The fitness profession is often seen as a labor of love; many entrepreneurs go into this business motivated to help others live healthier, happier lives. Yes, it’s a fulfilling pursuit, but I believe that our altruistic mindset holds us back as an industry. Personal trainers and studio owners should aim to maximize their revenues. Creating sustainable and thriving fitness careers will help push our young industry forward and allow us to continue to change people’s lives.
Putting You First
While we are service providers focused on helping others, we need to “put our own oxygen masks on first” and prioritize building a business that thrives. Otherwise, we run the risk of burning out. One way to keep the fires burning bright is to make more money. The greatest roadblock to increased revenue, of course, is time. There are only so many hours per week in which to train clients, which means income is inherently limited.
Or is it?
In this article, I will show you four easy-to-implement strategies that I use to free up my time, make more money and become a better service provider to my clients.
Boost Your Bottom Line With Profit Centers
Additional profit centers, in the form of streamlined services and additional products, can give your bottom line a big boost over the long term. While there are many ways to do this, I recommend first developing four foundational revenue streams:
- Maximize “on the floor” training revenue.
- Add nutritional products to accelerate clients’ training efforts.
- Add membership options.
- Offer educational workshops.
The biggest obstacle that trainers face is working 40+ hours a week and then not having the time or energy to focus on building new revenue streams. Trainers need the money that they make training clients, so they can’t free up that time to build additional revenue streams. I coach trainers to do two things to break this cycle: Increase their rates, and enhance their clients’ commitment with a monthly billing strategy.
When you roll out your price increase and your electronic funds transfer program, you should also offer lower-cost alternatives like pair training and small-group training, so that you can retain all of your budget-conscious clients. For example, you might add 4 hours per week of pair training or 4 hours per week of small-group training to your schedule. This allows you to help more clients and make more money in less time. I have seen trainers decrease their individual training hours by an average of 4 hours per week, while simultaneously increasing their monthly income by 50%. They were then able to invest that 4 hours in building other revenue streams.
All clients want to maximize their health, and by recommending high-quality nutritional products you help them boost their training effort and reach their goals faster. Nutritional products that meet your clients’ needs can easily be layered into your training services; in this way they can seamlessly become a solid and passive revenue stream. One word of caution: This strategy will succeed only if you believe 100% in the benefit of the nutritional products you are recommending. Do your research, and make sure you feel completely confident putting your name behind the products you plan to recommend. Moreover, if you truly believe in a product and its benefits, you should be using it yourself on a daily basis, which makes talking about it more authentic and natural.
There are many ways to add a monthly membership plan. For example, studio owners can offer a cardio membership, permitting clients to come in for a cardio workout on their “off” days. Or how about an online membership that includes home workouts and fitness guidance on days when clients do not come in for personal training? A typical online membership provides daily workouts (which clients do on their own), meal plans and community support, accountability and motivation. This should be seen as an inexpensive complement to the live training these clients do with you. Aside from making you more money, this add-on helps keep your clients directed toward their goals and empowers them to prioritize their health on days when they aren’t working with you directly.
Consider hosting monthly or quarterly educational workshops, either at your studio or at partnership company locations. There are many options for places to host workshops; most companies see these health-oriented events as a benefit for their employees, so they are open to making space available at their facilities.
You can lead the workshops yourself, or you can bring in popular speakers to draw bigger crowds. From a financial standpoint, if you bring in speakers there are two primary ways to structure your events. First, speakers can charge participants their typical rate and pay you to rent your space. Second, you can organize such events yourself, pay speakers their fee directly and keep the net proceeds. If you are a good networker with a healthy contacts list, the second option has the potential to make a larger profit, but the responsibility for getting people to sign up rests on your shoulders.
Another benefit of hosting educational workshops is that they help you position yourself as an expert in your field and your community. This is also a great way to obtain leads for new clients, or even for new trainers who might want to join your team.
A Thriving Business and Happy Clients
By implementing these four strategies, you can significantly increase your revenue and profits using just your current client list! You will benefit by not just surviving, but thriving, in this industry. And your clients will benefit from all four of these revenue streams, because their experience with you will be more complete and fulfilling. Clients will get greater results, develop a better relationship with you and become raving fans in the process!