Are you tracking the health of your fitness business?
Many fitness professionals will instantly know the answer if questioned about their personal bests or their clients’ progress with their weight loss goals, because they track these daily or weekly; but ask them about how they are tracking their fitness business and you may be met with a blank stare.
Just like the area of administration, the monitoring and tracking of a business is one of the less “glamorous” areas that tend to make some personal trainers’ eyes glaze over as soon as it is mentioned. But paying attention to the health of your business is as important as giving yourself regular fitness and health check-ups.
Below we look at some ways that you can start monitoring, tracking and measuring your business – all of which is vital to ensure you are maximising results.
Tracking a Fitness Business
Just as you will break down a client’s weight loss goals into the components that affect it – mainly diet and exercise levels – you need to break down your business to see whether its components are all aligned to your goals.
Do you know what your goals are even? Where do you want your business to be in one year… five years…ten years?
If you have defined your goals then how is your business doing in terms of reaching these goals or at least travelling along the right path towards them?
Focusing on the components of your business that affect its bottom line and overall success is key: this involves focusing on attracting new clients, retaining existing clients, ensuring that clients are paying, monitoring income levels and monitoring overheads, measuring the success of marketing campaigns and so on.
Can you honestly say you know what is happening in those departments?
How to Keep Track
Tracking needn’t involve anything too special in the way of software – simple Excel spreadsheets can help with much of it.
Here are some of the key areas to concentrate on, though you can add any other areas that you feel are especially important to your main business objectives:
- New leads generated
- Number of leads converted to paying clients
- Number of leads converted into complimentary sessions (if appropriate)
- Number of clients lost
- Overall client retention rates
- Number of paid clients
- Number of cancellations
- Number of complimentary sessions
- Total Income billed
- Total income received
- Total available sessions in the week
- Sessions filled
- Sessions remaining (unfilled)
- Overheads – break down
For individual marketing campaigns you can assess the success by measuring the number of new leads generated, the conversion of these leads into clients and how much revenue they generate; compare this with the total cost of the campaign.
Further Breakdown Per Personal Trainer
If you are running a business with several personal trainers involved then each of the PTs will need to complete spreadsheets for their own performance – in terms of leads generated and converted and many of the other factors listed above.
This can be done for both personal training and group training sessions and should be tracked on a weekly basis via the spreadsheet.
Each PT should be aware of their total session numbers, cancellations and no-shows, revenue generated, rates for client retention, new clients, referrals etc so that areas of strength and weakness are identified.
Some PTs will have to work on retention – which may mean forming closer bonds with their clients – while others will need to be doing more to attract new clients through promotions, encouraging word of mouth referrals, developing a social media strategy to help or some other strategy.
Without measuring and assessing the personal statistics of each trainer it will be impossible to identify this important information and improve their contribution to your business.
Comp sessions - understand client goals & plan fitness strategies
Any personal trainer business – no matter how good they are – will always have clients “falling off the back”, so it is very important to keep loading new customers “on to the front end.” This ensures that you keep growing.
One way to attract new clients is to offer free introductory sessions and we take a look at the why and how of that process here.
“Why Use Comp Sessions – Can’t I Just Offer Discounts?”
For some people it’s quite a big step to enlist the help of a personal trainer and others may be dubious of the value you can offer to their fitness regime and their life in general.
A free introductory session allows you to show what you can do for them in an easy, “commitment-free” way, where they can get to learn about what it will take for them to meet their fitness goals.
In terms of your PT business, without adding new clients to your base you may soon see your business suffer, so your marketing efforts need to focus on generating new leads and prospects; using these free sessions can be a great way to promote our business and keep our “sales funnel” topped up and converted.
How To Run a Comp Session Program
The purpose of the comp session is of course to convert more prospects into paying clients.
This means that we have to take the client through a process and show them that we take a professional and scientific approach to their fitness; it’s not a simple case of them rocking up in their gym gear and getting started!
Preparation and First Documentation
That word again! Preparation is so key to everything us personal trainers do in our business.
Firstly we need to prepare all the right paperwork for the prospect as we want to make it as easy as possible for them to commit to us after the session has finished.
The first thing you should do is sit down with your client and complete a questionnaire with them; it should ask them about the following:
- Relevant personal information and lifestyle factors
- Their fitness goals and the results they wish to achieve with timelines – fitness, weight loss, strength, muscle gain?
- Their past exercise history and any previous injuries
Do not rush this process – find out as much relevant information as you can. It may take up to half an hour.
The questionnaire needs to be completed before you even get to the gym and helps you determine a plan of action for the client and shows them that you are taking a rounded, tailored and professional approach to their fitness rather than just placing them in a “category.”
Remember that you are a personal trainer, with just as much emphasis on the word “personal” as on “trainer”!
Asking some open-ended questions throughout this process will help you learn more about them as a person – concentrating on some of their interests, their career goals and what makes them tick, as well as their approach to fitness; this can all be added in a comments section of the form and will help you develop a more rounded picture of the client and help you to build the all-important rapport.
This procedure needs to be structured so that the client knows at the end of it that your intention is to help them achieve their goals – and your time in the gym together during the actual session will show them that you have the expertise to do exactly that.
Many newcomers will not have exercised for a while and others may think they are fitter than they are; pitching it right is important because the client will judge your performance on the basis of this session – too difficult and it can daunt them; too easy and it will make them feel they won’t get enough out of your sessions.
Take them through a warm up process and keep the actual session down to about 20 minutes. Make sure you concentrate the workout mainly on the areas of their body they have identified in their questionnaire as their focus areas and choose exercises that they can’t do themselves, in their own time, as they will question why they need you at all.
For this reason it’s often a good idea to do pair work exercises such as med ball and boxing work.
After the brief workout, do a short cool down routine and then it’s time to pop a few questions and present a few packages.
Post-Session and Packages
Don’t let the client cool down too much before presenting your packages! You want to catch them while they’re still feeling great about themselves!
Before doing that, confirm with them that they enjoyed the session and ask them if they can see the benefit of doing a workout like that regularly.
Assuming the answer to both of these questions is “yes” then you have the lead-in to show your packages to them. This can be done on the laptop or via a folder with the relevant information contained within.
If you have a physical folder then include in it the following documents:
- Details about your packages with pricing
- Terms and Conditions of all packages
- Direct Debit forms
- Your business cards
- Gift vouchers, if applicable
- Referral slips
Once you’ve walked the client through signing the correct forms, you’ve just completed a successful conversion of a prospect into a paying client. It feels great as you transfer them over from your “Prospect” spreadsheet into your “Client” database as it means you’ve just grown your business!
PTs should develop a referral culture
Referrals – we all love them! Hot leads that come to you on the back of how you have successfully looked after a client who has then passed your name on to their friends. Very little selling needs to be done and it’s an easy way to grow your PT business.
All marketers will tell you that you should go after the easy, low-hanging fruit first, so a good chunk of our marketing efforts as personal trainers needs to be aimed at cultivating an active and successful referral program. Here we look at how best to do that.
Asking For Referrals
There are ways and times to ask clients for referrals.
Use the systems you have set up already – like your existing client database – and if need be add a column to that to indicate when you last asked for referrals.
Just because you asked someone a year ago doesn’t mean that it’s not worth asking them again now if they have any friends that need your training.
This is an important part of getting referrals. Using the “What’s in it for me?” mindset is always good when you want a favour from people.
One approach is to contact your existing clients via email or text about the offer of being entered into a draw (for free personal training hours or similar) in return for the name and number of a friend or family member interested in personal training.
You should supply the referral form for them so they can just fill in the details and return to you, to be entered into the draw. Whatever you send them by email or text always be sure to follow up with them at your next session and remind them about it. Persistence will pay off and convince them that they MUST know someone who would be interested…if possible convince them to fill in a referral form there and then.
Discounts or Prize Draws?
Another approach would be to offer a percentage discount to your client for each referral they pass on to you so there is a guaranteed benefit to them for doing so, unlike with a draw.
However, the great thing with the draw is that you can create an occasion out of picking the winner and this can be good publicity for your business.
Contacting The Referrals
Of course the sooner you can contact the referred names the better. What you should usually aim for when you contact them is not to instantly sign up for a PT package but to convince them to attend a comp session with you where you can create an action plan that meets their fitness goals. Make a point of saying that you’ve been passed their name by their friend/colleague/family member who already trains with you, so that the call doesn’t seem as “cold.”
Hopefully the above has given you a few ideas about generating referrals; it’s not a “set and forget” area of your marketing strategy but needs to be a continuous effort as new prospects turn into new clients – and then they too become possible referral generators for you.
Sometimes your business is stronger with the missing piece
Personal trainers other Australian fitness professionals, professional coaches and mentors take note! No business is an island! The doors must always be open to partnerships and joint ventures because they can make your own business stronger.
We take a look at the benefits and how to go about forming joint ventures below.
It’s hard to avoid the clichés such as “two heads are better than one” but there’s no getting away from the fact that surrounding yourself and aligning your business with other people and businesses that augment and complement what you do, makes sense.
In fact, it can be the catalyst that takes your business to new heights or help you survive in difficult times.
You may see your fitness business as a solo pursuit that you know best and need to protect, because only you know what your clients want. It’s “closed” thinking such as this that will keep you working “in” your business putting out fires, rather than working on expanding and growing into a true business.
Like-minded individuals not only inspire and energise you to grow personally but they can help you grow professionally, providing stability, lowering costs and generating different revenue streams for your business.
With many sole proprietors and work-at-home people joining forces to become more competitive, it is definitely worth considering.
What Are Joint Ventures?
Joint ventures, large and small, are when two or more business entities join forces to expand their influence and enhance their market presence; importantly, both parties in the venture gain from the partnership. Apart from their markets, they may also share assets, knowledge, intellectual property and costs.
Both parties remain independent in the deal, so it is different from a merger.
How Might Your Fitness Business Use a Joint Venture?
If you are a personal trainer wanting to develop your fitness business by setting up your own gym, for example, this can be expensive; you may need to consider partnerships. You may not have all the skills necessary – in fact, most people are stronger in some areas than others; the smart business owners surround themselves with people that compensate for their weaknesses.
If you are great with the clients but not a good numbers man, then immediately that’s a problem for your business and it’s a hole that will need to be plugged; how about sales and marketing or product development? Think about all the areas your business will need and how you are going to cover them.
As you are identifying potential partners, consider what your weaknesses are and whether there are people around you that can add those qualities to your business.
Of course joint ventures with people who have the same dream as you – like starting their own gym – also make sense. From the cost factor alone, having two of you to combining resources and covering overheads can be a life saver.
Note that joint ventures require legally binding agreements so it is important that your business lawyer is involved in any deal. Never proceed without the relevant agreements in place and signed and don’t trust the standard templates that you find on the Web.
Potential Problems With Joint Ventures
The main problems with joint ventures revolve around decision-making; who has the final say? It’s important that your personalities gel and any potential conflict is avoided as that will hurt both parties. Often it can be the human factors that break a partnership.
Failure can especially be a risk when partnerships are brought about by necessity – such as financial problems; it’s important not to see joint ventures as last resorts – they need to be entered into positively and with all the paperwork in order and a joint business plan in place agreeable to both parties, so that conflicts can be avoided.
Existing businesses entering into partnerships may involve some staff integration too – another human factor that needs considering; are your staff members ready for it? Have you explained it to them adequately so they don’t feel threatened?
Being aware of the risks is part and parcel of making a joint venture work. Taking the time to get to know your own fitness business and analyzing it subjectively, plus vetting potential partners thoroughly, is the key to joining forces in a win-win relationship that can help you grow in the years ahead.
It's time for some YOU!
The personal training business can be intense, not only physically, but mentally.
Unless you build some “down” time into your weeks for personal maintenance, you will find that pretty quickly you will burn out and that will have serious effects for both you and your business.
Refuel, Refresh and Re-Focus
A pilot has a very rewarding job because he gets people safely to their destinations; it’s also a stressful position because he carries the lives of hundreds of passengers in his hands.
Every pilot knows the importance of refuelling the plane – that’s basic; if the plane doesn’t refuel it crashes and burns!
But humans also need refuelling; if the pilot tries to fit in too many hours in the cockpit, his judgment may become impaired and he’s putting the passengers’ lives at risk. He knows he needs to stop, recharge and refresh himself and re-focus on the job in hand in order to get results.
Where The Personal Trainer and The Pilot Meet
A personal trainer is also focused on getting his “passengers” to their “destination”; there is a high level of responsibility attached to the job because the client has placed their trust in you helping them to arrive at their fitness or weight loss goals.
The best personal trainers will be anxious for their clients to achieve their goals and this can raise stress levels without us even realising it. We want to please the clients and our staff and are so busy following up with everything that needs to be done that we forget about ourselves.
You will do yourself a big favour if you take the same approach as the pilot with your personal training business.
OK, the consequences of burn out may not put lives at risk like a pilot, but you will be putting your health and your business at risk, as well as letting clients down with sub-standard performance.
5 Pillars For “Personal Prosperity”
- Make an appointment with yourself – when you plan your week, don’t just list appointments with clients; include YOU TIME and stick to it as if it was an actual appointment.
- Pre-plan holidays and getaways – this means you can prepare your clients and your team and are not letting anyone down; least of all YOURSELF or YOUR FAMILY.
- Have a “Time Out” day once a week when you do something for yourself that you really love and enjoy! You can even make it a “BLACK OPS” day when you turn off your phone and computer all day.
- Position communication routes for checking your messages and email, so your clients know you’re busy.
- Make a time with your mentor or coach so that you stay accountable to YOUR goals!
We will leave you with a final thought that sums up the message of this article very succinctly; it applies not only to the personal training business but to any service-based business:
If you don’t take time out to give back to yourself, you will have nothing left to give to those you care about anyway.
Fresh off the Press! — > WARNING! <—
Please *Don’t* Download this if you don’t intend to take action on the words contained within ..
This report LITERALLY contains the 6 Steps that TOP 6 Figure Industry Authorities use to profile themselves and literally generate 6 (Even 7!!) Figures.. It’s a method tried and tested and it’s EXPOSED within these pages…
Gone are the days where you can trick people into handing over money with a Cheesy ‘OPT IN’ or cheap product ‘Tag’… People have cottoned on to the system and we are now working with LARGE amounts of ‘UNWARRANTED SALES RESISTANCE’ as a result. There is a new age approaching and people looking for a quick easy dollar are going to BURN!
Check it out for yourself..—-> HERE <—- and take ACTION..
This is not an overnight strategy for an inflatable business, or quick money making guide like the rest… If thats what you’re after then GOOD LUCK on the search.. It’s a risky path.
This is a guide to greatness. A recipe for true AUTHORITY and building a profile of TRUST and AUTHENTICITY.
It’s no secret that people spend money with people they like and trust… Become that person in your field and own the market with passion and integrity. Start building momentum and you will have the business you’ve always dreamed of and the lifestyle you’ve always imagined… not to mention a crowd of raving fans that TRULY love and support you!
Amen to that!
*** Please let me know your thoughts below ***
*** DOWNLOAD YOUR COMPLIMENTARY GUIDE TO GREATNESS HERE ***
P.s – We are on the verge of releasing a ’30 DAY PT BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGH’ Course that will literally walk you through the nuts and bolts of building your Fitness Empire.. Make sure you subscribe to our YOUTUBE CHANNEL for updates and notifications. Oh, and this is ALSO FREE for PT MASTERY Friends and Fans! Boom!