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Why so many rent based Personal Trainers “fail” within the first 6 months of running their business & The 3 things you can do to avoid that failure!

November 5, 2020
3 minute read

Ever noticed how so many people apply to do their cert 3 & 4 in Fitness, they complete it with so much passion and enthusiasm, but once they’ve entered the industry, so many of them drop out within the first 6 months to a year! 


It’s simple, really – starting and running a PT business takes preparation and the right support and guidance because running a business can be HARD! – and guess what? Nearly 99% of all PT’s don’t have a mentor or any type of support in place to help them along the way.

If you’re looking to survive AND thrive as a PT, then you need the following strategies in place before you start your business:

  1. Be prepared – know who you are serving and how
  2. Have a mentor to learn from and/as a support system in place
  3. Have a strategy to get through the hard times

This may seem like a lot, but it’s honestly not – let me explain!

  1. Be prepared  – the best way you can be prepared, is by having a business model (HOW you serve your clients).

It’s almost like an elevator pitch, but one you would tell your leads so they know exactly what you do and how you do it. This way, they can separate you form the crowd of “generic PT’s”.

So, if you’re a PT with a diploma in remedial massage, your business model may be something like this:

“I combine Fitness and Massage Therapy to help my clients lose weight and feel great! Particularly men over 40 who want and need to lose 20kg or more. I focus on how to train properly for fat loss and eating well without starving all the time.

I also help with their muscle fatigue and general tightness through a fortnightly sports massage session.”

I’d highly suggest that you look at HOW you want to service your clients and WHAT you’ll be doing as a part of your service.

  1. Have a mentor to learn from and/as a support system in place – This is a no brainer and it makes complete sense when you look at it from this angle: 

Imagine, you’ve just finished primary school (Year 6), you’re handed the curriculum and expectations for you to complete years 7 – 12… but you have NO teachers, NO guidance, LITTLE to NO understanding of the material and how to use it in the real world PLUS a load of self-doubt, lack in confidence and self-belief…

That’s basically what it can be like starting your own PT business without help from the right mentor and without a system in place to model from. Look into WHO you want to model success from and start learning from them ASAP!

  1. Have a strategy to get through the hard times – You’ll have good times when clients just come your way and things just work out. Money seems to be flowing in and it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

But the rough patches will come, and it’s all about HOW you handle them and how you let them DEFINE you.

I’ve always gone through tough times and just focused on what’s working and what I can improve on. If leads are slow to come in for the month, how can I speed that up? How can I meet new people to service?

It’s always about adapting and refining your approach.

So, I’d suggest to expect the best, but plan for the worst and HOW you will get past it.

Remember, tough times don’t last, tough people do 

I don’t want you to think or believe that the Personal Training industry is hard to make it in. It’s really not IF you take on board the three strategies I just went through with you.

Good luck and keep fighting the good fight!

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Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. We have over 30 registered AUSactive CEC courses.  Click here to check them out!


About The Author: Matt Papallo
PT Startup To Success Founder & Mentor

Matt Papallo founded MP Living Coaching in 2015 with the idea and passion of wanting to reinvent the PT industry. Matt realised that 99% of rent based PTs generally failed at running a business and sought to develop his own methods of PT success through his own trials and errors.
Now, Matt runs a team of 3 PTs within a Fitness First, whilst mentoring an additional 3 PTs at other franchises. He holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage and Level 1 & 2 Dry Needling Practitioner. Matt’s greatest level of business and personal growth was during the 2 year COVID pandemic, where he tripled his rent based PT revenue, hired 3 PTs and cut his work time in half. He now teaches his business methods to other PTs so they may experience massive business growth.

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