16 Reasons Your Personal Training Business Fails

Every day we meet a new fitness pro who is struggling to get their fitness business to the next level. They are frustrated with their growth, stressed out by their business, and confused about what to do next.

Time’s running out to find a solution for many fitness pros. And when that time does run out we see a lot of great fitness pros leave the industry or never reach the number of people they should because of these struggles.

Here are the not so sweet 16 reasons your personal training business fails…

You Never Learn To Sell

This is one of the first skills you need to develop as a good trainer. Being good at what you do isn’t good enough and simply offering training services doesn’t mean the clients will come. You need to learn how to get people to pay you, and pay you what you are worth, for your professional services.

Listening To The Wrong People

The wrong mentor, coach or advice giver can do some serious damage to a business. They may send you off with a bad strategy or worse give you advice that puts your entire business at risk. You need to pick your mentors and coaches wisely.

Failure To Track Performance

What gets measured gets managed. Failing to measure the performance of your marketing, financials and other business basics will leave you guessing when it comes time to make decisions. You don’t have the time to guess, business is hard enough without making uneducated decisions.  

Not Developing New Skills

When you started training you didn’t know nearly as much as you do now. You developed new skills and methods for delivering results and creating change in your clients. The same focus on personal and professional development needs to occur for your business.

No Cash Flow
The ability to invest in your marketing, your team and your business can accelerate your growth.  But, you’d be surprised how many businesses doing $200,000/year or more in gross revenue don’t have a dime to invest. Store up some cash so that you have a cushion to invest in your business when it’s time. You won’t miss that new piece of equipment as much as you’ll miss not being able to bring in new clients or hire that new trainer.

You Don’t Learn To Manage Your Time

Building a great business is nearly impossible on your own. Eventually, you’ll need to hire and delegate so that you can free up some of your time. But, before you do that it’s critical to learn to manage your own time and priorities.  

Misinterpretation of Systems

Systems don’t mean a checklist and they don’t mean automation. Too many fitness pros try to automate a process or system that should be run by a person because you know, we’re in a personal service industry. Systems should empower the people running them and when appropriate you can automate things to make it easier on the person running it. Examples would be putting clients on autopay for their memberships so a person doesn’t have to track and bill them for sessions.  

You Are Disorganized

As an entrepreneur, you’ve survived in a world of chaos. Doing every job, knowing where everything is and exactly how it should be done. That will be your achilles heel when it comes to building a team and being efficient with your time. You need to have your systems, processes, and business organized to allow others to flourish. Don’t expect them to be able to ‘just figure it out’.

You Hire The Wrong People

Slow to hire, quick to fire. That’s the rule when it comes to building your team. Now that doesn’t mean you should let someone go at the first mistake because often time that’s on you. It does mean that you need a great hiring process, clear expectations for each team member and a process to ensure they are trained to do their job well. Do everything you can to hire, train and retain the right people.

Burnout Blows Up A Business

You only have so much gas in your tank. Burning the candle at both ends, running around with your hair on fire trying to grow your business can’t last forever. Even if you outlast this, most your performance won’t be what it could. Learn to say no to opportunities that aren’t directly tied to your current goals and delegate tasks that you should no longer be doing. Oh, and take some time to recharge. Even if that’s just an afternoon on Sundays.

Bad Partnerships

Partnerships can be great or they kill a business. Most fitness pros bring on a partner for the wrong reasons. Before you take on a business partner get clear in what they will bring, get everything in writing and know exactly what the expectations are from both parties.

Putting The Brakes On Marketing

This industry is too competitive to stop marketing. Many fitness pros get ‘too busy’ to keep up their marketing. Eventually, their funnel of new leads dries up and revenue starts to drop. But, you can’t just turn your marketing back on and hope for immediate results. It can take weeks, even months, for marketing to turn into revenue. Don’t take your foot off the gas….EVER!

Refuse To Let Go

As you grow into a business owner with a team your roles shifts from ‘do-er’ to leader. If you refuse to let go of the technical work in your business, including some of the training. NOT ALL, if that’s what you love to do, but at least some of the training needs to be delegated. Your job now is to get results through other people, which requires a majority of your time is spent leading them.

Growing Too Fast

Have you ever had a client who wanted to progress on an exercise too early? They usually end up hurt and then set back with their progress. The same goes for a business owner who tries to open up another location too soon, doesn’t master the fundamentals at each stage of their business or tries to be an absentee owner too quickly. You have to earn the right to grow as a business owner and that requires putting in the work.

Your Ego Gets In The Way

After you’ve seen some success its easy to drink a little too much of your own Kool-Aid. If you think you’ve got all the answers and that you ‘know better’ things are eventually going to catch up with you. You’ll avoid addressing pressing issues or being real about the issues in your business. You need to be in a constant state of learning and growth.   

Business Doesn’t Evolve

The market is constantly shifting and changing if you don’t adapt your business will suffer. Doing things one way because that’s how you’ve always done them is a surefire way to eventually go out of business. Many giants have fallen, such as Blockbuster, because they refused to adapt. Your small business is even more sensitive to market shifts.  

BONUS: You Don’t Get The Support You Need Fast Enough

Every single successful business owner and entrepreneur finds mentors and coaches to help the learn and grow. You should look at this as an investment in your future and your success, it’s not an expense. In fact, you can’t afford to not find a mentor or coach. If you want to learn how FR can help you and see if we are a good fit, schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call with a member of our team. We’ll figure out if any of these 16 things are occuring in your business and help you address them quickly.

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