Industry figures state that 80% of Personal Trainers don’t stay in the industry. We’ve identified 4 key reasons – with some simple solutions that keep you doing the job you love.
They don’t leave because they’re no good at what they do, or because they don’t enjoy it. It’s because nobody has shown them how to run a business
How long do Personal Trainers stay in the industry
According to several fitness industry sources, and external statistics data, around 80% of Personal Trainers don’t make it past the two year mark. That means that for every 10 newly qualified PTs, only two will still be working as a Personal Trainer 24 months later.
If you’re a Personal Trainer, or want to be one, these stats are pretty sobering. But you love training people and you’re passionate about using your skills and training to get more people fit and active.
Current Personal Trainer churn rate UK
The Personal Training industry is growing rapidly, with one leading industry analyst stating there are 23,959 Personal Trainers businesses in the UK (2023) - an increase of 1.8% from 2022.
But we also know that PTs are leaving the industry in droves, usually in those precarious early years. Whilst there’s no shortage of new PTs entering the chat, a higher number are leaving the fitness industry altogether.
This is a huge shame when you consider how important the job is. Whether you work in a gym, have a self-employed PT business, do outdoor bootcamps or visit people for mobile PT, you are helping get more people active.
4 reasons Personal Trainers leave the industry
Personal Training is a labour-intensive role. The majority of those PTs who leave in the first 2 years do so because of the pressures of running a business. They don’t leave because they’re no good at what they do, or because they don’t enjoy it.
It’s because nobody has shown them how to run a business, or they don’t know how to find advice, software, and systems that can make life easier.
1. Financial awareness
It’s essential that you know how much money is coming in and out of your business, but many new Personal Trainers don’t know how to do this or even what to look for. As a result they either get into debt or fail to make a significant turnover and throw in the towel. If only someone had told them there’s software that can do it all (and link up with banking apps). Don’t let financial confusion stand between you and your dream business.
Want to know more? Check out our blog 9 Way To Organise Your Finances.
2. Not charging enough
Many Personal Trainers don’t charge enough to make a viable income from delivering PT sessions and classes. This might be because they don’t know what to charge, or they lack the confidence to ask for what they’re worth. Do your research and don’t forget to look at what your target clients are paying for similar services locally.
Not sure your pricing is right? Check out our blog How To Structure Client Pricing.
Many Personal Trainers fail in the first year because they can’t reach a high enough number of potential clients. Clients can and do leave sessions and classes. You need a constant list of prospects in the pipeline. PT marketing isn’t just adverts and social media. You should also think about building your reputation, encouraging referrals, and asking for testimonials.
It's hard to know where to start with getting your name out there, check out our blog Benefits And Potential Pitfalls Of Affiliating Your Fitness Business.
4. Software and systems
Too many Personal Trainers rely on paper diaries and Excel spreadsheets to manage leads, finances, and client sessions. Not only is this a huge drain on your time and energy, it’s simply not optimal. It’s 2023! There are so many great ways to use software and purpose-built systems to manage the back end of your business.
Software to run a new Personal Training business
Being a PT demands that you are there, delivering sessions, writing programmes, and giving feedback. You can’t remove yourself from the equation. But you can automate a lot of the business elements of running a Personal Training business.
Be strategic about being a Personal Trainer. Don’t wing it or assume that the business will run itself.
Start by writing down every single task involved in running your Personal Training business, from finding insurance to taking payments to actually being face-to-face with clients.
Divide these tasks into “things you have to do yourself”, and “things you can outsource or automate”. This will immediately reduce the pressure on your time and energy.
Did you know there’s software that will run almost every “back end” aspect of your PT business, from finances to bookings to selling and organising client sessions?
The best business software for Personal Trainers is easy to use, works from your phone, and isn’t expensive (and don’t forget, it counts as a business expense which is put through your tax return anyway).
Take a look at Striive which is purpose-built software for Personal Trainers. Start your all-access free 14 day trial here (no card required) and see all the ways Striive helps you manage bookings, sales, finances, marketing, emails, referrals and more.
Check out our free, comprehensive and practical guides to starting and running a fitness business HERE.