How to Become a Personal Trainer – Business plan Sample

Personal Trainer

Becoming a personal trainer can be one of the best business ideas if you are a fitness enthusiast and have a passion for helping others to meet their goals of being healthy and fit. Career opportunities in fitness are very high and rapidly increasing every day in this field.

More people are attracted to a healthy lifestyle and, it is the reason why your business is can be lucrative. The industry is expected to grow even more in the future as more fitness enthusiasts are entering the market. 

If you have maybe done personal training unofficially, you can go ahead and take the certification to become a certified personal trainer. It will help you to be one of the best and more successful among the competitors in your business. You can find employment, or you can set up your fitness center.

If you have decided to become a personal trainer, you need to look into the various steps before starting your business. 


Acquire necessary skills

To become a personal trainer, you need to be passionate and committed to guiding people to be fit. Personal trainers must be motivating their clients to follow a suitable fitness program. This job will require you to deal with different kinds of individuals.

Make sure you are good at communicating and able to maintain good interpersonal relationships with your clients. You also need to be patient enough to help people to achieve their fitness goals. Each individual will have different needs and different ways to perceiving things, ensure that you can cater to the requirements to the fullest.

Get a certification 

There are many recognized organizations offering fitness training courses. Getting a certification from any of those recognized organizations will add more value to your business. The duration of these courses is around 2 to 3 months, and the cost of these courses may range from 10,000 to 30,000. If your certification expires, you will need to renew it after a certain period.

 If you are planning to become a personal trainer in a specific area, you can also find specialized courses to become an expert in the desired field. For example, if you want to get certification in weight lifting, you can get the expertise in the weight lifting field.

There are various certification organizations available for a personal trainer. Some of them are listed below:

  • American Council on Exercise, accredited by NCCA
  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates, accredited by NCCA
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers, accredited by NCCA
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness, accredited by NCCA
  • International Fitness Professional Association, accredited by NCCA

Get on-the-job training

Every business needs you to have work experience, so does a personal training job. Most employers like to hire personal trainers who have work experience in training people rather than fresher’s. As a fresher, you can work as assistance with a qualified personal trainer to get experience. You can work as a fitness assistant for fitness trainers and understand the nitty-gritty of the business with hands-on experience. Learning from your own mistakes is the best way of learning anything.

Start your business

You can start your fitness center to grow as a personal trainer. Do a bit of research about opportunities available in your area, talk to the other personal trainers before setting up your business. Set up a gym to train people if everything goes well.

 Once you start your business, remember that the business very promising and rewarding if you are passionate about being fit and also helping others to be fit and healthy. As a personal trainer, you need to inspire people towards a healthy lifestyle.

How to manage your business?

When you have decided to start your business, you need to know every detail of the business for better business management. You need to know about business registration, licensing, accounting, filing taxes, and more. Take up a course from a local community college to get familiar with these things. You can also seek professional advice if you feel that it can help you get a better insight into the business you are planning to set up.


To start your business, you will need to make a financial investment. The money required will depend on your business model. Business expenses will include equipment for the fitness center, liability and health insurance, website and business cards for promotion, renewal of certification, etc.

Other expenses you will need to make on workout clothes and shoes, music system, water dispenser, etc. Plan your expenses and try to fix the budget as per your business plan. Ensure at each step that you do not overshoot the budget.

Marketing your business

Marketing is the only tool to earn more clients and grow your business far and wide. Learn to market yourself as a personal trainer to increase the chances of being a successful personal trainer and beat the competition. Various marketing techniques will help you attract more people to your business.

  • Create business cards: It is easy to create business cards at home or make use of low-cost websites for prints. 
  • Use social media platforms:  Create a profile on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It will help you find potential customers online. It is one of the most effective marketing tools with less or no cost.
  • Create a website for your business: You can create your website; it is simple as signing in with name and registration, or you can take the help of web designers. 
  • Conduct seminars: Organizing free seminars in local areas about fitness and other related topics will also help you find potential clients. You can also conduct virtual seminars and workshops to create awareness among people to be fit can reward you with a higher number of clients. 
  • Referrals: Existing customers can also be a great source to earn more clients. Offer discounts and other benefits to those who make referrals.
  • Networking: Networking is a fundamental aspect of any business to grow. Find out about the professional groups or cults and join them. Communicate with them, understand their processes, and try to build a network. You can surely start getting customers through this network if your ways are good.

Sticky customer is important

To be successful in any business, you must know how to retain the clients. It is very important how you treat your clients that in turn ensures that they stay loyal to your services. Following things will help to do so:

  • Attending conferences and seminars: Learning from the different workshops will help you gain knowledge about new equipment and their availability. Purchase the equipment at the most competitive prices and let your clients work out with the new equipment. It will bring more enthusiasm to your clients.
  • Keep in touch with your clients: Send mails or texts to keep them updated about their fitness programs and their fitness goals. 
  • Listen to your clients: A personal trainer needs to know how clients feel about their workouts, timing of their sessions, and others. Change them according to their convenience. The customer should get a customized fitness experience at your fitness center.
  • Providing regular assessment: It very important for clients to know their progress. Set up a weekly assessment to keep them updated with their progress. 

Learn to deal with different types of clients

As you know, being a personal trainer, you need to be able to work with different kinds of clients. You may have learned this in your certification courses, or you may learn from your experience while training.

You need to work with the clients who have complaints with the workouts you give them, cancel their schedules without notice, gives excuses why they can do the workout, have injuries or other medical condition. Each client has to be trained differently, as each one of them is different. You need to flexible to make changes according to the requirements. You should be determined to motivate the clients who are determined and inspire the clients who are unable to motivate themselves towards the fitness journey.

Specialized service

With more experience, you may understand which specific work you are good at and enjoy training. Then you can consider starting a specialized fitness center. You can also get specialty certification if you want to be more confident as a specialized personal trainer and become more popular in your locality. It will help you earn extra money as you can charge extra for your services.

There are various options available such as, 

Athlete and sports: You can train the athletes and sportspersons to improve their performance and speed.

Orthopedics:  You can guide the clients with orthopedic problems like knee problems, etc.

Nutrition: You may have clients who want to eat healthy food and want to lose weight. Guide them with proper diet plan and help them with their fitness goals. 

Special clients: You can work with the special clients who are adults, want to be fit and improve quality of life. You can work with young kids by giving them fitness programs which fit them.

Medical conditions: You train people who are under special medical conditions like heart problems, muscle sprain, etc.

Each of these categories of people requires special attention and curated fitness regimes. You should be able to cater to the requirements of each of these individuals and bring out the best in them.

Characteristics of a Good Personal Trainer

To become a personal trainer, you need to possess a lot of skills and enjoy working with different kinds of people. Some of the characteristics of a good personal trainer are listed below:

  • Should be motivating
  • Be patient in dealing with each individual
  • Organized in the thoughts
  • Should be Persistent 
  • Should be a good listener

Advantages and Disadvantages of Personal Trainer  

Every business plan has its pros and cons. Before starting any business plan, you need to look into every angle. If you just look outside, personal training may seem very satisfying. It is essential to each analyzes every aspect of the business before acting.

Advantages of personal training

Some of the advantages of starting a personal training business include:

  • Flexibility: Personal training offers flexibility. It will allow you to work according to your convenience. You can also schedule your work according to you or your clients. 
  • Rewarding: The moment clients feel a difference in their body, they appreciate your work. It will make you more rewarding if you are willing to work hard for your clients.
  • Growth and variety: Being a personal trainer, there is always room for growth. You can also jump off to different things such as fitness instructor, health writer, others.

Disadvantages of personal training

Personal training also includes various challenges. One needs to be prepared before you decide to be a personal trainer:

  • Working at the peak hours: Most of the clients will want you to train them either before or after their work. You will require to schedule sessions according to their preference. So, your busy working hours can be late at night.
  • Unstable pay: As a personal trainer, you may get heavy work a day and can be no work the next day. Which means you can be unpaid some days.
  • Risk of burnout: Personal training work requires you to have both mental and physical energy. Heavy schedules and training all the time can increase the chances of burn out.


There are a lot of opportunities to grow as a personal trainer. There is a requirement of more enthusiastic trainers due to the raise in a healthy and fit lifestyle. Learn through the various sources on how to be an effective personal trainer. Follow the steps of becoming a personal trainer and acquire all the skills needed to be the best in the market. 


1. How Much Can I Expect to Make as a Personal Trainer?

Income potential and earnings vary significantly depending on factors like experience, geographic location, and the client base. Generally, personal trainers can expect to make between $10 and $50 per hour.

2. What Should I Include in My Business Plan?

Your business plan should include an executive summary, financial analysis, competitive analysis, target market, marketing strategies and tactics, services, pricing, SWOT Analysis, and a plan for operations.

3. What Licenses Do I Need to Become a Personal Trainer?

Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a license or certification from a state or local authority. Some states require trainers to be certified by a nationally accredited organization.

4. What Are Some Good Financial Tips for Starting a Personal Training Business?

Start small and start lean. Have a budget and stick to it. Be realistic about long-term goals and prioritize short-term goals. Consider bartering with other businesses. Have a plan to project cash flow needs.

5. What Insurance Should Personal Trainers Have?

Generally, you should purchase professional liability insurance, which covers any claim of negligence or acts of malpractice. You may also want to consider general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

6. How Do I Create a Marketing Plan for My Personal Training Business?

Your marketing plan should include a description of your target market, an analysis of the competition, strategies for generating leads, methods for attracting and retaining customers, and a budget.

7. How Do I Set My Rates as a Personal Trainer?

Consider the type of service you will provide and research local rates for similar services. Determine your target market and factor in time, overhead, and other costs. Set your rates at a level that will make you a competitive option in the market.

8. What Are Some Strategies for Building a Client Base as a Personal Trainer?

Networking is a great way to build a client base. Attend local events, join industry associations, and create a presence on social media. Additionally, offer referral discounts and look for ways to give back to your community.

9. How Do I Stand Out as a Personal Trainer?

Offer unique services or packages, perform continuing education, and keep up with industry trends. Gain certifications, specialize in specific training areas, and listen closely to the feedback of your clients.

10. What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Personal Trainer?

Benefits of becoming a personal trainer include flexible hours, job satisfaction, competitive pay, the ability to impact and motivate others, and the opportunity to network and build relationships.

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