If you own a fitness studio or hoping to open one, it is only right that you set yourself up for success by equipping yourself with the knowledge required to run a fitness business. You must have business management skills and understand the pitfalls to avoid for your business to succeed.
This article highlights five reasons most personal training businesses fail so that you can make an informed choice and sail your business through the turbulence waters to the land of success.
Without wasting time, let’s dive in.
1. Not Enough Funding
Becoming a certified trainer is expensive. The cost involved, whether it’s a certification or a bachelor’s program, runs in thousands. Once you’ve invested in education, it’s time to put your skills to work.
Most personal trainers start without enough cash. A good number get the starting capital as loans from financial institutions or the government. Often the cost of running the business before it picks is underestimated.
Secondly, lack of financial accountability has seen many fitness businesses go down the drain before their first anniversary. Basic finance knowledge is a must-have for anyone venturing into business, and the fitness business in no exception.
You don’t have to be a certified accountant, but you must know about the business budget, financial goals, and tracking expenditure. Monthly and annual return analysis is mandatory to keep tabs of your business growth, cash sources, and where you are spending this money. Lack of financial knowledge often leads to overspending. Sooner rather than later, the business can’t survive.
So, if you are not a finance person, do yourself a favor and hire someone who is. It might cost you now, but you’ll be saving yourself a huge loss in the long run.
Lastly, the lack of enough capital leads to employing under-qualified personnel and buying poor quality gym equipment to save costs. The overall effect is mediocre fitness programs. If your clients do not see results, your gym is heading downward.
2. Poor Marketing Strategies
Lack of a marketing strategy is synonymous with building a beautiful house without a door to get in. Honestly, we won’t know it’s beautiful. You might have a great gym with modern equipment, highly qualified staff, and exceptional training packages, but your efforts will go down the drain without a marketing strategy. No one will know you exist.
Personal trainers assume that people will see the gym and get in. True! You might be able to lure a few people if the location is strategic. However, to build a client base that can sustain your business, you must do sales and marketing.
You must tailor your marketing to the target audience. Let the public know the services you offer and why you are the go-to gym in the area. Once you’ve managed to attract the first customers and deliver great service, you can bank on referrals.
Marketing is a continuous process that never stops. Fitness centers fail when they can’t continuously communicate how they intend to solve the target audiences’ pain points.
3. Poor Customer Service
It has been said time and again that it is easier to retain an existing customer than it is to get a new one. This is why customer service is important to any business.
To build a good customer relationship as a personal trainer requires commitment and outdoing yourself. When starting, you’ll put in extra hours and work harder to help your clients achieve the desired results. When clients enjoy your services, you earn their trust, and chances are they’ll become repeat clients.
On the contrary, when customers feel like their needs are not met, they are undervalued, or the services they receive are not worth what they are spending, chances are they are going to flee.
Poor customer service leads to disgruntled customers. When the customer is not happy, your business is affected.
As a personal trainer, it is important to understand your clients’ needs. These needs could be spoken, implied, or unspoken. Whichever the situation, you must understand how to relate with individual clients and tailor your communication and coaching depending on the client.
Give your customers a reason to choose your services over your competitors’.
4. Bad Location
Personal trainers can sometimes opt to open a gym in an unknown location because the space is cheap. This could be because of financial constraints. Often, it is a receipt for failure. A bad location is a turnoff for clients.
First of all, how will your clients find you? No one wants to drive for hours on end to your gym, yet there are a dozen other places where they can get the same services.
You’ll do yourself a favor by opening a gym in a convenient and visible area where your potential customers can easily see it and walk-in. A great location is where people pass through when going and coming from work.
As an instructor, take time to research the most convenient location for your target audience before setting up a fitness business.
5. Lack of Market Need
There’s no point in opening a fitness business in a saturated market. Therefore, it is important to analyze if there’s a need for your fitness niche in your locality.
The mistake that personal trainers make is opening a gym without thorough research. Ultimately, the business fails because there’s either no demand or the market is saturated. Plus, the business is established on assumptions rather than facts.
You don’t have to come up with something completely new, but you must examine what the existing fitness businesses are offering so that you can fill their gaps instead of replicating them.
The fitness industry is evolving. The mode of service delivery is also changing to meet the demands of the population.
Personal training is shifting to the online marketplace. That means fitness centers are not only connecting with clients face-to-face but also growing their client base virtually, which increases their earning power and market reach.
If you fail to adapt to the changes in the industry, you risk being left behind. Overall, your business will not reach its full potential.
The fitness industry is growing exponentially, and the opportunities keep getting better. However, this doesn’t mean you take a seat and watch your business cash millions without putting in the effort.
An understanding of the above pitfalls helps you prepare in advance so that you can stir your business in the right direction.