Top tips for growing your PT business
Whether you're just setting up your own PT business or you have an established and thriving company, it's always good to listen to advice and ideas about how to grow and evolve your business. Friend of Lifetime and veteran of 30 years in the industry, Tim Webster, gives us his top tips on growing your PT business.
In his iconic book ‘The E-Myth’ Michael Gerber talks about working “on” the business not “in” the business. What he means by this is that too many small business owners spend too much time doing whatever it is they do – in your case delivering PT hours – and not enough time thinking about how they are going to grow their market share. The end result is usually stagnation or termination. Non-negotiable rule number one: Put aside some time every week in which to manage your existing business and work on generating more.
If you don’t ask you don’t get. Whether you like it or not, you are in the business of sales – and all good salespeople know that referrals are gold. There are numerous ways of doing asking for referrals – just ask your clients if they have any friends who would benefit from your services, or give them a business card with a trial session for a friend (never leave home without your business cards by the way), or allow them to bring a friend to train with them one time – make sure you are doing them all. If you are uncomfortable with selling yourself, get over it!
They may not say it directly but most people want to know that their PT is the best – and if possible they’d like everyone else to know too. Think of it as a badge of honour. So if you are going to build a great PT business you need to a) get results for your clients and b) be better than the competition. This means constantly building your knowledge base so that you are able to offer your clients the very latest training techniques, nutritional advice etc. It will only give you a small window of advantage (you’ll be copied quickly) but that’s all you need.
Your commitment to your clients does not start and end with the time you give them in the gym. Make sure that every now and again you call, text, email (whatever) them to see how they are doing. It’s amazing how powerful a text saying: “Just wondering how you are feeling after yesterday’s session?” can be.
Create a portfolio of A4 fact sheets that explain things to your members. It’s called adding value – and it’s priceless. There is a vast amount of information out there that is at your disposal. Make sure you brand the sheets nicely and most importantly put your contact details in a prominent position. Why? Well, if one of your clients has a friend who has back problems for example, whose fact sheet is she likely to give them?
You know you have to have a Facebook page but if you don’t maintain that page i.e. update it at least two or three times a week, at best it will be of very little value and at worst it will become a liability. On the other hand a well managed, buzzing FB site can be a fantastic way of building community among your existing clients and (if they share some of your advice) generating new leads. Youtube is another medium you should consider using. How impressive is it when you can refer a client or prospect to your demonstration of the xyz technique online.
How many of the top PTs don’t have websites? If you want to be one of them you need to do likewise. A dedicated website with a well maintained blog and regularly updated timetables etc. will put you way ahead of the game when people are looking for a PT in their area. This doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise – in fact sites like weebly.com offer a free service.
Make sure you get into the habit of gathering testimonials and using them wherever and whenever you can (yes we’re back to sales). Before- and-after shots can also be very powerful – partly for the client and partly as a visual demonstration of what you can achieve.
If you’re not doing it already you need to think how you can be creative with your pricing without overly decreasing the yield (how much you actually make each session) per client. Remember, the objective of any promotion you run should either be to generate more business or to increase cash flow or to lock clients in for a longer period of time.
Corporate wellness is becoming an increasingly big deal. A free in-house lunchtime class for a local company using simple equipment and bodyweight exercises is a great way of generating positive word-of-mouth and new clients. Don’t give too much away for free – you have a business to run – but an hour or two a week in the right place will pay dividends.
If you want to start your own PT business, or if you want to work for one of the country's top gyms then make sure you're in the best shape possible by training with Lifetime. Take a look at our personal training courses or give one of our team a call on 0870 120 1207.
For more FREE help, tips, advice and resources for anyone making their way in the fitness indsutry, make sure you check out our Lifetimer Benefits.