I’ve been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I’ve made my fair share of business mistakes. I’ve seen other trainers make the same mistakes. Most of us get into the fitness industry because we have a passion for helping people. Unfortunately, we don’t typically enter the field with much if any business experience and are prone to making some very fundamental mistakes. Here are the top three mistakes that rank the highest amongst trainers and how to avoid them.
1. No business plan.
While it’s easy to set-up shop and just start taking clients this is a big mistake. With no plan how do you know what direction your business should take? What happens when business slows down, how have you planned for that? In order to run a profitable, long-term business you must create a plan. It’s not enough to just think about what you need to do, you have to write it down. To start to create your plan take a large sheet of paper and create a vision for your business three years down the road. Have you opened a studio? How much are you making? Do you have other trainers working for you? Think about the future you want to create for your business as your first step towards creating your plan.
2. Lack of sales training. I’m not a salesperson, I’m a trainer? If that’s what you think then you have just tripped into mistake number two. Unless you plan on training clients for free, you need to be comfortable selling your services. What was the last book you read on the subject of sales? What was the last workshop you attended? Therein lies the problem. If you want your personal training business to thrive you must become a student of sales and learn how to connect with your customer. There are tons of great resources available on the subject of sales. My favorite is written by Jeffery Gitomer called, “The Little Red Book of Selling”.
3. Working in your business instead of on it. By now most of us have probably heard this expression but have you taken action to change how much time you spend training versus working on building your business? It’s easy to fall into the trap of working ten hours days seven days a week and still feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything. The problem is you probably haven’t set-up your schedule to allow time for training, running your business, personal and social time. Pull out your schedule right now and block off times for training, admin work, marketing, family time and your own personal time. Then stick to it.
Clients hire personal trainers to help them stick to a program, improve their overall health and because we have the expertise to help them. If you are struggling to grow your business and need some help consider hiring a business coach. A business coach can help you set-up your business and keep you on track with your goals and objectives. Don’t make the same mistakes other trainers make. Start by avoiding these top three.