A Measure of Success

by Sherri McMillan, MS and Alex McMillan on Feb 01, 2006

Establishing concrete goals for your trainers is good for them - and crucial for your business.

When working with clients, we all understand the importance of setting goals, and most of us go through the process of examining and re-examining clients’ goals on a regular basis. However, when it comes to our own lives and businesses, it’s often a different story.

Having goals, knowing precisely what they are, regularly referring to them and reassessing whether they have been achieved will have a positive impact on any business. One area in which you need to set goals is trainer performance. At our facility, we divide trainers’ performance into two parts: revenue goals and productivity goals.

Revenue Goals

At the beginning of every year, we establish revenue goals for our trainers. First we collect the following data for each person on our team:

  • average training fee

  • average training hours per week

We multiply the training fee by the hours per week to determine how much money the trainer generates each week. Then we multiply this figure by 48 weeks per year (allowing 4 weeks for vacation, holidays and illness) and divide the answer by 12 to determine a monthly value. Of course a trainer’s schedule is never 100% full—due to cancellations, clients’ vacations, etc.—so, to be realistic, we set our trainers’ monthly revenue goals at 80% of the monthly value. Here is an example of how this formula works, using the average training fee of $58 per hour (hr):

$58/hr 2 40 hr/week = $2,320/week

$2,320 2 48 weeks = $111,360/year

$111, 360 ÷ 12 months/year =   $9,280/month

80% 2 $9,280 = $7,424 month

We expect all our trainers to be at least 80% productive. If they consistently fall below 80%, we know we need to spend more time training them so they can improve their skills in selling, asking for referrals and retaining clients.

We use memos to update our trainers on their sales stats throughout the month so they will know how they are doing and can take appropriate action if they are below their goals. At the end of the month, we provide a graph of their progress. (See “Trainer 1 Revenues” for a sample.)

Based on individual trainer goals, we establish monthly team goals, and decide on fun incentives to reward our trainers once these goals have been achieved. Past team rewards have included go-carting, a yacht cruise, dinner and a movie, and whitewater rafting.

Productivity Goals

Every 2 weeks, when we complete payroll, we calculate the following statistics:

Paid Hours. How many paid training hours has each trainer completed in the last 2 weeks?

Nonpaid Hours. How many hours was the trainer working, but not with paid clients?

Total Hours. What was the total number of working hours for the trainer over the 2-week period?

Productivity Ratio. Divide the paid hours by the total hours. We strive to help a trainer reach at least 80% paid hours.

Closing Ratio. How many new clients purchased personal training packages in relation to the number of complimentary sessions the trainer completed? Since our facility is a personal training studio and potential clients know what they are checking into, we expect to see this ratio at 80% or higher. (In a gym setting, the goal might be lower—e.g., 40%.)

Retention Ratio. How many existing clients purchased additional training sessions once their packages were completed, in comparison to the number of clients who were up for renewal? Again, we are looking for about 80% retention.

These stats are invaluable because they provide us with an easy glimpse into the pulse of our business and the productivity of each of our trainers. We incentivize our trainers: If they hit 87% productivity on their 2-week reports, we add a $100 bonus to their paychecks. This means that each trainer has the opportunity to earn an additional $2,600 per year by maintaining a full schedule. It’s amazing how effective this simple system has been in encouraging trainers to “own” their schedules and take whatever action steps they can to fill them. Ultimately, everyone wins: The business benefits financially; the trainer is monetarily rewarded; and more clients are serviced and helped to achieve their goals.

Getting Down to Business

Although many trainers enter the fitness industry because they want to help people and change lives, for them—and you—to be successful, it is critical to record, track and monitor financial statistics. If you don’t think and act as if you are running an actual business, you’re probably not running a successful company—or at least not one that’s as successful as it could and should be.

IDEA Trainer Success, Volume 3, Issue 1

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Authors

Sherri McMillan, MS

Sherri McMillan, MS IDEA Author/Presenter

Sherri McMillan, MSc, is the co-owner of Northwest Personal Training and Northwest Women’s Fitness Club in Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. With a master’s degree in exercise physiology...

Alex McMillan

Alex McMillan IDEA Author/Presenter

Alex McMillan was named the 2006 IDEA International Program Director of the Year and is the owner, president and co-founder of Northwest Personal Training and Fitness Education.