As a starting personal trainer, you might dream about running your own independent personal training business. That’s awesome! But before you’ll be able set up your own business, you need to build a solid client base and a good network in the industry. That’s why most starting trainers decide to start out as a personal trainer in a gym.
Starting out in a gym gives you a great opportunity to learn the trade, gain experience, build your network, acquire clients and get income while you’re at it. The question is, of course, which gym do you choose? The right gym can give you a headstart, the wrong ones may put obstacles in your way of building up a career. When looking for a suitable club, there are three main categories on which a location can be evaluated.
First Impressions Count
It starts off with the ‘first ‘impression’, as this is one of the most important things in many aspects in life. It certainly is when you want to get new clients into a gym. When you walk in for the first time, it’s important that you immediately start building your network. Talk to fellow personal trainers about their working experience in the gym. Ask them what they think about the location, the equipment and how they feel about the salary that they receive.
Interact also with other people inside the facility. Talking to the receptionists and members give you a threefold impression on the club. This is important because you need to know in what kind of work environment you will end up in. If staff or trainers aren’t satisfied with working conditions, or if members complain about the amenities, you might want to look for a different location. An aspect you also shouldn’t leave unnoticed is the level of the other personal trainers. Seeing that they are not teaching the right technique or not giving the client enough attention, could say something about the quality of the club in total.
The Club’s Market Position
After getting your first impression, move on to the market position of the club. This is where hard facts come into play. We’re talking numbers here: the amount of members, amount of personal trainers, how many sales the gym makes on average, the potential clients for you and more. Analyzing these aspects will give you a good overview of the (financial) possibilities of the club. Looking at the monthly sales a club should be done precisely as it can give you an indication of how many new clients will be acquired each month. Consequently, it’s also giving you an estimation on how many clients you could acquire for yourself. You just have to divide the total amount of new clients by the amount of personal trainers. Also, a club with stable finances means better job security. And a club with major growth potential is also good for you as a personal trainer, since it will give you the chance to develop and put yourself in a financially stable situation. It will allow you to acquire clients, build your network and learn from other personal trainers. This is the foundation of the start of your career.
The Business in Practice
After making financial considerations, the final aspect of evaluating your potential place of business is what we call “the business in practice”. It allows you to take a closer look at what your daily life will be like in the business. How does the sales and marketing procedure work? How does the club turn a potential client into a paying customer? But also: are there any facilities to set up an office in the club? With internet access, a printer and a desk you will be a lot more efficient doing administrative tasks. You might think that this should be given but don’t be mistaken, some clubs lack even that. Take hygiene and equipment care for example. A high-quality club has stand cleaning routines and maintenance checks.
Before you sign the contract with a club, ask the manager if they plan on hiring any other personal trainers. If they do, you will have to compete with them for clients. If not it might be a lot easier to acquire your first clients. A final aspect that should never be overlooked is the company culture. This is a big factor when it comes to deciding if the club fits you. Do you share the same values as the company does? Do they encourage self-development? What the company does needs to align with your own beliefs, if not completely, at least generally you need to agree with what the company does and says.
The decision for which club to work is an important one. There are many different aspects you have to take into account. By looking at the three mentioned aspects, your task will become a little easier. These aspects give you a clear idea of what to pay attention to when walking into a possible place of work. A great club will set you on the right path to success!