you are giving very little information about your current status. Do you already have a business with clients or are you just starting from scratch?
If you want to keep employees, it has to be a give and take. Since you use the term ’employee’ and not ‘independent contractor’, I assume that you plan to provide the trainers with the equipment they need to train and also the training directives. You would do the marketing, all the financial transactions and have a worker’s compensation policy.
When starting such a business, most people start with another trainer they know already and trust. The concern about ‘stealing business’ is valid but is more likely to happen with people you do not know and who feel no allegiance to you. You would have an employment contract which typically contains a non-compete clause.
Karin’s advice is, as usual, excellent.
I would particularly agree with the point about ‘stealing business’. It is helpful to start on your own, partly as it lets you figure things out in a smaller way, before adding the challenges of working with others. It also lets you develop relationships based on trust and mutual respect. As an employee I always behave with loyalty to those places I choose to teach. Yes, there are those who do not. And having a contract that you draw up with help of your legal counsel is the best way to start. But you will do better at drawing those to you who are honorable if you treat those who choose to work with you with professionalism.
The first two steps are to make sure your own credentials are in order: training, a national certification (one at least), and insurance, and to make sure you have experience in the industry.
The next step is a thorough business plan that matches your start up budget.
Personally I would put staffing issues after these other things, though I guess plenty of people follow other ways of doing things and manage very well.
It would help if you gave a little more information about your business and your target market. With regard to employees or independent contractors stealing business, a client is going to go where they want to go.
However, to protect your business, you may want to look into a non-solicitation agreement rather than (or in addition to) a non-compete. The fitness industry is very competitive but many trainers do work in multiple locations (I have my own in-home business, but also train and teach at other facilities–we do have a level of trust and many times we refer work to each other). A non-compete agreement is too rigid in my opinion and may hinder your efforts to find quality trainers. I would never sign a non-compete personally.
Good luck and if you have a chance to update your profile it will give us more information.
No matter what restrictions and rules you have in the contract you can never trust someone 100%. Vetting them from the beginning and making sure these are people you can trust and work with is a good way to start from. You can do this by Doing a background check and calling around their references. Even if you offer them larger % of revenue you can never be 100% sure they will not steal business from you.
Having a non compete clause in the contract helps, but it might not hold up in a court of law. It will have to be a non solicitation clause (meaning they can’t solicit any of your clients) once they don’t work for you. Of course the longer they train these clients the stronger their bond with them will be. And even if they don’t solicit your clients, nothing stops these clients to seek them out after they are gone.
The best way to protect yourself and your clients from something like this happening is to keep contact with them at all times. The best way to do this is by training them at least once every few sessions to see if they have any issues or concerns. I know many business owners who did not keep in touch with their clients and they lost that connection.
My first question to you is – are you just starting out yourself? Or have you been around for a while & built up a good reputation in the area – what’s your background? I’m assuming the 70/30 split is in the trainer’s favor – right? I had a pretty detailed Independent Contractor agreement when I had other in-home trainers with me. And it did have a non-compete clause & made it pretty clear that all clients were the property of my business. I had some very loyal trainers with me & I also dealt with a few snakes. The key is to have regular contact with both the client and the trainer. This is tough to do when the training is done in-home and you’re not there. You just have to go with your gut instincts when hiring a trainer. Good luck with this & keep us posted.