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One in four PTs in danger of failure due to lack of business skills

Personal trainers are risking their profitability and longevity due to significant gaps in practical business skills training, according to new research.

The research, compiled by booking management platform fibodo in its ‘Survival of the Fittest’ report, reveals that one in four (24%) PTs were not taught core business skills as part of their training – a figure that amounts to nearly 6,240 small business owners across the UK.

Amongst those, 71% said that it would have been helpful to receive such training when they started up, a clear indication that start-up support for PTs is falling short.

One in three personal trainers said that they felt unprepared to deal with the challenges of running a profitable business when they started up. Even with the benefit of experience, more than a quarter (27%) of PTs worry about whether their business will last more than a few years.

Eight in 10 UK personal trainers are currently self-employed, suggesting a clear oversight which must be addressed to ensure that individuals have the chance of a profitable and successful future.

Encouragingly, amongst those who were taught practical business skills as part of their core training, 85% said they thought these were sufficient for their current day-to-day tasks, suggesting that the skills gap could be filled relatively simply. Basic training in areas such as accounting, business planning, administration and compliance could help PTs to feel more confident and operate more strategically.

Anthony Franklin, CEO and founder of fibodo, commented: “Personal trainers should be absolutely commended; they have undergone really rigorous training and certification to ensure that they can offer an innovative, effective and safe service, and the vast majority are self-employed, contributing to the economy entirely off their own backs. That one in four have covered no basic business skills as part of their core training is far too high, and rectifying it could have a really positive impact on the sector.

“Core business skills can help PTs to take a longer-term and more strategic view of running their business, understanding where they can make small changes to increase profitability and boost their profile. Such skills should be included in all PT training as a matter of course.”

To help PTs gain essential business skills, fibodo has created the Grow Your Business course, accredited by CIMSPA and worth 3 CPD points.

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