As an independent personal trainer, going from one appointment to another day in and day out can be nearly impossible once you’ve got a full client base, not to mention your personal or outside obligations.
That’s why tracking your appointments is essential to your success in this industry.
The Importance Of A Proper Schedule
You are a fitness professional and you must do whatever it takes to keep each and every appointment you set.
Your clients are paying you quite a bit of money to show up and help them reach their goals. Clients expect a certain level of commitment, and if you can’t provide what they want, they are likely to go somewhere else.
While missing one or two training sessions isn’t quite the end of the world, your inability to stick to planned times and constant reschedulings will undoubtedly leave a sour taste in your clients’ mouths.
The lack of accountability can be incredibly damaging to your reputation should your spurned clients spread the message to others. There is no quicker way to failure than by creating unhappy clients.
Make It Easy And Write It Down
Maintaining a proper schedule allows you to focus on the things that matter.
Why do our bodies need Vitamin D? What is self-myofascial release? How do you properly measure your client’s body fat? These should all be more important to you than remembering which client is scheduled next Wednesday at 4:00pm.
Your brain is much more efficient at thinking and reasoning than it is with remembering small details. That’s why even with just a handful of clients, it’s smart to have your schedule somewhere easily accessible so you don’t have to rely on your memory.
With a well-laid out schedule, should an unexpected scheduling conflict arise, you can quickly sort through your schedule and provide your other appointments with advanced notice, possibly even avoiding the cancellation penalty.
Whether on your smartphone, your laptop computer or simply in a written planner, the key is to jot down every appointment somewhere that you will review and refer to often.
Scheduling Is An Art
The sheer act of scheduling can result in a lot of wasted time and effort when done incorrectly.
To avoid this, you’ll need to plan and manage your time on a daily basis. You should be reviewing your appointments a minimum of once in the morning and once at the end of the day. Realistically, you should be reviewing your calendar throughout the day.
As an independent personal trainer, you are your own boss. Maintaining a schedule can be tough without a supervisor breathing down your neck, directing your every move. To run an effective schedule and profitable business, you’ll need to take charge and avoid unproductive distractions such as constantly checking Facebook and Twitter.
I recommend using a bit of technology to help you out, especially if you’ve got a smartphone by your side. There are many different apps and utilities available to keep you organized.
As an example, Google Calendar is a free tool, it’s easy to use and is packed with useful functions such as reminders, alerts and you can even send meeting requests to your clients.
However you decide to manage your appointments, the key is to stay organized and always be updating your schedule with the most recent information. Letting even the smallest details fall through the cracks can lead to lost income and disappointed clients.
Setting A Schedule That Works For You
How many hours do you need to work to achieve your desired income levels? Do you have any other time commitments that need you to be available during certain hours?
These are all important questions to ask before building your schedule. Be honest with yourself about what you’re looking to gain from your career. These factors will determine how often you will need to be training clients.
Make sure your schedule is realistic. Some trainers are working 13-14 hours per day and complain of exhaustion. The reason you went into this business was to promote a healthy lifestyle. Are you being setting the right example when you’re running on just 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night?
Especially at the beginning, it’s easy to take on every client that crosses your path! Do your best to schedule clients back to back. If not, it won’t be long before you’re training clients sporadically from 5am-6am, 12pm-2pm and at 7pm, with long, unpaid breaks in between. Talk about having your time tied up! The more you can convince clients to train within your schedule, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
Through all of this, don’t forget set aside time for you. Personal obligations, exercise, and family time are all important. Do whatever it is that you need to do, but be sure to schedule it in so you don’t accidentally double book your time.
When it comes to creating a balanced and manageable schedule, it’s important to set your availability and stick with it. Much the way any business has business hours, you’ve got to set your own limits as well. If you’ve set your own schedule to end at 7pm with clients and 8pm for other administrative matters, then stop at 8pm, turn in, and prepare your mind and body for the following day.
An organized schedule is the best way to ensure you don’t miss a single appointment and leave clients in the dark waiting for their training session.
Organize Your Time And Your Business
If you are willing to put in the time and effort, your schedule will be the least of your worries.
Being on time, every time, will show your clients that you’re dedicated to their success. The personal trainer that offers the best client service will always come out on top, creating strong client-trainer relationships that are both rewarding and lucrative.
If you haven’t been keeping a written schedule, that’s okay. Better late than never.
For those of you that have a well-maintained schedule, what have you found to work the best? Are there any tools or tips that you’d like to share? Be sure to mention it in the comments!