I was looking for a space for a studio when the city coordinator informed me that another personal trainer was looking to do the same thing. I was wondering if anyone has had experienced partnering up with another personal trainer on a studio (splitting rent, etc)? Or my other thought was to see if they would want to work under my business name since I am LLC already.
Any thoughts or experience would be appreciated. Thanks!
Not a bad idea. I have worked at a studio before where everyone was responsible for getting their own clients and basically running your own business. The few trainers that were there, I knew who I could trust with my clients, and like wise they trusted me. This was awesome because I could go on vacation and know my people were getting taken care of. Now, the only problem you may have is getting the person to work under you. Remember, most trainers enjoy “working for themselves” and for better or worse have a lot of pride with their name. When you approach them put yourself in their shoes. What do they have to gain? Can you market yourselves together and forward each other clients if need be? Make sure everything is in writing. Like all relationships, you really need to make sure you are always on the same page.
I have only done this one time in the past. It went fairly well for a while. The agreement was that we would split all expenses – rent, electric, and cam (common area maintenance) and we would split all cleaning duties. But within a few months I was working with about 15 more clients than the other trainer. He wanted to change the agreement. His reasoning was that I was using the studio more and should pay more. Which I felt had some validity as I was definitely getting the better end of the deal. But the agreement he wanted was for me to cover enough expenses for us to be making equal incomes. Which I didn’t feel was reasonable. I would have gone for a percentage of the rent equal to each of our percentage of clients. He didn’t think that was enough. I offered to pay more if he took on the cleaning duties and kept up with them properly. Which he said insulted him. Anyway, he attempted to strong arm me by refusing to pay his share of the rent at all. I told him I wouldn’t just let that slide if he did. A long story shortened, I went to the landlord/rental agent and agreed to take another space on my own if they would agree to terminate our lease for the other space. Which is how it ended. I haven’t tried to do that since.
I have worked with another trainer and its great if you can come to an understanding. I have got clients from him and has sent some back his way. Also you can learn from each other and always pick each other brains and this can make you better a trainers. Just make sure you can get an understanding and that you will not have no time conflicts
The other thing I guess I would contribute here is to have a thorough contract and to establish the business relationship over and above any friendship between the parties. Although it wasn’t a personal training business, I did go into business with 3 of my friends right out of college. Our personalities were very different, and we didn’t have clear contracts about who was responsible for what, whose investment counted for what, etc. It was a nightmare. Thank heavens all I lost was my initial investment of about $10,000 (which in the early 90’s was more than half my annual salary). It could have been much worse.
Secure your assets.
Know your business partner on a business level.