Stephen Tharrett by Stephen Tharrett

More than ever, today’s fitness industry is being shaped by entrepreneurs who have the vision to manage and own their own fitness businesses rather than be an employee taking direction from someone else. The emergence and exponential growth of boutique fitness studios and tech-driven fitness apps and platforms have often been fueled by young fitness entrepreneurs seeking to break out and craft their own businesses. Transitioning from a frontline consumer-facing role such as group exercise instructor, personal trainer or entry-level supervisor (e.g., personal training coordinator or group exercise director) to manager or owner takes more than vision—it requires acquiring and mastering new competencies that are directly associated with business success.

So, what are some of the competencies that health and exercise professionals need to master as part of this journey? At the recent Association of Fitness Studio’s Succeed Convention for aspiring fitness entrepreneurs and studio owners, speakers highlighted the need for health and exercise professionals to master competencies such as financial management, budgeting and business planning, branding and marketing, sales management, culture development and leadership. In each instance, the speakers emphasized the fact that these are not competencies in which people are inherently proficient; rather, they are skills obtained through diligence and persistence. In other words, obtaining the competencies that will allow you to bring your vision of business ownership to life requires not only vision but diligence and grit.

In response to the growing need from instructors and trainers for an educational curriculum to help them obtain and master these important business competencies, the American Council on Exercise, in cooperation with fitness industry authority Stephen Tharrett, recently launched Fitness Business Management. The equivalent of a one-semester course, Fitness Business Management offers a structured curriculum with targeted learning activities supported by industry-leading resources that will enable aspiring health and exercise professionals to acquire the competencies (e.g., business planning, budgeting, financial management, leadership, marketing, branding and sales) necessary to manage or own a small fitness business.

Want to learn the skills necessary to run a profitable fitness studio, full-service club or non-profit facility? Enroll in the Fitness Business Management course today!