The cost of a session.

How much do you charge? It’s a simply enough question. Most personal trainers starting out in the industry, would answer the question with something like… “I charge $90 for 60 minutes”. Question answered. But is there more to it? The answer is HELL YES!

A lot of thought is usually put into how much a personal trainer will charge a potential client for a session, as they don’t want to be seen as over or under pricing themselves. However very little thought is given to the cost of that session if a client wants to reschedule at the last minute. When you’re starting in the industry, your focus is on building clientele, ensuring everyone you start training stays with you at almost any cost. If a client says “I won’t be in today, could you see me tomorrow”, your answer is most likely, “No problem!” You’re usually happy to do this for two reasons…

  1. You don’t want to lose your new client so you’ll do anything to keep them.
2. In the early days as a PT, your calendar will look pretty empty so you’ll have plenty of alternate times available in order to meet your client’s last minute request.

So what I’d like to do now is give you some of the best advice I can offer to prevent you from haemorrhaging money as you grow your business. Advice I wish I’d received when I started that would have quite honestly saved me thousands!

We’ll use the example I gave at the beginning. $90 for a 60 minute session.

As happy as you might be to reschedule a client’s last minute request, the simple cost to your business is two fold.

  • Time : the biggest and only commodity you have as a PT is your time. The busier you become, the more you will realise this. Rescheduling a client means that client has now taken 2 hours out of your week. The first hour lost as a result of their last minute cancellation, and the second hour you’re now rescheduling them to.
  • Money : If you’re charging $90 per hour, and this client is now taking up 2 hours, you’re effectively banking $45.00 per hour.

Trust me, this can really start to add up when you’re trying to get your business off the ground at the start.

If you reschedule five appointments a week in this fashion, by the end of your first 3 Months in business, you will be lost $2700.00. All because you were worried about a client’s reaction to being charged for a rescheduled session.

So how do you ensure you’re getting the most out of the hours you work, while keeping everyone happy?

Two words… Terms and Conditions.

The easiest way to make your clients accountable for their actions. If you’re clear on your terms and conditions, and (more importantly) your clients are clear on them, then you’re starting to create guidelines for which to build a solid foundation on a business model.

So where do you start?

Start by asking PT’s in the business, how they wrote their T’s and C’s and the sorts of hurdles they had to overcome while improving communication to their client base when they started out. These PT’s will have a wealth of knowledge and the good ones will be more than willing to help you out. They may even give you a copy of their T’s and C’s to give you an outline from which to start writing your own.

Once you’ve got your T’s and C’s written, sit down with all existing clients and walk them through the new document, ensuring you get a signature and date at the bottom. To any new clients, this process should become part of signing them up.

Having clear and concise Terms and Conditions are essential to your business model as they are the cornerstone behind your communication to your clients and will help you avoid having any uncomfortable conversations with clients wishing to reschedule sessions at the last minute.