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A Simple Guide to Starting Your Online Fitness Business

Getting Started
August 15, 2023
tim saye

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Online personal training is a booming industry and one that is forecast to keep growing. But if you want to join this competitive market, where do you begin? This article will examine some key areas in starting your own successful online fitness business.

Objectives and Market Position

First, you need to determine your objectives and market position by addressing these three questions:

1. What is your objective?

What exactly do you want to achieve from your online fitness business? What level of income are you aiming to earn from it?

Will it be your whole income or a side hustle? Will you focus on it full-time from the start or gradually commit more as it grows? How would you like your business to look in five years? Defining a clear objective will inform your planning from the start.

2. What can you offer?

Carry out an assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, areas of expertise, and particular interests. List your relevant work experience, qualifications, certifications, and memberships.

Is there anything missing that could put you in a stronger position? Do you need to update any certifications; check out the best qualifications and courses for online trainers.

3. Is there space in the market for you?

Having established what you want to achieve and what you can offer, investigate whether there is a market for your services. Find out all you can about industry trends and competitors.

What services do others offer, how do they market them, and who are they aimed at? Are there any emerging trends other trainers have been slow to catch onto? The aim of this market research is to identify gaps, develop your USP and hone in on your target audience.

Once you have answered these three questions to your satisfaction, you can move on to the next stage; getting everything in place to run a successful business.

Legalities and finances

When setting up any business, it’s vital to tick all the relevant legal and financial boxes to ensure that it will be run legitimately and professionally. Several tasks come under this heading:

Decide on the proper structure for your business and register it

Will you be a sole proprietor? Are you working in partnership with someone else, or would a limited liability company (LLC) suit you better? This article from IDEA Health & Fitness Association covers all the different options.

· Put financial systems in place – This includes invoicing, payments, accounting, and general record keeping for filing taxes. Set up a separate business account to help you keep track of everything.

· Get insurance – You will need liability insurance to protect your business, so make sure this is in place right from the start.

· Practice good data protection – Different countries have different privacy laws, so check which ones apply to you and follow guidance to protect the data you’re dealing with (in particular, your clients’ details).

Business planning

All businesses need a plan to follow; it’s essential to have a proper business plan in place if you’re seeking investment, but even if you aren’t, it will give you credibility and enable you to set realistic goals.

Business plans don’t need to be long and complex. But they should cover certain standard elements such as market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing plan (see below), description of services, and financial projections.

Writing a business plan will help you focus on the crucial aspects of running a business you may have yet to consider.

You will need to consider pricing, expenses, and how to make a profit and grow your business. Additionally, you may want to consider getting funding for your personal trainer business.


In addition to your business plan, you’ll need a marketing plan. Again, this doesn’t need to be a hugely detailed document for smaller businesses, but it should at least cover the basics of who your company is aimed at, how you intend to reach them, your marketing budget, and how you will measure success.

Start with the tasks that need to be addressed first, such as:

  • Building a brand
  • Setting up a website
  • Setting up business accounts for social media platforms
  • Adding business details to online listings
  • Creating a mailing list

Then set out your ongoing strategic planning for things like:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Advertising
  • Online reviews

Here are some online fitness marketing ideas for personal trainers to get you started; we will also be looking more closely at marketing strategy in future articles.

Management tools

There are many tools available to help you run your business more smoothly, including:

  • Accounting software
  • Contact management systems
  • Social media scheduling tools
  • Email marketing tools

Weigh up the pros and cons of investing in these, and take advantage of free trials to test them out. Talk to other small business owners and see which ones they recommend.

For personal trainers, using specialist management software such as PT Distinction makes life so much easier; having everything in one place saves you time, keeps you organized, and enables you to scale your business.

Fine Tune Your Business Strategy

Ultimately, starting your own business requires enthusiasm, ambition, realism, and commitment. It will involve some trial and error and adapting to changing circumstances.

If you need help, find people who can advise or mentor you; you could also consider outsourcing specialist tasks such as accounting or marketing. The main thing is not to get too mired in problems or planning; preparation is essential but don’t lose momentum.

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