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3 Tips to Avoid Failure in the Fitness Industry

People are more health conscious these days than ever before and have turned fitness into a multibillion-rand industry. They have been inspired by the results that celebrities have obtained by following rigorous diet and exercise regimes.

Many of them have been inspired to take their love of fitness to the next level and to turn it into a career. The growth of “fitness influencers” on social media has also made it look so easy.

However, personal training is about so much more than staying fit. To succeed as a personal trainer, your passion for fitness needs to be backed up by sharp business management skills as well as a genuine interest in people and their well-being.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that personal trainers make that hinder their success.

1. Failure to adapt to market changes

Although many clients still prefer one-on-one training, there is a shift towards online personal training. It’s important to determine whether or not there is a need in your market for one-on-one training.

The current Coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted how important it is to use technology as a back-up plan and retain your client base under extremely challenging circumstances.

Kayla Baker, the founder, owner and personal trainer at Mamavation Pre-and-Post-Natal Fitness, emphasises the importance of using the resources that you have to stay connected with your clients and make sure that they are receiving the correct training. She does this by using apps such as:

  • Skype,
  • Zoom, and
  • Trainerise

Keri Ann Lilienfeld, the owner and personal trainer at Urban Bodyworx, says that her studio now offers classes on YouTube that clients can follow in their own time as well as live classes on Skype and Zoom to keep clients engaged.

“You also need to keep things personal”, says Takita Mestre of Lotus Fitness Coaching. She does this by checking in with her clients daily or weekly and letting them know that she is always available to them for advice. She adds: “Also bear in mind that your clients might not be particularly motivated at this point in time, so don’t make them feel bad about that. Support them”.

2. Lack of financing

Most personal trainers struggle for one to three years before they break even. You’ll have to create a sound business plan and work out your running costs before you approach the banks, the government or business partners to secure the working capital that you need to start off with.

3. Burnout

Being a personal trainer means being an entrepreneur. You need to deliver your service, be available to your clients when they need you and also do your own marketing and all the administrative tasks that come along with running a business. You also have to fit in your own training, because you are your own brand. It can become very overwhelming.

Many personal trainers start their classes as early as 4:30 am, spend most of the day running their business, and then do more classes from the mid-afternoon until late in the evening. It’s vital to ensure that you get enough sleep, manage your schedule ahead of time and delegate wherever possible.

It is also a good idea to mitigate risks by joining an established franchise. “Especially if you can’t afford to open your own gym just yet and you want to start earning an income,” says Kayla. Takita says that franchises give you access to an existing client base and you become part of a team where you will get good help when you need it. You also enjoy the credibility of being associated with an established trustworthy brand.

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