Personal Trainers
April 29, 2022

10 great tips on how to start a personal training business plan checklist

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Personal Trainers
10 great tips on how to start a personal training business plan checklist
Cory McKane
Blog Post Summary:

It can seem daunting when you first start down the road of opening your own personal trainer business. There are a lot of steps to take in order to make your dream a reality, but there are ways to simplify it. Check out these quick tips on how to establish yourself as a personal trainer.

It can seem daunting when you first start down the road of opening your own personal trainer business. There are a lot of steps to take in order to make your dream a reality, but there are ways to simplify it. With this starting a personal training business checklist, you can keep track of each major step all in one place. This checklist will provide the basic aspects of starting a personal training business, in addition to the more overwhelming details. Starting your own business training isn’t the same as working for a gym and being able to use their facilities. When it becomes your own business, you have to handle every part on your own, so you need to be fully prepared before making the leap.

Understand Your Training and Specifications

There isn’t just one kind of personal training or one kind of business to model. There are numerous specifications, from strength training to yoga, and you should understand what kind of training you’ll be providing before you start developing your business. When you first start planning, you’ll need to narrow down the kind of training you will offer, and the niches you’ll be working in. For example, you might want to focus on beginner classes to introduce people to fitness, or you might want to offer more intense sessions for athletes. If your personal training business is too broad, you run the risk of not being able to bring in the right clients. You also need to make sure all of your certifications are in order before you start, or you won’t be able to train anyone. 

Know The Cost Involved 

There are certain costs that come with running your own business that you don’t have to deal with when working out of a gym. You have to pay for all of your equipment, marketing, and insurance. You can get creative with training sessions by going to parks or other public places, but you need to have at least the basic gear. In addition, you’ll have to handle any taxes or costs for licensing on your own. You’ll also have to pay for any kind of computer software you might need. It’s best to have your budget ready before you start the journey of creating a personal business training.

Find Your Target Audience

Once you narrow down the kind of training you will offer, it will be easy to find your target audience. It’s easy to think of your market as just anyone that wants to hire you, and while you can be willing to work with anyone on any kind of fitness, narrowing down your ideal audience will make it easier to market. If you have experience training at a gym, you develop a business around the kind of sessions you used to offer. You can also choose to pursue any fitness niches you might be certified in. Once you’ve narrowed down your audience, you’ll be able to create the most effective strategies for bringing them in. 

Understand your Business Model

Before you can start a personal business training, you first need to understand your business structure and model. When establishing a business, it can either be an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or a sole proprietorship. With an LLC, business owners don’t have to take full responsibility, so you won’t be risking as much if your business goes under. A sole proprietorship would allow you to be the single one in charge of your business and everything about it, but all of your assets could be on the line if something goes wrong. In addition, LLCs have more paperwork and taxes to deal with. Once you’ve chosen a structure, you can decide the kind of model you want to create. Personal training is quite versatile, so you have multiple models you can follow. You can offer virtual training, hybrid sessions, group sessions, or individual in-person sessions. There’s also plenty of room to come up with your own unique model.

Protect Yourself With Insurance

It’s vital that you purchase some kind of liability insurance before taking on your first client. This kind of insurance is important for any business, but especially one like personal training where more risks are involved. Liability will protect you in the off chance that one of your clients gets injured. You can typically purchase this through personal training institutes, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. Make sure to carefully comb through your insurance policy, and come up with client forms that can fill in any gaps or loopholes. 

Understand Your Taxes

When you work at a gym through an employer, they are responsible for taking out your taxes and making sure they are paid. When you decide to pursue your own personal training business, you take on the responsibility of your own taxes. You have to keep track of how much you make, how much your expenses are, and how much taxes you owe at the end of the year. You’ll also need to have a tax license in order to accept money from your clients.

Consider Business Training

If you have experience working as a personal trainer through a gym then you may not need to take any extra business training. However, a few courses can lay the foundation for your new career endeavour, and set you up for years of success. Even if you know what it takes to be a trainer, running a business is something entirely different. Many trainers will go that extra mile, and the good news is it’s easier than ever to find business training. There are hundreds of simple online courses you can take to prepare yourself. 

Create Your Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy is the way that people will hear about your business, so you need to have a good one. There are plenty of resources out there for marketing, from websites to social media. If you don’t have experience with this, you can hire a marketing team, or take a few courses and try to handle it yourself. One of the best ways to market is through social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, because of their featured ad campaign tools.

Decide on Business Rules and Pricing

Business rules are important for any kind of business. These will show your clients what to expect from training with you and will lay out the expectations you have as a client. For example, you may have a rule against “no showing” for a session and charge a fee. You may also want to offer refunds for sessions cancelled within 48 hours. You should also have established guidelines for dealing with challenging clients, such as those that refuse to pay. When it comes to pricing, that’s just as important to consider. You may want to start out with more competitive prices and raise your rates as you bring in more clientele.

Draw Up Your Forms

Once you’ve come up with rules for your business and a pricing model, you can draw up the forms you’ll have every client fill out. These should include details about the cost of training, as well as guidelines and rules for sessions. You should also have forms to collect vital information about your client’s health and fitness history. 

Wrapping Up

The starting a personal training business checklist provides a road map for the work you need to do to open your business. By following these steps, your business will be up and running in no time.


Are you new to personal training? Read these articles to get started on growing your business:

About the Author:

Cory McKane

Cory is a huge fan of fitness - and an even bigger fan of helping you with your fitness. He's started on his journey with WeStrive back in 2015 and has been building it ever since.

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Written by
Cory McKane
CEO | WeStrive
Huge fan of fitness - Even bigger fan of helping you with your fitness. I've been building up the WeStrive platform for over 5 years and I'm excited to keep building out the greatest Health & Wellness platform on Earth.

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10 great tips on how to start a personal training business plan checklist