Erin is a nurse who makes a side income doing personal training for her clients.
The problem is, she feels like she is working non-stop. She works as a nurse 3 days a week and then has 6 clients that she works with 1:1 (total 10 hours/week).
Erin says she is exhausted but can’t make any changes to her lifestyle right now. If she works less as a nurse, she will have more time to do her personal training, but she needs to find those more clients first. But if she finds more clients at the price she is charging, she will only have less time with her kids.
Here is the things. First of all Erin is waaaaay undercharging for what she is doing.
She is doing in-home personal training for $20/hr. Yes in your home personal training. (I know I want to capitalize on this offer too!)
How many personal trainers do you know that will come to your house for an entire hour for $20? Not many. They wouldn’t be able to afford to live that way (kind of like what Erin is experiencing).
So let’s start at the end in this scenario.
My question to Erin was this: how much money would make you happy?
Working 3 days a week, Erin brings in about $75,000/year. She wants to drop to 2 days a week (plus a couple OT shifts once in a while). If she drops to 2 shifts per week she brings in $60,000/year. A decent amount but way less than $75k, and difficult to raise 2 kids as a single mom on this income.
Erin’s dream number today is $100k.
If Erin drops down to 2 days a week, her income will be $60,000, which means her side business needs to pull in $40,000 to make this a reality. Her ideal amount of time in her side business is 15 client hours per week (or 60 client hours a month).
Let’s do the math
$40,000/year is $3,333.00 per month. If Erin only wants to put 60 client hours in a month, that means her going rate needs to be $55.55/hr. This rate is still way below market value for an in-home personal trainer, but it’s a big leap for Erin and Erin’s clients, who are accustomed to her cushy gig.
But the point is, this is so doable and so achievable!!
My advice to Erin:
Keep the 6 clients she currently has at $20/hour. You don’t want to cut off cash flow that is real for cash flow that is imaginary. But she could easily convince these clients to do her a favor by giving her raving testimonials, even do some interviews for her, that she can set up on her website. This will elevate any marketing she does by leaps and bounds.
Only take new clients at her new rate at $55/hour for the remaining spots she has open
Once she has the number of clients that she has spots left for, she can then give her old clients an ultimatum – either accept the new prices or she will need to let them go.
Even at $55/hr, Erin is a bargain. Some of her clients will accept the new price, and some of them will not. That’s ok and to be expected. After all, they’ve gotten the deal of the century already. And to Erin’s credit, she needed them to establish credibility and authority.
But now it’s time for Erin to make money and build her dream for herself.
There will be some overlap where Erin will need to have 60 client hours and still work three days a week at the hospital, but she can stop doing OT, and she can effectively downgrade her status at a certain point when she feels comfortable that her side income can consistently bring in a decent amount.
In addition, Erin has to remember she has a $25,000 buffer built in.. (Remember we are shooting for the dream number of $100k and she already makes $75k).
Once Erin is comfortable charging $55/hr, she will need to increase that number to a more competitive rate – she needs to do some research, but for in-home personal training, $100/hr is not out of reach. Erin can either take the extra income or reduce the number of client hours she works (33 client hours at $100/hr is the same as 60 client hours at $55/hr).
An excellent position to be in! And her choice. We all want different things.
What’s the takeaway here? Figure out what your dream income is first and foremost and then do the math. Work backward and figure out how much you need to charge to achieve the lifestyle you want.
This pricing makes your services a ton easier for sure.
What would you like to make a day or week or a month in your side business?