Starting a REAL Fitness Business

You’re super excited because you’ve starting your own “fitness business”.

Then one day, you finish training your 10 AM client and have a few hours till the next one comes in. So you sit down at your computer to update your social media sites… and then…

An official from the city stops in and shuts down your dream.

All because you didn’t take the necessary steps that are required to prevent this.

Starting a Fitness Business

I see a lot of “personal trainers” that do this and it really pisses me off.

There are true Fitness Professionals operating REAL businesses, and then there are a group of dumb asses that just throw all of our credibility out the window.

So, today I’m going to list the necessary steps you need to take before you open your doors.

This way you can actually call your business, A BUSINESS. And so you avoid getting shut down by some schmuck with a badge.

Legal To-Dos:

  • Contact your city to find out what licensing and permits you need.
  • Register your business with the government.


Figure out how you’re going to fund the opening of your business…

  • You can go to a bank and ask them for a loan… but you need a rock solid plan.
  • You can borrow money from friends and family members. But I’m not a huge fan of this because you can ruin relationships, if things go south.
  • Fund it yourself — my favorite option. If you don’t have the money for your own space, consider sub-leasing from another facility (a gym or community center). Then workout a plan to pay them a percentage of your gross monthly revenue in order to use their space till you grow and can afford your own.

Financial To-Dos:

  • Go to your bank and open a business checking account.
  • Setup a merchant account so you can accept payments and perform recurring billing. I recommend Zen Planner, which is an all-in-one software for running your fitness business.
  • Hire an accountant/bookkeeper… This is crucial!

Other Needs:

  • Get a dedicated phone line for your business… Not your cell phone!
  • If you’re opening up in your own space, you’ll need to get signage so that people know you’re there.
  • Create a set of client agreements and liability waivers, then hire a business attorney to review them and make sure they’re legit.


  • What do you currently have around your house?
  • What style of training do you do? What do you need most of?
  • And what is in your budget?

Answer these questions and you’ll have a great idea of what you’ll need, at a minimum, to effectively train your clients. Then, over time, you can add equipment to your facility. Don’t go broke on the newest and shiniest equipment right from the start.

Additional Equipment:

  • What type of flooring will your facility have?
  • Get a dedicated computer for your front desk with an Internet connection and printer.
  • A great investment is a client management system to take care of your billing — as it will save you time and money. Again, I highly recommend Zen Planner (this is NOT an affiliate link).

Yes, I’m aware there are some costs involved with this.

But you’re running a REAL business. Not the travelling road show boot camp that goes from park to park, in an effort to avoid city officials.

There’s the old saying, “You have to spend money to make money.”

Well, you also have to spend money so you don’t get your ass sued and lose everything.

If you have a question, leave a comment below. No questions are ever stupid!

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