10 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Own Gym Business

The ongoing pandemic has raised concerns about healthcare and fitness. For a long time, people were off-limits to the public due to the higher risks of contamination. However, as situations are improving, setting up a gym business will be an excellent idea for entrepreneurs. Before everything else, make a blueprint of your business plan that outlines your capital and finances, expenses, and marketing strategies. This business plan will help you make informed decisions in the future.

Here are 10 quick suggestions that will guide you to get your gym business up and running:

1.   You need to decide your target market

Trying to build a gym and fitness business that is appealing to everyone isn’t a good idea. There are dozens of gyms in each locality, then why would someone choose your gym over others? Nowadays, it’s vital to have a niche that you’re an expert in. So, offer additional fitness services that the gyms in your locality are not providing. Your objective should be to sell your services to customers who seek to achieve personal fitness goals.

You have to avoid clients who stay for a short time and then quit. Even if you get such clients, try to capitalize on such situations and charge a minimal admission fee to support your operational costs. While most gyms advertise locally by word of mouth or via newspapers, you can use social media to attract new clients.

2.   Find out various options for funding your business

Consider options for funding your gym business. It will help you understand the possibilities while setting up your business. As a start-up, you may apply for a government-led loan or a bank loan. However, make sure that you meet the set criteria to qualify for getting a bank loan. Another method is to pitch your business idea to the public on a crowdfunding website and see if people are willing to invest in your business. For all of these, you need a solid business plan and financial strategy to give confidence to your investors.

3.   You must have ample working capital

When starting your business venture, ensure that your finances are in good shape and you have enough working capital to run smoothly for at least the first 3-6 months. You will need that money to cover the costs of hygiene tools, gym equipment, and stationery during the initial days of your gym business. Save money from your daily expenses for unexpected costs that might arise at any time. Have a solid business plan to manage your funding and resources.

4.   Choose a location that is close to your target market

Before opening a gym, decide the perfect location for it. Ease of access is an essential factor that ensures you get more footfalls at your doorsteps. Find a building that’s close to where your target market is. However, avoid congested areas and rent a building somewhere peaceful. Ideally, the location should be a maximum 10-15 minute drive away from your target customers so that they can easily reach there even during rush hours. Make sure there is adequate space for parking cars.

5.   Hiring experienced and certified trainers build trust

Service-oriented businesses offer intangible experiences. The abilities of such businesses to provide services rely heavily on their staff/employees. Therefore, you must hire the best people. Try to hire certified and renowned gym and yoga instructors. The perfect fit for your business is someone willing to understand your work ethics and values, supportive, a great communicator, and genuinely cares about the well-being of your organization.

6.   You must get your gym licensed & insured

While setting up your gym business, consider all the legalities that come along with other responsibilities. Get your gym registered and obtain all necessary business licenses and building permits. Also, since gyms are accident-prone places because of the high degree of physical activity, insurance is a must! You may hire a specialized insurer who can provide you with a non-standard insurance policy to cover all potential scenarios. Apart from that, opt for employee liability insurance for your staff professional indemnity insurance. These safeguards you against untrained instructors, loss or theft of documents, unintentional copyright breaches, and monetary and equipment losses.

7.   Let customers self-schedule appointments instantly

Customers these days have a lot on their plate, from running errands to office presentations. Hence, they prefer easily accessible online services, especially for scheduling appointments and fees payment. You can also benefit from this situation. Use an online appointment scheduling and booking management software like Picktime. It enables your customers to self-book online classes via an online booking page customized by you. You can accept monthly fees payment through credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, or Square, and generate invoices.  There is also a feature of automated reminders that reduces no-shows by sending automatic email and text notifications so that your customers never miss a class!

8.   Offering top-notch fitness gear builds a good impression

While starting your business, you have to choose the right gym equipment such as treadmills, free weights, weight benches, mats, and gym stations.  People these days are very brand-conscious. So, ensure that these machines are bought from trusted fitness brands. The safety of your clients is your priority, and having branded high-quality equipment will assure fewer hazards for your clients.

9.   Reform your business model to include extra services

Add some supplemental services to your standard gym business model. Only selling gym memberships is not going to give you desired revenues in the long run. Diversify your services to include various classes like yoga, pilates, aerobics, circuit training, Crossfit, kickboxing, and Jujitsu training.

Gym memberships are charged monthly. So, if you want to increase your daily/weekly revenue, you can include other services like personal training, tanning beds, chiropractic services, spa & massage services, and a nice juice bar to relax after classes.

10. Social media can be the best promotion tool

If you manage to sell hundreds of memberships before opening your gym, your business will be a huge success in the market, at least in the initial days. You may begin pre-sales as early as 6 weeks from the inauguration. Include special benefits/rewards with a time limit in the membership cards that nearby gyms do not provide. You can contact local newspapers and magazines for placing your advertisements. Promote your gym business on Instagram and Facebook. You may even release a teaser of the grand opening of your gym, showcasing the interiors and highlighting the facilities. Upload it on your YouTube channel with a link to your website to give exclusive updates about your services to customers.

Keep these ten recommendations in your mind while launching your new gym business venture, and you will have better chances of succeeding. As a final piece of advice, we would like to remind you of what Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI said:

“Set a clear, easy-to-understand vision for your company, and make it be a mission people believe in.”