Fitness Business Ideas
If you’ve considered getting into the fitness industry, you’ve probably wondered how to start a personal training or fitness business and what model you should set up. Below we are going to go over three possible models that you have as options. These are by no means the only ones. You could have a hybrid of any or all of them. Or if you’re a trainer already, you could add elements of one or all of them to your current model. Let’s break this down into three different models you can choose from in personal training. We will look at them from the perspective of lowest cost and easiest to set up to more complex. In each case, it will still be your own business and you’ll be self-employed, but the environment will be different.
- In home or mobile personal trainer.
- A trainer that works in someone else’s facility.
- Studio or gym owner.
Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
1. In home or mobile personal trainer.
In this model, you’ll have little start up costs and capital expense. However, your efficiency can be compromised as you’ll be eating up time driving and running up expenses in gas. You won’t need a lot of equipment, you’ll focus your programming around body weight training and devices you can carry with you and manual exercise. This can be a viable option to start in and some trainers never leave this stage. Others use this as a spring board to take them to the other models. This type of model can allow you to charge a premium due to travel time and personal attention in the privacy of the client’s home.
2. A personal trainer who operates in someone else’s facility.
The option for this model is an autonomous personal trainer operating the same way as in the first scenario, but you primarily operate out of someone else’s facility. This may be a commercial or corporate facility you contract with. In this model like the first, you will also have low up front costs as you won’t have to buy or rent a larger facility and won’t have capital expense in filling it up with equipment. However, you should be prepared to pay as much as 40% of each session’s revenue in rent or shared revenue with the facility owner. You can still charge a premium or you may choose a lower price point to appeal to a wider audience. You may be able to afford to do this as you’ll now be able to see clients back to back without wasted driving time in between. They will be able to come to you. You’ll want to make sure the place in which you choose to rent or operate is a good location for your target market. But, again, remember, up to 40% of your revenue can go to the facility owner in exchange for you being allowed to operate there. You need to balance that and factor it into your calculations when establishing your pricing structure.
3. A studio or gym owner.
This is usually the ultimate for most aspiring trainers. The in home trainers usually get tired of having limited access to equipment and the trainers who rent other spaces get tired of not having their own space to make the rules. This model will have significantly more up front costs associated with it in the form of rent and capital expense in equipment. It may take more time with the prospect of adhering to zoning laws and regulations and acquiring signage and other administrative things required for you to actually open and operate. Once all of that is satisfied, you’re the boss and make the rules. You can run it as you wish. Location will be extremely important in this model. Most clients don’t like to travel beyond a 15 minute radius of where they live or work. This type of model will firmly root you down in place. If you are unsure of your near future plans, it will be harder to move. You will have a finite capacity so your estimates on space needed and revenue it can produce will be critical. You will want to plan for future expansion should you need it. This can be a very good self-contained model and once mastered, replicated over and over again. Ideally, it could be documented and licensed or franchised for other business owners to purchase. Again, these are by no means all of the options. You can pick and choose elements that you like from each or focus on strictly one. If you have limited resources, these can offer a step ladder or progression for you as you grow and become more successful until you reach your ideal model you have in your head. Let this stimulate your thinking. If you have further questions, be sure to reference our fitness business books or register for one of our free phone consultations to explore your options further.