Although the life of a personal trainer often seems like all gain no pain, thriving PTs are no strangers to having to go through the trials and tribulations of figuring out how to run a successful business. Oftentimes eager new trainers want to get their business off the ground quickly and end up overlooking some of the most important steps. Including, investing in the right personal training software.
Many new business owners will try to reduce their costs while trying to grow their client list, but without the proper tools to support their growth, they end up getting stuck and unable to manage the workload. Spreadsheets and handling cash might work while you only have a couple of clients, but wouldn't you rather conduct your business professionally and seamlessly right from the start? These methods won't give you the ability to streamline your admin and day to day much less grow. If you want your PT business to succeed, having the right software to help you manage your clients, finances, schedule, and sessions is a must.
Let a personal trainer tell you why
Prior to joining TeamUp's customer success team, Gary Catterill, was formally a personal trainer running his business completely on pen and paper. He spent spare his time between training clients organising folders full of programs, client progress sheets, and PAR-Q forms.
Once he realised that having software could save him so much time (and paper!), present his business in a professional way, and help his own growth as a PT, he decided to investigate several solutions and see if PT software really could do everything he hoped it would.
It's all about having the right software
While Gary found software that could help him manage and maintain his business, it wasn't until he came across TeamUp that he realised he could have been growing his business and running it at the same time. That essential stage of symbiotic maintenance and growth can only be achieved when you have the right tools allowing you to run your business your way.
Gary shared with us the obstacles he and many other PTs faced without software and what TeamUp's PT software could have done for his business that no other competing software could. Here's what he had to say:
Difficulty following up on new leads
Without software, I had no way or option for tracking or asking where clients found out about my business. It's very important to be able to offer a quality customer experience from the moment they come on board, but with little to no information beforehand it's hard to customise or tailor that experience for individual clients. There was a lot of back and forth before we would even meet and things were very manual.
Unorganised onboarding of new clients
Once clients did give me their business, I had to manually sign them up and input their information which again required back and forth on my end. I would store their information in an excel spreadsheet and input it manually which took a lot of time. I didn't have a proper customer relationship management tool that could store it all. Everything including PAR-Q forms and other forms was all sent via email and I would need to wait for them to be completed or chase new clients to complete them in order to get started.
Struggle to manage time, venues and sessions
I was operating out of different venues and without reminders, clients frequently forgot when and where we were meeting. If they reached out before a session to change or cancel, I would miss that if I was already with another client. Not having a set schedule for clients meant things were easily looked over, including important growth tasks for my business like marketing. A lack of a concrete schedule also meant that I didn't have a set end of day and would often work late into the evening to catch up or schedule the next day's sessions.
It was much more challenging having to update a weekly calendar versus having recurring bookings. Tracking and charging for cancellations became overwhelming and adding on sessions to make up missed sessions would push back payments and I had no way of managing those changes. I also would offer Zoom workouts, but then have no idea how many people were going to turn up with no set way for people to register in advance.
Chasing down clients for late payments
Not having a set payment processor was a nightmare in terms of calculating revenue and earnings. I had to build my own reports to track earnings and see how much revenue I was generating. Which again would be affected if I had to chase clients for payments (often after a session had already been delivered) or if a client cancelled or changed their session time. This was one of the first things I knew I had to change and that having a proper payment system to automate and collect recurring payments would save both me and my clients time and energy.
Consultations becoming about the sale, not the client's goals
Talking through the pricing and my membership offering during a consultation rather than their goals and how we're going to achieve them is not the way to start off a client trainer relationship. Using software would make it so that before we even have our consultation they see my pricing, membership options, and filled out the forms so by the time we have our consultation I could prepare more time on goal setting versus trying to sell them on my business. This is something that many PTs struggle with, selling a potential client on their business rather than showing them what that person could achieve for themselves by being a client.
Missed opportunities to grow my business
There were several things I now can offer to future clients that I hadn't even considered or thought of when I didn't have software including:
- Referral programs: I would get referrals from current clients, but I could have gotten a lot more if I had a program set up that incentivised them to refer new clients and helped me track who was referring who.
- On Demand: I ran nutrition courses via Facebook groups, but it became messy trying to collect payments for participation in these online courses. I would have to re-organise and set up each time I ran a new course or had a new group, and an On Demand program would have made that seamless.
- Notifications: I didn't have ways to remind my clients about sessions or the number of sessions they had left on their packs or their membership without texting, emailing, or calling. Even then it was difficult to track. Automated notifications that were triggered when certain events occurred would have saved me so much time and stress.
- Marketing integrations: With more time saved on admin, I could have focused on the growth stages and marketing and integrations including Mailchimp and Zapier could have saved me a lot of time and manual work in those early stages.
Why personal trainers should choose TeamUp
A lot of PTs including myself struggle with chasing payments, bookings and cancellations, etc, but using TeamUp to manage all of these gives you time to focus on your clients and doing what you love to do. Clients will view you as a business, and they will start to treat you like one. TeamUp stands out above the rest. Here's why:
Ease of use - it's all about the customer experience
What I learned from being a PT that I would share with other PTs is to automate your business using management software like TeamUp! Having somewhere to direct potential clients to make a purchase and seamlessly complete any forms that you need them to and allow them to make bookings in one place will save you so much time.
I have used a few different PT software in the past, and TeamUp is much more user friendly. Not only does the system provide incredible flexibility for the PT, but it makes it easy for customers to manage their own appointments and registrations.
Organisation with forms and waivers
Providing my clients with a platform where they can make a purchase, present them with a Par-Q and contact details forms, would have been much more professional. Especially having some written terms and conditions that my clients could sign online before even becoming a client. The organisation and ability to not only have that information but update it and have clients sign if any terms or policies needed to be updated is so flexible and would have been a game-changer.
Memberships and plans built for clients
The ability to offer clients different types of memberships fit for the abilities and level is very helpful. Having somewhere to create and store specific memberships, packs and plans would have been amazing. Especially as I offered services such as boxing lessons, which were priced differently from my personal training packages. With memberships clients, themselves can select which membership they prefer and that would allow me to plan and know from the start what their goals and preferences are.
I ran an online nutrition course and boxing beginner courses but didn't have anywhere to accept memberships or payments for them. TeamUp has courses built into the software and I could have built these courses into my price and model. Having these two features linked would make the client onboarding process much quicker and simpler, and I would have been able to offer more.
Powerful online integrations
There are two integrations that TeamUp offer in particular that are incredibly beneficial to personal trainers.
Creating a class or webinar for people to book and adding a link to my calendar would have saved so much time. Rather than sending links and chasing people who didn't attend or show up. The TeamUp Zoom integration allows clients to book a class on Zoom and when they register they get the link sent directly to their email or can open it right in their TeamUp member app. Once their in class, they are automatically marked off the registry allowing trainers to get started right on time.
Being able to export customer emails and data to Mailchimp and email my clients from there rather than inputting new emails into Mailchimp and creating custom fields for my emails would have been amazing! Then throw in reporting, notifications, a store and on-demand! You have endless ways of growing your business.
Software built for personal trainers like you
What really drew me to TeamUp was the feedback I'd heard and the sense that they really want to help people and their businesses succeed in the fitness industry. I have a deep passion for fitness and new and exciting technology, and TeamUp has been a great fit. It's clear that not only is the company so passionate about supporting their customers, but they make it a mission to help them grow and engage with their own customers in so many ways beyond the tools and features. Now that I have experienced software on both sides as a consumer and as part of the team, I wish I'd have used TeamUp for my business instead of wasting time and money trying different providers.
If you're a personal trainer or fitness instructor interested in learning more about TeamUp for your PT or fitness business, sign up for a 30-day trial.