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How to Open a Personal Training Studio

personal trainer

So you’ve decided to open a personal training studio—congratulations! By taking your passion for helping others thrive to the next level, you’re building a healthier community while creating a better living for yourself. 

There are many perks to being your own boss. But if you’re new to the whole “running your own business” thing, there are a few things you should know before diving in so that you’re set up for success. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the key things to keep in mind before starting your own personal training studio.

Make a business plan 

We get it. You’re opening a personal training studio to help more people improve their health and wellness, not spend a bunch of time staring at Microsoft Word. 

But hear us out—there’s a whole bunch of research that shows that business owners who take the time to write a proper business plan are more likely to be successful. And when you realize that 99% of US businesses are considered small and that 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, it’s even more important to have a solid plan in place. 

So, what’s a business plan? It’s a comprehensive document that describes your business idea, current market opportunities, and how you plan on achieving your goals. Businesses plans frequently include a competitive analysis and financial estimates, among other key sections. 

  • If you’re ready to create a killer business plan, check out this article for actionable tips.

Choose a personal training model 

There are many different ways to run a successful personal training studio, but what works for one business may not work for another. That’s why selecting a business model that makes sense is an important step in the process. 

Let’s explore 3 common business models for personal training studios.


There are many benefits to opening an in-person studio. 

First, you’ll get to connect with your clients face-to-face, which can keep them motivated and accountable. It’s also easier to provide personalized feedback and measure progress when you’re working with clients in person.

If you’re planning on opening your own space, however, you’ll need to be aware of the startup costs associated with this decision (for example, deciding whether to buy or lease equipment).

To get around this, you may consider working within an existing gym to start out. Once you’re more established, you can branch out into your own space.


The online fitness industry has seen steady growth in the past few years, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. 

The greatest benefit of starting an online personal training business is that you’re no longer limited by location. Not to mention that clients who wouldn’t normally be able to make it to the gym, such as parents and business owners, can still reap the benefits of personal training. 

That said, it can be more difficult to keep clients inspired and on-track from a distance. To make sure you’re still providing the best possible service, you need to have great systems and processes in place as well as regular checkpoints with your clients.


If you’re on the fence about the first two options, why not go hybrid

This model provides the best of both worlds. It also helps you maximize your time and get the most value out of each “stream” within your business. 

Hybrid personal training gives you the flexibility to operate out of a gym part-time and conduct the rest of your business online, which can be a smart financial move when you’re starting out.

Again, whenever there’s an online component to your business, experience is everything. You’ll want to make sure that your online clients get the same personalized care and attention as your gym clients, and vice versa. 

Our partners over at ABC Trainerize have also built an in-depth guide to personal training sessions. As the world’s leading coaching app, they have the core industry knowledge that can help you take your PT sessions to the next level. 

Read More: The Trainerize Guide to Personal Training Sessions


The Customer
Engagement Playbook
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6 Things You’ll Need Before Launching

Once you’ve decided on the right model for your personal training business, it’s time to begin making your vision a reality! Here are 6 things you need to have in place before launch. 

Business License

Depending on your studio type and location, you may need certain business licenses and permits to operate. It’s important to research local and federal requirements so that you have the necessary paperwork in place before you start. This applies even if you’re running an online business out of your home.

Business Bank Account

Your business finances should be separate from your personal finances—even if you’re not generating revenue quite yet. The most important thing is to find a bank account that meets your needs. Shop around with different banks to see which one has the best fee structure and incentives for small businesses.

Gym Location or Setup

If you’re opening a physical space, location is everything. Where your business is located will influence everything from your marketing plan to your license requirements. Factors like your space requirements and equipment needs will influence which location is the right one for you.

For online personal training, your tech set-up needs to be your top priority. Fast internet, video equipment, and proper lighting are all part of offering a great virtual experience. Make sure you have a dedicated space for client calls that is tidy and professional. The small details add up!

Business Insurance

When you’re running a business, insurance is essential. It’s important to make sure you’re protected in the event that something goes wrong.

Your business insurance will depend on a few different factors like your location, business type, and (if applicable) number of employees. There are several policies to consider and, just like with your bank account, it pays to shop around. If you plan on hiring staff, make sure to have worker’s compensation in place. 


For many small businesses, branding is an afterthought. However, in an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to do all that you can to stand out. 

Branding goes deeper than a logo and a nice color scheme. It’s about who your business is to the world—its mission, vision, and values—and why you serve your clients like you do. 

If you’re having trouble defining your brand, it may be helpful to work with a creative agency or a freelancer who can help you out. 

Website and Social Media Channels

Your website is the core of your online presence. Make sure it’s user-friendly and clearly describes your services and how to book with you. Share client success stories and testimonials to encourage potential clients to get in touch. 

When it comes to social media, consider the platforms that your ideal customers spend the most time on, and get started there. It’s better to start with one or two platforms rather than trying to conquer every single platform at once. 

Reflect on the type of content that your clients would find valuable or interesting — nutrition tips, exercise demos, or product recommendations — and begin sharing on a regular basis.

What Should I Charge for My Personal Training?

When running your own business for the first time, figuring out what to charge can feel daunting. But properly setting rates for your personal training business is crucial for your long-term success.

Consider factors like your years of experience, relevant certifications, and any additional education and training you may have. Research local market rates and make sure to account for overhead costs. 

Balancing affordability and value is key to attracting and retaining amazing clients!

Take Your Personal Training Studio To The Next Level

Now that you have all the essential pieces in place, it’s time to go all-in. 

Glofox is your partner in building a thriving personal training business. 

Our simple but powerful management software helps you deliver an exceptional client experience and build a loyal community. Generate more leads, process payments with ease, and support your clients at every stage of their journey.

Ready to supercharge your personal training business? Request your free demo today!


We empower you to boost your business

"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

Trusted by studios, and global gym chains.

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