How to start a personal training business

The Fitness Group
Industry-leading fitness qualifications
16 August 2022
5 minute read

With so many people turning to personal trainers to help them achieve their fitness goals, transforming your dream of being a personal trainer into reality is more achievable than ever.

If you’re ready to begin the process of starting a personal training business, here’s everything you need to get started.

Get certified

The first step to starting a personal training business is to get certified with an accredited training qualification. Getting certified isn’t just about getting everything right from a legal standpoint. It’s the key to ensuring that a) you know what you’re doing, and b) you can give your clients more confidence in your ability to help them reach their fitness goals.

The must-have is an accredited Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. Additional certifications such as First Aid and business skills will also be beneficial as you start your personal training business - there are lots of CPD (Continued Professional Development) options available to you too.

Think about your clients

People use personal trainers for many reasons. They want professional, expert guidance, and many will lack the motivation needed to reach their goals themselves. However, it’s important to work together to determine what their goals are so that you’re able to form a plan of action that meets their individual wants and needs. This is really important as without having an explicit conversation around goals, what’s important to them may not be obvious to you.

Know what to charge

Glassdoor lists the average salary for a personal training employee in London as £30,323.

To break it down, as a self-employed personal trainer, you’ll likely set an hourly rate, which will typically range between £25 and £50 an hour – although some personal trainers can charge £100+. Working full-time, this roughly equates to between £24,000 and £60,000 a year, which is in-line with employee salaries.

Collaborating for success

Whether this happens in the form of a questionnaire, a conversation - or both - you’re going to want to start by finding out as much about each client as possible. From their daily routines, bad habits and what they love doing, to the kinds of atmosphere they work out in best, and any limitations they face due to age or health conditions.

Develop your niche

It’s always good to offer something that your competitors aren’t. Offering some form of specialist training or advice is always a good idea, even if sign-ups for that niche don’t end up making up the bulk of your client list.

To develop your niche, you have a couple of options. You could sign up for additional training, such as a Level 3 Award in Supporting Pre and Post Natal Clients with Exercise and Nutrition. There are many options to choose from, with everything from KettleBell Instruction courses to Spin.

The alternative option is to think again about the types of clients you can help the most. Consider what motivates you in your own health and fitness journey. Passion always comes across. Whether you’ve had to adjust your lifestyle due to health conditions or recover postpartum, if you’re comfortable doing so share your experiences - it can be really helpful from both a practical and motivational standpoint.

Get your business insurance sorted

It’s easy to overlook, especially in the early stages of starting a personal training business, but getting the right insurance in place from the beginning (and reviewing it as you grow) is all about protecting yourself.

Get CIMSPA registered

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) is the professional development body for the sport and physical activity sector in the UK. The organisation provides support and leadership for health and sports professionals.

You may struggle to find a gym that will let you teach in their facilities if you’re not CIMSPA registered.

Business registration and taxes

All new businesses are required to register with HMRC within three months from the end of the first month of operation. You can do this by phone or online. It’s important to keep track of your finances from the get-go too, as you’ll be required to file taxes.

Figure out your finances

A dedicated business bank account is often one of the first admin tasks to get sorted when starting a new personal training business.

It’s not legally required, so you can continue to use your personal bank account as your only choice. However, when it comes to paying taxes and working out your budget for the next few months, having those finances in a separate account may make everything considerably easier.

It’s also important to establish how you’re going to take payment from clients. You need to be very clear about this, whether it’s cash, PayPal, bank transfers, direct debits or even cryptocurrency.

It might be a good idea to ask your target audience which payment options they prefer, and get those set up as a priority.

Where to work

This is one of the most significant decisions you’ll have to make when you’re starting a personal training business, so spend some time thinking about it before you make a final decision.

An independent trainer needs to have to have their own dedicated training space, complete with all of their equipment. While this is a great option for potential earnings and gives you maximum control over your business, it can mean significant start up costs.

For this reason, many personal trainers start off working freelance for their local gym or fitness club.

Most of the large chain gyms in the UK offer this option. However, check the terms and conditions before agreeing to use a gym. They tend to charge you rent or require you to run inductions or classes. That can take you away from paying clients, but when you do get those clients, you’ll take home 100% of the income.

Marketing your personal training business

This is important and there are plenty of marketing strategies that can help you grow your personal training business. Without strategic marketing, you’ll struggle to find new clients, so it’s worth spending some time creating and executing your marketing plan.

About The Fitness Group

The Fitness Group works with all their students to ensure that they know not only how to start a personal training business but how to make that business a success.

In addition to their industry leading personal training qualifications, they provide students with business skills tuition and free access to Business Skills Workshops.

Ready to get started on this exciting new stage of your career?

Contact The Fitness Group team today and claim an exclusive 20% off professional fitness qualifications when you quote ‘SUPERSCRIPT’.

This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer.

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