The best cancellation policy is one you can confidently enforce. I think it’s customary for personal trainers to require 24-48 hours notice. Clients have to understand that this is our business and if we are left with blank spots in our schedule, that translates into lost revenue (somewhere between 25-50%!). They have to know that the space and the trainers have been reserved for them; and if they don’t show up, it’s wasted…not to mention somebody else was likely turned away due to lack of availability.
I think our biggest challenge is the fact that people have lives, and stuff happens beyond their control. If a regular clients cancels once in a blue moon, I’m not going to penalize. However, if it’s a pattern, it shows lack of motivation and disrespect for my time. And that cannot be tolerated.
I have a 24 hour cancellation policy but of course there are always exceptions. It’s good to have something in place so people don’t take advantage if your time. If someone regularly cancels lady minute & it’s costing you, meaning they aren’t paying you & you could have gotten another client in then you need to enforce a cancellation policy. 24 hours I think is reasonable cuz it gives you enough time to fill that spot if someone cancels
You should always state a 24 hour cancellation policy!
Since it is your own business you have the right to “overrule” that policy and not charge if an emergency came up. These policies are implemented to make a standard across the board, keep your business going strong (you don’t have to try and make up the hours elsewhere), and to keep the trainer in “control”.
If you build solid relationships with your clients you are less likely to have cancellation problems. However, especially just starting out you want to make sure that you are not sacrificing your time and finances for repeat offenders. This can quickly lead to you manipulating your personal schedule for the clients needs which ultimately lead to burnout.
In my contract, I state that I require 24 hours notice for a cancellation.
However, in practical terms, I enforce this rarely. When a client calls me in the morning because he/she is sick, of course I do not charge for the session. I also sometimes get calls with unexpected work-related issues which makes it necessary to cancel.
I have enforced this policy at times when I had repeat-offenders who always had one reason or another (all seemingly valid in their own right) for the late cancellation. I had let that go for a while but eventually announced that I would begin to charge for missed sessions as per contract.
I am happy to say, though, that I usually do not have a problem with late cancellations.