I was recently at a small fitness business seminar, and it was a very worthwhile event. Even though I have two high flying bootcamp studios that are among the top if not the top such facilities in the country, I know there's much, much more for me to learn, and the event I went to didn't disappoint. The main things I took away were lessons on going back to basics: on spending time on relationships, networking, and be a warm and positive influence in the lives of my members.

However, there were a lot of fitness business owners of all levels at this seminar, some of whom were only getting started or were struggling with their businesses or training practices. Many of them came up to me to pick my brain on what tips I had for them to grow their business. The main advice I had for them was the same: to go back to basics as well.

What a lot of starting or struggling fitness business owners are looking for are marketing tactics to help them draw in more clients. But this is is a big mistake. If you're just getting started you don't need any of that. You just need to put the focus on the clients you have now, on the fundamentals of this business, and you'll find your business begin to grow rapidly from there. You'll also be establishing the foundation for what will be a thriving fitness business in the future.

What are some of the tips I have for trainers just getting started to create a strong foundation for a rapidly growing fitness practice? Here are some of my top pointers for them, and if you're in a similar situation, I have the same advice for you too ...

1. Deliver five-star training session
Your personal training sessions or group sessions shouldn't be looked at as just workouts anymore. They need to become EVENTS. Look at them like a performance, with the purpose of challenging, entertaining, and engaging your clients. This is what will allow you to charge the highest rates and will get you tons of referrals, which are the lifeblood of any small training business.

2. Prepare for each session
In keeping with tip #1, it's also important to prepare for each session. Don't ever wing it, or god forbid, ask the client what they want to do. Come in with a crisp game plan. You'll feel more confident and your session will flow much better.

3. Track your income
If you want your business to grow, you need to know what you're making, and set goals on where you want it to go. This means tracking what you're making. This doesn't involve any fancy software, not when you're starting out. Just take notes every day on the number of sessions or hours you did and what you made. And set goals on how high you want this to go. I saw my daily income grow from $100 a day to $250 per day very rapidly when I knew what I was making every single day.

4. Network hard for leads
Besides your training sessions, you have another very important job - it's bringing in new leads to your fitness business. This doesn't involve spending any money on your part. Your best advertisement is yourself. Get out there either in your facility or your community, talk to the people in it, and think of ways to give value to them. Just by people knowing who you are and what you can do, they'll know who to call when they need help.

5. Look extremely professional
Even if you're making $10 an hour now, you'll never make $200 an hour if you don't start to look the part now. Most of our value in any service business is judged by our appearance and demeanor, and that's something that you can improve immediately. People will take you more seriously, pay you more, respect your time and services, and refer to you more when you look the part of a true professional.

6. Keeping yourself in shape
This one sounds basic but too many trainers ignore it. They think that they're doing a good job by focusing on their clients and their business, but it starts with focusing on yourself. If you've been slacking in this area, there's a very simple solution. Just put yourself through one of your hardest workouts that you put one of your clients though that day. If you can get others in outstanding shape, you can sure as heck do it yourself.

And I want to add some more ...

Most of success in this business, especially when you're starting out, gets down to deeper personal issues. It gets down to internal beliefs, attitude, energy, mood, and aspirations. Here's what I'm talking about:

1. Be Extremely Enthusiastic
In people's busy lives today, they don't want to deal with a bore. You have to bring the energy and vitality that is missing from their lives. This means having tremendous enthusiasm for what you do and for life in general. This alone will draw people to you and want them to spend time with you and money on you.

2. Be Extremely Passionate
You simply have to love what you do. You must have a genuine interest in fitness, and constantly grow and expand in this area. Be good to this profession, and it will be very good to you.

3. Have Immense Desire
To get better, make more, and live better, you have got to desire it. It must be a deeply-rooted, burning desire. You must be committed to break through any obstacle in order to get the type of business and lifestyle you want. Failure is not an option.

I know, much of what I discussed today sounded obvious. The key is executing on it every single day, day in and day out. You must make the commitment to be one of the best in this business; to join the top of the field. This is something you can do right now, is free to implement, and I can tell you from personal experience, it's really all it takes.


Kaiser Serajuddin is a 10-year veteran in the fitness industry. His latest fitness business, Better Body Bootcamp, has two locations in the Queens and Long Island areas of New York and generates over $40,000 per month each. He is a long-time contributor to PFP, a former consultant to upstart trainers, and has personally helped hundreds of trainers start and grow their fitness careers.

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