People around the world are more concerned than ever about their health and wellness.
With people waking up to epidemics in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems, more and more people are joining gyms, taking classes and paying attention to their health and fitness.
Whether they’re 18 or 80, when they decide to make the switch to a fitness lifestyle, they’re going to need someone to show them the ropes. This is where you come in.
You’ll be excited to know that this is one of the biggest business sectors in the world, and thanks to some neat technology you’ll have many more business opportunities than the fitness instructors of yesteryear.
Step 1: Get Licensed
It won’t take long, but it is absolutely essential that you get a license to become a fitness instructor if you are going to help people train locally. In any business where there is a risk of injury, it is both only ethical and also wise to have a professional certification. People are going to be depending on you, and you need to know what you’re doing.
Becoming a qualified fitness instructor can take as little as 6 months. Here are some accredited bodies which offer courses:
ACE – The American Council on Exercise offer several courses and certificates from personal training to health coaching.
NASM – The National Academy on Sports Medicine offer accredited courses in personal training and sports therapy.
NSCA – The National Strength and Conditioning Association offer courses focused on fitness and strength training.
Once you are qualified, it’s time to think business.
Step 2: Decide if You Want to Open a Gym
Gyms do not have to be multi-million dollar investments with swimming pools, saunas, spas and tennis courts. Gyms can be just a 100m square room, some mirrors, some free weights, and a coach (you).
You’ll have to decide if you want to open a gym, train people at home or in a 3rd party location, or both.
If you decide to open a gym you need to find a suitable location. Consider the following:
The size of the gym. If you’re a strength and conditioning coach in a one-on-one setting you won’t need much space. If you’re training an entire football team three times a week, however, you may need a bigger place.
Consider what size of a place is realistic based on your budget, the equipment you will need, and the kind of client you are aiming to cater to. Bodybuilders are very different people from long distance runners and require a very different gym.
Parking & facilities. Don’t overlook this, because most people will come to your gym either before or after work. If they can’t park, they won’t come. You may have to secure parking for your clients and this may be an extra expense. Also, consider that many athletes want to eat immediately after training, so it may be a business opportunity for you to add on a kitchen or locate yourself near to a cafe and work out a deal with them.
Distance from the population center. The closer you are, the better. It’s a known fact in the fitness community that the hardest part about going to the gym is actually going. The workout is easy compared to making yourself get up and go there. Make it as easy as possible for as many people as you can to both find you and keep coming back.
If opening a gym is not within your budget or plan, consider where you’re going to train people. Look at all the above factors and pick a venue. Existing gyms will take a cut of your profits, so be sure to shop around. Community centers and the great outdoors can also work.
Step 3: Help People Find You
You’re going to need a website and social to run a successful gym or fitness training service. This will both help retain current clients and attract new ones.
How so? If you feature an impressive before and after photo of a client who has achieved their fitness goals standing with you in your gym, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? You guessed it – they share it with everyone they know!
Just by doing your job and helping your clients achieve their goals, you are creating potent marketing material which will bring in new clients.
You also want to include a map and possibly even a 3D tour of your gym on the site if possible.
Step 4: Branch Out & Consult
Once you have an impressive website and social media presence, it’s time to go fishing in the big pond – yes, we mean globally!
Thanks to the power of the internet you can consult with anyone in the world through digital communication. You could charge by the hour to advise clients on anything from exercise and nutrition to sports psychology and preparing for events or dealing with losses. You can do it all via video chat clients like Skype, Viber, and Line.
To attract new clients, consider writing weekly blog posts on your area of expertise. You’ll be amazed how many people find you through Google, Bing & Facebook.
Once you get your first few clients word of mouth will bring in more. Many fitness instructors even sell merchandise like Ebooks, video tutorial courses and diet plans directly through their website for extra income.
Summary: How to start a fitness instructor business
There are 32,000 established fitness clubs in the USA alone, and many more worldwide. This industry rakes in over $25,000,000,000 in gym, fitness club and sports club memberships alone.
Clearly, with growing concern over health and fitness worldwide and a change in attitude toward a healthier lifestyle by an ever growing number of people, there’s never been a better time to become a health & fitness consultant or instructor.