People love to be pampered, and when it comes to concierge-style services, mobile training is at the top of the list. In a mobile business model, the service provider conveniently comes to the home or office of the customer. Physicians charge high out-of-pocket fees to provide home medical services, massage therapists enhance their business with in-home massage packages, and personal trainers can improve their bottom line and decrease overhead costs by traveling directly to the home or office of clients.
There are clear advantages to mobile personal training. Overhead costs are close to zero since your clients are supplying the lighting, heating and gym space. There is no check-in process, no membership cards, no front desk employee and no space lease. Gym equipment replacement and maintenance costs are not your responsibility. Furthermore, because the demographic that purchases mobile personal training services is typically wealthy, with large, well furnished homes or posh corporate gyms, your work environment can be far more comfortable than your own studio or club. Most importantly, you can charge a much higher fee for your concierge-style services because of the added value of convenience. People will pay more to be able to roll out of bed and meet a trainer at the downstairs gym, and businesses will pay more to keep their employees onsite at the corporate workout facility.
Although mobile training pros outweigh the cons, there are a few disadvantages. You must travel offsite and thus spend more time per session. Depending on where you live, mobile personal training can involve driving for five minutes to a full hour, therefore you lose valuable training time. And with rising gas prices, travel costs can be significant. As a mobile trainer, you also have greater liability. The moment you step outside of your gym or studio, you are no longer covered by your facility’s insurance policy, so you must carry your own personal liability insurance and manage your own waivers when training offsite. Ultimately, mobile personal training is worth this extra effort and can significantly enhance your fitness business income.
In this two-part series, you will learn how to establish, market and structure your mobile personal training services for both the home and corporate setting.
You must understand that when you perform home personal training, you are doing your clients an enormous favor. They’re at home, wearing comfortable clothing, with no driving or traffic issues. They can eat a pre and post workout meal straight from their personal refrigerator or pantry can answer their phone or check their email as they please, and they have an enhanced status symbol in the neighborhood. Based on these perks, you can consider charging 20 to 40 percent higher fees for home personal training services, and you can also include a gas and travel time surcharge to the training invoice. I recommend that you A) charge a monthly fee (rather than a per session fee) for your mobile training; B) approximate your gas costs, divide by the number of clients and include in your fees; and C) bill your full personal training hourly rate for driving time.
To lower driving time and gas costs, consider batching your home personal training sessions to a specific geographic section of town or metropolitan area. Because you are charging high prices for your concierge-style services, you will be providing home training to primarily wealthy clients. In these high class neighborhoods, “keeping up with Joneses” carries high priority, and word of your mobile training will spread quickly. For example, you may find that you can perform four to six sessions in one neighborhood on Mondays and another batch of sessions in a separate area on Thursdays, with only a few minutes travel time between clients.
Based on this concept, you can also market to the specific geographical areas in which you wish to train. Typically, locating luxurious neighborhoods and posting advertisements on the golf course, supermarket or library bulletin board is effective. If you market online, you can also target Google AdWords campaigns to specific geographic areas. In your marketing efforts, remember that the most important concept for your audience is the idea of convenience: you come to them and thus eliminate the sweaty locker room, the long commute and the gym environment peer pressure.
A home personal training session is structured very similarly to a face-to-face session at your gym or studio, although you’re using your clients' equipment and may have limitations based on what is available. Some people may prefer to train at home with nothing more than a yoga mat and a stability ball, but you will find that many home training clients have 1,000 to 2,000 square foot personal home gyms that rival an upscale health club. For novice exercisers, you may actually have to design the gym and order all the necessary equipment and machines for your client, an additional service I recommend you add to your mobile training marketing campaign.
During the session, consider including activities such as trips to the kitchen to examine nutritional labels and food choices, cooking classes for healthy pre- and post-workout meals, walks, runs and outdoor fitness sessions through the neighborhood and living room body weight workouts to prepare your client for travel fitness.
Group training in a home family situation is also typical, and you can add this option to your fee structure. For example, each additional family member, if training during the same hour as the first family member, receives a 50 percent discount. For example, in a weekly home training scenario, the wife can train at $400 per month, while the husband and one child each train at $200 per month. As you can see, this type of group training scenario will net $800 a month for four hours of home training, potentially with all driving and gas costs compensated.
Finally, consider adding home wellness presentations to your mobile training services. In the same way that you can offer your services to travel to a corporate site for a wellness presentation, you can travel to a home to present to a club or group. Groups such as Moms in Motion, Weight Watchers and Avon often hold home meetings, and you can offer your services as a special topics presenter. This can be a valuable addition to your home personal training business, since many of the same clients you individually train will be members of such groups.
The mobile model of home personal training is comfortable and easy. Your clients are more casual and carefree when in the comfort of their homes, and the variation in your work environment can be refreshing. If desired, you can even work from a home office, eliminate the studio and gym and only train clients at their homes. If you live in a large metropolitan area with many wealthy individuals, this is an attractive possibility.
In the next article of the mobile personal training series, I’ll teach you how to expand your mobile training services to the corporate worksite.