Corporate clubs offer a variety of benefits: name recognition, multiple locations, access to different equipment, large membership base, potential advancement, to name a few. Unfortunately, they are a business, and therefore you will have less flexibility with which to work and make a smaller percentage of the training fee.
Depending on the owner, location, philosophy, and size, private clubs can be quite lucrative. With the right owner, a trainer can excel, making possible larger percentages of training fees, with the possibility of advancement or even partial ownership. With changing markets, economies, and interests of the owner, private clubs may be a less stable way to go.
Everyone wants the next reality show, celebrity trainer with all the great endorsements, DVD’s, and books, but in reality, going solo may be a lonely venture. Finding clients, transportation (weather, car problems, gas prices, traffic, etc.), insurance (you are liable for everything that goes on in the house during training), sexual harassment (or even being accused), and for that matter, what do you use for equipment? Not everyone has great or even adequate equipment to train with. Also, how much do you charge? Travel time in Fort Collins Colorado is nothing compared to L.A… Do you include that into your pricing? There are some great benefits though; you are your own boss. You can train when, how, and for how much you want. I have seen exclusive trainers get $5000 per client per month…limit two clients, for being at the clients beckon call for training. Creativity is paramount to success.
*note to self…saw a trainer convert an RV into a gym. Travel to homes, train clients, back on the road. Less insurance risk, potential better equipment, great tax write off and advertising. Don’t forget public parks and Boot Camps.
Comparison of Contracts:
*some clubs allow independent contractors to work within the club, usually for a flat fee or a progressive percentage payment. Incentive based training is good for full time trainers. It may not be cost effective for part time due to a large percent having to be paid to the club or a minimum fee.