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Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan

Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan | Brian Greenlee | Exam Preparation Blog | 4/16/2012


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Essential Elements of a Good Personal Training Business Plan

They say failing to plan is planning to fail, which isn’t a great way to start your personal training career. Whether you’re looking to start or change careers, it’s important to have a strategy in place, even if it’s just a working document that outlines your business.

As your career progresses over time, so will this document. Outside factors such as the economy and local conditions like tax structure, business regulations can cause strategies to change. The important thing to remember, especially if you’re just beginning the leap to become your own boss, is that having an entrepreneurial spirit will be vital to your success.

You can’t just be a great personal trainer.

In order to be a successful club owner or independent entrepreneur, you’ll need a business plan. What elements are needed to get financing for business loans or to expand your existing business? A good business plan should consist of these key elements:

Business Plan Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a concise overview of your business plan. Tell the reader your current situation and where you want to go. This is the first part of your working document if submitting for loans or venture capital (VC), so you want to catch the reader’s eye. The Executive Summary, though the first part read, should be written last so you have all the other elements in order. Keep it within four pages, and make sure it includes a mission statement, dates and organization founders, the size of your business, number of employees, business location, facility and product or service provided.

Market Analysis

The market analysis should illustrate your knowledge in a particular industry. This should include marketing research data that you’ve collected, as well as an industry description, historical outlook, an identification of your target market, market tests, lead time, competitive analysis and regulatory restrictions.

Company Description

This section should provide a high-level look at how all the different elements of your business will fit together. This should include the primary factors you believe will make your business a success. When defining the nature of your business, be sure to list the marketplace needs that you are trying to satisfy and include specific individuals who have these needs.

Organization & Management

This section should include your company’s organizational structure, details about the company ownership, management team profiles, and qualifications of your board of directors. A simple way to lay out the structure of the organization is to create an organizational chart with a narrative description. Ownership information should include the legal structure of your business along with the subsequent related ownership information. Management profiles should highlight names of employees, their position, education, experience, skills and employment history. The list of qualifications of your board of directors should provide similar information.

Marketing & Sales Management

This section should describe how you’re going to market and sell to your audience. Your marketing strategy should explain market penetration, growth, channel distribution and communication. Your sales strategy should include your sales force and sales activities.

Service or Product Line

This section should explain what you are selling or servicing, with an emphasis on benefits to potential and current customers. You should identify the problem in your target market for which your service will provide a solution. You will need to provide hard evidence that people are or will be willing to pay for your solution. List your company’s product or service offerings and attach any marketing/promotion materials. Include product information, product life cycle, copyright, patent, and relevant trade secret information. You may also want to consider including any research and development (R &D) activities.

Funding Request

In this section you will request the amount of funding you will need to start your business. Make sure you include initial (short-term) and future funding requirements (long-term).


This section will provide the reader with financial data to make an educated decision. If your business already exists, then you need to provide historical financial data. If you are a new business, you’ll need projections. Compile this information in the form of income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements and capital expenditure budgets. Most creditors would like to see 1- to 3-year projections.


This is the final section of your business plan and provides the reader with any additional supporting information not part of any specific section. This can include credit history, employee resumes, product information, letters of reference, market studies, licenses, permits or patents, lease agreements, building permits, contracts, supporting references or research studies, and list of business consultants.

How-to Guide to Starting Your Own Personal Training Business

Ready to take your fitness career to the next level? From developing sound business policies and systems, to guerilla marketing techniques and creating that “WOW” experience for clients, ACE’s “How-to Guide to Starting Your Own Personal Training Business” will provide you with the information and tools you need to start and operate a successful fitness business.


Other Recommended Resources When Starting a Fitness Business