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Starting a Gym business


  1. Introduction

  2. How to start a fitness center

  3. Business plan for a gym

  4. Prospects of beginning a fitness center

  5. How much money does a gym business make

  6. Conclusions

#1 Introduction

A healthy lifestyle is always in trend, especially concerning Covid-19 with all the restrictions. People want to stay fit and healthy to look good and feel confident and attractive. Plus, the popularity of social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and the trendy one – TikTok, forces users to post their classy daily routine. Very often, people post their work-outs, healthy receipts, and fit flexible bodies. It is pretty cool as the vector went to the right side.

Regular exercises prevent many problems such as obesity, heart diseases, etc. That is why gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios are so popular. Many people challenge to get a gym membership to stand out among friends and relatives, look better, and feel more attractive.

So, now it is understandable why more and more gyms appear every year, if not every month. Beginner entrepreneurs often start fitness centers or gyms as it is relatively easy and does not require much investment.

This article will be helpful for those who still cannot decide whether it is a good idea to start a gym business. We will tell you how to plan everything well, the main advantages and disadvantages of this kind of business, the risks, and how to avoid the most common mistakes. It'll be fun!

#2 How to start a fitness center

Beginner entrepreneurs have to be ready for hard work to succeed. But, unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that their own business will be way easier than working for a boss. Well, actually, not really. Firstly, it will be even more difficult. However, of course, there are many pros to being your own boss. Just do not think that life is sugar – work hard, and you will get the best results. And, talking about the gym business, you will also need thoughtful planning. It is almost as important as the hard work we have just mentioned.

Do not think that the business will pay back in a month. Usually, you will need at least half a year to get your investments back. Sometimes, it can take up to a few years. Plus, there are many competitors in the niche. However, a unique offer, handy scheduling, and constant work on retaining customers will lead you to success.

There are several services to provide in a gym or fitness center:

  • ABS classes.

  • Cardio training.

  • Group lessons: yoga, dancing, stretching.

  • Martial arts: boxing, taekwondo, judo, etc.

  • Individual lessons with a personal coach: in the gym or/and online.

  • Swimming lessons.

It is very important to understand your current position. Never under – or overestimate yourself. Every service has to be thought-out according to the gym premises, location, available coaches, and professional skills and interests. Every new service will also influence the budget, so make sure you plan the provided services well.

Remember that each type of training will require a separate employee and additional equipment/inventory/premises.

Advice: If you do not have a big budget, it is better to stay chic and straightforward. Research your target audience, see what these people want, and offer these services. Start with the basics and then add more offers when you can provide the best quality for them.

Your Gym business team

Employees are essential as they are the heart of every business. So pay attention to selecting staff with the required education, communicative skills, and experience. Of course, experience is necessary, but please, do not be afraid to train a beginner, because sometimes it is the best way to get a loyal team and create a desirable friendly atmosphere.

If experience is something people can gain, when someone cannot cope with heavy loads or cardio, sure never hire them. Even with the best education, you will be responsible for all the employee's damages when working.

A personal coach should know human anatomy, help customers deal with complicated exercises, and provide first aid.

#3 Business plan for a gym

A business plan is a significant step that has to be thought out pretty well. It is your roadmap and system of all the details and aims when starting a fitness center.

First of all, you have to collect the information on the following issues:

  • How much investment do you need to start? Including rent, staff commission, renovation, consumable stock management, promotion, utility bills, etc.

  • Who is your target audience?

  • Where will you open a gym?

  • Who are the main competitors?

  • What documents will you need to start?

  • How will you promote your new fitness center?

Investments depend on the type of gym, its location, premises, etc. Gyms are in high demand almost everywhere, so even a tiny room will work for the first time. For example, fitness clubs in the city center tend to target high-income guests. Therefore, memberships will be more expensive than the same gyms but in residential areas.

The membership price is entirely dependent on the availability of swimming pools. Swimming pools cost a lot, so such fitness centers are way more expensive than those without the swimming option.

If you are educated as a personal coach, you will have to hire just 2-3 coaches to start. Plus, you will need an administrator to work with clients and staff. Bigger fitness clubs also usually employ a manager, doctor, and cleaning service. Many of such gyms also have a SPA, solarium, and massage.

Advice: Invest in equipment. If an accident happens, the owner will be guilty, and the gym will get a negative reputation.

Pay attention to the promotion. Without the right marketing strategy, your fitness club will look the same as thousands of competitors. It is possible to attract and retain customers via social networks. We've prepared an article about the influence of social networks using beauty salons as an example. Click here to read it. Targeted ads are also beneficial when starting any business.

If you want to have handy Gym scheduling, client base, and online booking, you should choose an effective CRM system for your fitness. The good news is that it doesn't have to cost much. There are many affordable solutions, and one of the best is EasyWeek online appointment scheduling software.

Premises Liability and Gyms

The best solution for a gym is a spacious room with a perfect ventilation system, air conditioning, and so on.

Of course, space depends on the number of rooms, equipment, and provide services. However, it is still better to select premises over 100 square meters.

When selecting premises, remember about the following zones:

  • reception and waiting area,

  • dressing rooms for women and men with showers and lockers for clothes,

  • bathrooms,

  • gym with exercise equipment,

  • rooms for group lessons,

  • a room for staff.

Documents to start a gym:

  • sole proprietorship or LCC license,

  • lease agreement for the gym premisses,

  • medical license,

  • fire, sanitary and epidemiological permits.

#4 Prospects of beginning a fitness center

Gym business is a profitable niche, but only when the business is done right. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly monitor the demand for services, analyze your target audience, create and launch various marketing strategies. Not all ads are equally effective.

To get the best results, use the following promotion means:

  • Direct ads on social networks and the Internet.

  • Selling season tickets with discounts.

  • Seasonal promotions.

  • Launch of an accumulation or instant loyalty program.

Once after opening, you can attract clients with discounts and free consultations. One of the most popular promotional ways is selling gym memberships. This way, a customer gets the services cheaper, and the gym gets all the amount prepaid. There are also effective promotions like – bring a friend – get a discount, get a discount for a post where you mention a gym, etc.

As an additional way of increasing income, it is possible to sell sports nutrition. Just put it near the waiting area, so guests will have no chance but notice the stuff and probably buy it. If you have decided to sell something, make sure the administrator can give full instructions on using it and why it is suitable for a client. Besides sports nutrition, it is possible to sell branded towels, bottles, shower caps, slippers, yoga mats, and more.

If you have a good premise, opening a bar can be an excellent idea. Serve there healthy foods and drinks to increase the revenue without any difficulties.

You can achieve additional income not only by group classes but also by individual ones. It is trendy among beginners who do not understand how the gym works and what to do. If you want to get a loyal audience, you could offer a free individual class with a personal coach when a client buys a membership.

Business optimization

Some time ago, an administrator had to do it all by himself, but nowadays, we have many helpers – CRM systems. CRM or customer relationship management is software created to optimize all the business processes, minimizing human error.

CRM in the case of fitness centers helps not only to deal with clients but also to manage many business processes:

  • Client base.

  • 24/7 online booking.

  • Integration with social networks.

  • Finance module to calculate salaries, reward, or collect fines.

CRM is a must-have when opening a fitness center as it helps with attracting and retaining clients, maintains client base, offers online booking, and many other valuable options. According to statistics, CRM increases revenue by 15 to 35%.

#5 How much money does a gym business make

Let's see how much money you should have for openings a gym. It depends on the state, but you'll need around $50 000.

You have to invest in the following:

  • Renovation. Usually, you'll need to do a complete renovation to start working. However, sometimes a cosmetic repair will work as well.

  • Rent and utilities. Negotiate a rental vacation for the period of renovation and stuff. Sometimes, landlords agree as then they'll get profit as well.

  • Gym equipment. If you are low-budget, consider buying second-hand equipment but then check it well;

  • Furniture for the waiting area and lockers.

  • Promotion.

  • LCC or sole proprietorship registration.

  • Staff commissions.

Gym equipment is the most expensive part as here you have to invest in quality to avoid accidents. For the beginning, it is ok to start with:

  • cardio machines,

  • strength equipment,

  • gym weight benches,

  • gymnastics wall bars ladder and horizontal bar,

  • gym rods,

  • weights and dumbbells,

  • functional training system for group training: fitness resistance bands, knee pads, gloves, rugs, fit balls.

#6 Conclusions

Opening a fitness center is a good idea for which you have to work hard. As in any business, there are many risks, so intelligent planning is crucial. You will have to invest money and effort in starting a new gym. But if everything is done right, you will be rewarded pretty soon.

There are internal and external risks.

Internal risks of opening a gym include:

  • low-quality services,

  • poor coaching,

  • irresponsible employees.

External risks of a gym business include:

the constant growth of competition,

possible rent increase,

restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can open a gym from scratch or by a franchise. In this case, you will get a ready-made business plan, support from the management company, and a famous name.

Anyway, you'll need handy CRM software to manage the business. EasyWeek will be glad to help you with business automation and optimization. The software is user-friendly, affordable, and offers many options. Why not try?

Especially now, when we offer a free 14-day trial to set everything up and test how well it works for your fitness center or gym. If you have any questions concerning EasyWeek online appointment scheduling software, feel free to contact our support team. We'll be glad to help you!

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