Being fitness entrepreneurs, whether as studio owners, mangers or independent trainers, we all want to achieve record-setting profits in our personal training businesses. Many people think that by bringing more money in the door, you are making "more" money. But while that may be true, the bottom line net profit of a company or individual is what matters most. If a business brings in one million dollars per year but spends $1.2 million, that is not a profitable business. To ensure you are maximizing the bottom line revenue of your business, you can begin by evaluating your current pricing models. While it is easy to say, "Let's just charge more," there is much more to creating profit than just increasing your rates. Here are some ideas to consider for increasing the overall revenue generated.
     
    Establish Your Value
    Whether you are a solo-preneur or an entrepreneur personal trainer, determine the value a client receives with each session. If a client just gets personal training and that's it, you are not maximizing your value. What comes with that session? Follow-up motivational emails, excellent customer service, phone calls, program design, in-home programs, ongoing accountability and "gifts" to your clients at certain times of the year (i.e., birthday, Christmas, major accomplishments, etc.) are just a few suggestions to increase your value. Charge the value you think you deliver and then under-promise and over-deliver. You need to create the extraordinary value of your services — VALUE is the key. Create a memorable experience every time a client trains with you, and that will continue to increase your value.
     
    Bundle Your Personal Training Sessions
    I do believe in bundling personal training sessions for clients if they are going to make a commitment to me and my business. For seven years, I have offered six-, 12-, 24- and 48-session packages. Here is an example of my pricing model:
    1=$75.00/session
    6=$70.00/session
    12=$65.00/session
    24=$62.50/session
    48=$60.00/session
    While there are many arguments back and forth about bundling sessions, it is my personal belief that my business model supports bundling. Committed, long-term clients are critical for my business, and bundling my sessions provides the client with a discount that is well worth it long-term for me. Additionally, bundling sessions provides a nice, consistent cash flow that allows for reinvestment in the facility or to allow for growth and expansion. I have learned in business that "cash is king."  
     
    Offer "Buddy" Packages
    Semi-private training (two, three or four people at the same time) is becoming more popular in the fitness industry. Establish your value early on in your business for the pricing system that you will use. When I built my facility almost eight years ago, there were not a lot of studios, and semi-private training didn't exist very much. At that time, I established the VALUE was "add $10 per session per person and split the fee by the number of people in a session." That created an unbelievable value for the client, but I probably under-valued it back then. And once you have established a VALUE for something, it is more challenging to "double" that number or have a significant increase versus a five dollar or $10 increase. My semi-private rate is now "add $20 per session for each additional person." If I was starting out again, I believe I would say the second person is 50% off the session price. This is a great VALUE to them, and it maximizes your time as well.
     
    Know your "TARKET"
    This is your target market — for me, my "tarket" is the baby boomers and housewives. Yes, I have a fair amount of youth athletes, professional athletes and other populations represented, but I know my "bread and butter" population is those between 30 and 55 years old, upper-middle class and trying to regain their health. It is important to know this because it drives the pricing structure, my advertising, the facility, etc. The more information you have on your "tarket," the more it will help to set your pricing structure.
     
    Increase the Number of Services to Your "Tarket"
    For example, I have recently added a completely new line of services for my target clients, including lifestyle coaching (I call it Success Coaching), mastermind groups, rejuvenation retreats, etc. I know that my "tarket" needs, wants and can support the services offered. I believe these types of services are a trend in the industry, and there will be an ever-increasing need for more coaches to help catapult our clients to success in all areas of their lives. We all know that physical conditioning drives greatness in all areas of life. We now can offer ancillary services that will help augment our drive to help people transform their lives.
     
    Bundle Your Services
    Earlier I discussed bundling your personal training sessions. How about offering a monthly package or membership that involves a certain number of personal training sessions with massage, life coaching, a mastermind group, teleseminars, spa services, etc.? Currently, I offer three levels of limited memberships to my clients that people can invest in, depending on their level of commitment to the services previously mentioned and beyond their personal training, Pilates or massage/bodywork sessions. This provides them a bit of a discount because they are committing every month somewhere between $500 to $1,000 per month for a Platinum or Platinum Plus membership. I find that I can maximize my time effort and financial reward by offering packages like this. I can count on a certain revenue stream from my members and provide them a superior level of service.  
     
    Create Programs, Classes and Camps
    Examples of programs that you may look at offering include boot camp, athlete performance camps, cardio camps, etc. My experience has shown me that you can charge more for a four-week, eight-week or 10-week program than just having a class. As part of the program, include t-shirts, hats, nutritional handouts, assessments and an exercise manual, and have a workshop or seminar as part of the program. Imagine you had a boot camp program where you had only 10 people that were paying $199 per month for a three time per week class at either 6 AM or 6 PM. That is an approximate "$160 session" for you! But since you have packaged it as a program, its VALUE is higher. Imagine if you had 20 or 30  consistent boot campers. All of a sudden, you could be generating an extra $5,000 to $7,000 per month on one program that will only take up a couple hours per day. Is it easy to do? No. Can it be done? Yes! I know colleagues that are getting 40, 50, 75 clients to a boot camp now and charging between $199 to $299 per four-week camp. To me, that is maximizing their time while doing great things. What kind of camp or program are you willing to create and run to generate this type of revenue?
     
    Charge More Money
    After everything that has been discussed, if you believe you have created great value and you have enough clients to support a price increase, by all means do it. No client loves price increases, but they do understand they are a part of doing business. If your value substantiates the increase and you have weighed all the factors carefully, than maybe it's time. If you choose to increase your prices, make sure you communicate your increases at least 15 days in advance — do it both verbally and in writing — and provide people the opportunity to purchase sessions at the existing price up until a certain date. I believe when you have a price increase, people want to see something for it. Invest in a new piece of equipment, software, customer services system or do something to upgrade your business. This shows people that you are reinvesting in the business and that you do care about them. If people see a value in what they are paying for, they will invest in it.  If they don't see a value, they will not use your service. Continue to upgrade your VALUE, and you can charge as much as your market will bear.  
     
    All of these suggestions are for you to challenge your thought process and system to see if you can apply any of them to produce a bigger, better revenue stream. While we all strive for freedom of time or money, we need to make sure our system is designed to allow for that. If it means you have to initially change some things in your business design and requires you to work harder, it will ultimately allow you to work much smarter.
                Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, NCTMB, is the founder of Fitness Quest 10, a leading-edge facility that provides personal training, strength and conditioning, therapeutic massage and bodywork, Pilates, yoga and nutrition programs. For more info, emaildurkin@fitnessquest10.com.
     

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