Running a personal training studio is a hairy business

Running a personal training studio is a hairy business

Running a Personal Training Studio is a hairy business.  Even though I’m all for trainers starting their own training practices, that DOESN’T always mean opening a training studio.

Training studios are a completely different animal, with their own set of rules and circumstances that can BREAK a trainer that isn’t prepared for them.

But on the bright side, if you know training inside and out, opening a training studio can be a good type of business for you to start.  Since you’re already very familiar with the “product”, it’s make-up, and it’s consumption, all that’s left for you to do is market and sell the friggin’ thing!

I’ve written about the “reality check” side of this numerous times on the blog, for other publications, and in the SIX-FIGURE TRAINER MANUAL.  But I got to thinking about the subject again recently because of a question I got from a reader, who seems to be facing challenges with this across the board:


Kaiser, I own a private personal training studio in an elite area of Dallas/Ft.Worth Texas. I am wanting to get about 4 good, motivated trainers in here to take advantage of the amazing facility I have put my neck on the line for. I have read a ton about how to get into a place like I have, but how do I do the opposite? Get the trainers in here? I have one guy, but he doesn’t seem too motivated. He currently trains 4 sessions a week! Would love some advice. Thank you.


– Kyle


Hey Kyle – yeah, you’ve got a good point; we’re always talking about how trainers should find a good place to train out of – but you don’t have anyone that wants to use your place!

In either case, you’ve got a marketing issue – you need to get the word out – but here’s the problem …

Having your business depend on OTHER trainers is building on shaky ground

If your business DEPENDS on finding motivated, entrepreneurial trainers that want to go out there, get business, and service it out of your place and pay you to do it, you may be setting yourself up for trouble.

Although I know trainers that do this, you’re making yourself dependent on outside factors, that being the marketing ability of other trainers.  And that’s not a group I would count on.

The fact is that the majority of trainers today are not motivated and entrepreneurial.  That’s one of the reasons why people that actually do have a clue, like the readers of this blog, can pick up and start doing so well immediately.

That being said, it’s going to be up to you do bring the booties into the building.  You can then simply find good, honest trainers that are looking for an opportunity to service them.  Your business should not rely on the skills of your trainers.

And it should not rely on you training the clients either …

It should rely on you attracting high quality leads, converting them into long term clients, and making sure they’re serviced in a high quality way that ensure their retention and referrals.

This is hard work, but this puts the ball totally in your court.  It makes every step of the success dependent on you, which gives you much more control.  If you get the right things done, the money will start to pour up.

Does this guy look like a trainer? No.  If you own a training business, neither are you.

Does this guy look like a trainer? No. If you own a training business, neither are you.

So the first thing to understand is that you are now an operator and marketer, not a trainer anymore.  If you do any training at all, it should be large group sessions with the help of assistants, during your peak hours.  I would look to fill your gym with 10 clients paying top rates during each of these hours.  Then you and the four other trainers can service these ten clients.  One of the clients rates should cover the salary for your entire staff.  That leaves the other 9 clients as profit.

That is the only way you should conduct your sessions.  This will also give you the opportunity to train your staff to your methods.  You can then allow them to train clients during off peak times.  As long as they are honest and positive people, you can teach them on the rest.

Remember to view training as your PRODUCT now.  One guy that I know that does this extremely well is Dave Parise, who runs a very successful training business.  Dave constantly looks after the quality of his product, ie. the training, but this is still a “business” move.

Just one thing to make sure of when you are screening new employees is that they are NON-ENTREPRENEURIAL.  The first hint that you get that they are entrepreneurial, let them go, since you’ll essentially be training your competition, and someone that will be stealing away your members (this is the opposite of trainers that you’d want to rent space from you, who you would need to be highly entrepreneurial).

And the rest of your time should be spent on public relations and marketing.  Become the face of your business and become active in the local media. Start with the small time local papers and work your way up to the big ones, as well as television.

Work to actively get referrals from existing clients.  And use the traditional advertising vehicles and the internet to advertise your services.  If your business is set up properly, you will be able to “spend” on advertising, since every new client that comes in will add to the net.

Now if you wanted to open a trainer’s gym, which it sounds like from your question, that’s a little different, but it’s still a marketing problem.  You’d have to get the word out to all of the local trainers that your place was a good place to train their clients out of.  You may still be able to make this another income channel for your business, even if you’re doing your own marketing and running your own staff.

Hope that gave you a little perspective Kyle.  Like I said, this is a deep issue and a hairy business, but once you realize that it is BUSINESS and not about training anymore, you’re already a long way toward making it work (the irony is that TRAINING is the business – HAIRY).

And here’s a link to an article I wrote for PFP magazine not too long ago about the economics of running a training business:

Welcome To Personal Finance 101: Are Your Bringing In The Money That You Deserve?

by Kaiser Serajuddin


Want more articles on running a training business?  Then check these out:

Jessica’s Storm’s Personal Training Business

Billy Polson’s Personal Training Business

Mike Boyle’s Personal Training Business

And what did you think?  Leave your comments below: