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Starting Your Own Business in the Fitness Industry–A Guide

In the past decade, people’s attitude towards fitness has changed. Almost everyone these days is involved in some form of fitness to keep themselves in top shape. As a result, the fitness industry has grown quite a lot. Many new businesses are thriving and offering custom services to clients. Despite COVID, the global health industry is projected to grow steadily in the coming years.

This gives perspective to certified personal trainers who wish to start their own fitness business. But starting a business is easier said than done. There are a lot of key factors that need consideration to build a successful business. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Do Your Research

As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to do a lot more work than regular businesses to get your idea off the ground. This means lots of extensive research, looking up niches, and predicting the next popular trends. Luckily for you, a lot of information will be available on the internet. You can look up business reports of already established companies to understand the industry trends.

Aside from that, you’ll need to figure out the legal stuff that needs to be taken care of before you can start your business—for example, registration, bank accounts, and investments. If you’ve got the finance, you can hire a financial advisor to help you set aside budgets and plan your business.

If not, you can make use of the countless free sources on the internet to help you out. Keep in mind that the free sources are usually generic. If you want a customized plan, you’ll need to spend some money.

Identify Your Target Market And Get Certifications

The first thing you need to do is figure out your target market. Even in the fitness industry, there are a lot of specific certifications and services that clients look for. This is why it’s important to determine where the majority of your clients would come from. You’ll need to take your qualifications into considerations as well because you can’t offer medical fitness services if you’re only registered as a personal trainer.

If you want to make your mark in an upcoming niche, you’ll need to enroll in courses and get the relevant certifications. On the other hand, you can hire people if you want to capture an upcoming niche. Another thing to keep in mind is the licenses. A lot of fitness niches these days require licenses in addition to proper certifications. For example, in the field of medical fitness and senior fitness, you’ll need the Medical Fitness Facility Certification before you operate your own facility.

Identify Your Competition

This is the most important thing a lot of new entrepreneurs forget is to research their competitors. For wellness and fitness businesses, the one main advantage is that if the competition isn’t in your area, you can somewhat ignore them. If you’re going to be an in-person business, your competition will be the businesses operating in your area that cover the same niche as you. But as we all know, after Covid, everyone is rushing to gain a dedicated online presence. AS a result, your competition can come from anywhere in the country.

You’ll need to study their business model and understand how you can compete against them and create a better service. For example, if your business will offer hybrid training sessions while the competition only has online sessions, you can gain leverage by marketing to the local customers. Or you can offer personalized services that will give clients better results at the same time. The options are many, but it all depends on your approach and business plan.

Create A Business Plan

After doing your market and competitor research, the next step is to develop a business plan to put your findings into action. Business plans essentially follow the same pattern regardless of the nature of the business. These plans are extensive and involve in-depth market research, competitor’s services and analysis, plan for marketing your services, plan for deriving sales, and financial projections. You need to describe all of the mentioned things in great detail so that potential investors will take you seriously.

This is especially important if this is your first business venture and you don’t have any prior experience in setting up or running a business. Because investors only invest their money when they find someone serious and credible, which is difficult if you’re starting out. These metrics and in-depth industry research would strengthen your case, and the financial projections would ensure the investors that your business will thrive in the long run.

Invest In A Good Insurance Policy

Now that you’ve got the basic things done, you’ll need to start worrying about how you’ll offer the services and where you would offer them. For example, if your business provides offline training, you’ll need a facility that can accommodate clients and has the relevant equipment. As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to purchase such a facility unless you’ve got a lot of money. Instead, you’ll need to lease it for a period of time. Even with the lease, you’ll need a financial guarantor that’ll take responsibility if you’re late on your payments.

For that, you’ll need liability insurance. This insurance will help you protect your personal assets from the business ones in case your business runs into issues. It’ll keep you from going into debt and losing your personal assets. Many companies offer liability insurance plans at an affordable rate. But don’t go for the one that’s the cheapest; contact a few companies and go through their quotes. Figure out which one’s the best option for you, even if it’s a bit pricey.

After that, you’ll need to figure out the insurance of your equipment in case there’s an accident. Gym equipment costs a lot, especially if they’re some specialized medical equipment, and often clients are not careful with their usage and can damage such equipment. You can’t blame the clients as it will show poorly on your business ethics. The next best thing is to get the equipment insured. That way, if there’s an accident, the insurance company will pay for the damages.

Get An Employer Identification Number (ENI)

In order to file taxes and avoid penalties, you’ll need an ENI. ENI is also useful in opening a bank account in your business’s name, taking out loans, speeding up the process, and establishing credit for the business. The ENI can be obtained online by registering through the IRS. After registration, you’ll get your Employer Identification Number within minutes. Keep in mind that if your business is owned solely by you, you won’t be required to get the ENI.

However, if you’re opening your business with partnerships, then you’re legally required to obtain an ENI. Even if your business is operating as a sole proprietorship, it’s a good idea to get an ENI number for the benefits mentioned above. It’ll also help you establish your business as a separate entity and make it easier for you to expand it.

Have An Interactive Website

The first step in giving your business a face has a website. Many new business owners go through all the legal stuff and don’t pay much attention to having an online presence. Everything these days is online; if potential clients want to find a fitness training service, the first thing they’ll do is look online.

If you don’t have a website, chances are you’ll lose good business. An important thing in creating a website is to make it interactive and user-friendly. Many businesses fail to get customers because their website is cluttered, and there’s no proper information regarding their services. These businesses only focus on getting their contact information out so clients can reach them.

You have to understand the dynamic of how things work these days; people want to know as much as they can about a business before they set up an appointment. Meaning, putting out your contact information won’t do your business any good. Instead, try showing your services with descriptions, pictures, and videos to give the clients an understanding of your business. That way, clients will be compelled to get in touch with you, and you’re more likely to get business.

Install The Right Equipment

If you decide to market yourself as an in-person or hybrid trainer, you’ll need to invest in some workout equipment to facilitate your clients. The equipment you’ll need will depend on your services. For example, if you’re offering yoga classes in the park, you’ll need to make sure that all your clients have a yoga mat and relevant yoga equipment like an exercise ball or a resistance band. Having equipment will also make a good impression on the clients, and they’ll consider your services more credible, which is what you need to spread word of mouth to other potential customers.

Similarly, if you’re gearing up to launch a full-blown gym service, you’ll need proper weights, treadmills, stationary bicycles and other exercise equipment that satisfies the needs of all of your clients. Besides getting the equipment, you’ll need to get it insured. Be sure to look up different insurance policies for different pieces of equipment. If the equipment is for medical use, it’ll be a lot harder to repair in case of any damages. So you’ll need to select the policy carefully.

Invest In Online Training Platforms

Being an in-person only or online only trainer will limit your clients. What you need is to offer both services so you can reach local as well as out-of-city clients. But with online programs, you’ll need to do extra research. How will your programs run? Will you offer a bundled-up program for a fixed price, or will your sessions be interactive and delivered through an online learning system?

If you choose the latter, you’ll need to invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver your lessons and track your client’s progress. On top of that, you’ll need to develop a proper interface so your clients can signup and use the LMS easily.

Brand Image And Marketing

For an online business, brand image is the most important thing. You may have noticed that many brands have great products and services, yet they fail to gain many customers. While some have mediocre services but a high influx of clients. That’s all in the brand image. The more your market your service, the more audience you’ll reach. But it isn’t just about marketing; you’ll need the audience to relate with you. For that, you’ll need to make demographic-specific campaigns to get the attention of the audience.

Social media is a great way to reach youngsters and young adults, but what about the older population? Well, some of them use social media, while some of them don’t. So, you’ll need to employ new and old-school marketing tactics to reach them. This means extensive social media marketing as well as email marketing.

Expand Your Expertise

This step comes a little later. Once you’ve established a sizable clientele, you’ll need to expand your services to get more clients and keep the existing ones interested. There is two way to do this; one, you can enroll in other certifications like a medical or senior fitness course, like the ones offered by W.I.T.S. Education and become a certified instructor in these fields. Or you can hire more crew members to give more personalized training. For an online business, it’s easy for you to get further certifications and expand your services.

However, for in-person training, that’s next to impossible. You’ll have new clients and existing ones coming in expecting personal training. You won’t be able to do this alone, so in this scenario, it’s better to hire more experts.

Are you looking for a certification that’ll help you manage your fitness training business? Take a look at W.I.T.S. Education’s Fitness Management Course. This course is specifically designed for people who wish to run their own business in the fitness industry. Besides that, at W.I.T.S., we offer many courses related to fitness training such as Personal Training Course, Health Management Course, and Senior Fitness Course. Each of our courses is designed keeping in mind the latest developments in the industry. Check out our top courses.

Apart from that, college students can take advantage of our NCCA accreditation system and earn credits for their courses toward their college degrees. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us.

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10 Training Courses and Specializations To Focus On As a Personal Trainer

Exercise equipment in pink

To stay relevant in the fitness industry, one has to keep up with the client’s requirements and the changes in the industry. Personal trainers are at a higher risk of losing clients if they don’t attain the latest qualifications. That’s mainly because a lot of clients like to try the latest fitness trends. When Pilates workout routines went viral on social media, many people jumped on the trend and hired professionals to help them get started.

The same goes for every trend in the fitness industry. Clients want dynamic trainers that can handle all of their needs. While learning complex forms of workouts like Pilates isn’t easy for busy trainers, they can expand their expertise beyond regular fitness training by taking courses and specializations that give them more credibility.

Here are some of the courses you can take as a personal trainer to grow your business and gain more clients.

 

Who Is a Personal Trainer?

In simple terms, personal trainers are instructors that help people accomplish their health and fitness goals. Trainers are responsible for designing exercises and fitness programs such as workout routines, understand nutritional choices and helping clients set long-term fitness goals. These goals are there to help clients become better versions of themselves physically. These goals can be related to weight loss, muscle gain, toning, strength training, and health management.

The reason people prefer personal trainers is because trainers can pay attention to the individual needs of a client and develop fitness plans based on their strengths and weaknesses. All of this makes it easier for clients to achieve their fitness goals which would not have been possible without trainers. Moreover, trainers plan routines based on their client’s needs.

Some clients are fitness enthusiasts who need extra training, while some need basic exercises to help them get started. Commonly, personal trainers can incorporate different exercises in their planned routines. On the other hand, some trainers are specialists, such as bodybuilding specialists or sports nutritionists, who only work within their field.

A group of people working out

The Benefits Of Getting Specializations

Getting specializations in new fields of personal training opens many doors of opportunities for personal trainers. You’ll be able to offer various services to your clients, turning first-time clients into loyal customers.

For example, if you specialize in nutrition, you can assist clients with specific dietary requirements. This makes it easier for you to cater to clients with different medical and nutritional needs. Apart from that, you’ll also get a better salary, because people generally pay more for specialized services.

Knowing multiple forms of workouts enables you to create routines for your clients, mixing different forms of exercises. This is especially helpful for senior clients and those with special medical needs. Similarly, you may be approached by athletes to either train them to help them maintain their strength through nutrition or performance enhancement workout routines.

 

Some Popular Courses and Specializations

The fitness industry is quite broad and diverse, meaning there’s a specialization course for everything. Depending on your background, you can go for medical fitness and nutrition, or if you’re into weight loss, you can specialize in training and toning programs designed to help clients lose weight healthily. Or you can help bodybuilders and enthusiasts with weight training and core strengthening exercises.

In a nutshell, there are countless specializations and specializations within them to help you move forward in your career. Here’s a list of some of the most common and general courses you can enroll in.

Group Fitness Instructor Course

For some clients, the idea of working with a group of people with similar goals seem to be more appealing. It helps them interact with others and feel less insecure about their current fitness state. As a result, these clients hire group exercise trainers. This is because they monitor individual progress and performance and plan exercises that fit each member’s needs. Group exercises can include regular fitness workouts to yoga, and Pilates.

You may ask why you need certification to train a group when you already know the exercise? Managing a personal trainer group is different from simply getting a few people to exercise together. Trainers need to learn how to monitor individual members’ health, progress and figure out how to incorporate new exercises that help everyone.

A laptop with a website's login page

Weight Loss Specialization Course

Social media and influencer culture motivate people to lead a healthier lifestyle. This includes losing weight and slimming down, but most people don’t know how to lose weight healthily and resort to poor dietary and eating habits that harm their health and do nothing to help them lose weight. Connecting with Registered Dieticians with a degree speciality can help these clients lose weight while staying healthy.

These trainers are educated on different aspects of weight loss, such as the client’s health, diet, B.M.I. ratio, and ideal body weight. These aspects help them design nutritional plans while considering the medications and such for their clients. The result is that helps them lose fat and build their muscles.

Health and Nutrition Course

Health and nutrition courses use a holistic approach to help different clients attain a better lifestyle. The course teaches trainers how to improve and change their client’s nutritional habits and compel them to make better and healthier choices. These training lessons are also great for trainers dealing with clients with chronic health issues or allergies. These trainers ensure that their clients incorporate healthy eating and workout habits into their lifestyles. Sometimes, they work in the capacity of wellness coaches to help their clients achieve a healthier body and mind.

Corrective Exercise Specialization Course

Injuries that result in bad body and muscle movements require trainers that can help correct these defects. These trainers need a deep understanding of anatomy to apply the right techniques to fix their client’s movements and imbalances. As a trainer, you’ll need to assess the health and extent of movement of your client and develop exercises and stretching techniques that help them relieve pain and improve their condition.

These exercises improve the client’s mobility and posture.

A person on a weighing scale

Bodybuilding Specialization Course

Bodybuilding is one of the most popular fields in the fitness industry after weight loss. In the past, bodybuilding was mainly preferred by males, but women have taken a keen interest in the mainstream bodybuilding industry. A lot of trainers get female clients, but the problem is that they need different training and diet to build muscles.

As a result, many institutes have developed courses that help trainers give the best training to male and female bodybuilders, keeping in mind their physical requirements. Bodybuilding specialists are in high demand because there are a lot of risks involved in achieving the desired muscle mass.

Youth Fitness Specialization

If you like working out with kids or are interested in improving children’s health, then this specialization might be for you. Children are at a higher risk of developing health and fitness issues that stop them from living their lives to the fullest. The number one emerging issue with today’s youth is obesity. Early-stage obesity in children can cause many lifelong adverse effects on their health.

However, the main issue with kids is that they need a dynamic approach. The one size fits all formula doesn’t apply to them. Their growth and health are different from each other, and that’s why youth fitness instructors are trained to understand these things and improve children’s health.

Senior Fitness Specialization

Just like kids, seniors also need customized fitness and health care depending on their unique needs. Senior fitness is an emerging market dedicated to keeping the aging population healthier and more active. Many senior people have started to join gyms to remain healthy.

However, the problem is that most gyms are not equipped with the proper tools to help them. Senior fitness trainers can help the older population remain fit by assigning them modified exercises that benefit their health. They need to make sure that the exercise doesn’t cause heart or blood pressure issues in seniors or any further health problems.

A kid working out

Strength Conditioning Specialization

This area of specialization is mostly preferred by athletes and serious sports and fitness enthusiasts, the kind of people that want to improve their strength and performance. While the market for this specialization is still developing, the trainers get a handsome payout for their services. A lot of pro sports companies hire these trainers to train their athletes and help them deliver peak performance through constant exercising and training.

That’s not all! Many personal trainers serve as strength conditioning coaches for people as well. These are the people who want to increase their mass muscle ratio without considering bodybuilding and weight training. So endurance and strength conditioning is their next best option.

Fitness Management Course

A fitness management course like the one offered by W.I.T.S. Education is a great way for a trainer to expand their business and manage their employees. This course is for those who don’t want to do all the training by themselves, but rather by hiring fitness specialists.

Other than that, lots of gyms and fitness institutes have many branches that need management. Fitness managers can work at those places as well. They work behind the scenes to ensure that all the operations run smoothly and their clients are satisfied with the services. These managers also deal with any mishaps and issues between the clients and trainers. Fitness managers are also responsible for hiring new trainers and handling client registrations.

Sports and Exercise Nutritionist Course

Sports nutrition is a field that has gained a lot of traction in the past few years. Sports nutritionists are in great demand, especially by agencies managing pro sports athletes. Each athlete needs a specialized diet to fulfill their calorie requirements. But the issue is that each type of sport has different dietary requirements, and nutritionists must understand them and then devise diet plans.

As a sports nutritionist, you’ll get a chance to work with and train many top and upcoming athletes to ensure that they stay in their best shape and form for their tournaments. Since this is a relatively new field, the pay for being a nutritionist is quite high.

Vegetables on a cutting board

 

Work Opportunities For a Personal Trainer After Specialization

Personal trainers with multiple specializations can work in different settings to train their clients. The more specializations a trainer has, the more diverse their line of work becomes. Normally, beginner trainers start out as apprentices to already established trainers. They work in their institutes and gyms to train their clients and gain further experience.

Once they have a bit of experience, they can start taking up bigger responsibilities or can start working on their own. These days, personal trainers are taking advantage of the internet and offering online and in-person lessons to their clients all over the world.

Sometimes, personal trainers can work as specialists and coaches depending on their specializations. For example, there’s a dire need for medical fitness to keep athletes in top shape, and senior fitness experts are also high in demand to help keep them active.

Recently, youth fitness has become an emerging field for trainers as well. Due to the popularity of social media and the influencer culture, lots of people are hiring personal trainers to help them attain toned bodies like their favorite influencers. All of these things give trainers many opportunities to make their mark in the fitness world and generate a steady source of income.

Are you struggling to find reliable courses to further your career in the fitness industry? Check out W.I.T.S. Education.

We are a fitness training institute that offers a number of courses related to health, fitness, and management. Our courses include Certified Personal Trainer Course, Youth Fitness Course, Group Exercise Instructor Course, and Fitness Management course. Each course is specifically designed to give you the necessary skills as well as to keep you updated with the latest developments in the fitness world.

The best thing about our courses is that they are hybrid in nature. You can take virtual ‘LIVE’ lessons as well as in-personal training labs. For college students, our N.C.C.A. accreditation system allows them to transfer credits from the course to their degree program.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.

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Social Media Trends for Personal Trainers to Try in 2022

Fitness trainers are professionals who need to keep up with their social media presence and content to be more accessible, relatable, and of course, generate traction for their business and services. That means you will need to continue innovating and staying on top of trends that dominate the market.

The following are some of the most anticipated and highly-engaging social media trends predicted for 2022, which means you should add them to your strategy:

1. Diversify your content for different platforms

You need to diversify your content for different platforms. This doesn’t just mean optimizing it for different devices (with mobile phones taking the lead), but rather tailoring content for the social media app or site you use. Instagram has certain types of content that succeed on it, while TikTok uses another strategy.

Facebook allows you more back and hyperlinking opportunities and long-form videos, while emails allow you to share more insider information. It’s definitely a lot to keep up with, but different techniques allow you to create multifaceted and multi-purpose content without being overbearing. Using the same format for every platform will hurt your views and engagement, so finding your niche and focusing on that is easier.

2. Paid advertising is getting even bigger in 2022

Unfortunately for many small businesses and independent professionals, things are getting tougher due to social media algorithms. Now it’s harder to break through the system and organically reach clients and audience members on the quality of content, strategic hashtags, and timeliness alone. To get that engagement in the first place, you’ll need to resort to paid advertising, something that’s expected to get even bigger in 2022. Again, depending on the social media platform you focus on, you’ll have to try different forms of paid marketing and advertising, but generally, ads, reels, and video content will continue to take the lead.

Rather than spending money on PRs and collaborations or resorting to other monetary tactics, your best bet is to use in-built paid advertising mediums and run quality content there.

3. Develop live-streaming material and content

Speaking of developing content, live-streaming has gotten bigger and bigger over the years and will continue to grow even more in 2022. You can live-stream workouts, promotional content, come on for Q&As, host live podcasts, offer live tours, and share a lot of valuable information this way, allowing audiences to interact with you directly. This is one of the best-performing social media marketing methods and one that will definitely elevate your overall content and strategy by a lot, so work on developing content that enables you to do that.

4. Set up chatbots for faster replies and responses

Your social media page is a platform you use for business, and it’s one where you’re probably interacting with clients, sponsors, collaborators, colleagues, and addressing general queries. Managing it on your own can be quite overwhelming and is nothing short of a full-time job, and so using one of the many chatbot options out there is a great idea.

They can handle a lot of the automated responses, sharing information about your training services, rates, location, timings, etc., with prospective clients while you address more personalized queries and conversations. It takes a lot of the load off you and speeds up the process, making it more efficient.

5. At-home and online workouts through social media

The pandemic really changed the face of many industries and businesses, with fitness and health possibly taking the lead on that. As people adapt to social distancing and the flexibility of life at home, online workouts have grown in immense popularity. The attitude of the majority of Americans also suggests the same, with many preferring online workouts to gyms and in-person training.

Leverage that trend through social media by offering short and long-form workouts, either live-streamed or shared on your platform and more private groups. It’s a great way to engage with people and give your audiences what they want while building your reputation and presence online.

6. More user-generated and crowdsourced content

Speaking of giving audiences what they want, another great tip is to share more user-generated and crowdsourced content. From clients posting their workout videos to testimonials and reviews, you can do so much more to diversify your online presence this way.

This can also include more lifestyle-centered content, from fashion to food, which shows audiences who you are as a person. It’s a simple yet highly effective technique to draw more attention to your work. The goal of focusing on user-generated content is to let users’ interests determine what you post and share.

For many trainers, a great way to be more in line with user-generated content strategies is to engage in fun trends, fitness challenges, talk about trending topics and share more content that performs well and drives engagement.

Social media is one of the most valuable tools in your artillery, and your best bet is to use it effectively. The more focused you are in your approach, the better it will be for your overall strategy, engagement, and of course, stats. Plus, it’s a great way to make yourself more interesting and appealing to potential clients as well. It is a marketing tool, after all.

Sign up for our fitness trainer programs, where you can learn all the best insights and strategies for online social media marketing and more. Reach out to us to if you’re interested in becoming a certified personal trainer or if you’re looking for more intensive training and education to add to your current qualifications.