Tapping into an untapped audience

Money making opportunities in any industry are not to be missed and fitness is no exception. While many trainers capitalise on versatile and creative business opportunities, too many don’t, and as a result, many have unnecessarily short-lived careers which isn’t good for them or the industry at large.

It may sound like a broken record, but it’s no secret that the fitness industry is a tough game. It’s highly competitive and the peak hours of operation are limited and short. Opportunities are there for those who seek niche markets and look for creative ways to tap into them to increase potential income.

So where might you look for these opportunities?

In any given gym you typically see more of particular age brackets attending and accessing personal training services. They are more likely to be younger and probably somewhere between slightly unfit and fairly fit. This market provides the path of least resistance for a trainer and is the market favoured by many. This is obviously well worth exploiting but failing to see outside of this narrows trainers’ potential for generating business success.

The fastest growing potential audience in this country is older Australians. We have an ageing population who are increasingly aware that physical activity is critical to their ongoing quality of life. We are living longer and increasingly seeking greater mobility to support this longevity. It doesn’t pay to underestimate this audience in terms of physical ability, enthusiasm and as an engaging and profitable target market. Industry veterans, in particular, would have a unique understanding of older clients and would be strong positive role models.

‘Older adults’ are:

  • Anyone over 50
  • Often financially stable with disposable income
  • May be retired and semi-retired population
  • More likely to be flexible through the normal off-peak hours
  • Likely to have an increasing appetite for motivating physical activity
  • Likely to be drawn to activities tailored to them
  • Less likely to enjoy traditional loud and potentially intimidating peak time gym environments

You can reach older adults by:

  • Completing unit SISFFIT014 Instruct Exercise to Older Clients as part of your Cert IV. If you haven’t done this, contact a reputable RTO to complete the unit.
  • Ensuring you have appropriate insurance cover for training older clients – check with your insurance provider
  • Committing to ongoing education to provide interesting and relevant activities for your older clients
  • Connecting with Council of The Ageing (COTA) to access a wider audience and leverage from a known brand
  • Contacting your local council to investigate opportunities through their extensive networks
  • Contacting local aged care facilities that might welcome an external activity opportunity
  • Arranging an ideal space and time at your workplace and negotiate an offer that is profitable, affordable to encourage attendance and of course potential new membership for your gym

You can offer them:

  • Off-peak activity that might usually be empty in your schedule
  • Normal peak time activities for older clients with specific sessions to suit them
  • Collaborate with another service provider such as yoga
  • One-on-one training sessions as per usual, consider discount for off-peak activity to attract business
  • Small to large group sessions that are affordable – great opportunity to include a social element for client groups
  • A welcoming non-intimidating environment with a dedicated space for groups, removed from the usual loud, busy parts of the gym
  • Training for balance, mobility, falls-prevention and strength
  • You might include and lead additional social activities to follow sessions at a local café or something similar to build community for clients who can often become socially isolated and disengaged

More information

  • COTA
  • Move Muscle Bone and Joint Health , formerly Arthritis Victoria, hold regular Group Exercise Leader training sessions,specifically for older adults.These are all Victoria-based, but they do host regular webinars on topics related to the the health of older adults.
  • PAA office: 1300 784 467