Being productive as a PT when business is quiet

Guest writer, professional personal trainer and owner of Positive Impact Fitness, James Drabble, shares his views on how to be productive as a personal trainer when you are experiencing a quiet period.

If you’re a Personal Trainer completely unaffected by the COVID19 outbreak, I doff my branded cap to you. However, if like me and many other PTs across the world, your business took an overnight hit the moment BoJo stepped up to that lectern some eight weeks ago, what you achieve during this interim period is crucial.

Let’s not beat around the bush: Not every one of your clients will continue to train in times of financial uncertainty. Moreover, the level of new enquiries you receive will more than likely decrease.

Sustaining your business requires strategic thinking. You may have to make the odd sacrifice along the way, too.

1. Stay in touch

If clients have chosen to take a break from training, it doesn’t mean they have to take a break from you. Touch base and check-in to maintain regular contact. Offer up alternative workouts they can achieve on their own at home and make it known you’ll look forward to commencing their training in the not-too-distant future. Keep a comprehensive spreadsheet of all your clients and tick them off as you go. Having a system in place makes it far easier to manage.

2. Cut down on unnecessary costs

Each of my clients is fortunate enough to train to an ad-free Spotify playlist I create catered to their tastes (or the tastes I’ve influenced upon them, more like). With no clients in my gym, I reversed to a regular Spotify membership and therefore save a few quid each month. The same applies to other monthly subscriptions such as fitness mags and, dare we say it, Netflix. YouTube is awash with more than enough free content to suffice my post-meal escapism, prompting a severe change in my TV package to boot.

3. Switch SEO* to social

A decent percentage of my business has been built through the optimisation of my services via an online search. With analytics showing the volume of such searches have naturally decreased in recent weeks, I’ve instead put aside a smaller budget on social media marketing and withdrawn SEO costs around my website. Should the former prove successful, I may even plump for an equal share on both in the future.
Unsure what search engine optimization (SEO) is? Check out our guide to SEO for small businesses. 

4. Regenerate your gym (for those that own or lease one)

Bear with me on this one. After totting up the money I’ve spent on improving my gym over the past few years, I realised that I could reduce those costs by simply doing the work myself. During the break I’ve built and installed a new pull-up bar, given the gym a freshen up and had a reshuffle to create more floor space for clients to train when they are back. I have also created some of my own functional training equipment using old railway sleepers, rope and water containers. Rocky IV meets Positive Impact Fitness, if you will.

5. Pay yourself less

Are you a limited company or sole trader? Yeah? Great. Don’t pay yourself as much. That’s one substantial saving. Have you been going out for nice meals and treating yourself of late? No? Of course you haven’t, which should technically mean you’re not spending as much and therefore not required to pay yourself as much. Directly reducing your own earnings is arguably the best way to get things started.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? All quite doable, if you ask me.
Over to Gordon B Hinckley for today’s payoff: You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you will ever make.
Wise words. Onwards and upwards.

About James Drabble

Owner and Founder of Beaconsfield based Positive Impact Fitness, James takes a whole body approach when working with people of all ages and abilities. Providing his clients with a variety of exercise techniques as well as realistic nutrition advice. James has a vast experience working with injury rehabilitation as well as sports specific conditioning.

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