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How to Create a Personal Training Business Plan

starting a personal training business checklist

How to Create a Business Plan That Will Grow Your Personal Training Business

Running a personal trainer business is a lot like trying to improve your fitness. You need a detailed plan to give yourself the best chance of success. A company without a business plan is like a client without a routine or program.

Writing Your Business Overview and Mission Statement

Business Overview

Your business overview should include your business name, location or principal place of business (this can be your home address if you do not have a brick and mortar), target market, and ownership structure. Will you be operating as an S Corp, LLC, or Sole Proprietorship?

This section should also outline the facilities you’re operating in, the equipment you’ll use and your business’s unique selling points (USPs).

Mission Statement

Your mission statement is two to three sentences explaining what your business aims to do, and why. Clarifying why you do what you do is essential, and starts with your core values and your training philosophy.

If you are unsure, your core values are your personal beliefs — who you are, and what you stand for, and your training philosophy is what you believe about personal training and its importance.

You might start by answering why personal training people important to you? Why are the niche or special populations you work with important? What do you believe is most important about personal training, nutrition, or health and wellness?

Assess the Industry and Your Competition

Before you can figure out where you fit in in the fitness industry, you first need to know what that industry looks like. That takes research into the local and national markets. Your market analysis should outline what your client’s goals and needs are and how these are being met.

Grab your laptop and start researching local gyms, studios, and fitness programs. Next, go visit these locations and interact with the customers and clients. Take note of what is working well and what is missing. Then, figure out how your personal training business will fit into this community.

An honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses will help. Where do you fit in locally and nationally? What gaps do you fill? What can you offer that no one else in those markets provides?

How Will You Make Money and Spend Money?

The products and services section of your personal trainer business plan should provide a brief description of what you’re offering and why.

How are you Planning to Deliver Your Services?

You can train clients one-on-one, and also lead a group exercise class a few times a week, or you can offer small-group training at your local gym, in your home or garage, or even at a local park. Many experts with a NESTA credential train in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour.

In addition, you can seek out alternative (and frequently very lucrative career opportunities) as a blogger, writer, podcast host, author, online content provider, online video host or publisher of digital training products. You can also offer your services online to individuals, small groups, or large groups.

In the beginning, you might consider focusing on one or two sources of income and see how they work out before adding additional revenue streams. Some of the most successful businesses in the world offer only one or two products or services.

Determining Your Operating Costs

Next, you will want to tackle your expenses. Jot down all the expenses you need to run your business: rent, equipment, insurance, software, business license, and any administrative fees.

When you add that up you will have your operating costs, which is the minimum income your business needs to exist. Always keep in mind that some percentage of that income will go to your business taxes.

Create A Killer Marketing Plan

No matter how long you have been in business or how successful your training or coaching business is, if you stop marketing your services, you will very quickly see the effects of lost profits and sales. In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way.  Marketing is no exception. By knowing how to market, you will save energy and disappointment.

Find Your Niche

Your niche should be specific and narrow. Position yourself not just as someone who helps professional athletes, for example, but who helps male football players in college to become part of the national team. Although it will limit the number of your potential customers, this 1% uniqueness factor will help you to become the obvious choice for everyone in the industry.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Find something that makes you and your services unique. Perhaps the products you are working with? Or the flexibility of your schedule? By identifying your unique selling proposition, you will be more confident in promoting your services. Share your story, don’t be just a training expert – be a person that will attract customers in the first place.

Choose Your Promotional Strategies

The key here is to understand where your clients are, i.e. where do they go, what they read and watch, etc. Your decision to invest in a specific channel will also depend on your resources. But there are some more or less universal promotional methods that you can use: social media, partnerships, and referrals.

Determining Your Level of Risk

Too many personal trainers are overly optimistic and write up business plans that assume business will always be booming. When you are first starting out, your risk tolerance is likely high, because you have less to lose, but as your business grows, and you have more people who depend on you (employees, family, children) the decisions will be harder, and you are much less willing to take on larger risks.

Ask yourself, “How much risk can I tolerate?” Seek feedback from a mentor or someone whose business advice you value. They can give you a much-needed perspective on the realities of running a business in our unpredictable world.

Once you’ve got this information down on paper, your personal trainer business plan is good to go and you can focus on attracting your first clients.

How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. NESTA is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.

There is always something exciting about earning a new training or coaching certification and applying that new knowledge of how you train your clients. This also helps you hit the reset button.

NESTA and Spencer Institute coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.

That’s it for now.

Take action!

NESTA | Spencer Institute

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