Online personal training is soaring at the moment. People love the ease and convenience that comes with using online training services. But, simultaneously, it enables them to choose the best professional for them rather than the most convenient.
For personal trainers, offering an online service in their personal training business means reaching a much broader group of people. The possibilities are endless, yet the competition is fierce. Because of this, you need to have a solid business plan in place.
Below, we will take you through the steps to follow to create an effective online personal training business plan:
Step 1. Start with a brief introduction and executive summary.When putting together a business plan for your online training business, start with a brief introduction to your business.
Once you have done this, you can create an executive summary, a synopsis of your entire business plan.
In the executive summary, you need to give a brief overview of everything you will include in the business plan.
Address how you will set your online fitness venture apart from the competition. Make sure you reveal how you will run your online training business, as only some people reading the document may understand the ins and outs of being an online personal trainer.
Step 2. Put together a mission statement.Next, you need to create your mission statement. Why is your online fitness company going to exist in the first place?
Here, you must define your target audience, explain your core business values, and reveal how you will serve your client base.
For your mission statement to have the desired impact, you must remember that readers have probably read many mission statements before. Many of them can be repetitive, so you need to do something different. Break the common mold.
Step 3. Include a section that analyses the current state of the fitness industry.The next part of your business plan is a brief industry analysis. This is where you share knowledge relating to the online fitness industry specifically.
• What is online personal training?
• What is the market for online personal training expected to be like over the coming years?
• How has online personal training evolved?
• What are some of the most significant online personal training trends?
When answering these questions, you can tie it back to how you will operate your online training business.
Step 4. Share information on your target audience.Now that you understand the market space you are operating in and what you wish to achieve from your business, you can share details on your ideal client and who will benefit from your online training services.
If you create one or more buyer personas, you will have a better understanding of who your ideal clients are, how they talk, what they're interested in and as a result how you can market to them.
Some of the things you can cover when creating your buyer persona are as follows:
• Personal info like demographics, location, income, hobbies, and interests
• The challenges they face regarding fitness and health, their problems, what is stopping them from solving them, and the specific pain points
• Their career goals, ambitions, and how they interpret success
• How can you help them? What does your service do for them to achieve their version of success with their fitness?
Step 5. What is the competition doing?Competitor analysis is another essential element of your online personal training business plan. You will need to take a more detailed look at the competitors already operating in your niche and what they are doing.
You can also compare your online training model with in-person personal training so you can explain how you will compete with this type of service.
Spend time researching what the competition offers, what current and ex-customers are saying, and any gaps in the market.
Once you have presented your competitor's analysis, you'll need to give answers to the following questions in this section:
• What is your business going to do differently?
• How will you compete against these personal trainers?
• What are your strengths?
Be bold and acknowledge some weaknesses, too, and an action plan on how you intend to improve them.
Step 6. Online security and practicalities.Running an online business in any field presents a unique set of challenges. It is essential to acknowledge these and prepare for them so that you can demonstrate to partners and investors that you have a solid plan. It's also crucial to understand the risks and your responsibilities towards clients to protect their information from 3rd parties and potential security threats. So including an IT security risk assessment in this section is a good idea.
Online security is one of the main issues you need to deal with. There are rules and regulations, such as PCI DSS, which must be adhered to when taking card payments online. You then have GDPR for EU clients and other data regulations across the globe you need to consider when setting up your online personal training systems.
If you adhere to this legislation, you can avoid a whole world of trouble. Not only will you face non-compliance fines, but your reputation will take a big hit should any failings in cyber security cause damage to your clients.
Many businesses have struggled to recover following data breaches, so you must inspire confidence by showing that you take this seriously and know what is necessary to run a legitimate and professional online business.
You can also address customer management issues. For example, how will you handle your ever-growing list of online personal training clients? How are you going to keep on top of billing and client check-ins? The vast majority of personal trainers will use a customer management tool, such as PT Distinction. Outline your choice and why it is the perfect fit.
Step 7. Detail your core online training services.As you can see, it's pretty far down the line when you introduce your online training offers because all the information in the first 6 steps are crucial to creating your online training packages.
You can start by explaining your reasons for offering different packages or memberships. For example, are you going to include live sessions or on-demand workouts at all? Do you plan to sell any products, such as merchandise or home gym equipment? If yes, why and how will it help your online fitness business succeed?
To help you get some inspiration, let's take a look at some of the different services a lot of online personal trainers offer:
• Online consultations for new members
• On-demand libraries with workout content that users can enjoy on-the-go
• One-on-one virtual personal training
• Nutrition planning
• Group coaching services
When you outline the products and services you will provide, ensure you are clear about service provision. How will you deliver the services? What software will you use? How will you operate in a customer-friendly and professional manner?
Step 8. Your marketing strategy.You may be the best personal trainer on the Internet, but if no one knows about your services, you will not get very far. This is why it is critical to put together an expert marketing strategy.
From social media to paid advertising, there are many different avenues for you to explore when it comes to online fitness marketing. However, since you'll be delivering your services online, you will only be able to grow if you invest some time, effort, and maybe even money into a solid digital fitness marketing strategy according to Smart Insights.
You will need to refer back to your ideal clients to determine the marketing approach that makes the most sense. You also need to factor in your budget. Then, when putting pen to paper, explain which strategies you will use, why you will use them, and how you will implement them.
It would be best to discuss what other businesses have done in the online personal training arena and how you will market your business differently. This can come from the competitor analysis you did for writing Step 5.
What techniques have been used well so far? What strategies have yet to work? You don't need years of marketing expertise to create a great marketing plan. Instead, outline the methods proving to be the most successful based on the research you have done into your competition.
Step 9. Address finances.You will need to discuss your budget, income, and revenue in the
finances section so you and your potential investors can understand if your plan is viable.
Many personal trainers find that having a financial planner or accountant is beneficial here, as you will need to share future costs and projections, define early expenses, and determine the revenue you must earn for your business to be sustainable.
You can also discuss the following matters:
• How much of your budget will be allocated to development, operations, taxes, and marketing?
• How will you collect payments from customers?
• How will you pay suppliers?
• How will you pay yourself, and what do you hope to gain financially?
• How will you manage cash flow?
BONUS Step. Location and LogisticsAlthough you will run an online business, you still need to run it from somewhere. Therefore, you will need a space to house your computer and carry out live workout sessions and video consultations.
Will you do this from your own home? Are you going to rent a facility? Or are you going to purchase a dedicated space?
Your business must be registered at a specific address, so consider this carefully. A professional address will help to boost your brand image.
It is also vital to address this from a financial perspective. For example, how much of your budget will be dedicated to your office space? What level of revenue are you going to need to accumulate to fund these expenses comfortably?