Like any skill or job, you learn a lot along the way.
Similarly, when you begin to drive, you learn what you need to get road safe and the real learning starts when you go it alone on the roads.
Personal Trainers go through their assessments and case studies and are more or less left to their own devices.
If you are not working in a gym or health club you have the added stress of starting your own business and needing to know a lot more than you are taught at ‘PT School!’
Here are the key points which came up when we asked Personal Trainers in our Group what they would tell their younger self if they had the chance.
It’s OK if you don’t know something
Starting out as a Personal Trainer can be pretty daunting. You are thrown in at the deep end and have to learn to swim pretty fast.
What isn’t apparent is that it is OK not to know everything straight away.
Your colleagues, bosses and even clients don’t expect you to know everything. So don’t be afraid to say you don’t know and most importantly ask someone that does know.
For every question you don’t know the answer to, use it as an opportunity to learn and adapt.
Have a Mentor
Having a mentor can really change your game plan. If you are at a comfortable level and are doing ok, I would say this is the ideal time to get a mentor. Its probably time to up your game now you have learned a few skills a long the way.
When you are first starting out and don’t have much time or money having a mentor would be wrong. That is why we set up Fitness Profit Ladder so you can learn the ropes on your own and build a good business foundation.
Once you have found your feet and you are ready to take things up a notch its time to get a mentor.
Just to be clear, a mentor won’t make you money and they will not do the work for you. They give you the support and guidence for YOU to do the work and make the money
Don’t wait for the Perfect time
Just like you tell your clients, “there will NEVER be a perfect time to get fit or lose weight”.
Its exactly the same when starting a business.
Life will always get in the way.
If you are waiting for a stress free time, then you’ll be waiting forever.
Stop thinking about it and take action. If it doesn’t work out or its not for yo, better to find out sooner rather than later right?
Know Your Numbers
Now I know I have been guilty of this.
Knowing your numbers is important. It’s up there with having a social media presence!
If you don’t know whether your business is profitable or what your expenses are, how can you work out how to build your business.
From the moment you take your first payment from your client (which feels pretty good btw) keep a spreadsheet of your income and outgoings and keep copies of recipts and invoices for everything.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a spreadsheet with IN and OUT and totals at the bottom will do.
Set Goals/ Targets
Do you tell your clients to set weight loss goals?
Why do you do that?
Because it works, right?
If you have a SMART goal you are much more likely to achieve it.
This is exactly the same for your business. Set monetary goals, client acquisition goals or even lead goals.
Depending what your current ultimate goal is will dictate the targets set by you.
Now, if you have acquired 2 new clients already this week, don’t set your goal as low as 3 or 4. You don’t want them to be too easily manageable. In this case, aim for 5 or even 6 as you want them to be challenging. If you DO achieve them before the time set then you need raise the bar.
By using this technique I went from a £2k month to a £5k month! #Justsaying
Don’t be a pussy!
Yes, you read that correctly.
Stop wasting time posting in Facebook groups asking the same question and moaning you haven’t got any clients.
Use that time to get out there and get e clients, write a blog, shoot a exercise demo etc.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, believe me!
Running a business is hard work, and it isn’t for the faint hearted.
If you are a ‘sensitive snowflake’ as Paul Mort likes to put it, don’t start a business – get a job!
You won’t start out knowing everything to do and you will have doubts, but you have to grow a thick skin and be sure about how you can help your clients.
I guarantee you more often than not you know EXACTLY what to do, you are just waiting for some GUROOO to tell you that you’re right (after taking your money ofc ourse!)
That’s why FPL is so successful, it has a community of ‘kick ass’ PTs that want to build a business. They know how hard it is and you that can’t coast your way to the top!
Don’t buy into a Franchise lightly
I am not saying franchises are bad.
There are several different ones and it depends on which one suits you, the point being, do your research.
Also, if you are handing over lots of money to them you need to know that they can deliver.
Is it a franchise that is well known?
Do they offer support and marketing?
If not you may as well go it alone, right?
Do what you do best
This PT had a great point. Imagine you had a business where everyone was just doing what they were best at! I mean WOW! However, if you try and do everything yourself you will end up frustrated and stressed. But more importantly, your client will end up missing out.
Do what you are good at and don’t waste time learning to do things you cannot or do not like doing. Either hire someone else to do it for you or job swap with someone that needs your skills.
If you are outsourcing, you need to make sure you can afford to do so, so that is why knowing your numbers is so important.
I have had my ups and downs with outsourcing, before you hire ANYONE you need to see proof they can do what you want them to do. You also need to know that you can’t pay peanuts and expect top quality work. I would say go by someone you trust’s recommendations as they are usually good, However make sure they don’t just suggest friends that they have never worked with! Make sure they have worked with them. There are very few people I recommend if I do, you know they’re bloody good! I will do another blog on this soon, if you are interested in the subject (Let me know!)
You’re a Business not a Charity
Now I am not saying NEVER work for free but if you are going to work for free make sure it serves you to do so. Either by getting you in front of your ideal audience, boosting your expert status and/or gets you more clients!
If friends or family ask to work with you for free, this is completely your call. I have not heard many stories when this has worked for either party. However, there are always exceptions of course. The way I would word this is, yes you can train them for free in exchange for ‘before and after’ pictures and a journal (this could be a Vlog or blog) that way both parties are benefiting. As soon as they don’t provide you with a weekly instalment for you to put on social media, and your website don’t train them – simple as that!
Forget about Business cards
Seriously, I see so many PTs when they are first starting out worrying so much about logos and business cards that they forget they actually need to go out and get clients.
Branding is important yes, however the type of business card you have or whether you pay hundreds of pounds for a logo is not starting you off in the right direction.
We have branding webinars on our membership site which are great for start out PTs as well as established PTs wanting to dominate social media. (Join FPL to get access!)
Learn to be a better Coach
A very valid point here. Do not stop once you have gained your level 2 and 3 qualifications. There are several ways you can become a better coach, you can learn how to communicate with them better, you can get nutritional qualifications (we recommend The Nutritional Acadmey) with Gary Mendoza and Rich Sennewald, you can also get more advanced personal training qualifications and specialise in a certain area. StrongFirst with Claire Booth offers various strength and conditioning courses which would be a great string to add to your bow.
Charge what you are worth
This is a very difficult one and a mistake I have made myself.
If you start with low prices due to low confidence, feeling out the market or just wanting to gain some experience – it makes it very difficult to increase the prices later.
Take FPL, it is just £36 per month. You get more value than that in a week, if not more!
I was very aware that many PTs have been conned by people charging big bucks and I genuinely wanted to help.
I over deliver and may have made a rod for my own back, however the PTs that are in FPL appreciate it and are rocking it in their businesses.
Use Client Jargon
I know that you cannot tone a muscle and that you have to build muscle in order to have a leaner figure.
However, if those are the words that clients use when they are seeking help then use them! Don’t make fun of them.
Yes once you are working with them you can educate them and they can understand you have to build muscle to have the ‘toned’ effect.
Really listen to your clients and you will be able to pick up on their pain points and key words you can use in your copy.
Building a business will not happen overnight and it will certainly mean you’ll have to give up some of your social life.
This can mean working up to 15 hour days to ensure your clients are looked after.
If you are starting a business because you want to work less.. then you have been missold the dream!
Systemise Your Business
From working relentlessly we move on to systemising your business.
There should be a procedure for every action that takes place in your business.
Every business is different and what you need system for will vary.
You systemise tasks that you do and put together procedures for others to follow.
For my other business Fit Pro Client Recipes, I have procedures which I give to new staff members to follow, making sure they know everything they need to do.
We have lead follow-up and client tracking systems, which are all in place so we can see at a glance what is going on. It takes work to put them together, I am sure they do anyway – just ask Kelly! However once they are in place it takes minutes to update regulalry and you can see a snap shot of your business whenever you want to.
Focus on Marketing
Marketing isn’t just selling! Its everything that your business is, social media, blogs, vlogs, advertising, networking, relationship building, influencers – that’s why its so important! If you don’t know how to market your business or where to start then honestly FPL is by far best place to learn and have support whilst learning.
I want to help you grow your business and serve as many people as possible
If you found this blog useful, please pass it along to your Personal Training friends.
If you have anything you would like us to cover please feel free to PM or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org