When reading about building a fitness business, there is a recurring theme that comes from almost every consultant, expert or coach. When you need assistance or feel like you are in over your head...get help! As obvious as it may sound, it is tough for many entrepreneurial fitness pros to admit that they actually need help. It could be pride, laziness or even money, but, for whatever reason, some trainers flounder for long periods before they give in and hire someone to assist them. When they do, the experience is usually a positive one and they wonder why they didn't do it sooner.

While it is a big step for some, it is a necessary step for most. The important thing is to remember that it is a STEP and not an end. Once you start adding help to your team, you take on the task of managing them. Just like all of the different personalities and motivational styles of your clients, your employees will have many different psyches and it will take some real planning and forethought to manage them appropriately. I have been hiring trainers for over 16 years now. I have had some very, very positive outcomes (some that continue to this day) as well as some relationships that were always challenging and never really worked out.

First, you must determine your specific needs. When I had an abundance of clients and a lack of available time, I looked for a workhorse that could simply do the work of personal training. I have had that trainer with me for seven years now and he simply wants a full schedule. When he is busy training, he is happy. He defines success by how many clients he can influence in a positive way. On the other hand, I once hired a trainer that desired the opportunity to do fill as many different roles as possible. She wanted to train people, but she also wanted to help manage, market and present. She was valuable in taking our business to the next level. The downside was that success to her was not defined by working for someone else. She eventually left to pursue other ventures.

Assess where you are in your business growth before you start to interview prospects. When meeting with potential hires, ask them to describe their ideal work week and what they would like their job to look like. Ask them where they see themselves in six months, 12 months and five years. Listen carefully. Depending on what you are looking for, you should value different qualities to different degrees. Work ethic, integrity and creativity are all important. Some people are driven by success and accomplishment, others by money and some value being part of a team.

When you do decide to take the plunge, strive to keep things fresh. Learn what is important to your people in and out of the work place. Motivate appropriately. Some respond well to praise. Some to recognition, some to money, and there are some workers that respond well to being left alone to work independently. Just like with your clients, uncover the buttons you need to push to keep your business vital and you will have a long, successful career.

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