Tips for running your Bootcamp or Personal Training business

Here are some quick tips on enhancing your fitness business, so that you can free up your time to live your life how you want. Remember, you are both a fitness professional and a business operator.

The number one tip is to set up systems. Have a set way of answering the phone, greeting new clients, inducting new clients, and taking payments. By having a set procedure, your mind is free to tackle the more complex tasks. Look at any successful business and you’ll see it is based on set systems and procedures.

In line with the first point, get yourself an email system. We can recommend Constant Contacts, but there are many other email marketing software providers. Whichever system you use should allow you to schedule emails in advance, manage your contact list, and importantly, permit your audience to opt out whenever they wish.

Payments are likely to consume much of your time. Once you have completed your business plan, and have a strong appreciation for your cash flow requirements, you’ll know exactly how much you need to earn.

Now it is time to earn it. Big businesses will have an accounts receivable section to invoice, monitor and follow up. As a small business you need to rely (again) on a systematic solution. 

PayPal is an excellent tool, it is easy to integrate into your website, can be set up for recurring payments and the fees are minimal. The bottom line is: get yourself a direct, automatic solution for your clients. There are now many to choose from – eg: Square, PayPal, Direct Debit, Credit Card processing.

How to increase fitness class attendance

What to do about the clients who show up once and never again?

This is a frustratingly regular occurence. You sit and rack your brain for answers why and question yourself, your lessons, techniques and your qualifications.

Did they not enjoy it? Is there something wrong with my style? Did they hurt themselves? Did I cause injury?

The only way you’ll know is to ask them. Once again set up a ‘system’ to track enquiries, new clients, and people who conduct your trial sessions.

Follow them up with a standard email/phone call at standard time (eg, 1 day, 1 week and 1 month).

This is not to say you should become annoying, but if you don’t have a system in-place, you’ll be making follow ups on an ad-hoc basis and will likely loose potential leads.

Ever found yourself wondering what your lesson will be for the next morning (or that day)?

If you have, it is time to start writing your plans and lessons down and paper, and saving them on your computer. Before you know it you’ll have built up a significant amount of lessons that you can modify and re-use, and reduce the amount of time you spend them writing up.

Not too sure where to start? The Bootcamp Alliance (aka MTT Outdoors) has a very useful program that is worth checking out for business tips and practical solutions to common bootcamp friction points.

The program provides forms for client health screenings, doctor’s clearance, injury reporting and client fitness test results. Membership also provides 250 bootcamp lesson plans to free you up from writing programs and exercise ideas to make your lessons more diverse.

The underlying theme is to create repeatable processes and systems in your business.

Use technology to your advantage, don’t be ruled by it. Be decisive in your approach and avoid procrastination eg. aimlessly surfing YouTube in a futile attempt to find the ‘perfect’ lesson.

Keep upskilling yourself, undertake regular courses, and engage with the outdoor fitness industry.

Fitness business. A woman leading a group kettle bell exercise.

Always remember why you went into business for yourself.

Was it to create a job, or was it to free up time to the things in life you want to do? Think about that a while whenever you seek motivation or clarity of purpose.

Related Articles:

Part 1 of our series into how best to run an outdoor group fitness instructor/ bootcamp business can be found here.

Part 2 which examines how best to maintain class enthusiasm and motivation can be read here.

If you’d like advice on growing a personal trainer business, read here.

Read this to understand the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) in delivering better sport performance outcomes.

See here for information on how to market your fitness business.

And if you’re interested in how to build your business’ online profile, see here.