Monthly Archives: January 2015

10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

Today is the last mistake guys :(, but before we go on I think a small recap is in order.

Mistake Number 1: Planning To Fail – Have a Business Plan.
Mistake Number 2: Everything to Everyone – Have a Niche.
Mistake Number 3: Inconsistent Pricing – Don’t Devalue PT Services.
Mistake Number 4: Not Enough Rapport – Treat People as Individuals.
Mistake Number 5: Why So Serious? – Smile :).
Mistake Number 6: Not Looking The Part – Look Like you Train.
Mistake Number 7: Too Little Too Late – Build Reputation from Day 1.
Mistake Number 8: Budget… What Budget? – Write a Budget.
Mistake Number 9: Wasting Time – Get a Diary.

The last tip is one that will be a life saver. Literally.

Mistake Number 10: Never Make The Same Mistake Again.

There are many many more mistakes that I have not covered in these posts, there are just too many for a simple ten tip series, but I have covered some of the more dangerous ones to fall in to.

Speak to more experienced trainers and ask them where they went wrong. Take notes and don’t make their mistakes. You might think “Oh but if I do it slightly differently…” No! You won’t make it work, you will have just found a different way of making their mistake. Learn from experience, it saves time, effort and more importantly MONEY.

Do the same with your own individual mistakes you might make and for the love of all that is holy don’t then repeat YOUR own mistake.

Use what I have taught you to build a solid business and avoid a mistake that I have in fact repeated on several occasions…

NEVER EVER GET IN TO A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CLIENTS. EVER!!! It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

I have seen many a personal trainer just floating around the gym floor not really doing much, this is better than the alternative – sitting in the staff room on Facebook or Youtube.

Do you waste time?

If you’re guilty of this (I certainly was.) I have some great advice to help you avoid making this mistake.

In a nobel attempt to avoid this mistake there are many personal trainers that will keep busy, checking emails as they come in, attempting to write articles for social media amongst the distractions, they will fill their day with various tasks without a structure, but while being busy is good is it productive?

Mistake Number 9: Wasting Time.

How can you avoid falling in to this trap? A Diary.

Having a diary might seem obvious, it is setting up your diary that becomes more challenging, failure to have a structured diary will result in your work-life balance falling out of sync very quickly and your productivity being minimal.

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*You can feel free to use either a paper based diary or and electronic one, they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Paper Diaries make you more likely to remember your appointments because you physically have to write them down, but if you lose your diary you will have to write every appointment again.

Electronic Diaries offer more versatility and the ease of setting up repeating appointments, you can set reminders for all of your tasks – clients, marketing etc. One problem with these is if they crash or are not backed up you will lose all you info. It is all down to personal preference, I would suggest trying both diaries and seeing which one works better for you.

A diary will help you become more productive because you can distinguish between whats actually important wand what isn’t.

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Planning your diary time accordingly can be tricky, there is always the temptation to deal with every enquiry immediately but this approach will not work for long because you lose track of what you have and haven’t done.

Do you have a daily structure?

Here is a short list in oder of importance:

– Client Appointments
– Consultation Appointments
– Administration (checking emails, invoices, general business tasks)
– Program Writing (client tracking)
– Marketing
– Self Education*
– Miscellaneous Appointments (lunch, doctors, marketing tasks etc)

The key to good time management is working smart. Keep yourself under control by allocating your time sensibly, this will help you stay focused and make your business easier to run.

Here is an example of a typical day:

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– 6am – 9am Clients
– 9am – 10am Train
– 10am – 12pm Admin or Marketing – Through Social Media
– 12pm – 1pm Lunch/Self Learning
– 1pm – 2pm Down Time – Relax
– 2pm – 4pm Admin or Marketing – Through Social Media
– 5m – 9pm Clients
– 9pm – 10pm Dinner/ Self Learning
– 10pm – 5am Sleep!

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Don’t get dragged in by tasks that can wait. Do what will give you the most benefit and be productive for your business. Stick with your structure and life becomes much easier.

Turn off all notification sounds and focus on the task at hand. Eventually you will find yourself becoming incredibly efficient and very productive.

You want minimal effort with maximal return!

*Self education is very important as it will help you improve your overall quality of work. Don’t forget you never stop learning! I personally advise reading 1 book each week on any of the following – Training, Nutrition, Marketing, Psychology, Business.

Now go sort out a diary and stop wasting time.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

I have suffered from this problem numerous times, eventually learning from my mistake, but it took time and lots of money to rectify.

This next mistake is one that personally I feel is imperative to avoid.

Mistake Number 8: Budget… What Budget?

Not planning a budget, nay not planning for your overall out goings and business needs can lead to disaster. You must avoid this happening at all costs, otherwise you might just end up in some financial trouble.

We shall use the figures from an example in a previous mistake tip. This way you can like all the posts together and begin to understand exactly how you can apply these to YOUR business.

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Previously we said you NEED to make £800 per month to cover bills and general living costs, bills are easy to account for because more often than not they’re pretty regular as are living costs – For this example there is no need to overcomplicate them, but it’s worth keeping a close eye on inflation.

*We shall just put this under the banner of Living Costs.

We aslo claimed that you would like to make an extra £200 per month for your own profit – The total now required is £1000.

As a business you will also want to think not only about your profit but also –

– Marketing Costs (Website, Flyers, Adverts etc)
– Cancellations/Loss
– Products/Merchandise (T-Shirts, Vests, Hoodies etc)
– Equipment (If Applicable)
– Gym Rent (If Applicable)
– Travel (If Applicable)
– Tax *FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T FORGET THIS. EVER!

Using some of the potential costs in the list above here is a sample break down of the budget needs:

* They will be done on a whole months basis.

– Living Costs: £800
– Desired Profit: £200
– Calculated Loss: £120 – Based on 1 Cancelled Session Per Week Aim To Earn This Much Extra.
– Marketing: £100 – Website Hosting/Social Media Averts and Posters for example.
– Merchandise/Products – £50 – Free T-Shirts/Vests *Personal hoodies chargeable to the client.
– Equipment – N/A *
– Gym Rent – N/A *
– Travel – £100* – Based on £25 Per Week.

According to our budget so far you will need to earn £1370 to cover the basic costs.

– Tax* – £137*

*Equipment – If working in a commercial gym you will not need any.
*Gym Rent – Doing free hours for the gym to offset rent payment.
*Travel – Depending on your location to the gym I would advise potentially cycling if close enough.
*Tax – You are allowed a personal earning allowance of £10,900, then you pay 20% tax on anything after this. A minimum Of 10% total earnings per month MUST be saved. In my experience this should be enough to cover your potential tax bill after deductions etc, but if possible save 20%.

When it comes to saving 10% of session fees I would personally take it straight out of the money you’re paid and put it in to a secure account where the money can’t be drawn from.

If you are good with maths that means your tax money has to be taken from your profit leaving you with only £63 profit per month. While this might not seem like much it is unfortunately a necessity in the first 6-18 months of business, sacrifice your own personal profit until you’re more established.

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Please take note of my warnings here, it is not nice to be caught without sufficient funds. On the positive side though, if you over budget you can only have some extra cash you didn’t expect it’s much nicer than having less money than you need.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

When it comes to working in a commercial gym the days can seem long and tedious and trainers want nothing more than to just go home, but this can lead to you missing clients.

If you know the following you can skip to the next article, if you don’t then keep scrolling down.

– When are the busy periods are in your gym?
– When are the people you’re wanting to train in the gym?
– Do you spend more than 5 hours in the gym?
– Are you the first person in and the last to leave?
– Is your face the one people seen no matter what time they’re in?

If you want to be a success you need to put in the hours.

Mistake Number 7: Too Little Too Late.

I have seen many a young trainer start in this industry thinking that people will flock to them and fall at their feet to book sessions, it doesn’t work like that and it never will.

To create a good reputation, nay a good presence, you will need to actually be in the gym pretty much every hour of every day for at least 6 months MINIMUM. If you do this you will know better than most when the gym is busiest and when you’re most likely to get clients.

I know from experience this is the best way to get noticed.

If you have work to do then buy a laptop, sit where you can be seen and get to work, just being in the gym people will notice and because of this you will be who they think of when they mention Personal Training.

Sadly I’ve seen many trainers make this mistake and 6 months down the line have no clients, no income and no passion which has forced them to abandon their dream.

Don’t become one of the numbers that are forgotten in the gym turn over. Make people aware you’re there and you mean business!

The simple secret to boosting your potential for business is simply spending more time in the gym.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

This next mistake will take some self control to avoid, however considering the nature of the industry it is achievable.

I have a few questions first:

– Would you hire a trainer based on how they look?
– Are you in good condition?
– Do you look the part?

It might sounds silly but would you hire a trainer who is out of shape?

Mistake Number 6: Not Looking The Part .

I have been to plenty of gyms throughout my career, I have seen some trainers who look absolutely phenomenal and command respect. Sadly on the other side of that coin I have seen trainers who look like they themselves need a trainer.

Looking the part might been seen by some a self indulgent and vain, but in realistic terms it will help you gain business because you look like you practice what you preach.

Lets face it, no one wants to be fitter than their trainer.

As a new trainer it is important to have a respectable look, you will attract clients who aspire to have a similar physique.

I am not going to tell you how to get in shape – You’re a trainer, you should know.

Take some pride in your image and you will benefit from it.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

I hope those of you who are reading have taken note of these basic mistakes, avoiding them can only sere to improve your business.

Todays mistake is not indicative of every trainer, but it is quite common.

Let me put a smile on that face of yours with this next mistake.

Mistake Number 5: Why So Serious?

Being a trainer in a commercial environment means you need to stand out amongst the crowd, but for many who try to do this they come across as serious and unapproachable. This stems from trying to be to focused, not only in their own training but when they train clients too.

While being focused is necessary, too much won’t do you any favours in picking up new clients, but all you need to do so that people will admire and be drawn to your drive/passion is smile.

The seemingly forgotten art of smiling has become more apparent in recent times.

If you’re standing on the gym floor a smile will make you welcoming and approachable, this will help you engage with more potential clients and spread a positive reputation for you. It is also worth keeping a smile on your face when YOU try to speak to someone, remember a friendly face is always welcome.

There is no magic skill, nimble technique to be learnt or book to read, all you have to do is SMILE and you will avoid this mistake.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

The last few days I’ve highlighted 3 mistakes I have commonly witness around business planning.

Once you have a plan of action the rest ‘should’ be easy right?

Sadly this next problem can render all of your panning and preparation ineffective, all it is is one word…

Rapport.

I hope you’re feeling comfortable, this is a long post.

Mistake Number 4: Not Enough Rapport.

As a young trainer I took some time to go to other gyms as a member in disguise and see how I was approached by other trainers.

Why?

Because I wanted to know the difference between a good P.T and bad one.

The best way to avoid being one of the average trainers and become one of the best is to see what makes them different.

In each gym I went to more often than not I was left alone, but for the trainers who approached me I found most to be slightly belittling (Overly harsh in their critiques.), they tried to sell me their services without really knowing much about what I wanted. They were brash arrogant and only seemed interested in my money, this left me feeling a bit miffed, but there were a couple of trainers though in each gym I visited that came and just spoke to me – This was the break through moment of realisation for me.

*In each different gym the trainers who just spoke to me were invariably the most successful of that gym.

So what was so different about them just speaking to me?

The trainers who came and had a conversation showed some form of interest in ME, thus making me feel comfortable with them. After some pleasantries were exchanged each different trainer asked if I would like some advice – This was a common theme among the good trainers. I found their advice useful, after which point they all left me to my workout.

*If you’re thinking chatting is well and good but they didn’t get any business, what makes them different fro the other trainers? You need to keep reading because there’s more.

I decided to go back to the specific gyms with the trainers who had created a basic rapport to see if they would speak to me again. Each trainer recognised me, remember my name, my goals and something about ME, this was very positive for them. This second meeting was different from the first because each had already established good rapport and each trainer this time went on not only to give more great advice but then follow up by offering the benefits of training with them – Essentially they then tried to sell me THEMSELVES rather than selling me a PT product.

I let them down gently by explaining I was a trainer, but regardless of that fact if I wasn’t a trainer myself I would most certainly have booked some training with each of them.

Can you tell me the key points from those small stories?

Don’t worry if you can’t because here they are:

– Each successful trainer took an interest in my individuality.
– I was made to feel comfortable.
– They didn’t try and sell on the first meeting.
– None of them put my form down, they only offered to give me more info to help me achieve MY goal.
– Every good trainer sold me THEMSELVES – People buy people, not products.

The main thing was they created RAPPORT.

Rapport is ease to build, you simple have to be genuinely interested in people to do it and as a result you will find you gain more clients.

There are various books on the skills on creating rapport that can explain if far better than I can, all you need do is go to a book store or throw a search in to the old google monster to learn more.

*I suggest you learn as much as you can about this.

I will say this once more: People buy people, not products.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

I have covered two common problems so far, both were based around your overall business plan and model, today’s is no different :).

If you are stuck on any of the following read on:

– Unsure of how to set up package deals
– Unsure of the right prices for packages

So how much do you charge for a single session or a block?

The answer is a simple one, here’s advice on how to establish your prices.

Mistake Number 3: Inconsistent Pricing.

Keeping your prices for single sessions & packages simple is key for success.

Knowing how much to charge as a new P.T is a tricky subject because of any rival P.T’s. Overprice and you could limit the amount of people able to afford your services, Undercharge and you risk people not valuing your skills and knowledge.

To establish what your price is for 1 session look at other trainers in your gym, it is also worth checking online for surrounding local gyms, mobile P.T’s and online trainers to gauge their prices.

Once you have done this it will allow you to check what the competition charges and why, this can be because of more experience or an entirely different niche. Take all of this in to account.

After taking some time to find all of this data out I would advise working out the average cost (the middle ground), using this price will make it affordable yet still valuable.

Once you have done this you should have a good idea of what to charge.

Here is an example:

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The optimal price for a single session could be £35. This is now your minimum price per single session you will ideally want to achieve. From this number you can now establish you prices for all of your packages/services.

*Single sessions bring more instant cash but it is the block bookings that will keep you in business, always aim to have a client take a block. They must be appealing and offer a multitude of benefits.

Here is a basic list of what you could offer in each block session:

– Discounts for large block bookings – Block of 5 £150 = £30 per session – Block of 10 £250 = £25 per session.
– Free Program
– Nutrition Advice
– Before/After Stats
– Priority Booking
– Online Support (if applicable)
– Referral Discount/Offers
– Free Merchandise

Once you set these prices do not lower them just to get business.

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I touched on this in the first post, but I didn’t explain how to establish what YOU should charge even though ultimately it is down to you, I would urge you not to undersell yourself.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

Yesterday we highlighted one of the most common mistakes made by trainers – Not having a business plan.

While not having a business plan is a not ideal, not having a niche is even worse.

Before you venture out into the wide world of Personal Training you need to know what your business actually is.

Ask yourself this question: What is my Niche?

If you can answer this then you have no need to read this post, but if you can’t please keep reading.

Mistake Number 2: Everything to Everyone.

Your Niche will set you apart from other potential trainers and is specific to you.

– Have you come from a sporting background?
– Maybe you spent many years training hard to improve your overall aesthetic look?
– Perhaps strongman is your sport?

Which ever background you have come from can form a great base for your Niche, not only will you have in-depth knowledge in the subject, but you will also have proof of your own personal results. That way you will be the person people think of when they are looking specifically to achieve a similar goal.

For example you could decide your niche is Body Composition – you specialise in getting people the look/body they want. Once you have established what you feel your niche is you can being putting together your business.

For Example lets use Body Composition as your niche.

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Once you know what your business niche is, you now need the name of your business. There are two things you want to remember when deciding on your name:

1 – It must be easy to remember.
2 – It must convey what your business is about.

Ok, it is easy for me to say that you need an eye catching name that will cause people to think of you when they are talking, but deciding on the name itself however is never easy.

*Take your time, write down several possibilities and ask people which is more appealing. Preferably you will want to ask people who don’t know you.

For this example we shall use: Better Bodies.

After establishing what your niche & business name is I would advise you do these two things:

1- Write down a Mission Statement (keep it to a short simple line that catches people attention).
2- Write a small paragraph about what you do and what you can offer. This will help you convey what your business is about.

These will become very important for your marketing purposes, websites, social media etc.

Here are a couple of style ideas for your consideration:

Mission Statement:

Achieving the body you want through simple and effective Fat Loss methods.

Or

Using Strength & Conditioning to achieve the body you’ve always wanted.

Both are short, concise and don’t leave much room for misunderstanding.

Ok so your mission statement is sorted. It’s time for a brief paragraph on what you do and how you do it. Again, if you can keep it short and to the point you will have more chance of attracting the right clients.

Below is an idea of the length and style of content needed.

Opening Paragraph:

– Are you looking to lose fat and get a lean physique?
– Don’t think you can do it on your own?

Better Bodies can help you achieve the body you want.

We offer a unique style of Strength & Conditioning based training that burns fat and gets your results fast!

Why not book a consultation to establish your goals and put any doubts you have at ease?

Call now to book your consultation.

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These simple yet often overlooked things are what will hook people into the idea of your business, but once a person enquires it is down to you to sell not only your business but also yourself. This is because people buy people, not training.

Try not to make the mistake of being everything to everyone, because you will end up being of no use to anyone.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Mistakes Personal Trainers Make

It is easy to unknowingly make mistakes that leave you wondering what you did wrong.

Do you:

– Struggle to find new clients?
– Never find the right words to secure new business?
– Become scared at the thought of talking to new people?
– Feel that you’re not good enough?
– Lack confidence?
– Fear rejection?

Ok the last one was a bit deep, but it’s all relevant.

Being a personal trainer for over 10 years there are very few mistakes I haven’t made, some were minor and others cost me dearly. There were times when I was really low, no I mean REALLY low. I almost gave up and even thought of getting a secondary job for supplementary income, but I chose to get my ass in gear, understand what I was doing wrong and learn what I was missing.

These next 10 articles I will highlight the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

As a result you will:

– Gain new clients.
– Earn more Money.
– Build confidence.

Most importantly, you will be much happier in your job.

Mistake Number 1: Planning to Fail.

It is not out of the question for a trainer to be told that they require a solid Business Plan, many agree it is a vital part of their business just like any other, but few ever actually sit down and write one and this is their first mistake and can can ultimately be their last too.

Failing to have a sensible, sustainable business plan can leave you wandering around like a lost sheep .

First things first. How much do you want to earn? Or rather how much do you NEED to earn to avoid financial trouble?

Here is an example.

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For simplicities sake we are going to say you need £800 a month but would like to earn £1000 a month. While this is not unrealistic you still need a plan on how you’re going to achieve it.

Here is an example price list we can work from:

Single Session (PT, Nutrition, Program etc.) – £30
Block of 4 Sessions (1 p/w) – £110
Block of 8 Sessions (2 p/w) – £200

Using the prices we have you will need either 33 single sessions per month to cover your requirements, but that is hard work.

How many 4 block sessions will you need? 9 this seems a lot more achievable doesn’t it?

Lastly you will need 5 8 block sessions to hit your goal.

Once you know how you can achieve your financial target it is a simple case of finding the clients… Or is it?

Bearing in mind that on average (From my experience.) out of every 10 people you speak to 1 of the will be interested in some form of training, be that a single session or a block, once you find these people it is down to you to make them feel comfortable/inspired enough to uptake your services.

Using the large block we need only 5 people, this means you will need to speak to 50 people in total to have the potential to achieve this.

Time to get chatting. 🙂

A useful little tip is to know when your gym is busiest, that way you will be able to speak to more people in a shorter space of time.

Work Smart, not hard.

*It is worth nothing that sometimes you may even get 1 in 5 people, but this depends on your experience and ability to build RAPPORT. I will Speak about rapport in more details another time.

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Now considering the example I have just given you you can see there is a lot of benefit in sitting down a planning out what you want to achieve and what you need to achieve. Admittedly there is a lot more that goes in to a business plan, but for now stick with the basics.

This will help you establish what you need to earn, how many people you need to speak to and how many sessions/blocks you will need to sell.

I know there will be some of you reading this who are thinking “What if I don’t sell a block?” or “What if the client doesn’t want more than one session?” I applaud you because you’re starting to think about the business aspect.

I will cover many more mistakes in the days to come, but for the moment focus on this one.

*Please feel free to message me personally if you have any questions about business plans.

Enjoy
Ross

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