Becoming a gym owner is a rewarding career! You’re able to help people reach their full potential and progress towards a healthier life. You get to watch their transformations right before your very eyes!
People will come to your place of business looking for a way to lose weight, build muscle, and stay healthy. To find gym business success, however, you’ll need to know more than how to use some common gym equipment. Knowing gym basics is a great start, but you’ll also need to have some knowledge of the business aspect of things. Starting your own gym successfully will require a good mix of business and fitness knowledge.
Not sure how to start a gym business? In the guide below, there are 7 steps you should take when first starting out. Continue reading below to learn more about these steps and a few other fitness business tips as well!
Table of Contents
1. Decide What You Want to Offer
Before you open your own gym, you’ll need to decide what you want to offer in your gym. For example, do you want to only provide gym equipment set up in different sections? Will you want to provide more services, such as different fitness groups?
You can build a studio for yoga, Zumba, or pilates. You can build a room for spin classes and one for physical therapy as well. Will you hire personal trainers to work in your gym and offer personal trainers? But when you are starting your own gym business and you want to do the leg work yourself you need a personal training guide or a trainer to help you get started.
Will you offer a small cafe and a place for members to hang out?
There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. What’s most important is you figure out exactly what you want to offer in your gym before moving forward. Knowing what type of services you want to offer in your gym will also help you determine your target audience.
2. Gather Your Credentials
It’s a good idea to gain some background knowledge in fitness before opening your own gym. If you already know the basics, that’s a great start. You should then prepare to gather your credentials.
There are a few different places you can go to receive accreditation in fitness. For example, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one great association to look into. You also want to make sure that your certifications are accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Having fitness credentials allows your gym members to recognize you as someone who not only knows the business aspect of owning a gym but understands the health and fitness side of things too.
3. Develop Your Business Plan
As with any business, you must develop a business plan. A business plan breaks down all aspects of the business from finances to employees and everything in between. As you write your business plan, make sure to include the major components.
These components are the following:
- A financial plan
- Marketing, sales, and advertising
- Your prime competition
- An analysis of the fitness market
How will you fund your business? How much money will you need to get the business up and running?
How will you advertise your business? What’s your marketing plan? How will you compete against your competitors and stand out?
These are all serious questions to ask yourself and plan out the answers to. Having a well-written business plan will also help you find funding from lenders. Lenders are more willing to lend money to entrepreneurs when there’s a business plan in writing.
4. Obtain Insurance and Permits
You’ll need to look into the different permits required by your state to operate a gym. Before you can legally open your gym, you’ll need to obtain these permits, your business license, and insurance. Do your research for your state and determine what’s needed of you.
One way to get around the need to obtain a certificate of occupancy is to rent the space out from a landlord. It’ll then be the landlord’s job to obtain this type of permit. Remember, insurance is just as important as your license and permits.
You’ll have many people inside your gym using machines and heavy weights. If an accident or injury were to occur inside your gym, you need to have insurance. You should consider getting insurance to cover you in case of a break-in or other damages to your business.
Any instructors you hire to work inside your gym should consider getting insurance for themselves as well.
5. Apply For Your EIN
As a business owner, you’ll need to have an EIN (employer identification number). Your EIN is how you’ll file your taxes for your business. Having this number will help you avoid any penalties from the government as well.
To apply for your EIN, you’ll need to visit the IRS website. Register online with their website, and you should have your number fairly quickly. Even if you’re operating as a sole proprietorship, it’s still a good idea to apply for an EIN for a simple tax filing process.
6. Stay Technology Savvy
Staying tech-savvy will help you attract a variety of members to your gym. Gym members want to know how many calories they’ve burned, how many miles they’ve run, and other ways to track their progress. Providing them with equipment that allows them to do so will give them what they need.
The different workout rooms or studios should be able to provide them with this information as well. The more you cater to your members, the happier they’ll be and continue to come around. Along with technology, quality equipment, and a variety of services, remember to provide members with proper locker rooms.
All members should have a way to maintain good hygiene and have a safe place to store all their items while working out. You can check out different locker options before selecting the right ones for your gym’s needs. Placing televisions, scales, and showers inside the locker room is also beneficial.
Starting Your Own Gym Is Achievable
If you were considering starting your own gym but weren’t sure if you had what it takes, we hope this guide was able to help you begin the process. Starting your own gym is possible, and it begins right here with this very guide! Be sure to read through the information listed above carefully to ensure you take all the necessary steps to start a reputable and successful fitness business.
For more business, technology, health and fitness, and many other topics, check back here on a regular basis.