personal training

How to create the perfect personal training business plan in 8 easy steps. GET A FREE TEMPLATE IN THE END!

Personal training business plan

If you’re thinking, What? Personal training business plan? Does that even exist? 

The answer to that would be YES! They definitely do. But it is usually absent in the personal training profession. One of the reasons being time. Writing a plan takes time. 

In the personal training business, time is highly valuable. Because of which planning takes the back seat. 

But is that really the right way to go about it? 

How does a personal training business plan help trainers achieve more in less time? 

More importantly, what happens when planning isn’t done beforehand? 

Lack of a vision and not planning appropriately might be the reason why things start going downhill for some excellent personal trainers. 

The journey looks somewhat like this – 

Flow chart showing the journey of a personal trainer without a plan

To be able to help more and more clients and grow as a business owner, you need to formulate a plan. This plan will help you on every step of your journey, from a beginner to a successful personal trainer. 

When you have a clear understanding of what your goal is, you’ll know exactly what you need to do for your business to succeed. Because of this detailed laid-out plan, even when things go south; you’ll get out of the fix in no time. 

But when you start thinking about it, a few questions pop up:

  1. What is a business plan
  2. Why do you need a personal training business plan
  3. What are the benefits of a personal training business plan?
  4. How to create a personal training business plan

Let’s dive in right away and find the answers to all these questions. We’ve also curated a detailed personal training business plan template for you. Find it in the end. (or jump directly to it)! 


What is a business plan? 

Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, a business plan definitely prepares the ground. To succeed in any business, you need to bring your ‘A’ game to the field. 

I will prepare and one day my time will come.

Abraham Lincoln

Think of a business plan as a roadmap to success. It provides greater clarity on various aspects of your business. These can be operational, marketing and finance, or even product/ service details. 

The purpose of a business plan is to articulate a strategy for starting or expanding a business. You must know – 

  • What do you have to do? 
  • Why do you have to do it? 
  • How will you do it? 
  • By when do you intend to finish doing it? 

A business plan gives you insight into the steps you need to take. You can also list down the resources you need for achieving your business goals. When you research and spend time carefully accessing every detail of your business plan, you also set a timeline for anticipated results. 

A personal trainer business plan does all this but it is focused on growing personal trainers and personal training business owners or just for people who plan on making it big in the personal training business.  


Why do you need a personal training business plan? 

You must know the answer to the ‘why’ before you get to the ‘how’. 

People seldom think that business planning is something only big corporations do, where they have to meet deadlines and quarterly goals and whatnot. It’s safe to say that they can’t be farther from the truth. You can count on it for the following reasons – 

  • Gives you new ideas for growth: Every big business was once a small business. For existing small businesses, a business plan should be updated annually as a way to guide growth and navigate the expansion into new markets. Think of a business plan as a map to guide you to success.
  • Gets you going: When you come up with a personal training business plan, you take the first step towards your end goal of being a successful personal trainer. It helps you stay focused and puts you in control. A well-implemented business plan for personal training leads you where you want to go. 
  • Time and resource management: You can allocate resources well and prepare for uncertainties ahead of time. It helps you manage your limited time efficiently and focus your efforts on the things that matter the most. 
  • Helps get funding: A personal training business plan isn’t only for your own guidance. You can also use this as a pitch to get funding or business partners. A detailed and well-laid out business plan helps you persuade investors that funding your business is a smart decision. 

Arnold once said, “Have a clear vision, because then you never go to the gym and say, “Today, I feel down a little bit, I don’t know what it’s all about.” 

You need to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it so you never suffer from a lack of motivation and always keep working towards your goals. 

Having that tunnel vision towards your goal is the ultimate key to creating a successful business. 

On top of that, a plan also helps you know your client better, provide them better services, market your business efficiently, scale up and generate more revenue.


What are the benefits of having a personal training business plan?

A man with a plan
  • It creates goals and objectives – An end goal or a vision is something that helps you put in the hours every day. Completing each checkpoint boosts morale and brings you a step closer to your end goal. 
  • Generates structure and organization – regardless of whether you’re a one-man show for your business or you have a team working for you, having a business plan means giving structure to your ideas. By doing things in order, you can utilize your time and resources to the fullest by focusing on one thing at any given stage. 
  • Helps you understand business concepts – You might have a strong grasp of everything happening under your own roof, but it is equally important to understand the market as well. Putting together a well-written business plan requires business owners to ask themselves hard questions and come up with well-thought-out and well-researched answers. 
  • You can engage with your target market better – When you write a business plan, a lot of time goes into finding your USP and your ideal customer profile. When a business owner understands these two things about their business, they can concentrate their efforts on marketing to their target audience and help them in a better way. 

Knowing how to write a good business plan will pay off in many different ways. It serves as more than an internal guide. If you’re trying to secure funding for your business, you can pitch this business plan to your potential investors as well.

As employees or other partners come aboard, it helps ensure that all workers share the same vision and that you’re all following the same path.


How to create a personal training business plan? 

Creating a business plan is a fairly simple process. You don’t need a ton of resources. What you do need is dedication and a good amount of time. As a personal training business plan sets the groundwork for all future actions, it is paramount that you spend time researching the best possible answers to all the questions we’ve described below. 

1. Your long-term goal

This is what you call your mission statement. Take a few moments to close your eyes and imagine your business when it has hit its peak. Think about how big it is? How many personal training clients does it have? How does it help them improve their fitness? 

What are you doing to run the business? Do you have staff? If so, how many? The more you can envision your goal business, the easier it is to create a personal training business plan that supports this vision.


2. Value proposition

This is where you think whether you want to provide a variety of class types to service a broader audience? Or you want to serve a niche making your service unique? 

What you do best and how can you use that to provide the best possible service to your clients. Depending on your specialty, this can be helping your clients with weight loss, diet planning, strength and conditioning training, or designing fitness programs for youth.

This is the part where you come up with your unique selling point (USP) which will later help you market your business effectively. 


3. Market analysis

When you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to do market research. Collecting information that is valuable to your business is a crucial part of market analysis.
With this information, you can deduce the viability of the service you provide in your target area. 

Find out where do the people who can afford personal training live, their training needs, an estimate of their income range, and the dominant demographic.

To understand what’s happening locally, hop online and check out all the personal training facilities in and around your area. This is called competitor research. You can also talk to locals and hand out questionnaires, do surveys and interviews as well. Ask them why they chose their current gym? 

For a national perspective – you can turn to Google, follow famous and successful personal trainers on their social media platforms and take note of things they’re doing right. This realistic information is difficult to find in one place.  


4. Marketing strategy

After you’ve found all the information you need about your competition and your target audience, it’s time to strategize how to use this information to your benefit. Layout a plan on how to get more clients. Decide which promotional methods you will use. 

You also need to figure out some techniques which help you retain your clients better. All this is pretty challenging if you don’t have some direction to move ahead in. 

Worry not. We’ve curated some simple, low investment, high ROI personal training marketing ideas. Check out this blog to get more personal training clients. 


5. Business structure

As your business grows, so will your responsibilities. A lot of clients with training space in multiple locations is where you eventually want to end up, right? This calls for some business structure. Your business structure determines how much you pay in taxes, your ability to raise money, your personal liability, and the paperwork you need to file. 

All your limitations and exemptions will also be decided by the structure of your business. 

Business structures in the US are – sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, and corporation. All of these have different pros and cons depending on your need and the stage of your business. 


6. Service and product offerings

Ideally, we all want to accomplish and complete all our goals, but realistically that doesn’t always happen. So you gotta prepare a failsafe. In the case of a business, that will be another source of revenue. 

Typically a personal training business provides services. But you can offer your clients some sort of product as well. This won’t only act as a failsafe mechanism, but also as an additional source that can earn you lots of profit. Products can range from protein powders to gym merchandise, to gym equipment. Anything that can help your clients is a good start. 

In this section, you need to share what your plan for these services looks like.  


7. Financial Plan

Before you start implementing, you need to make sure that the plan is financially sound. We don’t want some numbers to take us down. In this section, you should include: 

  • Startup costs – What do you need to pay for before you go into business? This can be rent that you need to pay in advance if you’re leasing out some space to train your clients. Keep enough cash reserved to pay for expenses that a personal trainer incurs in the beginning stage of their business. 
  • Operational costs – How much will you spend to run your business? This can include per month rental costs, maintenance, replacing equipment, the cost associated with the software, costs of hiring staff, marketing costs, etc. 
  • Expected revenue – Here you can write down how much you expect your business to earn every day, week, month, year, etc. 
  • Break-even analysis – If you’re making some investments in your business, then you can’t make a profit right away. For example – If you pay $200 advance rent for the space that you use to train your clients, then you will start earning profit only after you’ve made those $200 back.
    This can show how long it should take before you start making a profit.  

This section would help understand what you need to do to keep your business financially viable. It will show whether the business model you’ve come up with is realistic or not or if you need to make adjustments to prices or costs to hit your earning goal. 


8. Implementation Plan

Now that you’ve assembled all the necessary information and essential components of your plan, you should explain how you’ll combine them to launch or expand your business in this section.  

You have to provide a timeline with realistic deadlines. List key target dates and mention objectives that you need to complete against those dates. 

And there you go. Your personal training business plan is ready!


As a certified personal trainer and a business owner, you’ll get clients who are looking to improve their health and lives. This also means that once you have a steady stream of in-flowing clients, managing your scheduling will get tougher with each client and every commitment.  

Now we know that you love helping people through training, but from the perspective of a business owner, you don’t want to spend all your time doing just that. You need to pay attention to other aspects of a personal training business too, like managerial work, administrative work, marketing, and building relationships with your existing clients. 


Some of the problems that personal trainers face are – 

  • Attending to calls for scheduling appointments with clients means less time to focus on business. Either the trainer has to double up as a receptionist or decrease the training time in a day to focus on other things. The problem with hiring a professional is that it puts strain on their wallets in the early stage of business.
  • Increasing the reach to a larger audience is not easy. Trainers always need to come up with effective ideas to market their personal training business. Having a balanced marketing approach with both physical and online marketing strategies is key to gain a large audience.
  • Keeping track of all the appointments scheduled for the day and then sort of negotiating with clients who want to work out at a specific time. This can be challenging if you have places to go and manage your own time. 
  • When the volume of bookings increase, tracking rescheduled or canceled appointments and then letting other clients know that you’re free for that particular time slot can get difficult as well.

If there is a team of personal trainers who provide sessions at different gyms or outdoor locations at different times, then it becomes complicated for the business owners to know all their schedules at all times. 

Because of all this, a personal trainer might panic at a later stage in their business and as a result, lose valuable clients. 

What if there was a solution to all this, which could help a personal trainer in all these departments. 

Well actually, THERE IS!

Appointy has a scheduling tool that can help personal trainers grow their business. It can take care of all your appointment scheduling needs, send personalized email reminders, and even manage your admin work too. 

What’s more? IT IS FREE! Register and you’re ready to use. 


Final thoughts + Free template

A personal training business plan is never complete. Every time your business changes its direction, or when the plan has simply run its course, you’ll need to revisit and update it accordingly. 

If you think maybe it’s time to change your business plan, you’re probably right. So keep updating it and always be prepared. 

Want a template to get you started? 

Check out this personal training business plan template that we’ve curated for you. 

Although starting a personal training business might be daunting in the beginning but if you are determined, then it’s not long before you start making visible progress. 

When you’re ready beforehand, you’re no longer unsure about the steps you need to take at any stage of your business. This majorly helps a business owner minimize mistakes and maximize efficiency. 

Happy planning!


About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!