How to Start Your Online Personal Training Business?

Published On: September 15, 2022
Last Updated: September 16, 2022
Online Personal Training Business

The pursuit of health and wellness is something many people constantly admire but very few ever achieve. And most times, people give up on their fitness goals because they cannot seem to find a trained professional that not only understands them but can cater to their specific needs.

Take it from us; customers love it when an experienced guiding hand helps them achieve their fitness goals. And yes, you can be that guiding hand; it doesn’t matter whether you choose to run a gym, train your clients at their homes, or start an online personal training business.

Now, one beautiful thing about starting an online personal training business is that you can reach top-quality clients worldwide and offer them your services at your pace.

Here, we will show you how to transform your passion for health and fitness into a profitable online business.

So, let us start.

13 Steps to Start an Online Personal Training Business

Follow this step-by-step guide on how to start an online personal training business effortlessly.

1. Create a Business Plan

Before you start your online training business, you should have a clear idea about the resources needed. Here are some points you should consider to build an effective business plan.

Decide Target Audience

Generally, people willing to improve health & fitness will be your target audience. But, it would be great to narrow down the niche. For instance, you can target professionals, college students, senior citizens, bodybuilders, working mothers, or anyone else.

Now the question is, why choose a niche?

It helps you to define where your target audience is and market them effectively. Besides this, you should decide the geographic location and the time you offer the services.

Make Effective Packages for Clients

The total money you earn from business relies on the engagement of users. Here are some of the packages you can offer to the clients.

One-to-One Group Sessions: You provide virtual training to a client based on their availability and track their progress.

Downloadable Plans, Guides, and Videos: It is crowded with huge competition. Here, you have two options. You can provide readymade material to the patients and personalized content based on their needs. By offering this package, you can reach a wider audience.

Phone & Email Consultations: Providing phone & email consultations above sessions or materials is the best way to track the progress of the clients.

Obtain Necessary Certifications

One of the essential things all customers consider before deciding to trust a new fitness brand is how qualified the trainer is in handling their needs. And without a doubt, getting certified as a fitness trainer by a reputable institution is the best way to win customer trust.

Assuming that you have not received any credentials before starting your business, getting the appropriate license will qualify you as a professional online personal trainer. Moreover, it should be your first port of call and a priority since it will give your online business the legitimacy it needs.

Although several instructors assume that becoming a renowned fitness instructor requires only a university degree program, this is not the case, as there are various types of certifications that can qualify you as a reputable fitness instructor.

To become certified as an online personal trainer, you need to complete either a degree program or a personal trainer certification program.

If you take the degree route, you need a degree in;

  • Physical Education: This program focuses on health and fitness and can help you get excellent knowledge concerning essential health and fitness routines. A degree in physical education will give you extensive knowledge in fitness instruction methods, anatomy, motor skills development, and exercise psychology.
  • Exercise Science: This program emphasizes diet, fitness, conditioning, and human anatomy. The program also helps instructors identify and prevent injuries.
  • Kinesiology: This program is concerned with human anatomy, fitness, and movement. With knowledge in this field, instructors can develop their unique fitness routines, help patients handle injuries, and recover their body movements.

Meanwhile, taking the personal trainer certification route would need you to complete programs like;

  • National Council on Strength & Fitness: The NCSF is an internationally accepted organization. And their license covers three main areas: certified personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, and certified strength coach.
  • American College of Sports Medicine: Yes, the ACSM is a great place to get certified as a fitness and health professional. However, ACSM requires that every trainer get recertified every three years to ensure that they’re up-to-date on industry standards.
  • The ACE Personal Trainer Certification: The American Council on Exercise certification is one of the most recognized licenses in the industry. The ACE program offers robust digital training for personal trainers.
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine: To get the NASM certification, you should already have a valid CPR and AED license. Plus, these certifications need two years before renewal.

Getting any of these qualifications—whether a degree program, personal trainer certification or both—is the fastest way to assure clients of your competence and credibility.

2. Choose a Business Name

Do you have an excellent business name? If not, then it is time to get one.

To stay fresh to your customers, you should get a great brand name that aligns well with your online training business and makes you stand out and shine. Here, you should visit a reliable naming agency and get the excellent company name service your brand deserves.

It is equally important to register your business with state authority. You have an option to register your business through a DBA (doing business name) or any legal or available name.

Please note that you should never purchase a business name already present online as it may result in a risky lawsuit.

3. Decide a Business Structure

Do you want a sole proprietorship or start an LLC? The selection of the business structure will directly impact various factors of your business, starting from liability to taxes.

Sole Proprietorships or General Partnerships

In the case of a sole proprietorship, you are the owner of your entire training business. In the case of a general partnership, you share your business with two or more partners.

The main benefit of this business structure is that it is quick and easy to manage. However, these business structures have their own limitations & risks when you start growing.

In both cases, you are the owner of your business. Hence, your name is your company name. To run your business in any region, you require a DBA (doing business as) under your name.

Here, you are fully responsible for everything happening in your business. If you have a debt, it becomes your personal debt. If anyone filed a case against your business; it is a directly filed case against you.

LLC & Corporations

LLC stands for limited liability company. Here, entities get created at a state level. A corporation could be a group of people or a company authorized to work under a single entity & recognized under the law.

In both cases, entities are not linked with the owners and are not liable for any debts and obligations on a business. The main benefit of these business structures is liability protection and tax flexibility. The main drawback of these business structures is annual and formation fees.

4. Legally Form Virtual Trainer Business

When you choose to go with a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you do not have to go through any paperwork. You can start selling your service or product.

If you opt for LLC or Corporation, you need to go through paperwork according to the state agency’s needs. For starting an LLC or Corporation, you require articles of organization and incorporation respectively.

In both cases, you need to submit essential information regarding your business, such as name, business address, business purpose, registered agent & office, members & directors’ names & addresses, and the total number of & type of authorized shares.

You need a person on your behalf to sign the document along with the state’s filing fee. The fee ranges from $100 to $200.

5. Decide Internal Policies & Procedures

It is crucial to mention all the internal policies & procedures of your business, particularly when you are initiating your business with various people.

Different business structures consist of diverse things. They are as follows.

  • Partnerships consist of partnership agreements.
  • LLCs possess operating agreements
  • Corporations consist of bylaws.

The end purpose of these procedures is to make sure businesses go forward in case of any issues regarding change of partnerships or closing it.

6. Obtain EIN & Register for Taxes

Many LLCs and corporations require an Employee Identification Number (EIN) to run the business. They can obtain the same by requesting the IRS.

In case you pay taxes frequently, possess employees, or file specific franchise taxes, you should have an EIN. Also, an EIN is mandatory in case of opening a bank account. Almost all businesses request EIN by filling & submitting the form using the IRS’s website.

Based on federal taxes, you need to also look after state & local taxes. You are also required to create an account using the state’s Department of Revenue and apply for a state ID or obtain a sales tax license.

7. Open a Bank Account

A business bank account helps you to store personal finances separately from the business account.

When a business follows an LLC or corporation business structure, a separate business account is needed to keep finances safe and ensure liability protection.

For opening a bank account, LLCs and corporations have to submit several essential things like articles, their operating agreement, and the EIN.

8. Get Essential Licenses & Permits

Various businesses must obtain a business license to run it successfully. You can get all the licensing information and other needs on the particular city or state website.

In case your home falls under a homeowner’s association, you might find some constraints regarding doing home business. Several regions have pref-defined rules to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for running home-based businesses. After obtaining the certificate, they can do business.

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9. Setup Virtual Training Space

In this modern age, you can train clients from any place. However, the best thing to have is a fixed virtual training space.

Here are several questions that you should answer before choosing a virtual training space:

  • Is it suitable for storing fitness equipment?
  • Will it be enough to illustrate all the requirements?
  • Does the environment look neat, professional, and free from any noise?
  • Is there any place where I can sit & analyze the workout of clients?
  • Does the space consist of enough lightning during day & night?
Setup Virtual Training Space

Ensure that there is enough space between the camera and the training area. Also, ensure that fitness equipment are placed correctly on the side, so you don’t need to move much.

10. Get the Essential Tools

You cannot start a virtual personal training business without having the tools necessary to go online and the fitness equipment necessary for your training.

You need to invest in a high-quality camera, good indoor lighting, and workout equipment.

Also, besides other administrative tasks, you need to ensure you develop a system of keeping track of your client’s fitness journey and progress.

Solid physical training can be accomplished with or without equipment. So, do not be frustrated if some clients don’t have the needed equipment at the start of your program. They will get the equipment once they start seeing progress.

11. Develop Your Billing Strategy

Like most online service-related niches, deciding what to charge for the services is really subjective. Hence, it can become a challenge if you’re dealing with various clients with unique needs, whether online or offline.

The simple truth is that every new entrepreneur has struggled with determining the right price, and one way you can avoid this is to decide on a tiered pricing strategy.

Base your pricing on things like;

  • The kinds of products or services you will be offering. Will it be a simple workout plan or a custom-designed training session?
  • Knowing how much your clients stand to save by patronizing your business. Would they be saving the cost of a gym membership or just the cost of gas?
  • How much effort do you invest into each training session? More time equals higher prices.

If your clients are online on popular platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., you should reduce the cost of your sessions by 20—25% more than a similar in-person session.

For example, this should mean that if other trainers charge $50/hr for a live session, you should consider keeping your online session at $35/hr.

One thing to look out for is to pick a price you can confidently communicate without feeling like you are overcharging customers.

Confidently talking about your prices along with the reason can help you win their trust.

12. Create a User-Friendly Website & App

One of the most effective ways to serve users well and grow your business is by building an online presence. You can achieve this by creating a user-friendly website and a mobile app.

One of the crucial reasons you should create a website for your business is that it helps you establish an online presence 24*7. Besides this, there are various other reasons to build a website for your business.

Here are some essential points to consider while building an online personal training business website.

Online Personal Training Website
  • Buy a Domain name that resonates well with your brand.
  • Integrate essential features like booking classes, fitness regimes, health education through blogs, etc.
  • Mention all of your certifications and educational background.
  • Explain all the pricing packages effectively.
  • List all of your contact details so that users can contact you.

Apart from building a website for your business, you should also create a mobile app. Why? The main reason is that the majority of users access things from their smartphones. Hence, it allows you to reach a wider audience. Besides this, you can get various benefits by building a mobile app.

Want to Create a Website or Mobile App for Your Business?

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13. Keep Detailed Records of Every Client

Maintaining proper client documentation is critical for any trainer running an online health and fitness business.

And just the same way data collected by gyms help them understand the needs of their customers, you too should ensure you document the needs of your clients because it would help you know their preferences, goals, and when they want to achieve them. It can also help you offer personalized experiences and discounts.

Online tools like Exercise.com, Zen Planner, and Gymdesk are excellent for managing your client’s information.

Now, your client’s records could get filled with irrelevant information if you don’t know what it is you’re supposed to document.

Here are a few highlights of what your customer records should contain.

  • Client’s Basic Contact Information: Ensure you gather your client’s name, address, phone number, and email address. Collecting this information would make it easier for you to call 911 on their behalf in case of any emergency.
  • Client’s Emergency Contact Information: This could be either the name and phone number of a spouse, sibling, parent, neighbor, or close friend. This way, you can reach them in case of any emergency occurring during a session.
  • Client Fitness Equipment: Getting this information will help you plan workout sessions & maintaining efficiency and professionalism in your program.
  • Measurements: You will need information on their body weights, heights, and other critical physical data. These should help you track progress and identify specific points where you can improve.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting an Online Personal Training Business

Virtual and online services will play pivotal roles in the future of most industries, especially in the health and fitness sector. But, even with this, online personal training isn’t going to be a complete joy ride.

There are obvious benefits and drawbacks that come with starting an online personal training business. Here, we will address a few of them.

Why You Should Start an Online Personal Training Business?

1. Reach a Broader Audience: Platforms like Tik Tok, YouTube, and Facebook have a combined active monthly user base of almost seven billion people, and other social media platforms like Twitter have over three hundred million active monthly users.
Starting your online personal training business can help reach these potential customers quickly if you were to start a physical healthcare business.

2. Make Passive Income: Several factors make virtual training pretty lucrative for trainers. They reach more people, especially those who value them, and are willing to pay for them.
Also, these programs are usually cheaper than physical sessions, making it easier for clients looking to save costs to pick them over in-person training and a gas-guzzling gym membership.

Not to mention the fact that a custom-designed session can continue to generate passive income long after they have been published.

3. No Location Barriers: Setting up an online personal training course saves you from the need to be physically present with your clients while they perform their routines. At this rate, you could mentor several clients from various locations worldwide, all from your comfort zone.

4. Privacy Focused: Offering your services online can help you reach the audience group that is checking out a few workouts to see which would work best for them or reach clients that prioritize their privacy.

Drawbacks of Running an Online Personal Training Business

1. Traditional Preference: Several clients prefer the traditional setting in a gym where they get to interact directly with other gym members and their personal trainers.

2. Lack of Sufficient Machinery: Except you’re conducting your online sessions in the gym, you may not have the required equipment or the funds to purchase every piece of equipment you need to run successful sessions—especially if you’re starting out.

And we can say the exact thing for your clients on the other side of the world; the chances of them having access to all the equipment is very low.

3. Poor Internet Connection: It is a main challenge for various online sessions, and it’s something you can’t run away from. And this can be a challenge for you, as the trainer, and your clients worldwide. Nothing kills the mood of a training session faster than an internet connection.

4. Not Enough Client Training Space: This is usually another occupational hazard occurring during online sessions. Clients usually don’t have the best spaces for their training, and most usually decide on using their living room. It is usually not a problem if they have enough space in the living room, but if not, training could be difficult, and if precaution isn’t taken, accidents may occur.

Final Words

We hope you have understood the process of starting a personal training business.

The value you offer your clients is proportional to the kind of success your business will receive over time. Always put your client’s needs first and focus on providing excellent services.

If you have decided to start an online personal training business, feel free to contact us.

Guru TechnoLabs is a leading web and mobile app development company. We have delivered best solutions for various industry verticals across the globe. Hence, we can understand your business needs and deliver you the most reliable solution.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.