One of the major problems in our industry is that people don’t take it seriously. They don’t see it as a legitimate business. Now, if you’re reading this, there’s a much better chance that you are taking it seriously as opposed to the rest of the trainers out there. I’m specifically talking about how we, the professionals, treat our jobs. But, sometimes the clients don’t take it seriously either. I don’t know if it’s the nature of what we are doing or that it attracts sub par people some how, but it sure seems to more than other industries. If I have clients that are routinely late, don’t show, and just generally don’t seem to really care about their appointments, I’ll let them go or weed themselves out. I used to work in a tennis club that had a personal training center and that clientele was awful when it came to respecting other people’s time and even showing up despite having appointments scheduled. That won’t fly when trying to develop a successful program.
But, what about us, the so-called professionals? I haven’t seen a whole lot of professionalism in this area at all when it comes to a pretty high priced 1 on 1 personal service. In fact, I’ve seen downright poor treatment of customers and non-professional attitudes while working. Case in point: One of the locations we use just recently sent out a letter that indicated they wanted all of the independent trainers to be certified and have liability insurance. Something I would have done years before if I owned the place. That’s risky not to. However, most of them would talk to me and express their unhappiness with the new rules. As a result, those changes weeded out about 90% of the independent trainers in 1 location. All because they didn’t want to take their business seriously and do things like incorporate, be certified (or educated in some other way), carry liability insurance to protect themselves and the facility they work in.
I think most people see this as something they do in between other jobs or simply on the side. Rarely do I see it employed as a career option. Even more rarely is it run as a legitimate company with owner and staff. It is an uregulated industry and we have it nice. There are so few requirements and barriers to entry. We should be able to take it seriously enough that prospective clients will see that we operate like legitimate businesses. The pool of clients that you attract in turn will also take it more seriously and they will be more pleasurable for you to work with and they’ll probably be more successful too.
So knowing all of that, can you call yourself a professional? Is there anything you could do to raise your level of professionalism? That’s one of my goals to make a difference in the industry before I leave it. It’s also our company mission. Take a look around our site for personal training companies and see if there is anything you can use to build your professional reputation.
Also, be sure to post a comment and share with us some of the unprofessional things you’ve seen going on around you in the business of personal training.