5 Simple Steps to Elevate Your Income as a Fitness Professional
By Rachel Seay, Owner of Inner Fit Studios
I know what it is like to work from gym to gym. Most trainers and fitness instructors have a schedule that runs from the early morning until the late evenings that includes driving to several different facilities in one day just to make ends meet.
If you are a fitness professional, you know what it is like to have a schedule that is hectic but what is more frustrating than being at multiple gyms is never being able to break even with your financials at the end of the month even though you seem to work all the time.
I used to teach at 7 different facilities in Richmond and Vancouver just to make ends meet. Then 6 years ago it dawned on me; why am I am creating business for other gym owners when I could be putting my energy into my own facility? At first the fear is simple; how will I find the right space, how can I afford to pay for a fitness studio, where am I going to get my clients from and most importantly – what happens if I fail?
As a Fitness Professional for the past 12 years, I have seen it all. I have met gym owners who have no business being in the business, seen fitness professionals being treated horribly and under paid, and watched clients been treated like they don’t matter. Just recently I was having a conversation with a fellow trainer who was telling me they used to work for a large gym and the owner would tell them that he wants people to buy memberships at his facility and not use them because he doesn’t care if his members get healthy. The trainer knew that day that they were working for wrong type of person and quit.
I want to help you elevate your income so you can help more people but also make more money in the process and here are 5 simple steps to Elevate Your Income as a Fitness Professional:
5 Simple Steps to Elevate Your Income as Fitness Professional:
1. The 80/20 Profit Rule – The 80/20 rule is a great business principle to work by. It states that 20% of your programs or clients are generating 80% of your profits. Think about all of the clients you work with and services you offer. What is generating you most income? That product or service is what you continue to work on and make it bigger and better because that is the successful income generator. Eliminate or put aside all the other projects that are not bringing in money and end up as time wasters at the end of your day. The same applies for clients. If you have a client that is costing your more money than you are making, it is okay to part ways.
2. Ask Yourself a Very Important Question: Are You a Fitness Entrepreneur or Do You Prefer to Work for Someone? There are two types of business people in this world. There are entrepreneurs and there are those who like to work for others. Neither one is better than the other; but you have to decide which person you are so you are aligned with your career’s purpose and not fighting an uphill battle.
If you are an entrepreneur you can feel it in everything you do. You are creative and constantly creating programs and services for your clients. You are writing up proposals for the people you work for and perhaps you are thinking about opening your own fitness studio. As an entrepreneur I learned early how you tell the difference; entrepreneurs don’t have a plan B, they make plan A work. If you are an entrepreneur, it is time to think about starting or growing your business because your income and your potential is limitless.
If you prefer to work for someone else, put your energy into getting more clients at one facility by speaking with the manager or gym owners. Let them know you enjoy working at their facility and would like to help them generate more sales. No manager or business owner is going to turn down someone who wants to help them get more sales and this will allow you to build more clientele in one place.
3. Find Your Niche – This relates with step one of the 5 steps to elevate your income. Discovering your niche allows you to be more focused and generate more profits with key programs for a specific targeted audience. If you work well with new exercisers, specialize with that market. Too often, fitness professionals want to work with celebrity clients, athletes, or “rich” clients because they think that is where the money is. Sometimes there can be money in those types of clientele but the Curves Program (as much as we love to hate them as fitness professionals) is a shining example of how you can make money from focusing on the little guys. Curves are a billion dollar company that focuses on older women who have been inactive and have only 30 minutes a day to workout. This market does not look like a money maker but their billion dollar profits say otherwise.
How to Find Your Niche Market? Ask Yourself a Few Questions:
Who needs your help the most with your skill set?
What age group do you work well with?
Do you prefer to work with men or women or both?
What is your price point with your niche market? Can they afford your services?
4. Get to know people who are already doing what you want to do – If you have always wanted to open up your own fitness studio, find someone who already owns a studio and and get to know them. Ask them about their business, find out what worked and what didn’t work. If they offer courses or seminars take part. Most successful business owners are more than happy to help new business owners start and give them a few tips and ideas to get started.
5. Invest in Yourself – By now you have heard the saying “You have to spend money to make money.” Many entrepreneurs also call this “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome” and I suffered from it for several years. When you have your own personal training business or perhaps own a studio, many people get caught up in spending money on the latest fitness equipment and trends but it is not the fitness equipment that will set you apart from your competitors. It is who you are and how you grow your business. Invest in conferences, seminars, books, courses and other avenues that will give you the best return on your investment. When you invest in learning, you are investing in yourself. Create a percentage each year on what you invest in education for your career and what you invest in yourself to grow your business. Remember – A Successful company owner works on their business not in their business. Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, worked on his business and grew it and you can too.
In Conclusion: Elevating your income takes work but you can do it in a way that is easy and chances are you will enjoy the process of growing your business and building your income. I started my business and went from barely making ends meet to a 6 figure income is a few short years and anyone can do it. There has never been a better time to work for yourself thanks to social media, websites and access to learning. Invest in your business and you will be investing in yourself.
Bonus Tip – Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you are not generating the income you want or feel stuck, it is time to do a personal inventory and make changes. Remember, changes at first are uncomfortable but it is there where your greatest ideas become reality and most importantly, where success lives.
Rachel Seay is a certified fitness professional from Vancouver, Canada. Her passion for fitness began at an early age as she struggled with weight issues and discovered how great she felt after a good workout. When she opened up her studio in 2007 (Inner Fit Studios) she realized that her passion was in helping people begin the journey to a better life through better health. “When people experience exercise or fitness in a supportive and welcoming environment, their views change and they learn to love fitness which leads to a strong, trimmer and healthier body full of energy and a love for life. Rachel has also been certifying fitness professionals since 2004. She is a course conductor for the Indoor Cycling Certification Course and host several workshops throughout the year to provide education credits for local fitness professionals.”