Many of those who complete a personal training qualification aspire, at some point in their future, towards moving out of the club or facility environment and setting themselves up in a freelance PT business.
This is an understandable objective as it can provide the flexibility, financial rewards and sense of achievement which draws many people to this industry in the first place. However, setting up your own PT business can be daunting and challenging.
Here are 3 useful pieces of advice when it comes to preparation and groundwork.
1. Being realistic about start-up costs
One of the first major hurdles to overcome is the concept of being self-employed. For many people, this is a significant barrier - therefore it is important to be realistic and clear on your goals. Things to consider include:
- Do you have, or can you get hold of, capital to invest in equipment and marketing. Depending on how you set yourself up, you could be looking at anywhere from £2,000 – £10,000
- Are you able to financially sustain a period of time when you may be earning less than in full-time employment and/or less than you need to meet your regular financial commitments? If the answer to this is no, then it would be wise to hold off the idea of becoming self-employed until you can. One rule of thumb is to have savings equivalent to 4-6 months of your regular outgoings so that you can concentrate on building your business rather than be worrying about money worries
2. Understanding the business type and tax
The simplest and best advice here is to get an accountant from the beginning. They will be able to advise you on the best way to set up your business, what to record and keep for tax purposes, how to keep the Inland Revenue up to date, and other associated issues.
The geographical area you work in and want to concentrate your marketing on will be dictated by a number of factors. These include:
- Target market
- Mode of transport
- Variations in travel time throughout the day. For example, you may wish to limit your travel time to 30 minutes. However, how far you can travel in 30 minutes at 6am is very different from how far you can travel in 30 minutes at 8am in many towns and cities
- You may live in a different economic area to your target client base, which may add to the time/distance being travelled