Welcome to the crossroads of your career—the moment you decide whether leaping into the world of personal training is a marathon worth running. You’re not alone; many stand at this juncture, lured by the promise of transforming lives and sculpting physiques.
But let’s face it, the path ahead isn’t just paved with dumbbells and protein shakes. You’re signing up for a business, and that comes with its own set of hurdles—think client acquisition, management woes, and the financial seesaw of earnings and expenses.
What if there was a game-changer, a tool that could tip the scales in your favor? Imagine an all-in-one app designed specifically for personal trainers like you, aiming to eliminate those managerial hiccups while offering a personalized, brand-centric platform for your clients. Intrigued?
Stick around as we dissect the pros, cons, and game-changing tools like Elite Trainr, to help you answer the million-dollar question: Is starting a personal training business worth it?
The Allure of Personal Training as a Career (Pros – By The Numbers)
The health and fitness industry is no small snack-sized industry but a rather vibrant and growing one. According to statistics(1), the US fitness, health, and gym club industry topped out at 30.6 billion dollars in 2022, with a projected similar size in 2023.
With a projected industry growth estimate(2) of 7.5% (compounding), it’s likely to continue to open up new possibilities for you to take more market share. These estimates alone are enough to consider a career in the industry seriously.
However, it’s noteworthy to consider that most gyms have a PT turnover rate of between 80 and 90%(3). So, suppose you intend to start a business by hiring multiple personal trainers. In that case, you might want to consider broadening your client base by doing online training. Using exclusive PT management software like Elite Trainr to maintain and scale your business is the way to go here.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges of operating a personal training business so you’ll be well-prepared to start your journey.
Challenges in the Personal Training Business (Cons To PT Business Management)
Like any business, there’s no shortage of challenges to face. However, a personal trainer business has some rather unique challenges of its own. Here are five of the top challenges that new personal trainers starting their own business face.
Most entrepreneurs will agree that client acquisition is typically the most challenging step to building a successful business. After all, not everyone is equipped to sell. Some people dislike confrontations, like when a potential client questions the value of your service.
Marketing and sales are some of the most complex parts of running a business, personal trainer or otherwise. However, they don’t have to be. Adopting a solid mental attitude towards helping others with your services will help you cope and also get some referrals if all goes well.
Some new personal trainers may do a great job, except their clients may jump ship. It’s human nature to dislike work and to like relaxing, so some personal trainers have a hard time keeping their underachieving clients to stay consistent. Client retention has always been a problem for the fitness industry. Still, personal trainers might take it personally (no pun intended). So again, thick skin is a must.
Personal trainers often have elaborate schedules and operate at what regular business considers to be odd or off-hours. Why? Because many clients work a typical 9-5 and need personal training outside of work hours. That means that you might have clients all evening and early in the morning, leaving you with a big empty middle of the day. If you don’t have good time-management skills, you can quickly start letting down your clients.
I include personality management because, as a personal trainer, you will deal with all sorts of different personalities. Furthermore, you’ll need to keep them all motivated (so they see positive change and keep paying for your services). Understanding how to motivate people can be as tricky as any aspect of personal training can be, if not more. Therefore, personality management is a point of critical necessity that you need to master quickly.
Suppose you intend to scale and envision an army of personal trainers working for you. In that case, I congratulate you on your ambition and obvious sales savvy. However, as mentioned, the personal training industry, in particular, has a uniquely high turnover rate, making hiring a challenge.
Further to the hiring challenge is the fact that the entry-level personal trainer might not have the education or experience needed to be a great personal trainer, mentor to their clients, and representative for your company. Often, in this industry, you find many who have very basic training, possibly only online to boot, making hiring good PT pros more complex than many other industries.
Solving Challenges with the Right Tools
Many of the challenges to starting and growing a personal training business hinge on your certification credentials and experience with the business. Furthermore, your ambition will play a significant role, along with how well you deal with the stress that comes with running your own business.
One of the best things you can do is make your business easy to manage. Eliminating a lot of the considerable hassles that come with trying to develop your own way of handling clients is a primary goal of the savvy PT entrepreneur. You can find a tool to make life easier so you can focus on improving your skills of acquiring and motivating clients. Let me introduce you to one that I use every day: Elite Trainr.
Elite Trainr is the all-in-one tool for innovative PT entrepreneurs who want a tool to handle the usual things, like tracking nutrition, setting up workouts, and communicating with (and motivating) their clients. Let’s look at how Elite Trainr can help you uncover more of the pros and less of the cons of PT business management.
Unpacking the App’s Features
If you want to start and scale your personal training business, you’ll need something to streamline client management. Elite Trainr does that and so much more.
The application has over 3,000 exercise GIFs that make creating workouts for your clients easy. Furthermore, the animated GIFs show clients how to do the very exercises you commit to their workout plan.
Tracking client metrics is crucial. That’s the reason why we built such a robust tracking system for tracking client nutrition, fitness, weight loss, and communications. It’s your all-in-one personal trainer management solution.
The Elite Trainr app is also brandable, so you can provide your clients with a user interface they can install on their mobile devices that use your branding. That feature alone can help provide clients with a sense of relief that they are working with such a prominent professional with a branded client dashboard and everything.
Although projections for the fitness industry looked good, there was a slow increase during the 2022 to 2023 timeframe. The sector took quite a hit at the beginning of the pandemic, and the shift to online workouts has remained quite apparent.
In the United States, the rate of obesity has grown 26%(4) for adults since 2008. With increasing rates of obesity, the need for personal trainers is also rising.
Personal trainers make between 48 and 82 thousand dollars per year(5), according to salary.com. The industry has witnessed the average pay of PTs increase by 12% since 2010.
Snapshot: Pros and Cons of Starting a Personal Training Business
Pros of Starting a Personal Training Business
- Flexibility in Schedule: You set your hours, allowing for a work-life balance that suits your lifestyle.
- Autonomy: You have the freedom to make business decisions, choose your clients, and create personalized training programs.
- High Demand: There’s a growing awareness of health and fitness, mostly online, leading to increased demand for personal training services.
- Personal Fulfillment: Helping clients achieve their fitness goals can be incredibly rewarding.
- Diverse Clientele: You’ll have the chance to work with a variety of clients, each with unique goals and needs.
- Low Start-Up Costs: If you opt for mobile training or online sessions, your initial investment can be relatively low.
- Networking Opportunities: Working in fitness opens doors to a range of networking opportunities within the health and wellness industry.
Cons of Starting a Personal Training Business
- Irregular Income: Income can fluctuate, especially when starting out or during off-peak seasons.
- Client Dependence: Your income and business success largely depends on client retention and acquisition.
- Extended Hours: Initially, you may have to work unconventional hours to accommodate clients’ schedules.
- Certification and Education: Staying certified and up-to-date with fitness trends requires ongoing education, which can be time-consuming and costly.
- High Competition: The fitness industry is highly competitive, and standing out can be challenging.
- Physical Demands: The job is physically demanding and can lead to burnout or injury if not managed properly.
- Insurance and Liability: You’ll need to manage liability issues and ensure proper insurance coverage to protect your business.
Embracing the Future of Fitness: Your Guide to Navigating the Personal Training Landscape
As you stand at the precipice of a decision that could redefine your career trajectory, it’s clear that embarking on a personal training business is more than just a pursuit of passion; it’s a strategic move in an industry ripe with potential yet fraught with challenges.
The journey of a personal trainer is not just about sculpting bodies but sculpting a business model that is resilient, adaptable, and client-centric.
The burgeoning fitness industry, marked by its impressive financial outlook and increasing demand, offers a fertile ground for your entrepreneurial spirit. Yet, it demands a blend of strategic planning, a deep understanding of client needs, and a relentless pursuit of personal and professional development.
The introduction of innovative tools like Elite Trainr not only simplifies the complexities of business management but also elevates the quality of service you can offer. By integrating such technologies, you are not just managing a business; you are crafting a unique experience for each client tailored to their goals and your expertise.
In this vibrant and evolving industry, the question isn’t just whether starting a personal training business is worth it. It’s about how you can make it a fulfilling, impactful, and sustainable part of your life’s work. Your journey starts now.
- “US Fitness/Health Club Market Size 2023 | Statista.” 2023. Statista. Statista. 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/605223/us-fitness-health-club-market-size-2007-2021/#:~:text=The%20revenue%20of%20the%20fitness,billion%20U.S.%20dollars%20in%202023..
- “LinkedIn.” 2023. Linkedin.com. 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/according-cmi-global-health-fitness-industry-market-size-buchande/.
- Matte, Michelle. 2019. “Lifecycle of a Personal Trainer: The High Cost of Low Skills Training.” Witseducation.com. September 19, 2019. https://witseducation.com/blog/lifecycle-of-a-personal-trainer-the-high-cost-of-low-skills-training/#:~:text=The%20annual%20turnover%20rate%20for,rate%20is%2010%25%20or%20less..
- “The State of Obesity 2020: Better Policies for a Healthier America – TFAH.” 2023. TFAH. February 6, 2023. https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2020/#:~:text=Resources&text=The%20U.S.%20adult%20obesity%20rate%20stands%20at%2042.4%20percent%2C%20the,by%2026%20percent%20since%202008..
- 2023. “Personal Trainer.” Salary.com. 2023. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/personal-trainer-salary.