You’ve planned out your personal training session, BUT then 10 mins before your client is due to show up, you get a text message…
“Sorry I can’t make today, I’m stuck in traffic”
Or something along those lines!
So, all of a sudden you have no time left to prepare an alternative option, or to book in another client. Also, if you’re like most personal trainers, it means you’ll miss out on getting paid!
This was like me during my first year of running LEP Fitness. Clients would cancel on me all of the time, whether it was 10 mins before their session, or the day before! It caused absolute mayhem with my finances – It cost me thousands of pounds in lost revenue! It also created lots of emotional stress!
BUT, enough was enough… so I developed a cancellation policy, which stamped it out completely, and that’s what I want to share in this post. I want to help fellow personal trainers out there, by giving you some tips, so that you can design your own cancellation policy, protect your profits, and run a more efficient business.
Cancellation Policy For Personal Trainers | Protect Your Profits…
24hr Cancellation Policy
In your cancellation policy it’s important to state that “24hrs notice must be given prior to a session cancellation”. This is crucial. Some personal trainers will even ask for 48-72hrs notice – but I think 24hrs is pretty fair. If a client cancels within this time frame, you could give them two options…
- Option 1 – they miss out on the session, and still pay in full.
- Option 2 – they can re-arrange, but have to do so within a 7 day period, and at a time which suits you.
There are of course situations when you may want to be flexible with clients, for example:
- Serious illness
- Family bereavement
- Clients wife goes into labour
You may want to be understanding when these things crop up. Also, if a client rarely cancels, for example 1/100 sessions… then you may let them off. This is entirely up to you though.
That said, other than the above situations, it’s important to account for your time. Even if your client gets poorly, I still believe that you should apply the cancellation policy – if less than 24hrs notice is given.
When you don’t train clients because you’re poorly, you don’t get paid. So, when a clients poorly, and cancels within 24hrs, you still need to cover your time. This may sound harsh, however if you get 50 cancellations each year due to illness (likely if you’re a fully booked up PT) then that means you could miss out on earnings of between £1,500-£3,000 each year – depending on how much you charge per session.
How To Set Up A Personal Trainer Cancellation Policy
Instead of calling it a ‘cancellation policy’… I actually call mine a ‘fairness policy’ as it sounds a little softer, although still implies the same message. You want to be polite, and friendly, BUT at the same time… be authoritative – clearly stating your rules, and what is/isn’t acceptable whilst working with you.
Example cancellation policy
I would start with something like…
“Dear Client (insert name)
First of all, thank you for deciding to invest in X (name your business) I’m really looking forward to working with you. My aim is to provide the best level of service possible, and in order to do that I have some rules and policies in place.
The polices for X (name your business) are…
**Then list your cancellation policy here**
If you’d like to copy the exact ‘cancellation policy’ which I use for my personal training business, LEP Fitness then pick up my ebook “The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Personal Training Business” – you can literally copy and paste the exact template I use. I’ve used it with hundreds of people, and never had any issues, it’s saved me approximately £20,000 in lost revenue over the last 6/7 years!
How to use your time when a client cancels…
As long as you have a cancellation policy in place, you still get paid – which is important. When somebody cancels, you could either try to fill the slot, or use that time to develop and improve your business, for example…
- Blog Writing – you could write a piece of content for your website – to help improve your SEO so that you rank higher on Google.
- Social Media Post – write some content for your Facebook/Instagram page.
- Read A Book – use the time to study, that could be an anatomy book, or training one, or even a mindset, or business book – self development is key!
When somebody cancels, have a default option, turn the situation into a positive, and use your time wisely.
Like I’ve said throughout this post, make-sure that you have a cancellation policy in place, and that clients pay for their missed sessions, unless at least 24hrs notice has been given. Don’t be afraid of pissing anybody off (pardon the French!) I haven’t had anybody complain over the last 6/7 years since using my ‘fairness policy’. Having one in place… will save you money, prevent stress, and stop people from bailing on you.
Thanks for reading, I hope this post helped! If it did please drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you want more tips to help you grow your personal training business, then check out my blog for personal trainers – there are currently 100 articles on my site, all written to help fellow personal trainers!
I’ve also written an ebook called The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Personal Training Business – where I share all of my secrets, and business strategies – which if applied will triple your profits in the next year, and drastically take your business to new heights.
Thanks again, and good luck!