A Quick Guide to Starting a Gym Business

Health and wellness have always been important, but more and more people are starting to think about how they can maintain a healthier lifestyle. This doesn’t just help to reduce the risk of physical health issues, but can also promote better mental health as well. Choosing to be more conscious of what you eat and getting the right nutrition is a good first step, but exercise is also a key part of staying healthy. Some individuals might enjoy going for walks or runs in their local park, but many people prefer to work up a sweat in their local gym. 

Working out in a gym can be better in a variety of ways, as these spaces can give people access to professional gym equipment and organized fitness classes, and also has the potential to be a place to socialize. It can also offer a sheltered space to workout out in, meaning that even the miserable weather doesn’t have to interfere with an individual’s fitness routine. 

Although there are many gyms to choose from, some can offer more than others. If you are a fitness enthusiast who also has entrepreneurial ambitions, then perhaps starting a new gym in your local area could be a positive venture for you. If this sounds like an appealing business idea, here is a quick guide to help you get started.

Market Research

The first place you will need to start is to do some market research to determine how viable your new gym will be. In particular, think about the demand for a new gym in your local area and whether this is something your community needs at this time. If there isn’t much demand for a new gym in the area, then you may struggle to see profits. 

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Other research should include looking at other gyms in your area and beyond, assessing what is successful about them and where improvements can be made. This information can be used to help you develop a strong competing business that will attract more customers. Marketing strategies should also be considered, as well as financial concerns, such as the lease for gym space, equipment costs, staff wages, etc. 

Your market research can all be used to help you write a strong business plan for your gym, and you will need to present this to banks or investors when you are seeking a loan or other financial support.

Finding the Right Space

If you do manage to get the green light for your business loan, you can then start looking more seriously at spaces to lease. Of course, your budget will play a big factor in the space you do choose, but you must also consider the size and location. As a new gym, choosing a smaller establishment with a lower rent could be a smart move, as you could always upgrade if you need a bigger area to accommodate your clients later on. This can help you to keep those initial overheads down and give you a better chance of seeing profits. You should also think about parking nearby, as a lot of members of your gym will want to drive to and from their workout sessions. 

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Kitting Out Your Gym

As well as finding a suitable space to lease, you will also need to make sure it has everything your members will need. This does include fitness equipment, such as running machines, rowing machines, elliptical trainers, weights, etc. While having all the necessary equipment is important, you must also consider how the design of the gym will help to keep your members safe and get the most out of their workouts. Having the right type of gym flooring, for example. 

Speaking of safety, you must also make sure that any emergency exits are signposted, and that your gym has fire extinguishers and blankets ready to use. First aid kits must also be available and fully stocked. 

Hiring the Right Team

You will need some staff to help you run your gym effectively, so you must hire the right team for this. Having someone who can manage administrative tasks, or assist you in doing this, will help to keep the gym’s daily operations running smoothly. This includes managing memberships, customer service, gym timetables for fitness classes, etc. You may also want to find personal trainers who are willing to work out of your gym, or fitness class instructors so you can provide your members with these services. 

Promoting Your Gym

If you want your gym to succeed, you will need to encourage people to sign up for memberships. It is smart to offer pay-as-you-go systems as well, as not everyone wants to commit to a monthly fee, particularly if they have busy schedules that make it hard for them to work out regularly during the week. 

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Offering a free introductory session can be a good way to give people a taste of what your new gym has to offer, and you can provide vouchers that they can download from your gym website to redeem when they come in. You could also advertise your gym via social media and other online channels, as well as in your local paper. Getting involved in community outreach can also be beneficial, such as supporting a local sports team or offering schools the opportunity to use your gym for P.E. lessons once a week, for example.

Starting a new business is always a challenging process, but it can be incredibly rewarding too. It will require careful planning if you want your new gym to have the best possible chance of success, and there will be a lot more to it than the points above, although these are all important issues to consider. If you are passionate about health and fitness and you want to encourage members of your local community to take care of themselves, this could be the ideal venture for you. It could also be a very lucrative business and even offer the potential for franchising if you have bigger ambitions.

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