The 7 Steps You Need to Launch your Personal Training Business
When you take those first exciting steps to becoming a Personal Trainer, you can easily be overwhelmed by all the business administration jobs you need to do to set yourself up. Let’s be honest, it’s the working with clients, challenging them to reach their goals and seeing the difference you make to their lives that you’re really looking forward to, not the admin. However, you do need to dot the Is and cross the Ts in order to get your business officially off the ground. Here’s a handy guide to make sure your PT business launches on strong foundations.
1. Achieve appropriate qualifications/certifications
There are currently no legal qualifications required for personal trainers who operate on their own. However, professional partnerships or regulatory boards usually demand that personal trainers have at least the minimum qualifications that UK governing bodies require for membership. If you are looking to provide nutritional advice to your clients, you need to have attained a certified nutrition qualification as part of your personal training course. This way, you are more likely to be covered by insurance policies if a client suffers illness or any other unfortunate incident following advice or instruction you give relating to food choices. Having qualified, you can also sign up with professional organisations for added credibility.
2. Pick your business name
There are rules to follow in the UK when it comes to choosing a name for your new business. Before anything else, you need to check whether anyone else is already using the name you want to operate under. Once you’ve chosen (and, if necessary, registered) your business name, make sure to read up on how this should be displayed on your correspondence, invoices, stationery, and website before ordering any new printed materials like business cards or headed paper.
3. Register your business
You need to choose the right business structure and register as either a limited company or as a sole trader. The self-employed section of the HMRC website is a great resource for finding out which option works best for your new enterprise, as well as what steps are needed to make it official. In addition to registering for tax reasons, you will also need to set up voluntary National Insurance payments through HMRC.
4. Take out insurance
You will need both Public Liability insurance and Professional Indemnity insurance at the very least. Public Liability covers you for legal liability if you injure another person or damage third party property when instructing. Professional Indemnity protects you against potential claims.
In addition to these options, you might wish to extend your level of cover further to safeguard your new business and earnings from other potential pitfalls. Optional insurance cover for personal trainers can include Personal Accident insurance – sometimes referred to as sports accident insurance – which covers injuries suffered while with a client. Another option which many new PT businesses choose is Loss of Earnings cover, in case an injury prevents you from working for a period of time.
5. Open a bank account
If you are going down the sole trader route, it isn’t currently a legal requirement to have a separate business bank account. However, in order to keep personal and business finances separate for bookkeeping and tax reasons, it makes sense to set up a new account just for your business dealings. Plus, there’s a good chance your personal banking provider won’t allow business activity through your current account.
If you are going down the limited company route, then you are required by law to have a separate business bank account.
6. Implement a record-keeping process
This part of starting a new business fazes many people, but keeping timely and detailed records is vital when self-employed. It doesn’t mean purchasing expensive and complicated software or hiring an accountant, especially if you’re starting out small. However, having processes in place to track income, outgoings, invoices and expenses are very important to ensure you pay the right amount of tax. Keeping all business-related receipts and invoices, tracking business mileage and using a simple spreadsheet to keep your financial information in one place is usually adequate for start-up personal trainers.
7. Check if permits are needed for your locations
You’ll need to decide where to conduct your personal training sessions. Perhaps you’ll partner with a local gym and use their facilities in return for a fee or commission. Or will you train in your clients’ homes? Will you use a council-owned building, a public park or other green space? If running sessions from a third-party place, you’ll have to check if licenses are needed to use these areas for ‘commercial gain’.
Once you have all these steps checked off, you can get on to the exciting part – training your clients! Good luck!