We’ve consolidated our videos, guides, webinars and more into the AFS Business Learning Center. Browse the resources, and use the concierge service if you need help with any topic.

As a Marketing Coach, I want you to take charge of your marketing and I urge you to make this question an integral part of your sales process. It needs to be asked by you and once answered, it must be recorded by you. And that’s the real message in this article: Track the results of each and every marketing campaign you deploy.

You spend time and money on your marketing efforts and like everything else in life; you want to know both are being spent wisely. The only way to do that is to track the results and analyze them to predict future decisions.

Blog, Marketing

Like any other tool in your business toolkit, a budget must be a working tool. Budgets should be reviewed and worked on at least on a monthly basis to have any value. Compare the budget prediction to the actual revenue or expense for the items on your budget worksheet at the end of each month.

Make adjustments based on your goals and actual performance. If you are spending more than you predicted in an area of your business like supplies, look for ways to reduce that expense.

Finance, Operations, Business Start-up, Strategy Articles

Budget phobia, the fear of budgets, plagues many studio owners. Owners claim they are not numbers people, or don’t understand how to put spreadsheets together or feel that budgets are a useless exercise that is done once a year and thrown in a drawer.

Many studio owners view budgets as a mysterious set of complicated mathematical formulas that only accountants and statisticians can decipher. Budgets are nothing more than simple spreadsheets based on data and goals that use basic math. If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide you can create and use a budget.

Finance, Operations, Business Start-up, Strategy Articles

Hiring good employees can help your business grow, provide value to clients and free time to work on growing your business. Hiring the wrong employee can drain time, energy and valuable resources from a club or studio.

Employees with poor service skills, bad attitudes or a weak work ethic can cost a club clients, cash and create chaos. Bad employees infect the entire environment and can affect the business more than not hiring at all.

Strategy Articles, Premier Content, Operations, Human Resources, systems, onboarding

When operating a fitness business owners typically concentrate on obtaining and training clients. Surviving is the first priority. As the business becomes more successful, the owner can find that most of their time is devoted to training clients and little time or energy is left over to develop systems and market the business.

Even worse, the owner may feel trapped training as many clients as possible to survive. Studio owners may feel they are unable to move clients to new trainers because other trainers will not hold to their high standards of training.

Strategy Articles, Operations, systems

This guide will help you establish a successful social media campaign for your fitness studio.

If you are already using social media to market your business, use this guide to fill in any knowledge gaps to improve your current campaign.

Marketing, How-to Guides

As a business owner you must be properly insured. The coverage you've carried as a fitness professional is very different than coverage for your business.

In these FAQ's we'll provide you the answers to the most common questions. Further, with your AFS membership you'll receive dedicated customer service and a $50 General Liability discount. Our partners at SFIC will work with you to create a custom insurance package to meet your needs within your budget.  


Finding and keeping good employees can be a struggle for even the best studios and fitness centers.

One of the biggest complaints of independent club and studio owners is that they cannot find employees who provide the great customer service to clients and members. Owners are reluctant to turn clients over to trainers fearing that the level of service will drop and clients will stop training. If only they could clone themselves, they could cut back on the number of clients they personally train and work more on growing the business.

Strategy Articles, Premier Content, Business Start-up, Operations, Human Resources, onboarding, systems

In the book, First, Break All the Rules, the authors indicate that selecting talent is the first key to success in business. Well before you can hire talent, you have to recruit it. For many studio operators recruiting talent is not a priority, for that matter, most operators would not even consider talent recruitment a part of their job.

Yet, in having talked with numerous club managers and studio operators, the second greatest challenge that arises on a day to day basis, is finding and keeping great talent.

Strategy Articles, Operations, Human Resources, hiring, onboarding, Business Start-up

No matter how much talent a candidate has, if you don’t bring them on board properly it can be a disaster. AFS has compiled researched this topic from members, Advisory Council members and more to ensure studio operators find the best candidates and motivate them to rise to the top.

If you decide to go the employee route, understand how to comply with federal regulations regarding exempt and non-exempt status as well as full-time and part-time or full-time. Additionally, you need to decide if they will be exempt or non-exempt. Your decision on both these questions requires a clear understanding of the law and how your decisions will impact the bottom line of your business. 

Strategy Articles, Operations, Human Resources, onboarding, systems

In part two of business plan basics, we will continue to explore the parts of a business plan. In case you missed part 1, click here to read that article.  

Marketing Plan and Analysis: “Build it and they will come” is not a good marketing strategy. You may be the best personal trainer in the world, but unless you have a solid marketing plan, chances are that your business will fail.

Strategy Articles, Human Resources, Business Start-up, business plan

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

You may have seen those reality shows where an expert in the restaurant or bar industry goes to a struggling business and in less than a week fixes all of its problems and puts the business on the path to success. These businesses often struggle because they does not know the cost of the goods they sell, how to price their products, how to market their services, have poor management and poorly defined roles within the business, or have any good systems in place to monitor their success or failure.

Strategy Articles, Business Start-up, business plan

Insurance can be confusing business to many people.  As studio owners and fitness professionals you need to make sure you understand your coverage inside and out.  


Webinar, Insurance, Operations, Video

Insurance can be confusing business to many people.  As studio owners and fitness professionals you need to make sure you understand your coverage inside and out.  

Webinar, Insurance, Video, Operations

As a studio owner ask yourself these common questions... 1.) Do you know your retention rate?  2.) Which is harder...acquiring new customers or retaining current ones?  3.) Are you worried about that competitor coming in around the corner or across the street?  4.) In what ways do you engage with your customers outside of training?  

Webinar, Marketing, Retention, Video

To catch someone’s attention, tweet them.  To build brand loyalty, think Facebook. To turn social chatter into cash, have a strategy. In this webinar, journalist and social media specialist Stephanie Neil will unravel the mystery of how to use social media to boost your personal brand—and your overall business.

Webinar, Marketing, Video

Brian Cygan is the founder and CEO of The Exercise Coach, a tech-enabled personal training franchise with 60 locations open or under development in the U.S. In this webinar Brian discusses what motivates people to "Be their own boss" and the implications for performance and satisfaction.

Webinar, Operations, Human Resources, Video

You never want to be over-insured, but you especially never want to be under-insured. Learn what coverage makes sense for your business and how to get it at the best price.

Webinar, Insurance, Video, Operations, Business Start-up

Want more clients? More revenue? More exposure? Of course you do! But first you need to learn how to do it properly. Deneen Laprade from Susan K. Bailey will provide you the tools and fundamentals necessary to market your studio business in any environment. 

Webinar, Marketing, Video

Whether you're an independent trainer or a studio owner, hosting a successful Fitness Study is one of the best ways to reach the de-conditioned population in your market.

With a fitness study your focus will be on a population that isn't walking into your business now. 

How-to Guides, Marketing, Strategy Articles