardless of the situation, look at each issue as a learning experience. As you know, the fitness industry is full of new trends that you as a trainer have to be on top of. 

So it will be up to you to make sure you stay current on everything health and fitness related.

Not only that, but understanding how to grow your business is something that should constantly be on your mind.

Of course this type of learning will not be mastered in the 1st or 2nd year of business.

It will take actually going through the experience for you to understand how to deal with issues that arise.

So it’s important to at the very least, educate and train yourself about things going on within your business.

And as your business continues to grow, you can think about ways in which you can continue to make it grow.

Also, being an expert requires constant learning.

So expect to read a lot of articles about your particular niche, which will help you grow your business even more in the future.

5.) Focus More On Helping, Rather Than Selling

When running a business, it’s only natural to get into sell mode. This is understandable since selling is what puts food on the table.

But unlike other types of business where there is a product to sell, personal training is about selling yourself.

And the wrong way to go about that is by asking for the money right away.

When someone is considering hiring you to train them into better health, they want to make sure they will be comfortable with you long term.

That person wants to know that you actually care about them, and not only the money.

Of course eventually you will have to ask for the money, but it’s important to show them how you can help them first.

And the best way to show that is by asking them questions about why they need help in the first place.

You can ask questions like:

  • What are your goals?
  • Why are these goals so important to you?
  • How would you feel if you were able to reach your goals?

Asking these types of questions will allow you to build a connection with them, thus allowing them to feel more comfortable with you.

Because you will quickly learn that personal training can at times be more than just about getting someone in shape.

You will have clients revealing a lot of personal things to you almost as if it was a therapy session. My advice is be prepared to wear many hats as a personal trainer. 

But this will be a good thing since this will increase the chances that this person becomes a client for many years to come.

6.) Create Multiple Streams of Revenue

There’s so much to love about being a personal trainer.

Being able to wear gym clothes and help people change their lives for the better, makes each day feel like a day of purpose.

Even better, if you happen to be a trainer that is in business for themselves, there is no need to worry about someone telling you how to train your clients.

But with all the good that comes with being a personal trainer, there are definitely some negatives that can make the life of a trainer very difficult to sustain.

Like having to rely on clients alone to help pay the bills each month. Remember, the only time you make money is when you’re training clients.

So there is always potential for slow months which can make getting consistent income tough.

This is why it’s important to find ways to create more than one stream of revenue for yourself.

So that regardless if there are months where clients aren’t filling up your schedule, you have other ways to bring in money.

Some ways to do that is:

  • Bootcamps
  • Sell meal plans and personalized workouts
  • Recommend products to clients and receive commissions
  • Start a blog

The level of success you have as a trainer will be dependent on how creative you are.

Because if you’ve spoken to other trainers, then you know how difficult it can be to rely on just training clients alone as a way to create income.

But the great thing about the fitness industry is that it provides many opportunities for you to get creative.

For example, when i decided to start my own personal training business, I could remember the struggles of not having enough clients.

So I quickly realized that I had to find another way to create income for myself.

So I decided to start a health and fitness blog that allowed me to increase my reach for potential customers.

And this leads me to my bonus tip when starting your own personal training business.

Bonus Tip - Build An Online Presence

If you plan on reaching any level of success when it comes to your business, then you have to have some sort of online presence.

Using the internet can provide you with a whole new level of income stream. Think about it, there are billions of people using the internet on a daily basis.

If you can get just a small percentage of that traffic, you can create a nice revenue for your business.

Instead of influencing the people you meet when training, you could build an even larger following with those you meet online.

And the best part about this is, you can reach more people with less effort. Of course this method requires you to have a website.

And if you’re worried about not having any experience when it comes to building a website, guess what, neither did I.

Building a website today is so much easier than it was years ago. A website can be created in less than 30 seconds.

Even if you don’t have any coding experience, there are systems out there that make it very easy to get started.

I was able to build out my first website following a training program that teaches you how to make money online.

So if you’re interested in learning more about making money online, just follow the link.

Final Thoughts

Starting a business can take a lot of work. But when you’re doing it for something you're passionate about, it can be well worth it.

Just know that there will be times when things go very well, but many times when things go wrong. Don’t get down, look at it as a learning experience.

Because going through the adversity in building a business is what will keep you focused on the end goal.

And as long as you stick to these fundamentals I mentioned above, you will always be prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

So if you have any questions about the things I mentioned above, please feel free to share them in the comments box below.

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