Thinking about going out on your own and starting a fitness business in the New Year? Here are five essential things you can do to ensure your success. Follow these and you’ll be starting a fitness business that will give you both independence and a growing income.

1. Set yourself up to take payment at time of booking.

Starting a fitness business is probably going to end up costing more than you thought. Is that a reason to quit? No, but when you’re waiting for your first payments from clients to come in, days can feel like years. That’s why you should set yourself up with a system for taking online payments, which enables you to be paid in as little as two business days. You’ll also want your online payments provider to securely store client payment info, so when it comes time for clients to purchase from you again, the transaction can be completed with the click of a button, rather than needing them to swipe their card every time. Little hassles like these don’t seem like much, but your clients will appreciate how much easier the payment process will be. Starting a fitness business is stressful, but getting the money into your bank account shouldn’t be.

2. Say goodbye to client folders filled with paper.

When you’re starting a fitness business, odds are you’re going to have a lot of business paperwork on your hands, and a lot balls to juggle. Don’t complicate your life further with client PAR-Qs, workout logs and folders that take up valuable space. Get a system that stores your clients’ fitness and payment histories securely in the cloud. Would you rather your new client show up and have to fill out a PAR-Q before their session? Or, would you prefer it if they filled out a PAR-Q that was sent to them electronically and allowed you to create programming for them before their session starts? You’ll want a system that allows you to access your files on mobile, tablet or desktop devices.

3. Set your business (and you) up to stand out from the crowd.

You probably already have some new clients you can count on to continue working with you while you’re starting a fitness business. However, it is your prospective new clients that are going to fuel your growth. They need to be able to find you, decide they like you and then be able to buy from you. You don’t need to pay a web design company for a custom website. You need something simple, a professional profile that establishes your brand, helps you stand out from the crowd and functions as a website and portal for clients to book and pay. Again, you’re going to be stretched thin as it is, so get a lot of bang for your buck! If there’s an easy, simple solution out there, grab it and run. You want to focus as much of your time as possible on activities that will generate revenue.

4. Keep your classes and appointment book filled.

Easier said than done, but if starting a fitness business means you had to take out a loan from the bank to cover some of your fixed costs, the fastest way to pay that money back is to stay busy with revenue-generating activities, like training clients at your facility. You could have new clients call you, then you call them back, then you try to find an open time in your personal calendar. But an easier way is to get a system that enables two-way scheduling, so clients can book at times you designate as available. Put that schedule on an easy-to-find public profile and you’ll really be in business. That way you can focus your time on building your business, not coordinating scheduling.

5. Keep clients engaged between sessions with workout homework they’ll love.

You just had a new client in for the first time. They got a great workout and even purchased a package. But what’s going to happen when they return home, or over the weekend? How is your client going to get a workout in on their business trip in two weeks, when they’ll be staying at a remote, boutique ranch hotel three states away? Just because your client is on the road doesn’t mean that you can’t add value to their lives. You’ll be amazed at how much your clients will love getting a workout from you that they can do anytime that will help them stay on track and be more healthy. After all, the more valuable you become to your client, the longer you’ll have them, the more referral clients you’ll earn, and the happier you’ll be that you took that step of starting a fitness business.

See how amSTATZ can help you with gaining and retaining clients, and growing or starting a fitness business. Request a demo today or get started for free, with your first 10 days free.If you’re an ACE Certified Professional, your first 30 days on amSTATZ are free, courtesy of ACE. 

This article originally appeared on