Christmas is often a time when Personal Trainers suffer a considerable dip in their cash flow, when many clients take holidays and subsequently, aren’t training.
Having first-hand experience with this over the past 15 years across our network, and having implemented countless strategies with our owners, I’ve compiled a short list of successful strategies to help you season proof your business:
- Ensure your policies around your contract and suspension terms are solid
Explain your suspension terms word for word and have your client sign them off individually during the sign-up process. As a Personal Trainer I believe clients should commit for 6 months to mark their readiness to change. If a client isn’t willing to financially commit for at least this period, usually they’re not really ready to make lifestyle changes. As a result, they probably won’t achieve their goals, which in turn, does nothing for your job satisfaction or reputation. Your policies should outline that clients must perform sessions before and after they go on holiday and that they may only suspend for a short time (if at all). This of course will also help them stay on track. Ensuring that Trainers manage their bookings appropriately is also key. All Vision Trainers are expected to keep their session bookings up to date at least 9 weeks in advance.
- Schedule your clients’ pre and post-holiday bookings in advance
If your clients go on holidays ensure you book in their post-holiday training sessions before they leave. Not only will this ensure they get back into their training on time (assisting cash flow), but it can also prevent them from falling into bad habits while they’re away. Effective goal setting is particularly important at this time. If you help clients set compelling goals, they’ll not only be more likely to want to do the extra work before and after they go away, but will also probably make time to train while they’re away.
- Ramp up your promotions
Running competitions during these slower periods can be an effective way to sustain interest. At Vision, each year during December and January, we run activity campaigns such as “Do 14 Personal Training sessions between December 1st and January 31st” to go into the draw to win a trip to Rome”. Our upcoming December/January prize is a trip for two to the Maldives. Now that is a pretty cool incentive!
Do you have other ideas that you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Simmons is the Founder of Vision Personal Training, Australia’s largest Personal Training studio franchise with 50 studios across Australia and New Zealand. Vision was voted Emerging Franchise System of the Year by the Franchise Council of Australia in 2008, and National Personal Training Business of the Year in 2003 and 2010. Inducted into Fitness Australia’s Roll of Honour in 2013, Andrew has presented at international health, fitness and business conventions since 1995. Andrew is also the author of two best-selling books on health and fitness: “Fat Loss Take Control” (40,000+ copies sold) and “Ready Set Go — 3 Steps to better Health” (10,000+ copies sold). www.visionpt.com.au