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In an ever expanding industry and such a fast-paced field, it can seem like a mammoth task to start a new business and most importantly, achieve longevity. But despite a crowded market, there are still many opportunities to make it happen.

Here are my top five insights to help you get started with a successful fitness business:

  1. Look outside the fitness industry for business inspiration – in particular the big, successful companies such as Innocent, Starbucks and BMW. Observe their marketing campaigns and their customer service for ideas for your own business. Think big... act big... you’ll be big!
  2. First impressions are so important, and you make yours on social media. You may well have an amazing website that is ultra-sleek and mega professional, but if you don’t portray the same image on social media, your potential customers won’t even bother to visit your site. So be your true self, be professional and finally please don’t slate other fitness businesses or trainers in a bid to make yourself look better. I see it all the time and it doesn’t ingratiate you with potential customers at all. Just be yourself... you’re cool!
  3. Traditionally in business we are told to do one of two things when it comes to ‘the competition’ –  either do what they do but do it cheaper or do what they do but do it slightly better. I would ignore that advice, and instead suggest that you observe the competition and then do the exact opposite. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
  4. Create a support network. Get to know other trainers either in your area or nationally, and share ideas, support each other, refer to each other and help each other expand your knowledge bases.
  5. Give quality to your customers and start as you mean to go on. When I studied with YMCA Awards a few years ago, I loved their ethos of giving quality experiences to their learners, from the course literature to their branding and level of service. This is something I’ve always tried to emulate in my business too. Quality and standards go an awful long way with clients and can have a serious impact on customer retention.

Wishing you masses of success in your fitness business.

About the author

Katie Bulmer-Cooke is one of the UK’s best known fitness entrepreneurs and a proud partner of YMCA Awards. We asked Katie to share her knowledge on how to develop a successful career in the fitness industry for our learners. Katie started her career setting up fitness classes in Sunderland and has since appeared on BBC’s The Apprentice, co-hosts a chat show (Chatty Lasses), and has published articles in Workout Magazine, Fitpro, Bella, Womens Weekly, FHM, Holland & Barret Magazine and Health Club Management.


She is now working as co-director of The National Fitness Network which gives fitness professionals and enthusiasts exclusive discounts and deals on their favourite and most frequently used products and services, ranging from clothing, trainers and equipment to music, supplements and education, and much more. YMCA Awards are one of the partners of the National Fitness Network.