How to Grow Your Fitness Business Beyond Average


It’s amazing to see how quickly some health and fitness professionals are growing their businesses.


It seems like just yesterday that most personal trainers primarily offered one-on-one training sessions —  and that was it!


Of course, now, almost all trainers have added Group Training to their menu of services and have found that it significantly increases their “per hour” revenue.


Private and Group Training are definitely the main stream.


But what are the innovators doing?  How are they differentiating themselves from their competition.  How much more profitable are they?

Growing Beyond Average…


If you are to believe the numbers, most personal trainers who own their own businesses average between $34,000-42,000 per year with the national average being $38,000 per year (payscale national survery – 2015).


Obviously, $38K is not enough.  Heck, for many, $100K is not enough.  That’s why the NextGen, marketing-savvy “fitpreneurs” continue to develop new ways to service their clients and increase revenues.


The biggest, all encompassing change I see with our customers is the overall approach.  It’s becoming much more holistic.

It Starts with the Conversation


For example, one of our top fitness partners is an independent trainer with a 2,000 sq. ft. studio who earns 6 figures annually.   Here’s how his conversation starts with each new prospect:


So, you’re here because you’ve known for years that you need to make some changes in your health… so, what’s been getting in the way?  Is it work?  Is it family?  Is it self-motivation?  Is it an injury?”


Before any decisions are made, the trainer is already digging into the prospect’s life.  And, the conversation continues to revolve around the client including his/her career goals, job stress, hobbies, sports, travel, favorite foods, home life and even favorite TV shows.


It is not until the very end of the conversation that this trainer even begins to talk about what he has to offer.  And, I believe him when he tells me that his conversion rate is over 75% and that his #1 marketing vehicle is word-of-mouth referrals.


It’s his holistic approach.


He doesn’t talk about sessions and training.  Instead, his entire conversation is about understanding the prospect’s life and what’s been preventing him/her from living a healthier lifestyle.


In the eyes of the prospect, this trainer listens and really cares  —  and will undoubtedly be the best professional to help in the pursuit of better health… regardless of cost.  (And, he’s expensive).

Two Giant Steps To Add Revenue


This same holistic approach is driving the two biggest components that are adding new life and revenues to our customers businesses.




EDUCATION: I won’t dwell too much on this as it’s self-serving. But, several of our top financial performers are generating tons of extra revenue via 12-week classroom-style courses for weight-management and healthy lifestyle.



Some health and fitness professionals are offering these courses via Webinars and/or Skype or Google Hangouts while others are conducting physical classes once a week in their clubs/studios.  And, of course, some are doing both.


They continue to use and embellish the ONBOARD 101 curriculum and web-based tools allowing their clients to learn, participate and become totally engaged in their own journey toward healthy decision-making as well as the entire process of active lifestyle living.


These 12-week classroom-style group meetings can generate anywhere from $299 to $999 per person depending on how much extra value a health and fitness professional wants to add to the package.


PREMIUM IN-HOME LIFESTYLE CONSULTING:  Very few health and fitness professionals offer this service. Yet, it’s one of the most lucrative in the business (a post about Mandy).


As word spreads, the popularity of this ultra high-level of service will increase especially as more and more high net worth baby-boomers retire and are willing to pay for “hands-on” individualized home health coaching.


This type of service is so new that early adopters can name their own price.


There is no industry standard or protocol so it’s really a matter of what is offered in terms of:



  • Drive time
  • Preparation Time
  • Onsite Time (as part of services)



  • Daily Journals
  • Fitness Performance Apps
  • Nutrition and Exercise Software
  • Reading/Video Educational Materials



  • Pantry/fridge food assessment and clean out
  • Grocery shopping – consult
  • Home activities – consult
  • Healthy cooking – consult
  • Label reading – consult
  • Individualized exercise protocol
  • Individualized menu planning


This type of service has all kinds of options and “legs.”  For example:

  • 6-week, 8-week and 12-week programs can be offered at different price points.
  • Post program follow-up: Daily, weekly or monthly follow-ups can be offered to keep clients on track.
  • Fitness products sold via eCommerce site or affiliate partners.

It Just Keeps Getting Better…

With more than 25 years in this business, I am blown away by how much better it’s become over just the last two years.  The level of experience, areas of expertise and overall quality of health and fitness professionals just keeps getting better and better.


And, this push toward a more holistic approach as it relates to overall health and lifestyle is proof!