Writing your personal training business plan

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Before hitting the gym and putting together workouts for clients, fitness professionals should have a firm grip on their personal training business plan.

When starting out your career in the industry it’s important to know which direction you plan to take. Your business plan will help you define that.

Putting together written documents may not sound ideal when you envision a career in the personal training industry, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

We’ve highlighted six important sections to consider in your business plan.

Executive Summary

This first section of your business plan should be the first thing a reader sees. Although the first to be read, it could be one of the last thing you write. Your Executive Summary will deliver a concise overview of what a reader can expect to read in the supporting document.

Give an overview of what you intend to do in your business, how you plan on doing it and how your business will sit in the market.

Within this section you can include your Mission Statement. This can be one or two sentences which sum up your personal training business and what you intend to change within the industry. It should perfectly sum up your fitness activities.

Business Overview

This section will bring a more granular approach to your business. Here you will breakdown how your business sits within the current fitness industry. Is there a move towards a specific type of training regime? Will your business slot into that niche? Or will you follow a more traditional approach?

You can outline the facilities you will be operating in within this section. Are you intending to train in a gym? Or do you have your own studio where your sessions will take place?

Also within the Business Overview section you can highlight your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This will be what sets you apart from the other businesses offering similar services. It can explain why individuals should choose you as their personal trainer as opposed to someone else.

Personal Training Business Plan Overview

Your Services

Here you’ll explain precisely what services you’ll be offering. If you are offering group classes, individual one-on-one sessions or offering a workout plan service you should outline what they will entail here.

You should explain the benefits to your clients of following the specific approach you are taking. For example, have you got experience helping groups of people achieve their goals through boot camp classes? Or do you have a specialism that will ensure your one-on-one personal training sessions are hard to beat?

Of course, it is possible that you will be offering a range of different services. Highlight in your business plan how you will judge the best course of action for each client based on their goals, time commitments and other restraints.

Market and Competition Analysis

Starting a personal training business is bound for failure if you don’t have a idea of the state of the market. You could be the best trainer around but if you have no standing in the market or are not doing anything new then success will be tough.

Carry out an overview of the competitors in your local area, use tools like Google Adwords to assess the demand for personal trainers in your vicinity and document these in your business plan. Once you know who you are competing against and have an idea of challenges you might face, you can solidify your marketing plans.

Reiterate your USPs in this section. Why are you different? What need are your services meeting? Think about how you will market your personal training business. Will you employ a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign to get your website (if you have one) the traffic you need? Will you use Facebook and other social media to advertise to your clients? Outline all of your marketing plans within this section of your business plan for your training business.

Personal Training Business Plan Marketing

Financial Plan

Now you have outlined what you will be doing, you need to show how you will not only be making money, but how you will be spending it too.

Your Market and Competition Analysis may have touched on how much your competitors charge, the price clients are willing to pay and the going rate for the services you will offer. Here you can outline how much money you expect to bring in to your business through your personal training sessions.

Is this the only way you intend to bring money into the business? If not, what else will you be doing to raise funds?

You also need to consider your spending in this section of your personal training business plan. Think about overheads. Are you planning rent a studio? How much will that cost? Remember petrol costs if travelling from client to client will soon add up and can take a significant chunk of your earnings.

There’s also the consideration of spending money in order to accumulate it. As briefly mentioned in the section above, you may want to set up an advertising campaign, be it PPC, social media or through a third-party agency. All of this can cost a lot of money, so consider the impact on your overall business here and draw up some sort of cash-flow plan.

Risk Assessment

As much as you can plan to have the best run personal training set-up in the land, things can, and do, go wrong. Often though, how you react to slip-ups (sometimes literally) can be pre-planned within your personal training business plan.

Personal Training Insurance is the obvious starting place to cover injuries that might occur during your sessions. However, think about the immediate aftermath. Do you have a safety plan for your sessions? Have you remembered to ask your clients to complete a Par-Q before starting training? And is it worth undertaking some training yourself on how to deal with medical emergencies?

Consider not only what could happen within your training sessions, but think about the wider-world. What happens if a new competitor comes on the scene with cheaper sessions. You may be forced to change how you operate, what you charge or what you specialise in.

There’s also the potential for legislation change. Personal trainers are currently not allowed to produce meal plans unless they are a qualified nutritionist, for example. What would happen if new rules came into play that affected the training you offer? Having a plan of action for all scenarios will certainly help you here.

Personal Training Business Plan Risk
The sections outlined above are not exhaustive. There is no hard-and-fast rule as to what should be included in a personal training business plan, but hopefully the advice above can put you on the road to success.