Setting up your own fitness business as a group exercise instructor is a truly rewarding and exciting experience. However, it requires a lot of work and dedication to make a success of it, especially if you are to grow your business and make a serious impact in what is now a nearly £5 billion industry.

Image showing the estimated fitness market value, the number of members and the number of gyms

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To say that it’s a challenge to take an idea for a new group exercise concept and turn it into a successful and profitable enterprise is an understatement. The size of the market alone shows just how competitive the industry has become. However, competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it will drive you to create an even better group exercise product with excellent  service, to excite, engage, and energise your target market.

Nonetheless, as you begin to embark on your own journey as an entrepreneurial group exercise instructor, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by the challenge you’re undertaking, particularly if you don’t know who or where to turn to for advice.

Luckily, however, if you’re reading this post, you’re in the right place. EMD UK, your national governing body for group exercise, exists to support group exercise instructors up and down the nation, in their efforts to develop and grow their businesses as part of our number one mission to realise a healthier nation for all. Below, we’ve put together a list of some fantastic resources you can access here on our website and elsewhere, all of which will be of great use to you as you strive to take your group exercise business to the next level.

What Women Want

Image showing the What Women Want instructor resource guide

Want to know how to get more people into your group exercise class and keep them coming back for more? EMD UK partnered with This Girl Can to conduct extensive research into the women who participate in group exercise, and have produced a comprehensive guide to help instructors target more people and increase participation in their classes.

As an instructor, you can use the guide to:

  • Attract new people into your classes
  • Learn how to provide great customer experiences
  • Understand your clients and how to tailor your classes to meet their needs
  • Implement tactics to target and retain more women

You can download your ‘What Women Want’ guide for free here.

Top Tax Tips for Group Exercise Instructors

Of course, running a group exercise business unfortunately isn’t all about standing at the front and delivering inspiring classes to a room-full of dedicated enthusiasts. Housekeeping still needs to be done, which includes getting your tax returns in order.

Man with calculator, coffee and stationery to start planning his tax

Earlier this year, EMD UK teamed up with Diane Frior of FitTax, a specialist tax and accountancy service for fitness professionals, for a detailed Q&A session about how group exercise instructors should go about registering for tax and filling out their tax returns.

You can read the full post here, where you will learn all the key dates you need to remember, what to do about your National Insurance, and what expenses you can claim as a group exercise instructor.

We would also draw your attention to another document entitled ‘Employment Status of Coaches: A Guide for Employers/Deployers and Coaches’. This guide has been written with support from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and will help you understand your employment status and what steps you need to take if you are employed, self-employed, or both.

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Improving Physical Access for People of All Ages and Abilities

Group exercise should be inclusive for all, and any entrepreneurial group exercise instructor out there who wants to make a success of their business should take steps to ensure that it is.

Sport England in association with Activity Alliance (previously known as the English Federation of Disability Sport) has put together a detailed guide entitled  ‘Access for All: Opening Doors’ which explores how people involved in sport and fitness can improve areas of physical access at their gyms, leisure centres, and sports clubs.

As the guide notes, there are an estimated 11 million disabled people in the UK. As well as it making good business sense to be welcoming this huge section of our community into the world of fitness, there is also a legal duty to ensure gyms and clubs are accessible for disabled people to use.

You can download the guide here.

Image showing the Access for All Opening Doors document

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For other tips on how to make your group exercise classes more accessible and inclusive, check out our blog posts ‘Do You Know Their Why?’ and ‘Changing Perceptions Across Generations’.

Training, Support Packages, Insurance, and Bursaries

Also available right here on the EMD UK website is access to numerous training and support packages for group exercise instructors. Our training programmes help instructors boost their professional development, improve their CVs, and achieve new qualifications.

View our Training and Development Packages here.

In addition, our great value Insurance and Instructor Support packages are designed to offer a range of practical resources and special discounts to help instructors save money while they grow their businesses and deliver high-quality classes for their participants.

View the full list of Insurance and Instructor Support Packages here.

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Acknowledging that costs are one of the biggest barriers in the way of group exercise instructors investing in training, the EMD UK Open Bursary has been made available to give instructors a helping hand with training fees.

You can apply for the EMD UK Open Bursary here.

If you’re a group exercise instructor and need help with training, endorsement and development, promoting a class, applying for a bursary, or require further support in growing your group exercise business, get in touch with EMD UK today to find out what we can do for you.