Whether you are thinking about becoming a personal trainer or have just completed your course, you need to have a plan of action that you can diligently follow to succeed!
This fully encompassing article is written by a combination of successful personal trainers and business owners, we have all been in your shoes!
It will show you how to write a personal training business plan, how to break down every section, step by step with personal trainer plan templates and samples that you can put into action right away!
Before we jump in, enquire below how to become a Level 4 Master Personal Trainer
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Enquire to find out how to become a Level 4 Master Trainer
No time like the present, let’s jump straight in at step number 1!
STEP ONE – Why do you need a personal training business plan?
You must understand the why, before you can understand the how….
Regardless if your trying to start a gym, becoming a mobile personal trainer or freelancing for a gym a personal trainer business plan can make or break you as a trainer.
Who will see your fitness busines plan?
Business plan for a personal trainer is a requirement now for many national gym chains as part of the interview process. Personal trainer business plans for JD Gyms, Virgin Active, The Gym Group and many more are imbedded in their extensive interview process to find out which trainers have the right business acumen, marketing nous and inter-personal skills to become a successful self-employed trainer.
Banks & Investors
Ambition is always a good thing….
But even if you have a huge passion for personal training, a fantastic and innovative fitness concept a bank or investor will not even consider putting their money into your business without a fitness business plan being in place. Banks and investors want to see attention to detail, evidence of clear strategic thinking and financial forecasting.
You will undoubtedly fail without a well thought out personal trainer business plan and of course that is not what you want! It should be your every week go to guide that keeps you on track and drives you to heading towards your ultimate career goals. Whether that being getting up to 40 PT clients, starting a personal training studio or launching your very own brand.
STEP 2 – Personal trainer business plan Summary and Pitch
The first part is to create your pitch or your personal trainer plan summary. What is it you looking to achieve? It should be only a few lines, be concise and to the point.
Your personal training business plan summary should include:
Remember within your level 2 certificate in fitness instructing qualification, one of the first things you learn is about setting SMART goals for your clients? Isn’t it ironic how we set SMART goals for people for a living, yet don’t do it for ourselves as a personal trainer?
Well, that is what this section is all about. Creating clear goals and objectives in your personal fitness trainer business plan for a reader to know exactly what you do, what you want to achieve and how you intend to get there.
STEP 3 – Your Background and Credentials
Step 2 is all about you as an individual. We have all seen Dragons Den, where the panel says things like “I really like you as a person”. They of course, don’t just mean them from a personality trait perspective, but mainly that they are the right person to drive that company forward from a business acumen and credential perspective too.
Your credential profile should include:
STEP 4 – State what it is you are selling
This might sound simple enough on the surface, but many trainers miss of income streams or don’t put enough through into what they actually could sell to increase revenue. You also need to be specific, how is it being delivered, who will buy the product and how will it benefit the end user.
If you have plans to expand your delivery options in the future
See here a little table of potential products and services you could offer and include in your personal trainer business plan:
Established personal trainers rarely have just one form of income, they tend to incorporate multiple revenue streams so they are not placing all their eggs in one basket as they say. You don’t want to place more emphasis and detail surrounding your “cash cows” e.g. the service that will generate the largest percentage of revenue, normally one to one personal training
STEP 5 – Your Target Market
Who are you trying to target with your personal training services? Try to be precise, putting things like “gym goers” is NOT a target market. A target market would be your ideal customer and it should link to the services you have outlined in the previous step and with a goal focused outcome.
Here are some example personal trainer business plan example target markets you can consider:
When isolating a niche, that does not mean that you have to exclusively work within that parameter. It just shows that you are identifying a possible opportunity within the market that you are going to try and exploit and resonate with.
You also want to demonstrate that you have researched and evidenced your target market with quantifiable data. Provide statistics or testimonials to back-up your reasoning to the routes to market you have selected. Including why that particular audience will want to buy your service or buy specifically from you as an individual.
This is where you want to link your skill sets and USPs (unique selling points) to your target market.
Here are some personal trainer business plan sample USPS for you based on the answers listed before. This should provide you with a structure that you can adapt for your plan:
- 35 – 45 Executive Women for fat loss
As a 43 year old women who has been on her own personal fitness to losing 5 stone over the past 2 years I believe I will really relate to this market. This is the largest target market in the UK and I aim to complete a specialist fat loss qualification to stand out from other trainers.
- 50 and overs for general wellbeing and prevention
I have a degree in healthcare and dietetics, in addition to my certificate in personal training. With less than 1% of trainers possessing this combination of accreditations and my past experience in working with over 50s in a neighbouring industry, I feel I could thrive within this market.
- Children 16 and under for weight loss & fitness
I have two children myself and understand some parents concerns for their children’s overall health and wellbeing in an ever evolving technological society. I have enrolled onto a personal training. For children course and already sought the relevant insurance to ensure I am covered for delivery. Through offering fun, interactive and engaging sessions mainly focused on outdoor training I feel I can distinguish myself as a personal trainer that specialises in children’s training.
- Training for aspiring athletes through strength and conditioning
I want to specialise as a strength and conditioning coach for both aspiring and professional athletes. I have 8 years’ experience using this form of training within my own and completed my level 4 strength and conditioning with a 98% pass rate.
Hopefully you have got the picture from those 4 examples.
Adding a section in relation to market trends or predicted marketing trends is always a good idea, especially if you have a ground breaking or innovative idea. It is strongly advisable to back up your claims with statistics from credible sources.
Let’s look at quick little personal trainer business plan example of market trends:
“I plan to focus my online personal training and spin class business as more people aged between 19 and 35 whom are female are now using online personal trainers than face-to face personal trainers in the UK each year, which has been backed by the UK Active Report of 2019”.
See how the justification is acquired through using a credible resource to why my market is using this methodology to get expert training.
DISCLAIMER: That is a hypothetical statistic and scenario.
STEP 7 – Advertising & Marketing Strategy
Firstly, you need to know the difference between marketing and advertising. Many people think they are jargon for the same thing, this is a very common error that people make.
In a nutshell advertisement is where you spend your money or your placement of your marketing e.g. Having a business card is advertisement, what is on the business card is the marketing.
This is why you should segregate these two points, but within your personal training business plan you should only include your advertisement strategy.
Advertising and marketing is key to all business’ and is often what makes the difference between a successful trainer and one that just gets by. You might love training people and helping them achieve their fitness goals, but without a solid personal training marketing plan, you won’t have anyone to actually train.
ADVERTISING - Business plan for a mobile personal trainer example:
Advertising - Business plan for a personal trainer in a gym
It is optional to place specific personal trainer marketing plans within your overall plan, although it is always good to be specific.
Your personal trainer marketing business plan will adapt over time with changes in trends, new revenue streams, technology amongst many other things.
The personal trainer marketing plan is to give outsiders who know nothing about the fitness sector a clear idea of strategic thinking and so you can show off your business acumen.
Virtually all successful and profitable business’ will spend more money on advertising and developing new marketing strategies than they will on any other component of their business. Personal training should be no different. Getting new people interested in your personal training services is what you want right?
But, you need to spend money through some of the avenues we discussed before to generate those enquiries to be able convert them into new personal training clients. Without people to sell to, how can you grow your business? The more people you can potentially sell to, the bigger your business will become. This is why having a clear outline of advertising spend and a marketing business plan for a personal trainer is equally as important as having a plan for delivering your PT sessions each week.
Let’s see an example:
Greg is a personal trainer and he decide to put £500 into a Facebook ad campaign for 1 month to try and generate interest in his group personal training service in Leeds. Greg generates 52 enquiries from his £500 spend, he then converts 12 of those into appointments and manages to convert 6 of them into paying clients based on an average of 2 sessions per week at £30 per hour on 16 week packages earning him a toal of £5,760 from his £500 spend.
When writing your personal trailer business plan you need to consider the alternatives to your service and how those alternatives influence your target market’s buying decisions.
If you are planning to work within a gym-based environment, your fitness business plan should focus on other personal trainers as they are your competition.
To demonstrate competitor research, it’s a good idea to go and visit the gym you intend to work for and mystery shop some of the personal trainers there and take a detailed look at their credentials and specialisations. Looking at the trainer personal trainer board used by trainers to advertise their services will provide you with this.
Then you want to collate the trainer’s strength and weaknesses into a table, so you can identify gaps in the market and see how your services differ.
Here is an example:
Within your personal trainer business plan SWOT analysis you should be showing how you stand out from the crowd, what makes you different, what service do you offer that has a unique twist, why should a client be buying more from you than the other 10 trainers, what are your unique selling points (USPS)?
When writing a freelance personal trainer business plan the principle is exactly the same. The only difference would be who your competition is. Most likely that will be other freelance personal trainers within your surrounding area. but it could also include indirectly be gyms, health clubs, personal training studios or even fitness technology.
Completing market research for your freelance personal trainer business can be tricky, but there are some simple solutions. Most freelance or mobile personal trainers have websites and as they want to attract prospective clients, outline their qualifications on their about us page, this allows you to see what their areas of speciality are and also through their website, which aspects of the market they are trying to accommodate for. If that fails, a good old fashioned mystery shop phone call should do the trick!
See an example we use to show off our tutors:
Costs and Pricing
Only once have you completed a thorough competitor analysis can you calculate and write out your costs in your personal trainer business plan. The reason is logical, how can you price your services if you don’t know what those services are in competition with?
Price can also be a USP, if every trainer at a gym is charging £35 per hour, you might want to charge £25 per hour and undercut the market or venture into the higher end side of life and put your prices at £50 per hour, but with increased added value or speciality within your personal trainer packages.
In your personal trainer business plan costs section, you need to justify your price based on your competition, market need and show that it is a viable pricing system that will work. A good place to start is by calculating your margins, this can either be done per hour or more advisable per month.
If you intend to sell any other product or service this should follow the same pattern, and this can be all written descriptively within this section. Be specific here with your margins and pricing point, but don’t worry too much about every financial cost here, we will come to that very shortly…
Culture & Philosophy
The culture and philosophy of a personal trainer business plan is not essential, but as it can only take a few lines, its sometimes worth having it in there.
Here you will write your principles of your company within your business plan for a personal trainer. What are your objectives, mission statement, values, ethos’ etc. This part is really important if you are thinking about getting investment from a bank or investor, but it gives the reader a real sense of what you are all about and what you are trying to achieve.
Inventory, Operations & Logistics
This part is more for freelance personal trainers or those looking to set-up a gym or studio than an individual personal trainer working in a traditional gym.
Within this area, you want your business plan for a personal trainer to have details on where you will be delivering your personal training, mentioning physical locations, facilities in order to deliver your services and suppliers if you buying software or gym equipment regularly to sustain your services.
This would definitely be a necessary requirement for your personal trainer business plan if you were planning on being a mobile personal trainer as you will have inventory and have to factor in different home environments to cater for your sessions.
Additionally, if you plan on selling any additional products you would need to include the company you buy them from as a supplier and possibly an inventory list of what you need to execute your business.
Here is a personal trainer business plan example for an inventory item:
Item: Battle Rope
Duration: 4 Years
Delivery: Postage (free delivery)
The sales forecasting of a personal trainer business plan is the hardest, yet most important aspect, especially for new trainers.
One of the biggest obstacles trainers find is where they are sourcing numbers from in terms of number of leads generated, conversions, referrals etc. It can seem like you are plucking numbers out of thin air, but don’t panic, you’re not alone!
Conducting research on this area can be hard, as not many business’ voluntarily give up their statistics, but fear not, we are generous, and we are going to give you ours to give you an indication of what to schedule for later in this step….But do remember every personal trainer’s circumstances are unique to them.
The sales forecasting part of a personal trainer business plan will differ for a mobile personal trainer by contrast to a personal trainer that intends to operate within a gym environment. If you are simply intending to just utilise this to help you at an interview stage, a gym normally just asks for a 3 or 6-months of a personal trainer business plan. If your serious about becoming a successful trainer however you should have a personal training business plan to follow all year round, which you continuously adapt.
The sales forecasting section of a business plan should include two columns, income and expenditure. There is a best practice way of filling in a sales forecast, but that methodology depends on what you are selling.
When completing the income section of your sales forecast its best to tackle each revenue stream individually. Write out your list of services and products in separate rows in a table. Where many trainers go wrong is trying to be too detailed as they think it’s the same as an accounting report. See below an example of a fictional personal trainer’s possible revenue streams:
1-2-1 Personal Training
Group Personal Training
Online Personal Training
See, how it hasn’t gone into the different types of supplements, brands or flavours for example. Instead, it is keeping simple for a reader to understand.
There are many ways to complete sales forecasting within your personal trainer business plan, such as by revenue, unit sales or recurring charges. You need to pick the best way that suits the service and products you offer, therefore service units is probably the best option.
Service units is just our recommendation as it keep maths really easy and simple. Even though you don’t sell physical units, you do sell billable hours to your clients.
When completing your sales forecast for your personal training business, it is advisable to pick one metric to forecast, we recommend service units and then place month to month projections for your first 12 months. Forecasting for a personal training business 2 years worth of forecasting would be sufficient. More complex business’ can forecast up to 5 years in advance.
You can either place this information in a table month by month or place it into a line graph. See an example personal trainer business plan for 12 months below:
As you can see, the graph shows a better visual guide of where your growth in personal training clients will come month on month, as opposed to a table format of numbers that you have to decipher the numbers from. Always place your months on the “X” axis and billable hours (service units) on the “Y axis”. This will help you visually see your projected growth.
In the costing section you have decided your pricing strategy based on the target market and your competition. Using these pricing numbers you can start placing your month by month projections into your personal trainer sales forecast. Simply multiply the number of service units or personal training billable hours to calculate the gross revenue of each projected month.
For this personal trainer business plan example, here is a table of fictional prices we have come up with and then we simply multiplied them by then anticipated number of unit sales to give us our projections.
You can comnvert this into a graph if you find it easier to interpret:
Here are some potential expednitures that you may need to include in your personal trainer bsuiness plan:
You might now be thinking the way it is calculated is simple enough, but how do I know how many sales I will do to work out the revenue in the first place?
The truth is, you won’t……Not without having previous experience and data to formulate an accurate personal trainer business forecast.
If you are a new trainer, a realistic target is to aim for a new client per week, however do bear in mind this is just a starting point and once you have obtained data you can more accurately forecast using the data you have gathered.
To help with this you should include a cash flow statement. This is just a statement that shows the physical moving of money in and out of your bank. We all know the phrase “cash is king” and this is very true.
A cash flow statement is purely a projection of the actual amount of cash you will take in from clients each month. You might be thinking how this differs from your sales projections, but with a cash flow statement you factor in some additional things, such as:
Additional factors to bear in mind:
Annoying as it is, you could sign a new client up, but then they ask for a refund on their package or cancel their direct debit without notifying you, which would directly influence the physical amount of money appearing in your bank each month. This is why all business’ may forecast for sales, but they also forecast for external factors that may influence you actually receiving the money that you have predicted on your income projection.
A well thought out business plan needs to show someone external to your personal training business that you have a clear strategy and framework with reasonable and realistic objectives and forecasts. You don't have to be exact with these numbers. Use your personal training business plan to give you guidance and adapt it as you start accumulating data.
Become a Level 4 Qualified PT Enquire to find out how to become a Level 4 Master Trainer
Become a Level 4 Qualified PT
Enquire to find out how to become a Level 4 Master Trainer