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These past few years have been difficult, especially for the fitness business. Depending on where you are fitness clubs have been closed for up to 2 years! Without getting too political our governments have missed an amazing opportunity to educate, motivate and bring fitness to the forefront; exercise is medicine!
If the pandemic has taught the fitness professional anything it’s that having a large overhead can be crushing. I still own a club, Lebert Fitness NATION in Toronto but if I was to start out now in the fitness business, with everything that has happened, I would definitely look to keep overhead to a minimum and hit the road again training people in their homes (in fact, that’s how the Lebert EQUALIZERS™ were born). See our story.
In home personal training is how I started my career, and it was a very rewarding and profitable vocation. I did this for 15 plus years and loved every minute of it. I was growing a little tired of the driving but in retrospect I had it really good with my car, gas and coffees as my only overhead. Here are some of the things that made me successful and helped me pay off my mortgage. I hope they help you too.
1. With all the online advertising now it’s almost counterintuitive to think that old school sales techniques still exist but I think there is nothing more powerful than calling someone you know and telling them about your business and asking for the sale. Don’t be shy to call most everyone on your phone. Direct message your Facebook friends and ask for their phone # as well so that you can call them.
2. Take your coaching on-line; the pandemic has brought virtual training into the forefront. Clients can be anywhere, and virtual coaching reduces your overhead even further. I would still do in-home PT though for some variety, social interaction and in-person PT is the best for honing your coaching skills.
3. Once you have client(s) it’s important to ask them for some referrals and even more important to follow up. This may sound obvious, but most trainers don’t ask and if they do, they don’t follow up. It’s a particularly good idea to do this in the first few weeks when the clients are enamoured with your exceptional service!
4. Be professional; I really wish I didn’t have to write this, but you have to show up on time, be well groomed, polite and have new clothes. This is your job, their home is your office and they are your boss. You should act like it.
5. On-board, assess and develop a plan right away. Always follow up after your first session (as a minimum) to see how they are feeling.
6. Be engaged and immersed in their workout 100%! Whatever their goal is (weights, boxing, yoga, stretching) make it so enjoyable that time flies.
7. Here’s one people always find surprising. You can invoice many of your clients as a “Motivational Consultant” and they have their company pay you directly
8. The key to success (and you want them to be successful) is progressive overload; make sure you always work the basics, track them, and celebrate their improvements. That being said I always keep their workouts interesting and challenging by adding in some new tools every once in a while. For example, add a Dynamax ball for core, partner work and sport specific movements.
9. Get the right tools. I remember my in-home PT sessions consisting of a dumbbell set (in my trunk), a skipping rope and their stairs! Even though you can do a lot with very little it’s important to add a few key pieces for functionality. For example, push-ups can be done anywhere but the EQ’s are a great for rows (amongst many other exercises). Today I would have them pick up a Lebert Fitness Starter Kit that includes a set of EQualizer’s™, our HIIT System and a set of our F.A.T. (Functional Assisted Training) resistance bands.
10. Secondary source revenue. Like the starter kit above you can work with company affiliate programs (equipment, supplement, clothing, etc), on-line workouts for sale, set up corporate lunch and learns (this one is great to get new PT clients), etc. Don’t limit yourself to just trading time for dollars, so find some passive revenue streams that work for you.
I hope this helps you get started on your in-home PT business! Please email me if you have any questions.
Your friend and coach,
Marc is the CFO (Chief Fitness Officer) of Lebert Fitness; a global leader in developing innovative fitness tools, a fitness club owner, Black Belt, Certified NLP Practitioner, International Presenter, Silver Lining Entrepreneur of the Year, NEOS International Personal Trainer of the Year, named as one of Canada's #Top 100 Health Influencers by Optimyz Magazine and was a member of the canfitpro Fitness Advisory Panel.