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Guest Blog - What I Have Learnt Since Setting Up My Personal Training Business

by Nicola Poole - Inspired Coaching

When I decided to change my career path in 2014 and become the owner of a personal training business in Newton Abbot, Devon. I naively thought that my job was a personal trainer that helped people with their gym training needs. How wrong was I! When you are a one woman band you have to learn how to do many things - quickly. To date my job roles include:

· Personal trainer and coach

· Accountant

· Social media and marketing

· Photographer and videographer

· Website designer and editor

· Sales and advertising executive

· Online support and communications

Owning A Business Can Be Overwhelming.

When I first started, I busied myself with the day to day tasks of training people, planning and writing programmes with the occasional social media appearances and hoped that potential client's would just find me. Quite often I would feel demoralised and questioned my ability to do my job when the work wasn't coming in, I felt my time was being wasted when projects and ideas came to nothing. There is so much to think about and organise but often 'doing the job' takes priority. So, for a few year's I plodded along managing to keep my business together through pure stubbornness. However, you begin to realise that if you don't address the 'my business' tasks there won't be a personal training business to run anymore.

Finding Direction and Purpose Starts With Accepting Help.

A few years ago a PT client invited me to a free online business marketing course with Fran Minifie Photography. I'm a rather sceptical person so I thought 'what's the catch?'. After a bit of research I thought I would give it a go and trusted my client's judgement. The course was very useful and I learnt a lot from just that one week. Fran was funny, honest and knowledgeable, she had a genuine interest in helping other small businesses grow and succeed. So, when she offered a second free Rebranding Your Business course I jumped at it. It came at a good time because me and my business had moved forward in a different direction and I wanted a brand to reflect that. There is no way I would have ended up with brand identity I wanted without Fran’s guidance. It would have taken me ages and not been as good. Roll on another 6 months and I signed up to Fran's Website and SEO Builder course. This time I paid for it as it was a 15 week course with greater depth. Fran organised it in such a way that the weekly tasks were manageable and support was always at hand. To be honest it was a bargain, if I went to a corporate business for that service I would have paid a lot more and probably learnt less because they don't want you to be self-sufficient because that doesn't make money.

Make Time For 'Your Business'.

However good you are, successful businesses don't just happen. People don't just find you. It's incredibly competitive out there so if you want to be seen and have a presence online you have to invest time in your business. Setting aside time each week or month to do tasks, creating a uniformed brand that is recognisable and does get seen, plan and implement marketing strategies you believe in. It does sound all very corporate and big business but us minions have to think big too because our livelihoods depend on it.

Imposter Syndrome.

70% of the people who take up my personal training services are women. Many of those have their own business themselves. We all suffer from imposter syndrome at some point. Question whether we are good enough, provide a better service or product than our competitors, worry about what people think about us. Because we are a one woman business the buck stops with us. If we fuck up or make the wrong decision it's on us. However, because I have focused time into my business, creating a brand and service I'm proud of those imposter moments seem far less these days. I have a business with a purpose and an identity which all my client's, present and future know and understand.

Support One Another

When building a business look at who you know already. How can they help me and how can I help them? Where can I network? Small businesses need to stick together, support and champion each other. There are lot’s of ways you can do this from the small gestures to bigger projects. If we all do this then we can help small local businesses grow and succeed. Plus, you meet some fabulous people along the way.

Nicola is a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach based in Newton Abbot, Devon. She is an inclusive coach who helps busy parents find time to enjoy movement and exercise using sustainable methods. If you are interested in finding out more about her visit

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