7 Steps to Start Your Online Fitness Business on a Budget

If you’re ready to start a virtual fitness business, now is the perfect time to do it. And with these 7 tips, starting one won’t break the bank either. 

In 2020, with the spread of Covid-19, we saw a lot of fitness professionals heading to the online domain to host their businesses. 

So, if you’re looking to start an online fitness business on a budget, we’ve got 7 tips to help you out.

A man and a woman sit on their yoga mat as they get ready to complete an online fitness workout class.

Do Your Market Research (and Make Sure No One Already Has Your Fitness Business Name)

Here’s the thing: you can build a strong fitness brand that, in theory, would be awesome. But, if there aren’t people who want what you’re serving, it doesn’t matter how strong your fitness brand is. The market isn’t there for it. 

So, before you make any moves towards starting your online fitness business, you need to spend a little time doing some market research. Don’t let this scare you off. It’s easier than it might seem. 

Start researching if there are other fitness professionals who are doing the same thing you want to do. If there is, that’s actually not a bad thing! That means that there’s potential for you to develop an audience who actually want what you’re hoping to give. 

If there’s not, that’s okay, too. Ask friends and family and post on your personal social media platforms to see if anyone is interested in what you’re hoping to offer. If so, there’s a great chance that the market is there for you to get started. 

Once you’ve done some basic market research, check Google and social media platforms to see if anyone is using the name of your business you hope to start. You also need to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make sure no one owns the rights to the business name you’re hoping to use. 

Trust us, it’s better to spend an hour doing the market research now, rather than spending money on your business only to find out later the market isn’t interested in what you’re offering. Or worse, someone already owns the name you choose and takes legal action against you. 

Start a Free onPodio Account

Once you’ve done the market research and you’ve checked to make sure no one is using your business name, it’s time to set up your business. 

And that means getting a website. 

But before you shell out hundreds of dollars on WordPress or another site, check out onPodio. We’re a platform designed specifically for professional fitness instructors. And we make setting up your online fitness business so much easier. 

You can build a custom website for your fitness business on the platform. You can upload your workout videos to the account so your clients can use them right from your website. And, when the clients do (because they will) start rolling in, they’ll be able to book easily from your site, too. Plus, you can automate billing through onPodio. No need in chasing them down for money or using a third-party (and a more unprofessional site) like Venmo. 

Did we mention it’s free to start? Yep! onPodio is the perfect platform to start an online fitness business on a budget. If you’re ready to do it, click here to get started. 

Save Money by Not Spinning Your Wheels

As you’re building your online fitness business, it can get overwhelming pretty quickly. The best way to avoid that feeling of overwhelm is to narrow down your approach. Don’t try to do it all. Don’t try to do too much too fast. You’ll find that it’s easy to spread yourself too thin, and that will make your online fitness business fall flat. 

Take the time to think about what you’re offering, why you’re offering it, and who your ideal client is. If you do that, you’ll get a much clearer focus on what you want your fitness brand to look like. And that’ll make it so much easier to build the rest of your online business.

For example, if you don’t narrow down your focus, you might head out and buy a full set of dumbbells and kettlebells, resistance bands, a spin bike, and a yoga mat and assistance blocks. But as you get started, you realize that you really love focusing on creating yoga flows for your audience. Now, you’ve spent thousands of dollars to only realize you don’t need half of the equipment. 

Instead, take the time to narrow down your approach. Start small, and then if you decide to later, gradually increase your services and equipment. 

Want to read more about building a strong fitness brand? Click here to read this post. 

Invest in Technology That You’ll Need Right From the Start

After you do narrow down your focus for your fitness brand, invest in the technology and equipment that you know you’ll need right from the start. 

The fitness equipment you need varies from professional to professional, but here’s a quick list of things you might need to buy up front:

  • Kettlebells
  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance bands
  • BOSU ball
  • Medicine balls
  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga blocks and/or straps
  • Jumprope

The technology equipment you need to get started with your online fitness business is going to pretty much be the same across the board. You don’t need anything the directors are using in Hollywood. In fact, all you technically need is a phone that can record a video and a tripod. But, we’re giving you a few ideas to level up your fitness brand from the get go:

  • A good phone, tablet, laptop, or a quality camera to record your workout videos
  • A tripod if you’re using anything other than a laptop
  • An external microphone to pick up audio
  • An external battery if you’re using a phone so it doesn’t die in the middle of your workout

And of course, you’ll need software to book and bill clients, but onPodio can do that for you. 

Create Your Workout Videos and Upload Them to Your Site

Now that you’ve got everything ready to go, you’ll need to set up a space to record your workout videos. And then you’ll need to actually create them. 

When you are creating your workout videos, be sure to bring your personality. Don’t get hung up on trying to look or sound like another professional in the fitness industry. This industry needs who you are and what you have to bring. 

After you’ve recorded your workout, upload them to your site for your clients to watch. 

If you’re stuck on what kind of workout video to create or how to go about doing it, this post will help you out. 

Set Up Your Pricing Structure

Once you upload your workout videos and fitness programs, you need to set up your pricing structure. What you’re offering is an expertise and skill that most people don’t have. And that means you need to charge for it! 

If you’re not sure what to charge for your services, do some research on your competition. See what the average price is for similar services. That’s not to say you should take someone else’s prices. You’ll still need to do research to figure out what to charge. But, by checking out competitors in the industry, you’ll get a feel for what the market is willing to pay. 

This blog post here gives great advice on how to calculate your rates. 

Use Free Marketing Tools to Build Your Fitness Community

With the tech world we live in, it’s never been easier to promote your online fitness business. Set up social platforms with your business name and start putting yourself out there. Find hashtags that other fitness professionals in your niche are using, and follow your ideal clients through those.

Here’s a pro-tip for you, though. Don’t feel like you need to sign up for every social media platform. That’s a great way to spread yourself too thin and feel burnt out later. Instead, figure out what platform your ideal client is on, and then put yourself in front of them there. 

When you’re ready to start crafting your full digital marketing strategy, read this post here. 

Starting a business sounds like it’s an expensive, daunting task. But these 7 easy steps will get you on the right track to start an online fitness business on a budget. 

And since you’re already here, you can knock out one of those steps now! Click here to start your free onPodio account. 

Not sure if it’s right for you? Click here to schedule a FREE consultation call to discuss your fitness brand needs.

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