Start from Scratch: Opening Your Own Gym
Contributing Author: Cooper Klein
As exciting as the idea may seem, opening your own gym is just like starting any other business: challenging, risky, and it takes plenty of expertise to succeed in the long run. Yes, you’ll enjoy the benefit of having your own workout den available at your convenience, but until your business develops well enough, you’ll most likely do your best working on everything else but your bicep curl.
So, without any further delay, let’s go over a few key aspects of opening and running your own fitness facility.
Use them wisely to make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable, and that you do your best in these first stages of development so that you can have a long-lasting career in this highly competitive industry!
Prep your business plan
In order to be able to sell something, even an idea such as your own, that is already proven to bring health and prosperity to all who invest in it, you need to be able to stand out. This hurdle alone prevents many avid fitness freaks from kick-starting their own chain of gyms, and to avoid joining their ranks, you need to assess the situation.
Make sure to conduct thorough market research, or hire an expert to do it for you.
Once you know the ecosystem you’ll be working in, you can begin to carve out what makes your brand stand out and how you will go about selling it to your target audience. Pack it all neatly into a detailed business plan, and you’ve completed your first step – most never make it this far, so, kudos!
Make sure you have the funds
Health and fitness is a pricey business, and as such, it requires ample investments for you to become the master of the healthy leagues.Unless you own an entire building or a floor of one, you’ll hardly be able to go rent-free for a property suitable for such an endeavor.
Furthermore, you’ll need to look into hiring personal trainers who will bring in the needed clients that will cover a portion of your expenses. The salary and benefits you offer them also need to be covered. You can always ask friends and family to invest, but they can only do so much. Make sure you have your financial basis covered before you proceed, because the next steps also come at a price!
Find the best equipment
In addition to selecting a suitable space, you need to fill it with new, cutting-edge, high-quality gear that will outlast many of your potential members. For your weightlifters, you’ll need plates of various sizes,barbells, as well as accompanying gear such as squat racks, the bench press,and other machines that isolate various muscle groups.
You’ll also need a cardio section, with a mix of high-quality exercise bikes for those spin classes and solitary cardio-lovers, paired with treadmills, and elliptical machines to keep things interesting in this area. Look into dumbbells,kettle bells, resistance bands, yoga mats, balance balls, jump ropes, and a wide array of safety gear to make your gym a secure spot for athletes of all abilities.
Consider your licenses
In addition to the standard permits and licenses you’ll need to apply for as a business owner in your country, you also need to bear in mind that this is a very specific niche. With that in mind, if you don’t already have accreditations that are very specific for the fitness industry, you should acquire them.
Depending on where you plan to open your gym, get informed on the needed training permits and licenses you’ll need.
After all, people coming to your gym would like to know they are placing their health into safe hands, and what better way to prove that than to show off your hard-earned certifications?
Get the right people on board
Finally, just like any brand in its early stages of development, the people you associate yourself with from the beginning will define your reputation.
From completing your first step, you already know if you’re aiming for working with power-lifters, Cross-Fitters, yoga enthusiasts, or strongmen-focused athletes, and your options are practically endless.
The people who first join your gym will be the ones to set the tone for your fitness center. Make sure to get the right people to join from the get-go, attract the right clientele, and you’ll protect your brand from any reputation issues down the road!