Our earlier blogs on establishing a personal training business have included A five-point plan for starting your personal training business, The first steps, How to write a business plan and Marketing your personal training business.
In today’s blog, we are looking at the issue of staff.
Why have staff?
If you are a freelance personal trainer operating through an existing gym and/or visiting clients in their homes, you will need to use professional services such as an accountant, but you won’t need staff. However, if you open your own gym or other training facility, it’s likely you will need the support of staff at some stage.
There are several reasons you may employ staff:
- Additional staff can ease your workload and improve your work/life balance
- They can allow you to expand your gym and take on more customers
- You might need new employees to offer specialist classes, such as pre- and post-natal exercise, or sports massage
- Well-trained support staff will give your gym a more professional face
- So that your organisation benefits from people whose skills and experience complement your own
What roles might they take?
You may simply want to bring in another personal trainer or fitness instructor who can take on clients and teach classes. This could be a freelancer who pays you to use your gym or a member of staff on a salary.
Alternatively, you could employ someone to work in an administrative role, who can save you time by managing a range of duties, for example:
- Answering the phone/responding to messages
- Covering reception
- Managing bookings
- Organising paperwork for new clients
- Managing the building, from cleaning to insurance
What else might I need help with?
There are other areas for which you may need to take on freelance staff or employees.
Marketing – you will probably start by doing your own marketing for cost reasons, but over time you might find it beneficial to employ staff with marketing skills to offer support on marketing strategy, social media, copywriting etc.
Accounts – a good accountant will help you with business planning as well as tax returns.
Human Resources (HR) – you won’t need to employ an in-house specialist unless you are running a large organisation, but it’s important to get professional advice to ensure you are compliant with legislation, as ignorance of the law is no defence. This will cover areas such as:
- Health and safety – for your employees as well as your gym clients
- Employment contracts – to cover areas such as salary, working hours, holidays and maternity/paternity allowance and pay
- Advice on professional training and progression for staff
Should I take on an apprentice?
There are many benefits to taking on an apprentice at your gym.
- Financial support is available to help you employ an apprentice.
- You and the apprentice will get full support from CMS to ensure that the apprenticeship works for both sides and results in a qualified and experienced member of staff.
- You can train the apprentice in the specific way your business works.
- Apprentices often bring a youthful energy and enthusiasm into the workplace.
- An apprentice might have specific skills in areas you are lacking, for example proficiency on social media or computer skills.
How do I find the staff I need?
As outlined above, one of the best ways to recruit staff is through taking on an apprentice.
You could also contact a recruitment consultant agency, who will vet applicants in advance and provide you with a shortlist of suitable candidates, or place an ad on an online portal.
You may already know people in the industry who are looking for a new challenge and might like to join your business, or you could ask colleagues if they could recommend anyone they know.
What support is available to me?
There is a lot of help and support available from online resources but you can also contact us to find out more about our training programmes and apprenticeship schemes. We will either help you ourselves or point you in the right direction.