By Rachel Cosgrove, AFS Community Expert

Deciding how to price, what to charge, what to include can be a tough decision. The biggest mistakes I see studio owners make with their pricing are:

Too many options

We want to offer it all so we lay out every single possible membership they could sign up for. All this does is leads to a confused buyer trying to figure out which one is right for them. A confused buyer never buys. It’s better to keep your membership options very simple.

What membership is your most popular that you feel you get the best results with? Ideally, you offer no more than two options at the point of sale. “Would you like this option or that option?” This way the buyer will choose one. “This or that” is a much easier decision than…here’s a list of 19 possible memberships you can choose from. They’ll most likely need to go home and think about it.


Not having contracts with reoccurring billing

If you own a personal training studio you may still be charging by session packages. Each client buys a package of 10 sessions or 20 sessions paying in full up front for that package. When the package runs out they purchase another package. The problem with this is that you have no commitment from the client and there is no way you can plan your business for the long term.

Instead, figure out the monthly price for the average number of sessions your clients train and offer an annual commitment at a lower price that will be billed reoccurring. As you sign people up on a reoccurring annual membership guaranteeing you monthly income for the next twelve months a few things happen. For one, you can breathe easier because you have guaranteed money coming in and second you can focus on the bigger picture of programming for your client and not worry that they are leaving you in ten sessions. Now you can plan out their entire year!

Not charging enough.

You can’t be the best and the cheapest at the same time. Be careful getting into price wars with your competitors. You don’t want to be the cheapest. Instead, build value. Be the best and it’s ok if you are the most expensive because you are worth it. You’ll attract a higher level of clientele who are looking for value, not cheap.

Read more from Rachel Cosgrove.  Rachel will also be presenting at SUCCEED! the AFS Annual Business Convention & Expo!


Rachel Cosgrove, 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, co-owns and operates Results Fitness, located in Southern California open since 2000. She has authored two best selling books, The Female Body Breakthrough and Drop Two Sizes published with Rodale and created the Drop Two Sizes DVD set. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as strength training, fat loss, business and nutrition. A consultant for Nike, she is also on the advisory board and is a columnist for Women's Health Magazine and has been featured in almost every fitness magazine on the market. She oversees a team of 22 who help her run the gym while she works full time coaching up-and-coming fitness professionals through, a resource for trainers to join into the mission of changing the way fitness is done. 

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