One of the hardest aspects of starting your own personal training business is finding the perfect rate to charge for your services. If you set your rates too low you’ll quickly run out of money and have to close up shop, but if your rates are too high you’ll price yourself out of the market and struggle to find any clients. Finding the right balance between profitability and affordability requires you to look at a number of business different variables.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through all of the necessary steps towards finding the ideal rate to charge for your personal training services.
Step 1 - Calculate Your Overheads
Your overhead is the amount of money it takes for you to operate your business. Expenses such as rent/mortgage for your training facility, utilities, phone bill, taxes, payroll, and insurance all need to be calculated to find your total overhead expense. If you contract any outside professional services like accountants or attorneys, you’ll need to factor in these expenses as well. The more overhead expenses you have, the more you’ll have to charge for your services.
Step 2 - Check the Industry Climate
What are the other personal trainers in your area charging for their services? Is your business located in a big city with a high cost of living, or an inexpensive small town? Is there a lot of competition within your particular fitness niche, or are you the only powerlifting trainer in the area? By surveying the local market, you’ll get a better sense of how much your potential clients are willing to pay.
Step 3 - Account For Your Time
Are you new to the industry and happy to just scrape by on the margins, or are you an experienced trainer looking to earn a comfortable living? Once you know the expected costs of running your business, you can begin to factor your expected take-home pay into your client’s hourly rate.
Step 4 - Get Smart With Your Time
How many hours can you expect tow work? In other words, how many hours will you be able to spend each week on working with clients. A ten-hour workday doesn’t translate into ten billable hours. A lot of the time spent working on your personal training business will be dedicated to administrative tasks like paying bills, organizing your schedule, and running a marketing campaign.
Step 5 - What's Your USP?
This is the important one! Your USP is your Unique Selling Proposition. This is the difference between a generic income and a second home in Bali income. Let me explain. Your regular doctor is a GP (General Practitioner) and he get's paid a generic income. A heart surgeon is also a GP but he or she specialises in heart surgery. Guess who has that home in Bali?
You can read more about creating your USP here: How to Create Your USP
Once you take all of these factors into account, you can use them to crunch the numbers and find a rough estimate of what you should be charging per hour with clients.
Once you’ve calculated your hourly rate, see if the number is at or below the average rate charged by other trainers in your area. If it is, great! You’re in good shape to get started with marketing yourself to new clients. But If your rate is higher than the average, you’ll have to figure out a way to either lower it, or find a way to generate extra revenue.
How to Optimise Your Income
Here are a few ways to either lower your costs, earn extra money, or charge the hourly rate you’ll need to keep your business afloat.
Show your worth – Do you have an outstanding fitness resume? If you were at one point a successful athlete, you can use that to position yourself as a leader in your fitness niche.
Qualifications like advanced degrees or certificates, years of experience, noteworthy past clients, and personal fitness achievements can all be communicated to your clients, making them more likely to spend some extra money on your services. Plus, by charging more than the competition, you’ll automatically have clients wondering what it is about your services that justifies the higher price. If you just work to undercut the competition, on the other hand, clients might assume it’s because you offer a subpar service.
Reduce your overhead expenses – If you rent or own your own fitness facility, consider subletting the space to others. It’s not uncommon for owners of fitness studios with a lot of floor space to rent out their building to small concert promoters and event organizers who are happy to make use of the space during late night off hours.
In addition, you could consider specializing in at-home training, this way you won’t have to pay for a facility at all. Your only overhead cost might me transportation expenses and some minimal fitness equipment.
Sell health and fitness products – A great way to earn some extra revenue is to sell health food supplements and fitness equipment at your facility. Protein powders and bars, energy drinks, vitamin and mineral supplements, yoga mats, and Swiss Balls are all hot sellers at fitness studios and gyms. You can even print up some branded merchandise like hats and t-shirts to sell to your clients. This is a great way to earn extra cash and market your business at the same time!
Once you know the rate you’ll need charge your clients to reach your income goals, you can start getting creative in finding ways to reach it. Don’t hesitate to be a little flexible with your rates in the beginning, after all, part of starting your own business is a period of trial and error. Experiment with new marketing strategies and reach as many people as possible to begin building a solid base of clients.
Remember, it’s your business and you have complete control, so do what feels right for you and never sell yourself short of what you deserve.
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