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3 things I wish I knew before starting a personal training business

   Step into Life   31 March 2017

Larry Cohen, Step into Life founder, shares some important advice on how to grow a PT business. 

Starting a personal training business is not easy, especially in this competitive marketplace. For example, research shows more than 900,000 Australians are now paying for personal training. So, how do you stand out when vying for business?

We ask personal trainer Larry Cohen, who has managed his business, Step into Life, for more than 20 years, to explain some important lessons he’s learnt along the way.

Larry, who over sees more than 130 Step into Life locations across Australia, believes that people mold the success of others, not exercise machines. He says fitness must be people driven. “As human beings, we all want to be socially active, feel safe and have a sense of belonging. Group outdoor personal training provides the opportunity for that to flourish.”

Larry adds, one of the best pieces of business advice he’s ever received was about increasing his exposure points.

“Someone suggested doing an audit of the business and working out how many exposure points it had each day. For example, a car wrap equals one point, a tear drop banner equals two points and so on.”

The more exposure across your community, including online, the more likely you are to attract – and retain – new clients. This is now a daily focus for Step into Life franchisees.

Another important piece of advice Larry received from a mentor was to always break things down. “Business is challenging and will always throw up curve balls, but by keeping each challenge in its own box, means you can deal with it separately and will not feel overwhelmed by thinking of everything at once,” he says.

Looking back over the years of growing Step into Life, Larry says these are the top three things he wishes he knew before staring a personal training business.

1. Attracting clients

Obtaining clients is not easy! I learnt that creating brand exposure and a unique selling proposition for my service required a massive amount of time and effort, too. It is for this reason that I am so proud of the Step into Life brand and business model, including the support we offer Step into Life franchisees. Their success is our success and we are part of the same community.

2. Keeping clients

Keeping a client is vital and a lot easier than trying to find a new one. But working on retaining your clients takes a lot of consistent effort. You need to think about variety in training, value in the service and excellent member retention techniques. These are all a major part of the Step into Life business model and account for the excellent member retention stats our franchisees have.

3. Life experience

The saying: ‘I wish I knew then what I know now!’ could not be more true in my case. Life experience is valuable in building your personal training business. You might make mistakes, but if you learn from them and keep working towards attracting and retaining your clients, you will enjoy your PT business for years to come.

For more advice from Larry Cohen about starting out in personal training, read What you ought to know about your first year as a personal trainer.