Working as a group instructor or personal trainer, you speak to and teach people every day. Becoming a presenter for events is a natural extension of what you already do. And you don’t have to go far to find opportunities for speaking engagements. Hotels and resorts in your area, gyms, health food stores and co-ops, local businesses and specialty groups, schools and colleges, conferences, wellness fairs and expos, hospitals and other non-profit companies: All are potential sources of extra income for you.
Class value is in the eye of the beholder. Depending on where you’ve worked and what you’ve learned over the years, the metrics you use to review, modify or cancel a class can vary significantly.
Traditionally, many fitness facilities employ a “membership team.” These individuals are often referred to as “membership sales advisors,” “membership sales specialists” or “membership sales representatives.”
Small-group training—workouts for groups of three to 10 clients (www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/small group-secrets-the-start-up-plan)—is a trend that’s changing the face of our industry.
Why? Profit margins are much better with small group, says Mike Bates, MBA, owner of Refine Fitness Studio in Windsor, Ontario. “If your goal is to make money, you should do as much [small-group training] as you can, as long as it fits with your training philosophy.”
Wouldn’t it be great to gather the best practices of fitness facilities around the country and distill this knowledge into a succinct series? That’s what this new column explores: the very best secrets of success for operating, managing and marketing a fitness facility.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is bright for “fitness workers.” The agency anticipates growth of about 24% from 2010 to 2020. Despite this outlook, however, a report from US News suggests that things are not 100% rosy when it comes to compensation.
The following list of resources act as a supplement to the article “30 Ways to Make More Money: Win the Leverage Lotto!” as seen in the July-August issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. Each of them offer more in-depth information for the majority of the ideas presented in the article.
Hosting an educational workshop is an excellent way to raise your profile as an expert in a health and fitness specialty while providing a great additional revenue stream for your business. The teaching experience can also help you refine your theoretical and practical skills while providing attendees with valuable knowledge and information.
Do you believe that fitness is for everyone? Do you struggle to accommodate people who can’t afford to work with you? You may be so passionate about reaching everyone that you volunteer in the trenches, speak at service clubs, host health fair booths and support charitable runs.
If you’ve managed a group fitness department long enough, you’ve probably felt like the “red-headed stepchild” more than once. If your facility is like a host of others, your department isn’t considered a separate profit center, but rather a part of membership. Since group exercise doesn’t usually have a “home” on the profit and loss statement, payroll is often the only line item attributed to it. Consequently, when cuts are made, guess which department is most often flagged!
While compensation from salary or hourly pay may have decreased in some fitness jobs, benefits and discounts seem to have increased at least for full-time and part-time employees, according to the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Personal Trainers report they are working more as employees (49%) than as independent contractors (38%), with an average of six trainers per facility, according to data from the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Hiring and promotion decisions are based on many factors. When hiring individuals, the top three criteria in all positions except personal training director are skills and abilities, certification and personality, according to survey respondents in the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Inflation is the “overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among other measurements of the economy, the BLS reports the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation as experienced by consumers in their day-to-day living expenses.
If you are interested in how inflation affects your earnings, the Bureau has an online inflation calculator that uses the average CPI for a given year.
Group Fitness Instructors teach general classes set to music, such as step and mixed-impact. Specialty Instructors teach classes requiring specialized training (e.g., indoor cycling or martial arts). Group exercise instructors are present at 47% of the facilities surveyed by IDEA, while 25% employ specialty instructors. The average number of group exercise instructors at each facility surveyed is 12, according to data from the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Group Exercise Coordinators have managerial duties—such as hiring, training and supervising group exercise instructors—but they may also teach classes on a regular basis. Group exercise coordinators are employed by 19% of the facilities surveyed in 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Fitness/Program Directors average 43 hours a week when they are salaried, but only 26 hours per week when their jobs are compensated hourly, according to data from the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report.
Fitness Floor Staff positions are typically entry level, and responsibilities include monitoring equipment, supplies and people in the facility.
Among the facilities represented in the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report, 28% employ fitness floor staff. Most are employees (97%) who are paid by the hour (98%). They average 19.5 work hours per week, earning an average of $11.75 per hour. From 2006 to 2008, their hourly rate increased by just $0.25; from 2008 to 2010, there was a more significant increase of $1.50 per hour.
Living costs vary by region, and consequently so do salaries and wages. The 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report provides regional comparisons of average pay rates for fitness professionals located in the Northeastern, North Central, Southern and Western states. Three of the eight job categories are predominantly salaried, and the rest are paid hourly. There are no significant regional differences among the salaried positions (fitness/program directors, personal training directors and group exercise coordinators).