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How To

How to Start a Personal Training Business

It's no surprise that personal training is in demand as folks look for ways to get back in shape. Here's how to get started offering private training sessions.

April 16, 2021

It’s no surprise that one-on-one and small group personal training are in demand right now as folks seek out ways to get back in shape – and stay healthy and safe. Whether you’re adding a personal training or private lessons to your existing fitness studio, or are an independent instructor starting your own business, the fundamentals of setting up a successful personal training program apply.

Here’s how to start a personal training business by creating a well-rounded program that will attract and retain personal training clients in 2021:

Create an Online Consultation or Fitness Evaluation

A 30-minute booking that can be done online or in-person will be key to giving new potential customers a way to try out your services and see if your personal training business is the right fit.

This is your opportunity to listen to why they are seeking out a trainer – weight loss, strength and toning, rehabilitation or a sport-specific goal. It’s your opportunity to showcase your knowledge and credentials, as well as provide support and encouragement.

Many personal training customers seek out private or small group training opportunities because they don’t feel comfortable in a large, open gym with crowds of people. Meeting one-on-one with your prospective new client is a critical time to ease their fears and let them know how you’re prepared to support them –and get them the results that they are looking for.

Consider taking some baseline metrics of your new customer’s health and fitness level and let them know that you will provide benchmarks throughout their training journey.

It’s easy to set up your complimentary consult using Punchpass software (and never double-book yourself!). You get to set the times that you will be available for these sessions. You can also use Punchpass’ notes feature to make sure each of your customer’s fitness metrics are stored and tracked right inside their profile.

Offer the Right Mix of Training Options

Some of your customers will be ready to buy that 6-month package of private, in-person training sessions right out of the gate. But many potential new customers will need more time and space to try out your programs and facility before committing.

That’s why it’s important when creating a schedule for your personal training business to reserve time slots for:

Open gym booking

This is the time when your facility is available to small groups of customers who’ve reserved their spot. Punchpass’ Appointments feature allows you to create pricing options – like memberships or passes – that are tied to specific types of services, to set the number of spots available, and automate your bookings.

Small group training

Here’s your opportunity to give your customers the experience of personalized training, with the fun and accountability of working out in a group, and VIP add-ons like tracking progress and following a specific nutritional plan.

You can set these up two ways: As a special series – for example, a 12-Week Get Fit Bootcamp – or on a rolling basis where new members can join in the sessions when there’s space available. Using a fitness business software program like Punchpass makes setting up, marketing and selling your small group personal training programs a breeze.

Private, 1:1 personal training

For your customers who want max results, fast, or who have plateaued through DIY workouts, your private personal training sessions are the answer. Make sure when setting up your personal training business that you’ve given yourself enough time in your schedule to:

  • Travel between training sessions if you’re offering in-home training
  • Clean and ventilate the space if you’re offering personal training at a gym
  • Conduct pre-and-post workout duties and time for answering questions and connecting with your clients
  • Starting and ending any open gym or small group sessions
  • Taking time out to hydrate and fuel up with snacks or meals
  • Set up virtual equipment if you’re running online classes or programs

Offer a Hybrid of Virtual and In-Person Personal Training Sessions

There are two ways to get in the virtual personal training game. And they both add value and increase retention when combined with any of the training types mentioned above.

The two main ways personal trainers are boosting their clientele and retaining the valuable customers they have are:

Live, Virtual Training Sessions

For your clients who prefer at-home workouts, make sure to add a virtual training option to your personal training sessions. When a client goes to book a session with you online, you can use Punchpass fitness software to designate which training sessions offer a live, virtual training through Zoom.

Your customer gets a confirmation email, and a reminder email with their link to sign on their training session prior to start time.

You can also add virtual training sessions as coaching time or additional workout options to any of your personal training programs. That face time between in-person sessions can really boost accountability and retention.

On-Demand Video Workouts

Everyone is used to turning on their device, hitting play on their favorite training video, and getting their sweat on when it makes the most sense for their schedule.

Be sure to provide your customers with the convenience and value of an on-demand video training library that compliments their 1:1 or small group live training.

You can also create special video training packages that you sell as part of a pre-packaged series – like the 12 Week Bootcamp. This will save you a ton of time and effort, because you only have to record each training module once, and you can use them for months – or years – to come.

Punchpass’ content library feature also allows you to make PDF content like nutritional plans, workouts, worksheet and inspirational guidance available online to access as part of a training program. You get to decide, and set up in your fitness business software, which on-demand personal training content is free, paid, part of a special program or your general online training library.

With the right tools, it’s simple to start your personal training business!