Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Trainers don’t exactly have the most lucrative job in the world. If we wanted to get rich, we would’ve gone to school for something like aerospace engineering, right? Being a personal trainer doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make a ton of money — but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to generate great wealth from a career you love. There are plenty of ways to increase your income and make more money as a personal trainer. You just have to be smart, get creative, and know exactly what your brand is and what it offers.
Most independent trainers (and entrepreneurs) face enormous financial roadblocks in their first few years of working for themselves. This is totally normal and you shouldn’t freak out or toss in the towel if you face this obstacle. However, we should be doing everything we can to avoid running into a big financial roadblock. Here are four common ways new trainers face money problems in the beginning of their career — and how to avoid them.
Not Retaining Enough Clients
This is the eternally annoying problem that every single trainer will face at some point in their career. It can be frustrating and very discouraging. Retention is the name of the game when you’re a personal trainer, and failure to achieve this will certainly result in financial issues. Don’t toss in the towel if this happens to you, but try to prevent it before you arrive there.
There are many ways to avoid hemorrhaging clients. First of all, don’t launch your business until you’re ready to put in the time and effort. Many people will just quit their office job on a whim because they want to be a personal trainer instead. Others will just decide to go into the industry because they’re passionate about fitness and want to inspire others to achieve their goals. This is all well and good, but make sure you’re properly set up.
Research your market, create a unique, recognizable brand, and set up a space that serves all your clients’ needs. If you can, work with a business coach in the beginning so you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Do the legwork to get new clients and then make sure you’re offering the best possible product so they stay with you.
Spending Too Much Money on Overhead Costs
Some trainers feel like they have no other option than to work at an everyday health club. Many of these gyms take an extremely high cut of their trainers’ fees, which leaves them with much less than they hoped for. You’ll also see a lot of newer trainers who work at a high-level training center that also charges a high overhead cost to use their facility (which includes so much stuff you won’t even end up using anyway).
There are plenty of other overhead cost mistakes that can easily be avoided, like buying too much equipment, investing too much in changing the space or staff, etc. Figure out all the numbers before you get started and make sure you know what overhead costs you need, and which you shouldn’t waste your time and money on.
Wasting Too Much Time on Social Media
It feels like everything revolves around social media these days. That’s where you do a lot of marketing, you maintain an online community of other trainers and clients, and showcase the hard work you and your clients put in day in and day out. However, it’s all too easy to get distracted by all the noise on social media platforms. One second you’re just posting a video of yourself working out, and next thing you know, you’ve wasted over an hour scrolling through posts.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of wasting too much time on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Know your clientele and figure out which platform they’re spending most of their time on. From there you can decide how often to post, how much to spend on marketing, etc. Time is money, especially at the very beginning of your career, so don’t throw away multiple hours a week that you could be spending hunting down and retaining new clients. Social media certainly has its benefits, but it can also be a colossal waste of time if you don’t use it consciously.
Not Living Within Their Means
This is especially common for trainers who left their regular office job, which paid well and offered health insurance, to pursue their fitness dreams. When you get used to a certain kind of paycheck, it can be difficult to readjust your lifestyle. Be ready to face the struggle of an entrepreneur — especially one in fitness — and ready yourself by living simply, saving money, and ensuring you have plenty of funds to keep your business growing.