Being a fitness trainer, and running your own personal training business is not the bed of roses many may think. Do not get me wrong, fitness training can be very rewarding, and even profitable; but there are some important aspects you really must understand before starting a fitness business.
After more than 25 years in the personal trainer business I am sad to report there are 6 things I really dislike about the industry.
1. Lack of industry wide professionalism.
Let's be honest, the personal training business industry is riddled with amateur hour. Far too many trainers call themselves pros, but really are a far cry from that. Consider the way some fitness trainers dress. An example would be muscle head attire. I do not think this is very professional, do you?
This lack of professionalism erodes the perceived value of the entire industry driving down not only respect from the health care arena, and general public, but also de-valuing the fee we can charge. People just do not take us seriously because of this lack of professionalism.
Limited regulation in the personal trainer industry provides the average Joe, or Jane workout warrior an opportunity to train clients for money. They do not need a personal trainer education, certification, or even experience to start consulting. Un-qualified Trainers like these generally slip to the bottom of the barrel. However, their image pulls the qualified professional down.
In my opinion, being a professional fitness trainer means being adequately qualified, educated, with experience, dressed well, and respected inside the health care system.
If we want your personal training business to be taken seriously, and to command amazing fees, then being a qualified professional is a must. That means investing time in continuing personal trainer education throughout the span of your entire career.
2. Some trainers only are about the money.
This really gets on my nerves. If you want to be successful in the fitness business, then you must serve people. Serving people means caring about helping them, and not just taking their money. Trainers who are rep counters, and sweet talking sales people do not help propel our industry in the right direction.
3. Flakey, uncommitted clients.
Do you have clients who do not show up by canceling all the time, and do not put in the effort necessary to get real results? I'm sure you do! Is not it annoying? Well, you have a choice whether to work with them or not. It is alright to fire your D, and F clients. You know the ones where you put out all the energy, and do not get much in return. Invest your energy on personal training business clients who really care by putting in the necessary effort to change.
Fitness training clients who cancel regularly, change your schedule weekly, arrive habitually late, and do not put out effort should be fired!
4. Clients that do not respect your time.
I'm sure you have come across clients that try to take advantage of you. When you give them more time, they seem to expect the favor all the time. They simply could care less about you, your time, and your fitness training business. When you give them an inch, they carelessly take a mile. You do not need personal training business clients like this.
5. Solo 1 on 1 training – trading time for money.
If your fitness marketing plan calls for just one-on-one training, all by yourself, you are asking for trouble. Most fitness professionals trade time for money. That is effectively what 1 on 1 training really is.
These poor fitness trainers work themselves into burn-out just to make a living. As a matter of fact, I know some personal trainers who start at 4:30 am, and work until 6:30 pm. You are probably thinking they have a huge personal trainer income. The truth is no because they are not working the entire 14 hours. They have a client come in one hour, then off for the next hour, only to gear up for a client later on.
Yes, you can make a living trading time for money, but it sure is not the most effective way.
I recommend fitness professionals serious about success to invest continuing education time in marketing, and sales. The most successful fitness pros all master these two components.
6. Clients that do not pay on time.
Have you ever had a slow playing, or no paying client? When that happens the fitness business in no fun. Are you running a personal training business, or a bill collector firm? Most fitness pros are running around wasting time collecting payments, and not training clients. This is the wrong idea!
Instead, I recommend structuring your payments in a manner which avoids being a collection agency. A couple of great ideas are pay before services, and automatically debit a clients credit card.
Before starting your personal training business it is a good idea to understand the negative aspects of the industry. That way you can create various systems inside your fitness marketing plan to mitigate these challenges. Do not get me wrong, being a personal trainer has many more positive aspects than the negative ones mentioned above. Stay tuned for the next article – what I love about the fitness business. Until then, consider ways of eliminating these unforeseen aspects present in the personal training industry.