How To Start A Personal Training Business
Personal Training
7 minute read

How To Start A Personal Training Business


  • Once you decide to start a personal training business, ask yourself a simple question: Why? This will help you think through what clients you want to work with and how you want to support their fitness goals.
  • Before you get too far into your business, you’ll want to ensure you invest in proper certifications and personal training insurance. This establishes your credibility and protects you from costly legal fees if an accident or injury occurs on your watch.
  • Think about where you want to train your clients. You have a few options: train at a gym, rent space, meet clients in your home, or utilize the great outdoors!
  • Finances are a major part of owning a business. As you build your client base, think about establishing your business as an LLC and creating a business bank account.
  • Get the word out about your business! Marketing will play a key role in reaching prospective clients and growing your business.

How to Start a Successful Personal Training Business

The first step of starting a successful business is creating a plan and sticking to its main points. Your plan might change and evolve as your business grows and unexpected life events occur, but your core plan will help guide you and your business efforts.

In this article, we’re breaking down the key steps to starting a successful training business. First off, congratulations! You’ve made a really exciting decision. While owning a business certainly has its challenges, you also have a lot to look forward to! You’re choosing a profession that exists to help people better themselves and implement healthier habits. You’ll have the opportunity to equip your clients with a variety of tools and hey, you might even learn a thing or two from your clients.

Get to Know Your Target Market

You’ve decided to start a personal training business, but what’s next? Start by nailing down your “why.” Take time to process why you have decided to start a personal training business in the first place. As your business progresses, let these reasons ground and inform your decisions.

Additionally, think about what kind of clients you want to work with. To help you define this, create a profile of your ideal client. Include things like their:

  • age
  • gender
  • body type
  • goals
  • problems that they face

It will also be helpful to identify your niche–– this will help you better tap into a specific market and tailor your promotional materials to potential clients (more on this later!)

When you first start your business, it’s not likely that you’ll have an established client base. Don’t worry though, this is perfectly normal. If you identify your target market and create strong promotional materials, you’re looking at a three to six month waiting period before you establish a revenue stream.

Before you start making money, you need to find clients who will pay you! A tried and true way to find potential client leads is by word of mouth. Let your family and friends know you’re looking for clients and relying heavily on referrals as you build your client base.

Planning and strategy are critical to your business’ success, but it’s equally important that you’re taking time to understand your clients and what motivates them. They’re coming to you because they need guidance and support. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and try to understand their pain points–– and most importantly, what you have to offer that can help them.

Protect Your Business with Certifications and Insurance

Before you launch your business and start seeing clients, you’ll need to make sure you’re certified. Some of the top personal training certifications include

Specializing in a specific type of training can help elevate your brand and set you apart from other trainers who take a broader approach to their business. Some training specializations include senior citizens, athletes, individuals with physical impairments, and cross-trainers.

If you want to take a multi-faceted approach to your personal training business and coach your clients on nutrition as well as fitness, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification would be a great addition to your list of certifications. Getting certified not only deepens your skillset, but also gives your business more credibility and builds trust between you and prospective clients.

Personal training insurance is another way to further protect your business. If an accident or injury happens on your watch during a session, personal training insurance helps reduce costly fees if you’re faced with legal action. If you’re not already CPR and AED certified, make sure to add that to your list of action items before training clients.

Location, Location, Location

Once you’ve earned the proper certifications and gone through all of the legal tasks associated with launching your business, it’s time to think about where you’re going to train your clients. The good news is that you have a few options.

  • You can go the traditional route and train at a gym. If you’re looking for more independence, another option would be to rent space at a facility, rather than working as an employee at a gym. If you have the space, you can also choose to train out of your home. To go this route, you’ll need to invest in training equipment and insurance.
  • If you don’t have the space at home, look no further than the great outdoors! This is an especially good option for people who live in a warmer climate. If you’re going to train outside, make sure you have proper permits from your local council and that you have equipment that you can easily transport.

Money Talks: Navigating the Financial Aspect of Your Business

As the adage says: practice makes perfect. To gain confidence and sharpen your skills, you need to start working with clients and becoming more comfortable with your craft. All of the certifications can’t compare to what you’ll learn on the job. Dive right in, learn from your mistakes, and build upon your skillset. If you establish a consistent client base, you should start to think about structuring your business as an LLC which helps separate your personal finances from your business finances.

As your business grows, your finances will too! This can be a great sign for the health of your business, and it also adds another layer of complexity and requires that you structure your finances properly. Creating a separate business bank account keeps your personal and professional assets separate, ensures privacy among your business partners (if you choose to go into business with others), and builds credibility with financial institutions and clients. Check out our brand new course Mastering Finances for your Service Based Business to learn the ins and outs of managing your business’ finances.

Strategies for Marketing Your Personal Training Business

As you launch your business, marketing will play a key role in reaching prospective clients and maintaining relationships with your current clients. A simple way to kick off your marketing efforts is to ask your family and friends to get in on the fun.

They’re your biggest champions and can help spread the word about your services. Ask if they’re willing to let you include them in your marketing content. Think about how to incorporate multimedia into your content strategy. If they’re up for it and feel comfortable doing so, you can record clips of your training session with them to share on social media. Ask them to reshare those posts and any promotional material about your services.

Starting out, it’s a good idea to create offerings that make it easy for people to try out your service experience. Offer a free consultation or create a promotional offering that allows them to receive a free session if they bring a friend to their first session. A lot of times, people are hesitant to try a service because they’re not sure if they want to pay for it. A free session takes that pressure off the client and allows them to experience your awesome training skills, which will hopefully bring them back for future paid sessions.

As you create marketing materials for your business, be specific about what problems you’re going to help your clients solve. This will make it easier for potential clients to buy into your business, get to know your unique skillset, and understand what they will be getting out of your services.

Success Starts Here: What’s Next for Your Personal Training Business

One of the best ways to set your business up for success is to educate yourself on best practices. The next best thing? Jump into it and learn from experience. Getting to know your clients and what they’re looking for in a trainer, investing in personal training insurance and certifications, finding a location to train your clients, structuring your finances, and establishing a solid marketing strategy are all key ways to set your business up for success.

Remember, be patient with your business and put action to your plan. Once you put each of these components together, you’ll be well on your way to a successful personal training business!

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