Making The Leap: Transitioning from PT to Gym Owner

Nathalie jones valiant finance

Nathalie Jones

Monday, 12 March 2018

The path from personal trainer to business owner can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s a chance to expand your fitness brand and create a unique gym experience, but it can be costly and raises a number of issues that you may not have considered before. Here are our tips to help you make a smooth transition from personal trainer to gym owner.

Editor’s note: these tips and tricks apply across a number of industries, so don’t be deterred if you’re not a personal trainer - there’s plenty to learn!

1. Have a vision for your gym

How will your gym look and feel? Will you focus on a particular type of exercise or activity? How will your gym be different to others in the area?

Spend some time developing your unique selling proposition so that you know how you compare to your competitors and why you’re offering something different to your customers.

Give some thought to how you’ll tell the story of your gym; if a customer asked you why they should train with you, what would you say?

2. Do your homework

Research the equipment you’ll need to purchase and plan out how long it will take to get things delivered and setup. Consider expenses such as advertising, digital marketing, equipment, hiring staff, completing the fit-out, rent and other running costs.

Are there any ongoing bills to pay? Have you worked out what equipment maintenance is likely to cost over the course of one year, three years and five years?

3. Sign up members before you open

As a successful personal trainer, you may already have a group of loyal clients that you’re working with. Introduce the concept to them, and ask whether they’d be willing to train in a new location with you. Ask them what they’d like to see in a gym, and think about whether you can exceed their expectations to ensure they remain loyal to your business.

Remember: word of mouth can be a great channel, or a very detrimental one. Always do your best to listen to customers and act on their feedback. In the early days, don't be afraid to ask friends and family for referrals.

Getting finance

Getting a loan to start your gym can be tricky, but it's not impossible. Valiant is Australia's trusted business loan marketplace and has a range of loans for fit-outs, refurbishments, equipment and more. Our credit team has 40+ years of combined industry experience and can help you get the best loan in the shortest time frame.


Nat is the Communications Manager at Valiant Finance. She has a double degree in Journalism and Law, and a background in the fintech space, hailing from Asia's largest fintech hub, Stone & Chalk.

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Making The Leap: Transitioning from PT to Gym Owner

The path from personal trainer to business owner can be both challenging and rewarding. Check out our top tips for making the transition.