What do you imagine when you think of a mobile personal training business? Is it a pair of dumbbells and some boxing gear tossed in the trunk of your car, or is it a logo wrapped van with enough equipment to put a small studio gym to shame? Probably the latter based on what I see around the streets and parks these days.
The mobile personal training industry has evolved into a category within itself over the past few years, with some trainers opting to ditch the conventional fitness centre environment all together and focus their entire business in the fresh air.
So what is the fascination with outdoor training?
I spoke to a few mobile personal training entrepreneurs as I researched this article and the consensus was quite simply that their clients prefer to train outside. They enjoy the variety of activities and after being cooped up in an office all day, love the fact that they can spend some time outside.
When deciding whether this type of business will work for you, it’s important to keep in mind that the clientele you attract as a mobile trainer could be considerably different to the fitness centre or gym market.
Depending on your area of expertise or the type of client you wish to attract, you should weigh up the opportunities, because if it’s bodybuilders you’re after, make sure you pack some warm clothes to wear in the cold mornings, because they aren’t showing up.
I’m not suggesting you can’t introduce some outdoor training for your strength and power clients, 8 times Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman started a worldwide craze with his car park walking lunges! You’re target market should be general population clients, regular people that want to get fit or lose weight. If this type of client bores you and you don’t want to get your sneakers dirty, then I suggest you stay in the gym.
So once you’ve decided that mobile training is for you, it’s time to decide what kind of business you want to invest in.
There are opportunities these days to buy into franchise mobile personal training which has its positives and negatives. On the plus side, you buy into an established brand and your marketing and advertising is almost exclusively handled for you. On the downside, there are start up expenses and franchise fees which can vary, but you can expect to pay up to 20% of your gross profit directly to the franchise owner.
If you choose to go it alone like many do, then you should consider the start up costs involved.
Firstly, you need a reliable and practical vehicle to cart your equipment around in. You may need to trade in the Miata or mx5 on something a little bigger. You will need to arm yourself with a variety of equipment; the basics would look like this:
* Boxing equipment: Gloves and focus pads
* Light dumbbells: You don’t need anything too heavy
* Matt’s: For abdominal work, push ups etc.
* Witches Hats or Cones: For running drills
* Physio bands: Mobile resistance training
* Exercise balls: There are countless exercises you can perform with these
* Medicine balls: Again, for a variety of reasons
* Mother nature and your local council can provide the rest
It can be difficult finding an uncrowded, suitable and convenient location. I suggest trying Google maps as a fantastic research tool, where you can get a birds eye view of the type of terrain and natural obstacles available, such as stairs, hills and benches etc.
Many city councils also now provide fitness equipment in their parks, like chin-up and other parallel bars.
As you can see, offering mobile personal training to your clients opens up a whole new realm of business opportunities. Many trainers probably own some of the equipment I listed above already and if not, there is always inexpensive used equipment to be found.
Ben London is the author of the popular personal training and fitness marketing blog; http://mybusinessisfitness.com. Ben specializes in innovative marketing and promotion ideas as well as offering effective solutions for utilizing social media to develop fitness businesses based on 15 years experience within the industry.
For your FREE fitness business assessment and consultation, contact Ben at http://mybusinessisfitness.com. You can also follow him on twitter @mybizisfitness.