Step-By-Step Guide: How to Start a Fitness Business with Wix Fitness
This post was last updated on June 16, 2020.
As a health-conscious, fit-focused individual, you’ve probably dreamed of learning how to start a fitness business of your very own. You’ve imagined a fully-booked schedule filled with motivated clients who recommend you left and right and love to spend time learning from you. You’ve envisioned a life where you can get paid for your passion, where the time spent managing your day-to-day operational nuances was hassle-free.
Whether your goal is to become a professional personal trainer, yoga studio owner, pilates teacher, or some other fitness leader - it’s possible to turn this into a reality. You’ll be unstoppable when matched with the right fitness website that makes those burdening management tasks a breeze - essentially allowing you to focus more of your time on your clients.
This guide shows you the ten steps to follow to turn your career aspirations into your day-to-day job by owning your very own fitness business.
What is a fitness business?
A fitness business is a form of business focused on anything fitness-related, from yoga and pilates to crossfit and kickboxing.
Whether you’re a personal trainer or instructor, or the owner of a studio or gym, you have the power to make this impactful service business idea truly your own.
This type of work involves managing your own marketing efforts online (such as creating a website), keeping track of bookings, engaging with potential and current clients, establishing a strong community, managing your schedule and staff, and other housekeeping tasks.
Sounds like a lot to handle, right? If only there was a one platform solution - that’s both accessible via desktop and on-the-go - the process would be a whole lot more manageable. Thanks to Wix Fitness, you now can. In this guide we’ll show you how to start a fitness business of your own utilizing the powerful resources offered through this product.
Pros of starting a fitness business:
When you start a fitness business, you’ll benefit from owning your work completely. The advantages of this career include:
Choosing your clients and hours
Potentially earning a lot of money
Staying fit without having to workout on your own
Working from home
Steps to successfully start a fitness business:
Discover your niche
Tend to your basic operational tasks
Run your fitness business completely online
Take your classes and sessions online
Create a website and get your mobile app
Perfect your scheduling process
Take care of your clients
Implement an easy payment process
Manage your finances
Grow and sustain your community
Analyze your performance
01. Discover your niche
Before you can dive into the business aspect, you’ll need to find your true calling. Are you interested in learning how to become a personal trainer? How about how to be a yoga instructor? Or even how to run your own crossfit gym? After deciding this, you’ll need to obtain the right certifications and trainings to become a licensed professional - some of which are more intense than others.
For example, let’s say you decide to become a crossfit instructor and own a gym. You aren’t just targeting anyone interested in crossfit though, you want to work with serious athletes who train every week day and probably eat a specific diet, like the paleo diet. This right here is your niche. Knowing this will allow you to develop your personal brand, from your online presence to the services you offer and other items you’ll sell at your gym (nutritious bars, supplements, equipment, etc.).
02. Tend to your basic operational tasks
The next step is to come up with a plan, and establish order for all of your basic operations. It begins by setting a name for your business. If you need a little help, check out our highly recommended Business Name Generator, which will provide you with tons of options to choose from based on a few simple questions about your business.
You’ll then want to write out a business plan in order to turn your dreams into realistic goals as well as be able to formally communicate them to investors when raising capital. A business plan is a professional document that outlines the purpose, strategy and financials of your venture. It usually includes a summary of your business, industry and customer analysis, an operational plan and financial projections. You can surely tailor yours to fit your own needs.
Lastly, you’ll need to choose a business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.) and potentially register your business. The business structure you’ll choose is dependent on many factors such as the amount of personal liability you want to have, taxes, and how many people you’ll hire. To learn which one is suited for you, read about the many different business structures here.
To find out more about these operational technicalities, check out our complete guide to starting your own business.
03. Run your fitness business completely online
Before you begin to get in the habit of printing signup forms for classes or doing any paperwork by hand, search for an online solution to make your life a whole lot easier. Of course it’s the environmental way to run your business, but that’s not the main reason. You’ll save so much more time and hassle by simplifying and streamlining your process through a completely virtual solution such as Wix Fitness.
First of all, Wix Fitness allows you to showcase your fitness business via your professional website and mobile app. Its offering includes online scheduling, a website, CRM, and both marketing and financial tools all in one package. In summary, you’ll have access to the following, much-needed features:
An online presence with built-in SEO
Customer management and marketing tools
Community sustainability and growth
We’ll break down the details of all of these features below.
04. Take your classes and sessions online
As many businesses shift toward relying more on video conferencing apps to connect with clients, we've put together the tools you need to successfully move and operate your services online. Wix Bookings enables you to operate your fitness business effectively, so you can keep growing during these challenging times. You’re now able to easily run online classes, sessions, courses and more by integrating Zoom to any of your services. Upon booking, your customers will receive an automatically generated link, and will be taken to the class of their choice. Once you’ve integrated Zoom, you can offer online sessions as part of your subscription plans, helping you reach larger audiences and build your clientele. To keep your classes full, you can combine in-person and Zoom sessions. Did a client miss their favorite course? Don’t worry, as you can also offer pre-recorded sessions for visitors to join in.
05. Create a website and get your mobile app
This is the center of all of the action for your fitness business. It’s the place where people come to learn more about you and your services, sign up for a membership or details, book a session with you, watch your training videos, purchase your apparel, and more. So, it’s important to make your site as professional and clear as can be.
You can read through this complete website building guide to get started. It begins with choosing a website template, such as one of these fitness templates with built-in booking capabilities and paid plan options. Once you’ve chosen one, you’ll be able to customize it to fit your brand’s needs.
The Wix Mobile App is an extension to your website, for no extra cost. It essentially offers the same capabilities, but from on-the-go. Here you’ll be able to invite your members to book your services and pay directly from their phone via the app. You can also customize this with your brand’s colors and add a cover photo to stand out and truly represent your style.
Here are a few elements worth adding to your site and app:
Photo gallery: Make it visually eye-catching by adding a photo gallery of your sessions with clients, your gym or studio, and you showing off your skills.
Videos: From a media perspective, videos work well as a tool to display a few workout demos, full training videos for rent, or introduce your offerings. You can use the Wix Video Maker to easily create them in just a couple minutes and then showcase, sell, and rent them via Wix Video.
Online store: An online store will allow you to sell merchandise, such as fitness equipment, healthy foods, and apparel, so that you can earn some extra income.
Testimonials: Show your credibility by adding a section for recommendations and personal stories about your services from your clients.
Your contact information: Add your name, phone number, email address, and social channels so that clients can reach you. Consider creating a custom email address to appear more reputable and professional.
A professional logo. Design a custom logo to add to your website and social media accounts.
Your domain name: Seal the deal and register your domain name to make your site official.
An SEO strategy: SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of implementing strategies that aim to help your site rank higher in certain keyword search results. Using these SEO tools, you’ll be able to give yours that much-needed boost.
06. Perfect your scheduling process
Enabling clients to easily book your services is the most crucial part of your business. Adding an online booking feature to your site that lists all of your services and the relevant information (instructor, duration of class, price, location, etc.), will save them time and prevent any confusion. With Wix Bookings, they’ll be able to schedule efficiently, add the appointment to their calendar, and receive email reminders via the automations feature - all without any additional actions on your part.
This solution can be set up within minutes, and there are many top features you’ll benefit from:
Choose your offerings: You have the ability to add group or individual sessions, package deals, sets of sessions, or full membership plans.
Showcase your services: Display them by adding your best photos, categories, taglines, and descriptions.
Sync calendars: Instantaneously sync Google Calendars to easily keep track of availability and appointments for yourself, your staff, and your customers.
Manage your bookings 24/7: Thanks to this automatic online solution, you don’t have to wait around for phone calls. Through the Wix Mobile App and your website, customers can book with you at any hour of the day.
Handle everything on-the-go: Also thanks to the Wix Mobile App, you’ll be able to promote your services and related coupons, send invoices, update your schedule, and accept bookings in real-time via live chat.
Be notified in real-time: Once a client books a session, you and your staff will immediately receive an update via email.
Waitlist when necessary: If a class is fully-booked, clients can sign up for your waitlist and be automatically notified if a spot opens.
Provide a member login area: Allow clients to become members, so that they can automatically sign in to your website or access your services via the Wix Mobile App.
07. Take care of your clients
Customers are the center of your business and deserve your undivided attention during sessions. However, the work doesn’t stop there. If you really want to impress them, you’ll need to go the extra mile.
When it comes to acquiring new clients, offering free consultations is a great way to give a taster of your services. If you’re offering private crossfit sessions for elite athletes, for example, it’s a good idea to do this before assuming that they are willing to signup for an expensive package deal with you.
Another thing to take into account is that you’ll need to provide forms for both covering your side of a liability issue, as well as to receive client information for your newsletters and other marketing initiatives. Using Wix Forms, you can handle all of this online, and then easily sync all of your data to your CRM and Contacts within your site manager. To get started, learn how to create an online form here.
You’ll also need to keep your clients in check by sending them automatic reminders and appointment confirmations through Bookings. Likewise, you’ll want to establish and write out your cancellation policy in order to hold them accountable and make sure that you won’t lose out on income, time, and other vital resources. On top of this, further update clients by creating group class chats from within the Wix Mobile App. Here you can share updates, such as reminding them to bring their yoga mats or a towel to class.
Finally, with Wix Fitness you’ll be able to mark class attendees and no-shows during sessions with just the click of a button, allowing you to go back later and view your performance over a period of time.
08. Implement an easy payment process
However you plan to package your services, getting paid is vital to keeping your business afloat. Make sure this process is transparent and direct enough for your clients. Begin by writing out your options on your site - be it monthly memberships, class pass deals, individual sessions or a combination of several of these. Then, connect a payment method or explain to them how to go about paying in person.
With Wix Bookings, you can offer flexible options, such as accepting payments in full or partial, both online and in person via the secure methods offered. Plus, if a client becomes a member of your site, they’ll be able to pay via single-tap purchases by saving their credit card information too.
09. Manage your finances
After you get paid, you want to ensure that you have an understanding of what money is coming in and going out. Browse your transactions within your website manager to see your income, as well as check back on customer payment history.
For expenses, you’ll need to pay your rent, staff, taxes, etc. This can feel like a full time job on it’s own, let alone recording it all somewhere. Establish an accounting method that keeps you on track. For U.S. site owners, you can make this job a whole lot easier with the QuickBooks site integration which allows you to easily sync your financial data, generate reports and more. Before you dive in head first though, put your feet in the water with this guide to small business accounting.
10. Grow and sustain your community
As we previously mentioned, it’s possible to create a Member’s Area on your website which allows your clients to easily sign in and book appointments with you. This isn’t the only benefit of turning your clients into members though, it will also allow you to build an active community around your business.
You can create ‘Groups’ to interact with class participants, regular attendees, and people that share similar interests. For example, you might want to start an active chat for recipe inspiration when targeting your paleo-diet/crossfit enthusiasts.
Another way to reach out to customers in bulk is with online content. You can use the power of email marketing to start your own weekly newsletter, or create a blog or forum to share insights about your expertise (all of which will also give your website an SEO boost).
Social media is one of the most popular verticals for interacting with your community too. Consider creating a Facebook Business Page to both link your website and share posts about your business. To understand the ins and outs of the most popular social channels, refer to this Social Media Marketing 101 Guide.
11. Analyze your performance
So you’ve really put in the hard work and sweat for you fitness business, to build your community, to market your services and to do everything in your power to keep your calendar fully booked. Now, it’s time to see if your results paid off.
By checking your website and booking’s analytics, you can browse detailed information about your new and returning clients, such as average class attendees, sessions booked in total, no-shows, and more. From here, you’ll be able to see a clear picture of what works for your business and what doesn’t. You can then make the necessary adjustments like choosing to offer more or less of one style of class. To see all of this, access ‘Analytics’ within the ‘Marketing Tools’ tab of your site’s dashboard.
From here, it’s just about trying different methods to see what works for your fitness business. Continue to run it with your goals as your motive and your customers as your first priority.
By Jennifer Kaplan
Small Business Expert & Writer