24 August, 2017

With many different avenues and opportunities to take in the Fitness Industry, it can be quite difficult to know where to start when creating your own business. Today we are going to go through a step-by-step guide to forming your Fitness Business:

Step 1: Choose a niche to specialise in.

Having a niche means that you can put all, or most of, your focus into being the best at one particular area of the fitness industry. Many trainers go out into the industry with the expectation to cover all areas of training only to burn out trying to know it all.

By putting all your energy into one focus will not only make you extremely knowledgeable but allow you to build an image that will attract the right customer. For example: corrective exercise, bootcamp specialist, body transformations, fat loss expert; the list goes on.

Step 2: Location, Location, Location

This is very important, finding a location of where you are planning to run your business will set the entire theme of your trade. The location will determine your competition, your price of products and services, and will also affect the times that your business will be busy.

If you are working out in the suburbs you will find that your business will be busy before and after work, or potentially around 9.30am for stay at home mums or dads, whereas if you’re in a city location you will also experience a peak time around the lunch period for people wanting to work out on their break.

Step 3: Target Market

You need to consider your target market as this will set your style of marketing for how to attract the clients within the niche you have chosen. Sit down and think about what type of person you would want to train and whether this person would want to train with you.

Step 4: Research

Research everything that will have an impact on your business:

  • Research any competition that you’ll likely face, by location and niche. Knowing your competition will help you come up with Unique Selling Points (USPs) to encourage clients to choose you over them.
  • Understand your target market: when they train, what they like to train, where they can get to. There is no point in targeting older people, if you only plan on training in a powerlifting gym.
  • know your price range that people can afford in the area. If you’re training in an affluent area where gym memberships are high, you can afford to charge more. If you’re in a less affluent area your gym rent might be lower, but you’ll have to charge your clients less too.

Step 5: The Boring Things that are the most IMPORTANT

Now that you have put together steps 1-4, it’s time to put your business together and all the fun paperwork that goes along with it. You need to consider the following:

  • Budgets
  • A name for your business
  • Getting an ABN (Australian Business Number)
  • Taking into account your Tax / GST / Superannuation
  • Business Structure – Sole Trade, Company?
  • Registrations, Permits and Insurance

Although this section of the set up may not be fun it is a necessity for your business to be successful. Make sure it’s all in order before you get underway, else you’ll struggle to keep your head above water if things get busy.

Step 6: Marketing

Now time to think about how you are going to get your name out there.

There are many options for marketing. I recommend that you set aside a time to focus on the marketing side of things. Note down what works for others and what doesn’t. What may have worked for you in the past or in other careers.

Social media is a HUGE part of the fitness industry, from Instagram to Facebook and everything in-between—it’s a great tool if you use it right. Where people go wrong is they keep repeating over and over the marketing strategies that don’t work. It’s very important to take note on where your clients are coming from and put more time and effort into what is working. That means recording everything that comes in and goes out. How many clients came from Instagram or Facebook, and how much money or time did you spend on each. Could your time be better spent focussing on the channel that works best?

Step 7: Procedures for clients – signing up / induction / cancelling

Now that you are starting to get clients and build your business you need to make sure that all your procedures are in order to make your clients experience smooth and enjoyable. Consider:

  • Health and Fitness Consultations
  • Contracts
  • Set Pricing
  • Cancellation Procedures
  • Injury Forms

Step 8: On the Books

Training the client is the fun part but as mentioned above, you need to stay on top of your business books to be successful. Make sure you are tracking your cash flow. There are many software programs that can do it for you these days, for example FreshBooks is very useful. Or you can get an accountant to assist you, which could be worth its weight in gold.

Step 9: Running the session

This is where you get to put all your knowledge into play. This is what you’re good at. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take the time to continue researching different ideas and sessions to keep your clients interested. HAVE FUN!


Written by:

Sarah Cantle

  • Certificate III & IV in Fitness – Group Fitness & Personal Trainer
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Diploma of Management
  • Diploma of Remedial Massage & Rehab Trainer
  • Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in the industry and currently Lectures in Fitness

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