Scheduling can feel like a juggling act in the circus, or on the really bad days, constantly hitting a brick wall. But it’s a skill all personal trainers need to master as it’s essential to success in the industry.
Let’s start by talking about poor scheduling habits. Poor scheduling is damaging to your business and can be easily avoided. As PTs, we work hard to build a client base and keep our clients coming back every week. Failing to plan for each and every individual or group session is failing to show your clients that you are committed to helping them reach their goals. Though the occasional double booking or missed session is not the end of the world, it does not reflect well on you as a PT. As reputation and brand are critical to a PT’s success, there is no quicker path to failure then unhappy clients.
Starting out as a PT, it’s natural to want to accept any business that comes our way, but try to book your clients back to back. Otherwise before you know it you will have an hour here and an hour there, and you’ll be wasting time and money. Try your best to make clients fit in with your schedule, just like a business has set hours, allocate blocks of times for clients. You can then fill your time in between with personal obligations or business operation requirements.
So what can you do to stay on top of your scheduling?
Allocate some time on a Monday morning to plan for the week ahead; a well-planned schedule will help you to remember what you did with your client last week and what you need to focus on with them this week. It will also allow you to see any potential scheduling conflicts you may have and give you the time sort them out earlier rather than later. Touching base with your clients at the beginning of the week is also a great idea; it serves as a prompt for them to remember if they have any conflicts and need to reschedule. This is a great retention tactic and can help you avoid cancellations which, as we all know, cost us time and money.
Use what planning tools you have available. Technology today makes this easy. We all have a smartphone or laptop, it can be as simple as putting all your appointments in your calendar or planner and checking it at the start of every day. An old fashion diary will still do the trick just as well. Alternatively, an internet search will show plenty of scheduling software you can purchase. Make sure you research these products diligently to ensure you’re not paying for a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ you’ll never use.
Importantly, realistic scheduling is critical to your own wellbeing. On paper, the idea of working 15 hours a day may be appealing, but when you’re only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night, your own health is going to suffer. It’s our job to promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle to our clients – we need to follow our own advice. Your home life, social life, hobbies and personal fitness goals are all still important and need to be nurtured to ensure you can maintain a healthy work / life balance.
Planning ahead will show your clients that you are dedicated to them and their success. Remember: the trainer that provides the best client service will always come out on top.
Source: Business Savvy Personal Trainer