How To Start A Personal Training Business In 5 Easy Steps

Jun 29, 2023

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


If you’re considering starting your own personal training business, now is a great time to begin. Learning what steps to take next can be daunting, but you don’t have to go through it alone. This article is here to help you learn how to start a personal training business and stand out from the crowd. 

Starting a personal training business can help you launch your career in the right direction. And, since personal training is expected to grow by 19% in the next five years, looking into how to open a personal training studio now can help you grow your business quickly and successfully. Here are a few great tips on everything you need to know about starting your personal training business.

a personal trainer filming himself for his client

OfferingTree’s all-in-one software can help you launch your personal trainer business with ease. 

Requirements To Become a Personal Trainer

First and foremost, before looking into how to start your own personal training business, there are several requirements to fulfill. It’s imperative to obtain a personal trainer certification if you haven’t already. There are several organizations that an individual can utilize to become certified. Some popular choices include the National Academy of Sports MedicineACE, or ISSA.

Obtaining a recognized certification ensures that you are knowledgeable about how personal training works. It also helps your clients or future employees know you are up-to-date with exercises and how the body works. Some other specializations that can help enhance your credibility and attractability include:

  • Being CPR/AED certified
  • Certifications for certain types of workout equipment or classes, if applicable
  • Participating in continuing education courses to continue to learn about personal fitness from fitness professionals

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Starting Out As a Personal Trainer

Before diving right into starting your own personal training business, it’s a good idea to prepare in other ways. One great way to do this is to work at a gym or as a contractor. This way, you can learn how to work better with clients and determine if becoming a business owner would work well for you.

Working at a gym can also provide you with many fantastic networking opportunities. Not only can you start to build relationships with clients, but you can also be guided by others in the industry who have been personal training for a longer time. This can help you build your skills and circle before creating your own business.

a personal trainer encouraging his client who has a prosthetic leg to lift a tire

OfferingTree’s marketing tools help you reach more clients with less hassle.

Starting a Personal Training Business Checklist

The transition between becoming a personal trainer to knowing how to start a personal training business generally involves multiple steps. It’s first important to find out what kind of niche that your business will fit into. What will you specialize in? You might cater to strength training, overall health improvements, focus on a particular population demographic, or other specialties. There are many options to consider when developing your niche.

Once you figure this out, you can start to work through the rest of what you need to do. Opening a personal training studio also includes steps such as:

  • Creating a business plan
  • Looking into personal trainer legal requirements
  • Creating and pricing your services
  • Building an online presence
  • Marketing your services
  • Retaining clients for the long run

We will dive into each of these steps in more detail below.

Define What Services You’ll Provide And Where

Determining what specific services you’ll provide is an important part of how to start a personal trainer business. Think about what you want to specialize in and how you can get those services to your clients.

Are you knowledgeable about sports nutrition alongside fitness? What about specific muscle-building techniques for a certain population of people, such as individuals who have had prior injuries? Looking into this can get you on the right track. Also, figuring out where you’ll offer these personal training services is important. Some common locations for starting out as a personal trainer include:

  • Online
  • Private studio
  • Working from a gym or fitness center
  • Hybrid services – partially online and partially in-person

Create A Solid Business Plan

Creating a solid business plan is your next step for how to start a personal training studio or business. It’s imperative to research the target market you’ll cater to, the goals you want to reach as a personal trainer, and the exact services and prices you’ll offer.

One great way to do this is to conduct market research. Find out what your customer wants and ask questions such as:

  • Where will you best reach them?
  • What is the demand for your services?
  • What price point can they afford?
  • Are there any specific demographic indicators, such as age, gender, wealth, etc?
  • What is your competition offering, and how can you offer something better?

Make It Legally Official

Looking into how to start as a personal trainer also requires certain legal requirements to make it official. Some of this includes officially registering your business, starting a business bank account, and getting the right insurance, such as liability insurance in the case of a client’s injury.

Also, making a contract for new clients can help both you and your client keep everything organized and open. The contract should include the payment terms, how long you’ll be working together, and what services or goals you’ll be working towards.

Price Your Services And Manage Finances

It’s important to find out the best price for your services that will not only bring you profit but will also be enticing and valuable to the client. Market research may have given you a good starting idea of what you can price your services at.

Also, an integral part of any business is managing your finances and expenses, seeking professional help for tax or legal matters, setting a budget, and figuring out other facility or equipment costs. OfferingTree’s all-in-one studio and gym software is the perfect tool to help you manage your schedule, client appointments, payments, and invoices.

Build A Strong Online Presence

Establishing a professional website and online presence can benefit your personal training business in many ways. You can reach more potential clients by marketing your services online. Some tips on how to do this include:

  • Optimize your website by including keywords that will help with search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Create engaging content – for example, include informative articles on your website for your clients to access while at home, or create videos showing how to do certain exercises
  • Utilize social media – depending on your optimal audience, you can use Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, etc
  • Create a Google Business Profile to help highlight growing your personal training business

Manage Your Personal Training Business Online With OfferingTree

OfferingTree can help you create a personalized website so that you can manage your fitness and wellness business with ease. You can even host and build your website with us to help ensure your personal training business has the support and reach you need.

a personal trainer looking at his phone that is showing boxing data of his client

How To Grow Your Personal Training Business

Now that you know how to start a fitness coaching business, it’s important to know how to help it grow and flourish. Finding clients is only half the battle – retaining them and creating a profitable and engaging business is also imperative for a long-lasting and successful personal training business.

You can do this in multiple ways, such as working to market or promote your services, retaining clients by building a reputation, and embracing technology and innovation. It’s all about finding what works best for your business model and individual niche.

Market And Promote Your Services

When you’re first starting out, it can be daunting to find clients and promote your services. However, there are many ways you can entice new or returning clients to work with you again, such as:

  • Offering introductory packages for new members
  • Providing referral benefits
  • Partnering with local businesses

Also, networking can continue to play a large point in marketing your services. Building relationships with the fitness and wellness community can help you stay informed and in touch with others in the industry. It can even provide good word-of-mouth referrals.

Utilizing digital marketing and online advertising can also help you reach more people, generate new leads, and increase your business’ visibility. OfferingTree provides built-in email and newsletter marketing tools for our clients as well, ensuring you stay in touch with your community.

Retain Clients And Build A Reputation

Building a reputation with your personal fitness business can help you retain clients in the long run. Encourage your clients to provide reviews and feedback on your website. Also, the odds are that your initial business model will have changed a bit after starting your business – which is a good thing. Always be open to adapt your services based on your clients’ needs and feedback.

Keeping up with professional certifications and continuing education is also a great way to stay ahead in the industry and build credibility with your client base.

Embrace Technology And Innovation

Finally, it’s a great idea to stay up-to-date with technology in order to incorporate it into your personal training business. There are various ways you can do this, such as looking into new gym or fitness equipment/machines, exploring how wearable fitness equipment can provide value to your clients, and looking into new software features.

OfferingTree provides software highlights such as online training modules and scheduling tools that can help you enhance your clients’ experiences for years.

a personal trainer sitting in her studio before a client arrives

OfferingTree’s fitness software and online tools can also provide you with analytics for who you’re reaching. 

OfferingTree: Your All-In-One Personal Training Business Management Software

Figuring out how to start a personal training business doesn’t have to be stressful. With the tips outlined above, along with OfferingTree’s “business in a box” software, your business will be off the ground in no time.

Reach out to us today if you are ready to watch a demo, or get started on the next phase of your personal training career. We offer all-in-one services that provide a niche for fitness and wellness businesses looking to grow and expand their outreach. We will help you create and manage your personal training website to ensure that you create the business and community you’ve always wanted.

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