We all understand the importance of setting goals. Personal trainers do this with clients all the time. However, when it comes to our own lives and businesses, we often neglect to practice what we preach.

It’s important to remember the positive impact of having, tracking, achieving and re-assessing goals. Here are a few ways we set financial and productivity goals for our training teams at Northwest Personal Training:

Revenue goals: At the beginning of every year, we establish revenue goals for our trainers. To do so, we first collect data for each person on our team: the training hours scheduled each week and the average training fee. Then, we multiply the average training fee by the average number of training hours per week. So, let’s say a trainer is scheduled for 40 hours per week at $65 per hour. That would equal $2,600, the maximum that trainer could generate per week.

We then take that maximum number and multiply this by 48 weeks per year, allowing for vacation, holidays and illness. The amount comes to $124,800 per year. We then divide that number by 12 to determine a monthly amount, which in this case would equal $10,400.

Of course, a trainer is never completely full due to cancellations, client holidays, rescheduled appointments, etc., so we set the trainers’ schedule at 80 percent capacity, which in this example equals a monthly goal of $8,320. If trainers are consistently below the 80 percent average, we know that we need to spend more time with them on sales training.

Throughout the month, we keep our trainers updated on their sales stats so they can take appropriate action if they are well below their goal. After we set these goals, we establish monthly team goals and incentives for reaching them, such as team go-karting, a yacht cruise, a dinner and a movie, white-water rafting and monetary bonuses.

Productivity goals: We calculate productivity every two weeks when we complete payroll. Many things factor into a trainer’s productivity:

  • Paid hours (how many training hours a trainer completed)
  • Unpaid hours (how many hours a trainer worked but not with a paid client)
  • Productivity ratio (the total number of paid hours divided by total hours)
  • Non-paid ratio (should be 20 percent or lower)
  • Closing ratio (how many new clients purchased personal training packages compared to how many complimentary sessions were completed)
  • Retention ratio (how many existing clients purchased additional training sessions once their package was completed compared to how many were up for renewal)

These statistics provide a glimpse of the pulse of a business and the productivity of each trainer. We incentivize our trainers so that if they hit 87 percent productivity, they receive a $100 bonus, and if they hit 83 percent, they receive a $50 bonus every two weeks. Each trainer has the opportunity to earn an additional $2,600 per year by maintaining a full schedule. This simple system has been encouraging trainers to take ownership of their schedule and take steps to fill their schedule. Ultimately, everyone wins. The business benefits financially, the trainer is monetarily rewarded, and more clients achieve their goals.

Although most trainers entered into this industry to help people and change lives, it’s still critical to run a training department like a business. Every good business records, tracks and monitors financial statistics. Remember this: If you don’t think or act like you’re running a business, you’re probably not running a successful business.

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc., has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 20 years and has received numerous industry awards, including the 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, the 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and the 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year. Her million-dollar training studios in Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, have received Better Business Bureau Business of the Year recognition. McMillan is a fitness trainer, a fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals (including “Go For Fit—The Winning Way to Fat Loss,” “Fit over Forty” and “The Successful Trainers Guide to Marketing”), a featured presenter in various fitness DVDs, an international fitness presenter, and a spokesperson for Nike, Nautilus, Twist Conditioning and PowerBar. She can be reached at www.nwfitnesseducation.com or sherrimcmillan.blogspot.com.