How To Open Your First Personal Training Studio
To open a Personal Training Studio, you will need to find a suitable space that fits your budget. Gather the correct premises use. Buy equipment for the studio. Market your services to the local area. Conduct training sessions in your studio and start charging as much as you want. Add additional services to increase your revenue.
Key Points On How To Open Your First Personal Training Studio:
- Before you consider opening your own Fitness and Personal Training studio I recommend you have prior experience as a PT
- The cost of opening a studio can vary from as little at £5,000 to well over £50,000 depending on size and equipment
- You may need to compromise on your ideal space
- Take into consideration additional hidden costs such as business rates and music licenses
- Be prepared to work over 50 hours a week to launch your business
Continue reading for the rest of the article;
How Much Money Does It Cost To Open A Personal Training Studio?
The amount of money you will need to open a personal training studio depends on what type of studio you want to launch with.
For a small one-person training studio designed for one-to-one training or for small groups, you can open a studio for as little as £5,000.
On the other hand, for a larger studio designed for multiple sessions at the same time or larger group classes, you will need at least £20,000. Costs for these studios could easily go to 10’s thousand.
Costs can vary enormously for each individual studio. Below is a list of factors to consider;
- Will flooring be required
- Are there individual bathroom facilities or are they a part of a service charge
- Will you need to redecorate
- Are you going to be buying expensive machines
- Or will your training be more functional free weights (cheaper to start with)
Finding a Suitable Space and What Makes a Good Location
To find a suitable space for your personal training studio you will need to make inquiries with local commercial property agents. You can also find property online with Rightmove etc.
A personal training studio can work in any location however take into consideration parking as clients will want convenience.
In addition, think outside the box when it comes to location. Is there another business that compliments yours that you can rent space off?
Finally, look at what’s already in the unit. Is the flooring suitable? Is the layout going to work? Is there space for a reception? Toilet access?
It will make your job converting the space a lot easier and cheaper if the majority of it is already done.
Be Creative With What Space You Are Looking For
Training studios don’t necessarily have to be in modern gym-like buildings.
I have personally built a small successful studio in an old bank building. The unit I have used to be a shop front which now provides a perfect opportunity to advertise my services in the window. Savings hundreds if not thousands of pounds of advertising spend.
Agreeing to Terms With The Landlord
Depending on how long the property has been advertised you may be able to negotiate a deal with the landlord. For example, try to negotiate a free rent period of 2-3 months whilst you complete the renovations.
If the property has been vacant for a while you could also offer reduced rent for the first year.
Also, I believe it is a good idea to get a break clause in the contract after one year. This means that for any reason the studio doesn’t work you have an opportunity to get out of the lease and move on to your next venture without losing money for years to come.
Instructing a Solicitor
Whilst getting a solicitor for a commercial lease isn’t a legal requirement, it is highly advised.
Commercial property is complex therefore ensuring you have a flexible lease with favourable terms can be the difference between your business being successful or a failure.
Getting Correct Business Use License
Commercial property is separated into different class uses.
When searching for studio space make sure it has the correct business use.
The class can be changed to suit your use however it is always easier to find somewhere that already has the correct use.
Talk to your solicitor if the business class needs to change as you should be able to agree on terms for the lease subject to the contract. Meaning that if you can’t change the use you don’t have to continue with the contract.
What Insurance Will You Need
When you have your Personal Training studio set up it is important to get the correct insurance. You will need the following;
Public Liability Insurance – Covers you if one of your clients gets injured when conducting a session
Indemnity Cover – Covers you if you offer advice that causes harm to your clients
Personal Accident Cover – Covers you if you injure yourself
I have always used Insure4Sport for all insurance needs.
In the UK some business premises are liable to pay business rates. This is the equivalent of residential council tax.
Smaller premises can claim small business rates relief which can reduce the amount owed to zero.
It is worth making these enquiries when looking for a space as the rates can be significant and therefore reduce your monthly costs.
Whilst it is important to plan out the first year of your business, I believe spending hours on a detailed business plan is a waste of time. You cannot plan for every eventuality and analysing the plan will lead to analysis paralysis, a condition where you end up doing nothing.
You will learn a lot more a lot quicker by doing rather than planning.
Loans and Funding
Deciding if you need a loan will depend on how big your first studio is going to be. If it is going to be small I would try and self-fund your first project.
Having loan repayments can cause stress when starting out therefore avoiding this will make your first venture a lot more enjoyable.
Options for loans include;
- Family and friends
- Bank Loans
- Local business angels or organisations
- Incubators and accelerators
- Small business grants
In my opinion, a combination of personal savings and bootstrapping at the start will be the easiest way to launch your first fitness and personal training studio.
Bootstrapping is where you launch a basic product ie a studio with the bare minimum equipment and then invest profits back into the studio, buying more equipment.
Again, the amount of equipment you need will depend on how big the studio is going to be. For this example, I am going to bullet point the equipment I would buy for my first small personal training studio.
- Dumbbell pairs from 5kg to 25kg
- Barbell adjustable from 10kg to 40kg
- Slam balls 5kg to 20kg
- Exercise mat
- Exercise bike (I would recommend a Concept 2 BikeErg)
- TRX with wall attachment
- Step up box with multiple levels
- Flat bench
- Incline bench
- Battle ropes
- Adjustable pulley machine
- Kettlebells 6kg to 24kg
If you are starting a personal training studio in a new location or if you don’t currently have any clients, the best way to get a new client’s in quickly is with a low barrier offer.
This is a limited commitment offer usually priced at a lower rate than your usual fees.
For example, a 8 session 4-week kickstarter program is a popular choice. The time frame is short, the price is lower than usual and it gives the new client’s enough time to achieve a small result and to get to know you personally.
Going forward these clients that took you up on a low barrier offer can be offered sessions at a lower rate or you can up sell them into higher priced programs.
Having a website is crucial. You will see some business coaches claiming you don’t need a website, only social media and direct messages.
Having a website makes you and your business look professional. It builds trust with potential client’s and builds authority in the marketplace.
In addition to the website, having an email address with your domain name attached immediately looks more professional. How many times have you seen a business address with ‘yahoo.com’ or ‘gmail.com’.
I would recommend getting started with a Squarespace website. The monthly cost is low and you will receive a domain name email address.
Do Personal Training Studios Make Money?
Yes, personal training studios can make money.
Personal training studios are businesses that offer personal training services, often in a dedicated space or facility.
These studios can generate revenue through the sale of personal training sessions and other fitness services.
In addition to one-on-one training sessions, personal training studios may also offer group fitness classes, fitness assessments, and other services that can generate income.
The profitability of a personal training studio will depend on factors such as the location, the demand for personal training services in the area, and the studio’s ability to market itself effectively.
Some personal training studios may also generate revenue through the sale of fitness-related products, such as workout equipment or supplements.