Pricing in Training and Fitness

Having now seen such a system for training twice in one industry, I decided that perhaps I was not witnessing an anomaly, but rather, yet another example of an industry abusing its power.

Being able to instruct a class in fitness requires training, and there are certifications available for a variety of types of instructors. The pricing of the courses generally reflects the amount of effort required to become proficient at the content. As a result, the basic instruction course can be completed in a matter of weeks for a few hundred dollars, and will allow the student to teach a variety of general courses. Yoga, on the other hand, takes years of training and multiple courses, but once complete, again will allow the student to teach Yoga.

However, there are also a variety of specialty courses which are taught by individual gyms or fitness centers, and here’s where pricing becomes abusive.

An independent fitness center can offer any course it wants, and it can require special training. As an example, boot camps will typically train their instructors in their own system, though they do acknowledge and recognize training recieved at other boot camps. Other systems, though, are truly unique to the facility offering the course, and the training does not really have any comparable application elsewhere.

What is this training worth?

Considering that it only has application at a single facility, the answer would be that it’s worth a minimal amount. If the trainee does not get a job at that facility, the investment is worthless. It would be expected, then, that the training have a negligible fee attached, or a guarantee of a job at the conclusion of the training.

Neither part of that is true. The training in one case would cost over $1,800 over the course of 6 months, with no assurances of employment.

What the managers of these facilities must learn is that while getting certified does not create any assurance of reward, it is expected to have a potential benefit that is proportional to the risk taken on by the trainee to acquire the certification.

What does this mean to you?

When you price a product, you need to balance the cost of the product against the value it creates for the buyer, especially in a service-based product. If there are raw costs, you can factor those in, but at the end of the day, if the price of the product is more than the value it creates, then it will be difficult to find a buyer who is ultimately satisfied.

In general, your pricing should be proportional to the value, but still less. That is, if you create $100 of value, then the price should not be $100, but less than that. In that way, your buyers will leave feeling they got good value, creating satisfied customers who will refer you to others, and return to buy more.