How personal trainers can secure a recurring revenue

5 min read

Personal trainers can often be subject to the same cash flow problems as gyms. Gyms are far from a fad; they are an established part of the fitness industry, and the rise in demand for the specialised services of a personal trainer shows that fitness is something tangible and capable of building a worthwhile career on.

Unfortunately, as a personal trainer, the behaviour of many clients makes it difficult to maintain a steady flow of regular income. Recent industry figures compiled by Statistic Brain show that there are nearly 132 million health club members in around 153,000 gyms worldwide.

Startlingly (although perhaps not surprisingly) 67 per cent of people with gym memberships never use them. With an average gym membership costing US$58 per month, this equates to around US$39 of that fee being unutilised. Despite the fact that by hiring a personal trainer the customer is showing a greater desire to commit to their fitness regime, these statistics don’t make for a stable looking income stream if the wrong methods of payment are used.

A common problem experienced in the health and fitness industry is finding a consistent income beyond the seasonal influxes that come from New Year’s resolutions and fad diets. That is why encouraging clients to commit to a direct debit payment model, rather than per session or cash-in-hand methods, is a great way to ensure sustainable on-time payment and client retention.

Direct customer development

Direct debit integration gives personal trainers a chance to sign clients up for a long-term commitment to suit their overall fitness goals. Like fitness centres, personal trainers work in local communities, so in theory there are a finite number of clients to replace those that swap the inclined weight bench for the reclined couch.

While many can find exercise thrilling, others find keeping fit a bit of a chore. Offering clients a regular payment plan takes some of the effort away from their fitness plan; not having to remember their chequebook may be the straw that keeps the camel upright and heading towards its destination.

In reality, the only thing a personal trainer doesn’t want their client sweating about is whether they can pay for the next session. By signing up to direct debit billing, the client gets a steady plan for payment, and the personal trainer gets a form of cash flow management that affords them the security of seeing exactly how much income they will make each month.

Many gyms are already embracing direct debit payments to ensure their customers and income are maintained, and gym members have demonstrated that are open to this type of payment method. Personal trainers can see their clientèle as being of a similar mindset, so the payment method is likely to be accepted if the trainer can offer it.

No pain, lots to gain

Personal trainers have the edge on fitness centres as their clients are more often financially stable enough to use the service in the long-term. With a regular income strengthening the trainer’s financial health, all they have to do is keep the client motivated and using their services, in order to benefit from direct debit.

Like any enterprise, a personal trainer’s business is the muscle; the amount of work they put in is directly related to that muscle’s development; and like every business, income is the oxygen that keeps it all going. As every trainer will tell you, regular breaths are the perfect way of keeping that muscle growing fit and healthy.

Ezidebit’s payment services are tailor-made for fitness professionals, meaning they can stay in constant control of their cash flow with direct debit software. The process is flexible with online access and reporting, and it allows income to be arranged at a time and regularity that suits a trainer’s schedule.