“I got my first client through a personal trainer referral program, and now I’m one of the top trainers in my area. My clients started coming to me as a result of me showing up at the gym, working out, and going for a run. How did I get so good at personal training?”

You’ve been working as a personal trainer for years, perhaps even decades. You’ve probably helped tons of clients reach their goals, and now it’s up to you to take your business to the next level.

Life as a personal trainer is not for everyone. It’s one of those professions that requires long hours of hard work, dedication, and introspection. In order to be a successful trainer, you have to be willing to put in the work to get results, and you have to be willing to do the hard things to get to the next level. So, how do you translate this into your career as a business leader?. Read more about how to be successful in the fitness industry and let us know what you think.

You can assist individuals improve their life while also earning a good living!

Nate Green (together with Dr. John Berardi of and Sean Greeley of Net Profit Explosion) describes the crucial stages in a successful fitness business in this article. Then he assists you in determining what you need to do in order for your business to develop and thrive.

[Note: this article is also available to listen to as an audio recording.] So, if you’d rather to hear the piece, go here.]


If you’re a fitness professional just starting out, you probably have a straightforward dream. You desire to assist people in bettering their health. At the same time, you want to make a lot of money. Easy.

So why don’t most personal trainers and coaches turn their passion for fitness into more than a glorified side hustle?

One answer is that it has been quite easy to enhance your skills as a trainer up until now. However, effective nutrition, coaching, and business systems training for fitness professionals has not been simple to come by.

It’s no surprise that many well-intentioned fitness professionals fail within the first year or two of going it alone.

I’m sure I did.

I was a competent trainer as an arrogant 22-year-old. I had a sizable clientele. And I had a very vivid dream. However, I wasn’t really sure on the details.

I was ready to go after a year. I was working longer hours but earning less money than at the big box gym. Plus, I was probably not meeting my clients’ demands since I was so stressed out.

My tale now has a joyful ending. I began my career writing for fitness magazines before moving on to work for. That is a better fit for me.

But there are times when I wonder what would have happened to my business if I had known more about what to expect or where to seek help.

And my company is far from the first to struggle due to a lack of effective systems. How many other businesses have gone bankrupt because their owners lacked fundamental understanding or a strategy?

Meanwhile, how many people have been denied the assistance they require?

There is, however, reason to be optimistic.

Get the assistance that I didn’t have when I first started out.

Do you need to understand the science of nutrition as well as the art of coaching? That isn’t a problem anymore. (In factCertification ,’s programs do a good job of filling that void.)

What is business coaching? It’s also not a problem.

Sean Greeley’s Net Profit Explosion (NPE) has already helped tens of thousands of fitness professionals turn their dreams into reality rather than statistics. (And it’s simple to fuel your firm for continuing stability and growth with Sean’s experienced assistance and recommendations.)

I recently spoke with him and our very own Dr. Berardi — who, after all, has established a flourishing fitness business from the ground up — to get the inside scoop on how to grow a stronger fitness business. Continue reading for more information.

A successful fitness business comprises six phases.

Fitness businesses, like all businesses, go through a series of predictable stages, according to Sean.

You can make better decisions now and plan more sensibly for the future if you know where your company is at.

  • Phase 1: You’re just getting started.
  • Phase 2: You want to be your own boss.
  • Phase 3: You’re ready to start a business and grow it.
  • Phase 4: Committed to the long-term prosperity of the company. 
  • Phase 5: You want to be in charge of a team that manages your company without you. 
  • Phase 6: You’ve met your objectives and are ready to take on the next challenge. 

We’ll assume you’re new to the field for the purposes of this essay, therefore your company most likely fits into one of the first three groups.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to ensure your success in the future.

Are you a newcomer to the fitness industry?

Begin with Phase 1: Getting Started. 

The goal at this point is to begin attracting clients and earning money.

You’re probably thinking, “Of course.” If only it was that simple!

But, if you’re good at what you do and keep a few important ideas in mind, it’s actually rather simple:

  • Do not give up your day job. Before you consider quitting, get your first ten clients. Before you consider making it your life’s work, you must first know that you enjoy it.
  • Make the decision to become a “full” fitness professional. Before you concentrate on expanding your business, you must be certain that you can deliver excellent results for every client you work with. Get the education and experience you’ll need to succeed. (Here’s a breakdown of the workout program we propose.)
  • Consider and write down your ideal lifestyle. What makes you want to work in the fitness sector in the first place? What do you want your business to enable you to accomplish? Knowing this will help you make better selections in the future.
  • Choose the types of clients you’d like to deal with. Athletes? Kids? People who are overweight or who are medically fragile? When you know who your ideal client is, you’ll know where to look for them, how to communicate with them, and how to serve them.
  • Create a “main offer” for your business. This is how you persuade folks to come in the door and become customers. It might be a free consultation, a 21-day trial, or a jump-start program. But whatever it is, it will get folks in the door and allow you to begin cultivating meaningful relationships.

Working in a fitness center or a gym?

It could be time to move on to Phase 2: Want to be your own boss.

High five if you work for a gym or fitness center and enjoy it, have a decent customer base, and your clients consistently receive fantastic results.

However, while you are certainly pleased with your clients’ achievements, you may be getting tired and looking for a new challenge.

If that’s the case, it might be time to think about opening your own studio. But, before you sign that lease, keep the following in mind:

  • Do I really want to be my own boss? It’s nice to own a small business, but it’s not for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a big job with a lot of responsibilities, and it also entails a lot of tedious work. Make sure you’re willing and able to accomplish the work, or devise a different strategy.
  • Concentrate on improving your net profit. Keep in mind the formula: gross revenue minus gross expenses equals net profit. And the only number that matters is net profit. Before making any significant purchases, always run the figures. Is this going to help you or make things worse (in terms of debt and headaches)?
  • Don’t give up your training position just yet. Before jumping ship, be sure you have the time, money, and specific plans in place.

Do you already have a studio or a gym?

It’s time to move on to Phase 3: Getting ready to start and expand a business.

Once you’ve taken the plunge and gone it alone, you’ll need to keep planning and managing your business to keep it from stagnating or, worse, collapsing under the weight of your unmet expectations.

To assure continuing success, take the following steps:

  • Recognize that you must turn your “job” into a legitimate business. Start thinking about the next stage of your company and what it will take to make it a long-term success. You must ensure that you can maintain service, increase marketing, and hire someone to assist you, or you will not be able to work on the business rather than in it.
  • Create systems for everything you do. First, double-check that you’re doing everything correctly. After that, make sure they’re written down and reproducible. Otherwise, you’ll just be reinventing the wheel over and over again. This results in stagnation, boredom, and irritation for both you and your clients.

Do you want to learn more about each of the six phases? The 6 Stages of Fitness Business Growth and Development are outlined below.

Finally, the world relies on you.

Working in the fitness business allows you to do meaningful work.

It’s your chance to make a wonderful living doing something you enjoy while also making a difference in people’s lives.

However, just a few out of every 100 fitness experts have a flourishing business.

It does not have to be this this.

You can learn how to establish a business that helps you, your family, your clients, and your community, just as you can learn how to become a better trainer and coach.

Begin by asking yourself the following question:  

“How do I know what phase I’m in?”

After that, do the exact opposite of what I did:

Get the assistance you require.


Thanks to NPE’s Sean Greeley for his contribution to this post. If you’re a trainer who wants to develop a successful business but isn’t sure where to begin, NPE’s free diagnostic consultation is a good place to start.

Also, take a look at this free mini-course for readers only: 9 referral marketing strategies to obtain more clients right now. Don’t miss it if you want steady and dependable recommendations to help your business expand consistently throughout the year.

You have a fitness business, why not make it your full-time job? As a personal trainer, you may make a pretty good living with the clients you outsource your services to. You can also get away with charging less for your services, since you don’t have to pay your employees as much as a gym that has to cover all the costs of equipment, land, and other overhead. But what if you want to start your own fitness business where you can make more money?. Read more about starting out as a personal trainer and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a personal trainer business make?

A personal trainer business can make anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

How can a business be successful in fitness?

A business can be successful in fitness by providing a service that is needed. For example, a gym might provide a service to help people get fit and healthy.

How do I take my fitness business to the next level?

The best way to take your fitness business to the next level is by adding a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help you with all aspects of your fitness life, from diet and exercise plans, to motivation and accountability.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • starting a personal training business checklist
  • npe fitness
  • starting out as a personal trainer
  • how to start a personal training business
  • starting a personal training business
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