Fitness instruction - whether as a personal trainer or class instructor is an increasingly competitive market. A proliferation of instructors who see an opportunity to have a job that they feel is an extension of their own lifestyle, plus lots of part time instructors earning an additional income on top of their 9-5's, plus consumer worry about the financial consequences of 'Brexit', have left the fitness market potentially seeming a little 'deflated' at present.
At least, that's the state of mind you could get into if business for you has faltered or stagnated for a while. So how could you revitalise your marketplace and bring hope and expectation back to your professional outlook? Here are a few things to consider:
Have confidence that there is a way forward for you. Plenty of trainers make fantastic incomes and have a good time in the process. If they can, you can.
Have a plan. Spend some time looking at what you want to achieve. Set goals for yourself which include a long-term objective as well as tangible things that you can do each day to progress you on your chosen path.
Reflect on both your daily achievement as well as your overall performance toward that long-term objective.
So far, so good. I'm sure you've heard and read that process a million times already! So onto the next part, and possibly the part you haven't yet done. Learn to think 'holistically' and 'clearly'. This means, look at the big picture of fitness in your locality, and see where you and your business fit in. Look at your strengths and utilise them, look at your weaknesses and strengthen them, spot opportunities and exploit them. There is so much help available for you to do this it's unreal - but often untapped!
Analyse the population you have access to (gym and locality) - can you make the most of all client groups? (The idea of specialising in one particular area is not necessarily a good one!). If you can't work with all groups, then you are losing business. Expand your knowledge... UPSKILL! Do a course so you can deliver training to pre and post natal clients etc.
Take advantage of pre-packaged products that are popular already. Franchised / Licensed products can be an easy win! Good, original ideas can be hard to invent by yourself and yet client's always seem to 'buy in' to big brands. Don't reinvent the wheel just because you're afraid to take the plunge! LICENCE A PRODUCT!
Look at your practical skills. Are you not offering a service because you are missing a skillset? Are you losing customers through boredom?! DO SOME CPD WORKSHOPS!
Up-skilling with qualifications such as Pre/Post Natal, Sports Massage, Pilates or Exercise on Referral (ranging from £150-£800ea) are excellent ways to expand your repertoire and increase your ability to churn the client market that you already possess (much easier than than constantly trying to find new clients!). The relatively small outlay required to enrol on a qualification is soon paid back by your increased turnover and profit can be increased through your ‘specialisation’ value. As examples, Pre/Post Natal instructor such as ‘Mummy Movers’ (based in Shropshire) are currently earning £30-50 per class profit. Sports Masseurs can earn up to £50 per hour and Exercise Referral instructors are regularly running group fitness sessions that turnover upwards of £40ph.
Licensing a product can feel daunting. However, outlaying for a training package (usually £150-250) plus a monthly outgoing for the license fee (usually around £50pm) can actually make good business sense – there are many Clubbercise, Blockfit, Metafit etc instructors out there who have dramatically increased their income, in essence, due to the success of the fitness programmes they have subscribed to. The key to good licensing, is to see what works for others. Choose a license that is a good brand, offers a clear benefit to you and is either already successful. Or even better, spot something that you feel has legs and is still new enough for you to be the first instructor in your area (My tip for the top here is the brand new offering from www.100percentmma.com, due to be released in December 2016). Branded classes can expect to rake in upwards of £50 per class with the right marketing push from yourself.
Continued Professional Development workshops are usually the cheapest way to develop your offering and thus, keep your business alive. By increasing your practical skills and technique, you will get noticed by existing and prospective clients. To stay on top of your game you must constantly evolve. Static trainers delivering the same sessions time on time again lose their appeal and eventually, get ‘found out’ by your audience. New skills not only help you retain your current clients, they also get you noticed, increasing your market share in your own work environment. Remember, it’s a busy marketplace – stand out from the crowd!
If you would like any further advice regarding any of these ideas, then please feel free to contact Fit4Training either on Facebook, or via our website.