How franchisees and trainers are getting ahead at Vision Personal Training

By Sarah Stowe | 19 Nov 2018 View comments

Did you know the average career span of a trainer in the fitness industry is five months? As a gym franchisee, there are a lot of costs involved in continual churn of your staff. So imagine how much more value could be gained from a longer-term career.

That’s been the focus for Vision founder Andrew Simmons, who has effected an average of four times the trainer life span across the gym network. And now he’s stepping up to reach a much bigger goal – retaining fitness trainers for an average of 50 months – 10 times the current average.

So how does he plan to achieve this? Quite simply, it’s all about investing in education, and providing a career path.

It’s a perspective that Simmons came to from personal experience when he was a personal trainer.

“The hours are quite unsociable. It’s not easy money and I realised I needed to leverage myself but I needed the skills to do it.”

That’s why he founded Vision in the first place, to provide a career path for trainers to move into business ownership.

Now he sees investing in education is essential to boosting the process and increasing retention.

What training looks like at Vision

The current nine weeks Rookie program is extended to 12 weeks, and there’s a follow-up course named Level Up which includes advanced lifting techniques, communications, coaching skills, advanced nutrition, and sales and mentoring.

“With any technician who is passionate about what they do they often don’t know how to market themselves,” says Simmons.

Business owners and managers can undertake the studio management course which encompasses business and financial management.

“The biggest opportunity to help franchise owners, is to help them with their own leadership. In any business, it’s all leadership driven. The success of their studios is driven by individual people.”

Linking with the Australian Graduate School of Management is providing Vision PTs with access to external courses to help them become better leaders, to self manage, and to grow a team.

It translates into action learning – putting the lessons into practice through regular group workshops.

Simmons has just run the first masterclass for 30 people and reports a 90 per cent satisfaction rate.

“It was a testing ground, and the feedback was fantastic. We funded the first one, we believed in it. We know in order to grow, leaders need to be better. This was a simple way for us to scale up.”