If your goal is to increase your personal training profits, one way to succeed is by reducing your expenses. You can save money through bartering—the cashless trading of goods and services that is the most ancient form of business commerce. Bartering is an excellent opportunity for personal training businesses. Why? The beauty of our industry is that everybody wants to look and feel better; thus our services are in demand and people are willing to trade for them.

Our business barters about $10,000 of our operating costs per year, and we have found that trading is a fabulous way
to help offset normal operating expenses and keep more cash in the bank. Learn what services we have successfully bartered for and guidelines for doing your own bartering.

Computer Services

We’ve had good luck trading personal training for a variety of our website and computer needs.

Website Redevelopment. When our website was looking a bit outdated, we obtained a number of quotes from local website developers, including one of our clients. We compared quotes and quality of work and determined not only that our client offered a competitive quote but that her quality of work was exceptional. We approached her to see if she would be interested in trading services partially or in full. Her original quote was for $4,000. Instead of paying the complete bill in cash, we paid $1,500 in cash and traded the remaining amount for personal training services. Check out www.nwpersonaltraining.com and determine for yourself whether the trade was worth our while! It has definitely been of great value to our client, who loves how she is looking and feeling.

Website Search Engine Consulting. Another client is known around the world for his ability to place a website at the top of any search engine list. He approached us to determine if we would be interested in trading services. He typically bills $2,000 for his initial services and has agreed to trade the entire amount for personal training services. Try a search on any search engine using any variety of key words specific to the personal training industry to see how we do in the rankings. We should be close to the top if the trade was in our best interest. Our client has lost over 51 pounds, so he’s ecstatic!

Computer Consulting. Another client is a computer consultant who fixes all our computer problems and answers our questions in return for our group personal training services. He gets group training (for which we would normally charge $49.99 for 2 weeks) and helps us for free. If we have issues with our e-mail server or a computer is not operating correctly, we call him and he either tells us how to fix the problem or looks at it when he comes for his workout. Since his office is close, he’s even been known to drop in a few minutes after we’ve contacted him. He’s a gem. He has been a lifesaver, and we’ve completely transformed his life. He told us, “I can directly point to the day that the quality of my life started improving by leaps and bounds, and that was when
I started working out with you. [You] make exercise highly enjoyable and something to look forward to every day, rather than a drudgery and something that ‘I just gotta do.’”

Printed Materials

We’ve also been able to barter—with great results—for graphic design, printing and mail house services.

Graphic Design. One client is a creative and exceptionally gifted graphic
designer who trades her services for our group personal training services. Our
materials look beautiful, and so does she! She’s saved us thousands of dollars over the past few years. We don’t think we could have afforded her fabulous services without the trade.

Printing. We use a local printer for various projects, and we trade services on a project-by-project basis. For example, we had a brochure that would have cost $1,000 to print, but we traded the job for $1,000 worth of personal training services.

Mail House Services. We host grass-roots continuing education courses for fitness professionals in the northwest United States about eight times per year. To market the events, we mail promotional flyers about three times per year to over 5,000 fitness professionals in Oregon and Washington. The cost is approximately $2,000 for each mailing, for a total of $6,000 per year. Our mail house representative trades his services for personal training for himself and his wife. The trade dramatically reduces our expenses and allows us to keep our continuing education events profitable.

Personal Services

Trading even has its personal benefits
for services such as massage, babysitting and landscaping.

Massage. A local massage therapist trades us time for time. If we want an hourlong massage, she’ll trade us for an hour of personal training or nutrition counseling. We hurt her, and she heals us! We each get a massage once a month, which helps reduce our stress and makes us feel better.

Babysitting. Our babysitter wanted to enroll in our group personal training program but couldn’t afford the fees. We agreed to trade our services in return for babysitting and other odd jobs around our house and business. It has worked out well. He’s lost over 20 pounds and looks great, and we have an instant personal assistant.

Landscaping. When we needed some work done on our home landscaping, we traded some of the expense with a neighbor who is a landscaper. For example, the landscaper’s wife wanted to participate in a group training challenge that we hosted. The cost was $100, so he reduced our bill by that amount. Our yard looks great, and so does our neighbor.

The Power of Trading

As small-business owners, we’ve found that trading has become an important part of our business, giving us higher profits and an opportunity to highlight our services to various local businesses and clients. The clients we trade with have become our best sales force in the community. Bartering is a win-win situation for everyone.