Ask me how to be successful in fitness 30 years ago and the answer would only involve aerobic classes and gym shifts. Today, there are so many wonderful opportunities, says Australian Institute of Fitness SA Director and Coach Annette Chatterton.
It is more important than ever to prepare for the fitness industry and plan your future.
Research the different chains of gyms: privately owned ones, PT studios, franchises, aquatic centres and clubs. Ask questions, and discuss the pros and cons to feel where you will best fit in the industry. Definitely follow your passions, but base your future plans on logical and professional advice rather than emotion.
I recommend you start with a personal SWOT analysis to identify potential strengths as well as the weaknesses, or work-ons. Critically analyse these areas.
Once you have gained your qualifications (Certificate III and Certificate IV in Fitness), register as a fitness professional with Fitness Australia. Also purchase insurance Professional Indemnity and Public Liability. Insurance is peace of mind!
Plan your upskilling, retraining and professional development. To re-register you will need to show evidence of 20 Continuing Education Credits in 2 years. This equates to 20 hours of training. Save a portion of your income in preparation. It is money well invested for your future, as new skills and expertise equate to more income.
Keeping your clients is more effective than finding new ones, and on selling is easier than finding more clients.
Rather than purchasing all of your clothing and uniform all at once, space it out. Be tax aware, and have your clothing labelled with your outstanding business name. Equipment, signage and advertising can also be spaced out. My recommendations initially are a mobile phone with a message bank (more than 10sec), reliable transport in all weather conditions, supportive comfortable footwear (you are going to wear these shoes all day, every day), black tights or shorts (they match everything), uniform polo or T-shirt, a professional email address, a professional Facebook page or webpage, a letterhead, business cards, receipt book, invoice book and a diary (or calendar on outlook). If your plans include outdoor training, then you will need a hat, stopwatch and whistle. My suggestions for equipment are fitness ball, med balls, tubing, mats, boxing gear, a few kettlebells and suspension training straps. Remember the possibilities with body weight and towels, rather than DB’s and BB’s.
Last, but not least, seek assistance. It’s daunting to try to do all of this on your own, and look after your health. It can be stressful to start. An accountant, business advisor and of course other successful Personal Trainers can be an enormous help.
Set your goals, an action plan and make it work!