What steps should one take to become independent contractor personal trainer?
I will start working full-time soon and I want to do some personal training part-time in the evenings holding 2 sessions a day, one starting at 6:30 til 7:30, other starting at 8:00 til 9:00. I don't believe there are any gyms/clubs that will let me work for them within this time frame. Therefore, I am thinking about becoming an independent contractor. This way I can set my hours and pay.
What do I need to do in order to get this going? So far I know I need the following:
-get a liability insurance
-get my business name registered if I am not using my full real name ( I was thinking about using Get Lean With Fu to target people who want to get lean and stay lean..and when I become a CSCS or performance enhancement specialist, used Athletes by Heart (my name simply means Heart in Turkey/Arabic) to train athletes.
-gym/studio to train at ( I am having problems finding such places in Boston and surrounding cities.)
Do I need to hire an accountant?
How do you go about getting payment from clients?
How do you pay the quarterly taxes?
My clients pay me in advance for ten sessions at a time.
My accountant sets up my quarterly payments
You may want to rent studio space for your training and offer a few small group sessions as well, they are very lucrative.
Display your certification, make sure it's a nationally accredited cert.
You also need CPR and AED training.
You want to establish your business model, LLC or Sole P. I chose an LLC it works fine for me, and is recommended but do some research.
As far as payments, what I found that works is that what ever sessisons your client purchases, have them pay up front,or establish a monthly payment plan. Intuit and quickbooks online are very helpful for taking credit cards and keeping books in order. You can also do monthly electronic funds transfers.
When it comes to payments, cancellations, refunds etc. I wrote up a simple policy that cleary stated the terms for each of those situations.
There's probably more, I'm sure but this is some of the basics. How you plan on getting your clients or rather marketing is the big question that needs to be answered.
I hope this helps, best of luck to you!
an accountant will be helpful even though it is not mandatory, if you have the necessary skills.
I have a different payment approach. I charge my clients at the end of the month for the sessions taken. I have operated like that for 18 years, and it has worked well.
One thing, though, should be a priority. You mention that you have a hard time finding a gym of studio to train at. Large gyms usually prefer to have their own staff and often do not allow trainers as independent contractors at all. Smaller studios may be more willing but they are often specialized towards yoga, Pilates or similar modalities and may not have the equipment you are looking for.
Making connections to find a place to train should be the first thing you do. You may find after all that a gym will let you work as an employee. They usually do not care about your hours because they will only pay you when you have a client. You can be rather sure that there won't be any benefits; thus your 'employment' does not cost them anything.
I wish you luck and success.
In addition to the other comments, I would suggest that you should consider train clients away from gyms or studios. Maybe invest some of your income to buy a couple of equipment (TRX, kettlebells, bands, medicine balls, etc.) and then meet our clients at their own location/home/office. This way you'll get to keep all the money and even better you won't have to deal with any of the gym/studios issues and owners. I have been doing this type of training for many years and it can be very rewarding if you put the effort into it.
Having an accountant is helpful, but not necessary. As far as payments goes, I always charge my clients at the beginning of their sessions.