All week I’ve been looking at courses to become a Personal Trainer – it’s unbelievable the number and variations to choose from – full time, part time, distance learning, modules available, CPD extras, not to mention the price differences (with costs ranging from £99 for a particular module to £3,750 for a full on intensive 6 week course with promises of placements/guaranteed interviews/jobs !!
So there I was getting all wrapped up in the thrilling prospect of being self-employed and having my own business, I know this is something I want to do and passionate about and something I can make a success of. Even my partner (who is quite cynical about everything – ha ha ha) was getting excited for me. Suddenly, I was practically writing my resignation and hand in my notice :-O
It was getting to the point that I wasn’t even sleeping properly ’cause my mind was racing with so many business ideas and choices – so the research continued, chatting with the course providers, about my ideas and what I wanted to specialize in etc.
It was then that reality started kicking in – I only started acting on my own health fully last month!!
Beginning a new business or career, I’m well aware that there will be a salary drop – so worked out what income I would need to be able to service all my current bills (mortgage, utilities etc), cost of loan for the courses, tax, insurance, possible gym hire/equipment etc and so guessed I would need an income of at least £19k – so assuming a “normal” 232 working days a year roughly worked out about £80-90 per day.
Looking at the going rates for the North West area (£10-35 per 1hr session) – if I charged £20 as a newbie, that would be 4 sessions a day – and say an average 2 sessions per week/client for 1 month would mean i would need to maintain 12-15 clients per month (excluding any group/classes – which would be additional income).
Alternatively, starting employed salaries seemed to be between £14-17k, with possibly adding on free-lance work on top.
So it was all sounding quite manageable……. I then found the PT forums!!!!!!~@%$~#! That was an eye-opener and a massive reality check.
A lot of the PT’s on the forums weren’t very positive about the “intensive” courses (though the people on them said they were good) as most employers/clients will base there decision more on experience, knowledge, looks, and personality. The qualifications are just a pre-requisite. This is more than understandable given it’s the same in any employment industry.
That being the case – while intensive course may get the qualifications quicker – it costs a great deal more and guarantees the same – nothing!
Building up a business takes time and huge amount of effort – no self-employed PT whether affiliated with a big brand or on their own, are going to have a decent level of clients straight away. With a lot of work (50-60 hr wks) you could get there in 4-12 months….
Surprisingly this hasn’t put me off the fitness industry – but it has told me that I need to be realistic and not get caught up in the hype that the training companies feed you on their very attractive sites.
Putting my sensible hat on – rushing out and signing up for a full time, PT course, forking out a hefty wedge with no business planning, easy access back-up plan, and possible debts/bills I can’t afford to pay would just be stupid – but looking at the forums unfortunately seems quite a common occurrence in this very competitive industry.
My family can breathe a sigh of relief – I’m not plowing head-long into disaster – lol.
I’m going to take my time with this – get my own fitness sorted, get the qualifications part-time, work out a business plan and get some accounting/marketing advice, hopefully then work in a gym at weekends/build-up some clients outside my current work hours, before then making the decision whether to go full-time.
This seems the best of all worlds, I get the knowledge/experience/qualifications gradually, but at the same time I can build up the financial back-up to be able to go it alone.
Always nice to have a plan 😀