In my first book, Two-Brain Business: Grow Your Gym, I gave a list of 30 possible revenue streams in a gym. I wanted to show other personal trainers how to make more money in less time. And I wanted to show gym owners how to create opportunities for their coaches.

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But the goal was never to have gyms run 30 programs at once. The best gyms do really, really well with three core services:

  1. Personal training
  2. Nutrition coaching
  3. Group training

It's no coincidence that these services solve 90 percent of your clients' problems. No matter what their goal, a client will need two things:

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise.

CrossFit gyms claim that nutrition is at the base of their fitness pyramid. But regardless of what exercise modality you choose, your clients won't get results without paying attention to what they eat.

At your first meeting with a client, you should make an exercise prescription and a nutrition prescription. If you're nervous about prescribing a diet, or you need a program to help you create a nutrition service, I recommend (I don't get paid to refer to them; they're just the best).

After you make an exercise prescription, you should ask the client if they prefer to work out one-on-one with you or in a small group setting. The biggest barrier to entry at most gyms isn't the price; it's the social barrier. Some people don't want a personal trainer. Some people don't want to embarrass themselves in front of a group. You should be able to accommodate both.

From a revenue standpoint, you should consider packages to be your gold standard. Combining nutrition coaching with exercise coaching will get a client to their goals faster but should bring you more value for your time.

When I was a personal trainer, I thought that selling more sessions was the only way to make more money. But selling semiprivate training means more income in less time. Selling nutrition is even more scalable because the value far exceeds the time required to deliver a nutrition plan.

However, if you start a gym selling ONLY group coaching, you'll keep some of your most valuable clients from joining your gym. And if you just sell exercise, your clients won't reach their goals.

Sell all three. Sell them well. Many profitable gyms do well selling only these three options. You should only consider adding a fourth dimension to your business when clients ask for something else (like a kids' program).

Header image courtesy of langstrup ©