Trainers: Are You Ready to Go Indie? November 19, 2015
Trainers: Are You Ready to Go Indie? November 19, 2015

You’re the top trainer in your gym, with more long-term, high-performing clients than anyone else on your team. Congrats! You set that goal and you achieved it. So now what?

Are you ready to become your own boss? Starting your own personal training business has its pros and cons. If you’re thinking about it, start with these five questions:

  1. Are you ready to tap your leadership skills? Not only are you ready to call the shots but you’ve also been waiting for the opportunity to realize your personally branded vision for fitness. Your current gym has been a big influence on your development as a trainer. Now you’re ready to implement all the best practices you’ve learned there with your natural-born leadership skills.

  2. Do you understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur? In between clients, have you been paying attention to how operations work and the best ways to keep clients goal-oriented, focused and coming back for more? Knowing that entrepreneurs wear many hats and perform all roles in the business—everything from promoting themselves on social media to handling billing and payments—may intimidate some would-be soloists. Prepare to be invested 24/7 in yourself, your clients and your business.

  3. Can you cover the startup costs? As a gym employee or subcontractor, you enjoy access to the gym’s marketing resources, fitness equipment, and floor space. This all goes away when you walk out the door. So find a good checklist of expenses, do your homework, and start a savings plan to ensure that your needs are covered as you launch and build your practice.

  4. Got everything in its right place? Where will you do your magic, besides the sessions you conduct at a training gym? At clients’ homes? The park? Your place? Unless you have an in-house gym that includes some mobile equipment, you’ll need to outfit your operation.

  5. How will you grow your client base? You may have signed a non-compete agreement so that you don’t poach the gym’s members. And that’s fine: some may not want to leave anyway. The best approach to take? Make a list of the clients you think may be amenable to a move, and notify them of your plans as soon as possible, so that they have time to make an informed decision. Be ready to leave some clients behind and to start fresh with a strong marketing plan. In any case, don’t delay on notifications: no matter what a client decides to do, you don’t want to disrupt their fitness regimen.

Making the leap into fitness enterprise is a manageable risk and can reap great rewards. You just need to maintain realistic expectations and be ready to accept the ups and downs of an entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Keeping your clients on track with their workout goals is easier than ever with FitnessBuilder Pro, available on your iPhone, Apple Watch, Android and the Web. PumpOne’s complete workout guidance, tracking and scheduling tools include more than 1,000 workouts, or you can create your own sessions from 7,000 exercise images and videos. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or sign up at

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