SETTING UP YOUR OWN PT BUSINESS
Starting Up a PT Business - Costs
Once you have achieved certification with an accredited fitness qualification, the good news is that the costs associated with starting a personal training business are relatively low!
- You will need to purchase liability insurance in the country that you wish to operate. Costs for this vary from approx £50 in the UK, to around €150 in mainland Europe.
- You may wish to join your national regulatory organisation such as CIMSPA (£30) and/ or REPS (£40) in the UK, EREPS (€30). Membership is on a yearly basis.
One of the real advantages to setting up a personal training business is that you will also have minimal ongoing expenses.
The additional costs that you will need to factor into your monthly expenses will depend on how you will conduct your personal training business...
- If you are going to set up as a personal trainer at a commercial gym, you will have to make an agreement for the “rent” of their space, for you to use the facilities with your clients. As discussed previously, PT rental may come in the form of a £ rent payment, a % commission of the personal training price you charge your client, or time worked on the gym floor for the gym in a fitness instructor role in lieu of rent.
- If you decide to work as a freelance PT, then you will also need to factor in the cost of buying some equipment and any fuel costs for travelling to clients.
- Do not neglect the potential of an online presence - running a website and social media pages will increase your visibility and can be set up relatively cheaply.
Starting Up a PT Business - Steps
Once you’re ready to start your business, follow these steps from the offset to ensure that everything is correct and in place to allow your business to grow.
- Plan your business (do the maths - consider your initial and ongoing monthly costs, your target market and how long it will take you to break even). This will help you to determine how many sessions you will need clients to commit to upfront.
- Register for tax (HM Revenue & Customs in the UK) and make provisions to meet your future tax liability. This will vary from country to country, so get specific guidance about the tax burden and allowances from your local tax authority. A rule of thumb is to expect to pay approx. 25% of your earnings in tax.
- Register with the your national regulatory body (eg CIMSPA, REPS, EREPS, etc)
- Open a business account - this will help you to organise your finances and as well as giving off a professional image to your customers. On this note we advise selling training packages up front, rather than charging clients on a per session basis.
- Set up business accounting. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts will simplify your annual tax filing.
- If you plan to use outside public areas to train clients, obtain the necessary permits to do so. Check with your local council to see what arrangements are required in your neighbourhood as it will vary from country to country. Securing the relevant licenses will prevent you from suffering from fines, or worse, being shut down later down the line and could even lock out future competition.
- Get public liability insurance. If you plan to employ staff then also employee compensation insurance may also be required.
- Research the competition to determine the local pricing structure.
- Define your brand. A strong brand will help you stand out from other PTs and get noticed. One way to stand out is to specialise in a niche market of the fitness industry (eg weight loss, bootcamp etc). If you have skills learned from a specific area (eg athletic training, martial arts) of the fitness, look to use them with networks of people that share the same interest.
- Establish an online presence. A business website allows potential clients to learn about your business and the specific services that you offer. You should also set up business social media pages with Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as this will help to build trust with the public and online confidence with Google search engine.
- Be a good role model. First impressions count and you are the best possible advertisement for your brand. Building the right brand is more than just looking in shape - its how you dress and how friendly and approachable you are with your clients.
Starting Up a PT Business - Getting Clients
The PT Business Supremacy course is available free to all EPTI Advanced and Master Personal Training students and takes a more detailed look into how you get your first PT clients.
Needless to say, It’s not just about your knowledge of fitness; it’s your business acumen that will play a big part in getting your brand out there and known to the wider public. Fortunately, business acumen can be learned!
Let’s have a quick look at online marketing.
At first this might seem a challenge, however focus on the positives...
In this digital age, it has actually never been as cheap or easy to promote yourself as it is now... The challenge in these times however, lies with getting potential customers to take notice and engage with you because of the abundance of content out there on the internet.
Contrary to what many new business owners think, online marketing isn’t just about having a website. You also need social media pages (see above) to help drive traffic to your website.
It is therefore imperative that the content that you put out is going to get your visitors interested in what you have to offer. Quality content helps you build trust and promote your brand by providing value to your audience.
Like any other part of your business this has to be worked on and the focus of your online marketing should be to make your website and/or social media pages easier to find for people searching up for help with their fitness goals.
HOW MUCH CAN I EARN AS A PERSONAL TRAINER?
So you are passionate about health and fitness and are wondering whether you can make a career out of doing something you love. After all, if you choose a job that you love, then you will never have to work a day in your life....
The fitness industry is a dynamic and rewarding industry to work in and offers many different career paths and niches as you enhance your qualifications and become more accomplished over time.
Certified personal trainers tend to share an enthusiasm for keeping themselves fit and active and thrive on earning their income doing what they love in their spare time. Working as a personal trainer is both a mental and physical challenge, assisting and encouraging others to achieve their goals that can make incredible differences to their lives. The rewards of being such a vital cog in a client’s personal journey to physical wellness
How much can I earn as a PT:
The earning potential of a personal trainer is significantly higher than that of a fitness instructor and averages anywhere between £25,000 - £60,000 per annum depending on hourly rate charged and the number of hours worked per week.
Personal trainers are typically paid by the hour for each session with a client, in the UK earnings range from between £25-£50 per hour (top trainers can earn up to £100 per hour!) and this will be dependant on a number of factors that we identify below.
The personal trainers that earn the most money are often boot camp instructors, weight loss experts or online personal trainers.
A career as a personal trainer is one that you can achieve with a little bit of hard work and determination. The issue of a personal trainer salary however is another matter altogether. The wages can vary depending on the services you offer. If you are serious about making personal training a full time career, then you must have a unique USP and target a specific audience.
Here are a few major factors that determine the salary most UK personal trainers are paid.
If you have no certifications in personal training, then you can be sure that the demand for your services is going to be lower. This means that your salary or wages are going to follow suit. The more knowledge you gain, the greater your chances of success with clients and the more reputable you will be as personal training is a results-driven vocation. This means that you can expect higher payment for your services. Invest in yourself to invest in your business.
If you are an expert in a fitness niche or two, then you are going to be considered an authority in that area, which will raise demands for your services. Some specialties are more demanding than others are. You will therefore find in much easier to charge higher services for your training services.
The kind of certification courses that you get also matter. Certifications courses offered by reputable personal training schools which are REPS accredited are much better for your wallet than those from lesser-known schools. You may want to consider that when applying for them.
The longer you have worked as a personal trainer, the more knowledge you will acquire. This is especially true if you have taken the time to stay updated with current scientific research and effective fitness training methods. You will also be in a better position to know what works for different clients and what does not. Because of all these things, the more experience you have, the more likely you are to earn higher personal training wages.
In some cities, people do not require a lot of motivation to stay fit because they have all the resources they require at their disposal. In other cities, the demand is much higher for personal trainers because everyone has other priorities and thus requires someone to keep them accountable.
The location that you will be working from therefore affects your pay scale. In cities like London for example, being a personal trainer is a good thing. This is because most people in the area are very conscious of how they look.
The location you work from can also work against you. This may happen if the supply of fitness instructor jobs far exceeds the demand.
You should therefore try to work in a location where the demand is high for fitness experts, yet the supply does not cause you to accept lower pay.
Fixed Salary Vs Hourly Wages:
How you are going to be paid will also affect how much you take home at the end of the day. Some employers will pay you per hour that you have worked while others will pay you a fixed salary. In both cases, you may also receive bonuses every year depending on how the business performs.
How you are paid may or may not be a good thing. The problem with hourly wages is that if you do not work, then you are not paid. However, if these wages are high enough, it may not matter.
On the other hand, a fixed salary may mean job security. However, the overall salary paid may be lower than what you should have earned if you put in more hours of work than what is required.
You must weigh up carefully the options you have as far as how you are paid is concerned. This way you will be able to decide on whether you are being paid fairly or not.
Type of services offered:
What kind of services will you be offering? If you are a highly qualified personal trainer who has specialised in a highly popular niche, then you should expect to be paid personal trainer salary that is much higher than usual.
If you intend to provide one-on-one training to individual clients, then your clients will be paying more for this extra attention. Group sessions however, are usually a bit cheaper, which may affect your overall take-home pay. If the number of people you train is large enough though, then you may end up making more money.
There is no one way of determining a personal trainers salary because the variants are too many. The above listed factors however, will help you make good estimates of how much you can earn.
Governing Bodies Different countries and different regions of the world are governed and controlled by different governing bodies and registers.
http://www.icreps.org is an international partnership of these bodies that register exercise professionals across four continents.
The following countries currently operate exercise registration bodies that are partners of ICREPs – therefore; qualifications approved by any of these bodies are transferable and recognised in each of the partner countries:
- United Kingdom - http://www.exerciseregister.org/ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) for UK
- Ireland - http://www.repsireland.ie/ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) for Ireland
- Europe - http://www.ereps.eu.com/ The European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPs):
- USA - http://www.usreps.org/ U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS)
- Australia - https://fitness.org.au/ Fitness Australia
- New Zealand - http://www.reps.org.nz/ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) – New Zealand
- South Africa - http://www.repssa.com/ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) – South Africa
- United Arab Emirates - http://www.repsuae.com Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) U.A.E
- Canada - http://www.repscanada.com/ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) – Canada
Fitness professionals must register with the register of the country/region where they obtained their qualification and then if working in another country, transfer their membership to the new register.
In the UK and Ireland, Gym Instructors and Personal Trainers traditionally needed to be registered with REPS – The Register of Exercise Professionals, but this body has less influence now and many in the industry are backing CIMSPA as the new authority and regulator of the domestic fitness industry.
To become registered with REPS, you need to be able to show that the fitness qualification you obtained is accredited by them. Once you have gained a recognised qualification from an approved training provider, you may then become a member of REPS at the relevant level.
Membership costs £40 per year. Throughout the rest of Europe, EREPS is the governing body for fitness professionals. Benefits of joining the register are that potential clients can find you on the REPS directory and will have confidence in knowing that you have been trained to a competent level. This gives you the credibility to begin training people and shows that you are certified. REPS requires its members to show that they are continuing with their professional development, ie you are required to up skill over time to keep your knowledge up to date with the constantly evolving industry.