I was back home for a few days recently and I got this question a lot….
“what are the first things you would focus on if you were starting a new personal
training business all over again….?
It was a great question so I thought about it a bit and then came back
with this answer.
To me it all boils down to just 5 things, and that’s what I will cover in this blog,
Seriously it came down to just getting 5 things right.
Call it a formula for success if you like but believe me when I tell you
if you get this right…
…. The fact you have all five covered (even of it’s not perfect) the fact
you have concentrated on all 5…
The synergistic effect will create a business that will become a
and obviously be a pleasure to work in.
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So here are my 5 keys to a successful business startup:
1. Positive cash flow
One huge mistake new personal training business owners can make is to focus too much on profitability and not enough on cash flow.
I have seen many really great personal training businesses (including those of friends)
that, even while being profitable….
..Have went broke or been closed by the banks removal of facility
because they simply ran out of cash and couldn’t renegotiate the terms.
Warren Buffet (one of the shrewdest investors of our time) in order to ensure his businesses are “best of breed” would hire the best people money can buy.
In our world you need to turn yourself into the best manager you can
possibly be, so your business becomes a cash flow monster.
SO as a general rule
do not get caught up in a business with a negative
cash flow as a first time entrepreneur.
If you are already in business you want to be very careful to avoid a
situation where a venture is sucking all the free cash flow from your
…. And then the next thing you know it’s consuming it entirely.
2. Low startup costs.
The next thing you want to look for in any new business is one with low
start up costs.
Sure there are some business ventures that look amazing but they take a
ton of investment before you can get going
Which may not be the best idea for your first entrepreneurial venture.
There are some businesses around that take very little investment to get
going but if pursued the right way they can produce a ton of money.
That will give you the capital needed to reinvest, to grow and pay you
back for your effort.
So if we were talking personal training business here, what I’m
saying is do not get ahead of yourself.
Let me ask you a question…
Where are you putting your resources?
Is it the huge facility with the nice office space where you can stick
your desk and feel good about yourself every time you walk through the
The first thing you want to put your money into is developing your
product and your marketing. Make sure your service is exceptional; test
it on a small scale to see if it works before you make unnecessary
If you have an existing book of clientele then do this exercise:
Evaluate every aspect of your current growth strategy and your
Then ask this one question.
What is working and what is not working?
Then simply STOP doing what’s not working.
Even if its something you really believed in and wanted to work, the
market is telling you that product in its current form isn’t desirable
enough right now.
Then concentrate all your efforts on what IS Working.
Imagine the power if you knew exactly which part of your business was
producing you the most profitability?
And which was just a drain on resources and your time.
And then you just dropped the one that wasn’t working.
Freeing up all the time ad resources needed to increase profitability.
It’s a no brainer that this would increase your profitability, your free
time, your overall happiness, everything is going to feel easier when
you stop stressing over the small stuff.
3. Low overhead.
The worst position any new business owner can be in is one, which you
are loosing cash while your still trying to figure out how everything
It’s kinda like learning to fly a plane while it’s going down.
Imagine looking at the dashboard with all those controls (and you have
no idea what they do or how they work)
While you’re losing altitude …Alarm bells going off and dials spinning
out of control and your screaming ……
SHIIIIIT ….WTF WE’RE GOING DOWN!!!??
That’s going to be a bad day.
SO make sure you have calculated the daily and weekly operating costs of
your business and make sure you can cover it even in the worst-case
There are loads of cases where entrepreneurs have given up on businesses
because they have burned through cash and given up
When if they had only approached things a little differently with less
exposure they could have had an extra 3 months staying power to keep
changing the approach until they hit on the right formula.
One other thing –
In the early stages of business when your handling everything from day
to day operations book keeping sales marketing etc. Document everything.
SO that in case a relationship sours, or someone walks out, you don’t
suffer with extra responsibilities.
4. Don’t quit your current job.
Failure most definitely is out there. In the world of business and
entrepreneurs we cannot be paralysed by it.
Instead we have to accept it and embrace it.
While its true that you learn more form your successes than failures…
Why not just be a little wiser and learn from the failures of others so
you don’t have to fail so much yourself.
While you don’t want to fail you have to accept the fact that its always
out there as a possibility.
So, in the beginning, while your planning the transition keep your
current job or position (this could be the current trainer position you
hold or where you rent space) and pace yourself.
Your being cautious and you are better protected should things not go as
Keep doing what your doing and start your new business part time and
transition into it as it starts to make money and it’s real.
This is especially true for those who want to make a career change into
PT from another job and have responsibilities and outgoings like a
mortgage and maybe even dependents therefore cannot risk
a drop in income.
5. Use a proven system.
Lastly, and this is so important – use a proven system.
There are a lot of businesses where it is Done For You.
It can be in ideal situation where your walking into something that
basically turn key. An expert has been there, done it, made all the
mistakes already, and systemized it for you. The templates are created
the systems are in place and you know exactly what you are getting.
If your going after a new segment of the market –
Take a look around and see if someone has done this before you. I’m not
saying you should copy them but to model what is working and manipulate
the variables to suit you and your niche in the market.
The next thing you can do is hire a mentor or someone who can guide you
to where you want to be. A mentor can show you the tiniest of little
adjustments that can produce massive results. Investing in information
that helps you grow and get results is the best type of investment you
If the time is right, you have clear expectations/goals, and you’ve
identified a solid candidate — you should look into hiring them.
SO there you have my 5 Keys to opening, well really any business at all,
but I’m sure this will help the guys who have been asking me how
to know if the time is right to strike out on their own and open their
own facility and what to look out for when they do.
If you yourself are thinking about getting into the business of fitness
and personal training then I would love to hear from you.
Best place to start is by getting our Fitness Course Prospectus-
Choose your nearest Location
Until then take it smooth and easy .