By, Yvette Nevrkla, author of the PT Business Gym
Have you ever wondered why there are some personal trainers out there with hugely successful businesses but many more who are seriously struggling to make it work? Would you love to discover the business steps that the most successful personal trainers out there today are applying so that you can start building the foundations for your own successful personal training business?
Below are seven of the biggest mistakes that personal trainers make; mistakes that limit the flow of clients, limit your income, limit your freedom and make the challenge of building a successful business out of personal training far greater than it needs to be.
1. Trying to be a Personal Trainer for Everyone
The majority of personal trainers think they need and want to serve everyone and anyone but the truth is that no successful business does this. It’s rare to find a personal trainer who has really defined their place in the market. When you research the personal trainer websites, it’s impossible to tell the difference between one trainer and another. This makes it impossible for potential clients to identify the right professional for them. Failure to define your place within the market makes building a strong foundation for your business very difficult. Get it right and you have the first key to creating a steady stream of clients.
2. Failing to Think With a Business Mindset
Are you thinking like a person who owns a business or as a self employed personal trainer? It’s sometimes easier to think and behave like an employed service professional and to be led by your club and the industry. But by doing this you end up doing a job rather than building a business. You end up being led rather than leading; controlled rather than being in control of your own destiny. If you want to build a successful business you need to start thinking like a business owner and start doing the things that successful business owners do. It’s time to start thinking differently about your roles within your business. It’s time to start working on your business as well as in it.
3. No Clear Vision or Goals and No Business Plan
Without a clear vision and a set of goals to work towards how can you develop a business plan or make effective decisions regarding your business? How can you find the energy, motivation and courage to move out of your comfort zone, to overcome the challenges and do whatever it takes to make your business successful if you aren’t clear about what it’s all for? If you haven’t spent time working out what your vision is for yourself and your business, then do it now.
4. Following the Crowd
Sadly, there are large numbers of qualified personal trainers who find it so difficult to get started that they become disillusioned with the profession and feel forced to give up and go back to a job. One of the challenges is to find the business resources and support that will help you to do what you want to do. It’s quite normal to look around at what your colleagues are doing and copy that in the hope that this will be the road to your success.
However, I urge you to choose your role models more carefully. Just because your fellow personal trainers are moving in a particular direction doesn’t mean that you have to follow. You could be following them on a path to frustration and failure. This goes back to getting clear on your vision for your business. Don’t judge what’s possible by what you see around you, unless of course what’s around you is exactly what you want!
5. Generic and Egocentric Marketing
Just like the websites tend to look and sound very similar, so do the other marketing tools; the leaflets, adverts and business cards. If you’re trying to appeal to everyone out there then it’s impossible for you to create promotional materials that speak effectively to anyone in particular. Another common mistake is to make your marketing all about you, your qualifications, skills and services. But this isn’t what clients want to hear. They are interested in one thing: finding solutions to their painful problems. They want to know that you understand their problem and that you can offer the solution and the benefits they are looking for.
6. Operating a One-Stop Sales Process
Expecting individuals to go from stranger to full paying client in one step is a risky strategy if your aim is to build a steady flow of ideal, high paying clients. This strategy results in a lot of rejections, low prices as well as leaving a considerable amount of money on the table. Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust. Achieving this in one step is a tall order.
7. Trying to Build a Successful Business on Your Own
Nobody builds a successful business on their own, just ask any successful business owner. They don’t underestimate the challenges and obstacles ahead. Failing to build professional networks and valuable personal and professional relationships leaves you isolated and missing out on a wealth of opportunities, not to mention a wealth of clients. The contribution of others to your career and your business can be worth its weight in gold, stimulating and energizing you beyond anything you can muster on your own. Every successful business person has invested in resources and built networks in order to learn, develop, create accountability and stand upon the shoulders of those who’ve gone before.
Your clients invest in you to ensure their success. What resources will you invest in?
A top tip from one business owner to another:
Never stop learning. Whatever you know now, there is always much, much more.
Yvette Nevrkla is author of The PT Business Gym book and founder of The PT Business Gym; a business that offers business building resources and support for personal trainers. If you’ve got big plans and aspirations for your PT business then visit www.theptbusinessgym.com where you can download a copy of my FREE Report on The Ten Mistakes That Personal Trainers Make.