Starting your own gym can be a dream job. If you have a passion for helping others to reach their fitness goals, or you are a fitness fanatic yourself – this is it.
Fitness entrepreneurs are raking in thousands of dollars. They simply focus on the two niche markets in the industry. The female-fitness market and the youth-fitness market.
Figure 1: Opening a Gym – Cheapest Gym Franchise (Image SRC:Amelia)
The world has become aware of healthy and stress-free living. More people awake to the dangers of unhealthy eating and dangerous living habits. And this increases the ever-growing demand for fitness studios, gyms, and healthy living programs. More and more people want to live healthier through exercise.
In today’s fast-paced world, people want quality health services on the run. If your gym can provide quick and reliable fitness facilities and services, you will be able to capitalize on the ever-growing demand of the fitness industry. And it does not have to be an expensive exercise.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of opening a cheaper gym franchise
- Choose a Fitness Niche that Pay
- Target the right market for your gym
- The most affordable gym and fitness franchises 2021
- Final words
Benefits of opening a cheaper gym franchise
There is less risk involved in investing in a gym franchise than starting your gym from scratch. Franchises offer business owners the ongoing support of a superb franchise support system. This includes a rock-solid business model, and existing and well-known brand. It also includes a base of existing and loyal customers, and a great vendor network.
All the hard work has been taken care of. There will be little heavy lifting when you invest in a gym franchise.
Some of the fitness franchises need the owners to have some form of managerial experience. But most do not need you to have any fitness or gym experience. They will teach you everything you need to know. And they support your growth and answer our questions every step of the way.
So, if you are an entrepreneur with a passion for health and fitness, your future might just be in the gym and fitness industry.
Another great upside is the bright future for the gym and fitness industry. Reports by IBISWorld, states that there is a steady escalation in the health and fitness industries, as reported over the last decade. And it continues to grow remarkably.
The last year has seen a $3,2 billion contribution by the gym and fitness industries, alone. With these numbers, and a fitness niche to specialize in, you have the starter recipe for success.
Choose a Fitness Niche that Pay
With the trends for health and fitness on the increase, there is a growing demand for professional fitness facilities. A key need is gyms that offer great services. There is also an increasing demand for nutritional foods, home coaching and personal trainers. And the ever-growing market holds large potential for earning a good income.
Advice from several successful gym owners, on how to outsmart the competition in this competitive industry, is to establish a niche service for your new gym. Focus on general fitness but specialize in something specific.
Most commercial gyms cater for a wide variety of fitness needs. But you can focus on one or two specific needs, instead of catering for everyone. A great marketing strategy, used by specialists all over the world, is core focus marketing.
Focus on marketing one or two key services or classes your gym will offer that other gyms do not.
Invest time to do your homework. Find out what the needs of your target markets are in your area and include the things that your competitors do not have. Great examples are fitness classes for moms and babies, or survival swimming lessons for children.
Establishing a niche market for your gym, will ensure that you become known in your area for providing the expert service in the area. This in turn will draw more members to investigate what other services you offer. And it will aid in growing your gym over time.
Figure 2: Gym Niche – Mam and baby Gym Class (Image SRC: Harper’s Bazaar)
Target the right market for your gym
Competition within the health and fitness industry will always exist. Staying ahead of the competition and growing your gym requires strong focus on hitting the right target market.
Over the last decade, we have seen the fitness and gym world undergo drastic changes. It has evolved from focusing on men who want to build their bodies, to providing professional advice and training to all sexes, ages and body shapes.
By focusing on key target markets, like children’s fitness or women and weight loss, you are guaranteed to grab the attention of potential customers. It also increases the diversity pool of your member base. The following points will guide you to establishing your target markets:
- Look at the demographics of the area you are setting up your gym in
- Invest in the interests, needs, and behaviors of the people in and around your location
- Look at key characteristics of the various age and sex groups in your area
- Investigate the marketing and buying preferences of these age groups
- Build your niche around the most important fitness needs within these age groups
The most affordable gym and fitness franchises 2021
We dug into the best gym franchises for you to invest in that will not cost you an arm and a leg. To help you make an informed decision, we have listed the franchises from the cheapest to the more expensive. We have looked at three key factors.
- We looked at the initial franchise fee required to start your gym
- We looked at the estimated total investment
- We looked at the franchise growth and membership numbers since they started franchising
With the below information, you can choose the cheapest gym franchise opportunity for you.
- Initial franchise fee: $1,250
- Estimated total initial investment: $2,505 to $3,700
This Gym franchise will forever be a favorite form of exercise. Especially amongst fitness fanatics that appreciate the classic methods that Jazzercise offer. Their high-intensity, cardio classes offer a mix of dance-fusion. This became popular during the early 80’s.
The franchise group has since evolved to incorporate more modern routines. Routines include hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, strength training, and kickboxing. This combination is known to burn up to 800 calories per training session. And it is super popular under the fitness fanatics who want to lose weight in a less conventional manner.
This franchise group boasts one of the biggest loyal customer bases across the globe. Jazzercise has over 8,500 locations in the USA alone. They ask for a super low initial franchise fee. And their upfront investment fee is very affordable. No wonder, Jazzercise is one of the most popular low-cost franchises in the industry.
Figure 3: Jazzercise (Image SRC: SCAD District)
- Initial franchise fee: $40,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $92,000 – $172,605
GymGuyz is the ideal franchise to invest in if you have a passion for personal training and want to start small. They are a home-based personal training franchise group. Their qualified trainers pitch up at your front door, equipped with a van full of gear.
This team is ready to help you break out a sweat in every workout you can possibly think of.
The group focuses on individual training, one-on-one sessions, and group sessions. An added bonus is their fantastic corporate fitness programs. These are very popular for team building. The group offers several support services as well. Some include nutritional meal plans, weight-loss plans, body sculpting and stretch classes.
If you want to take it a step further, you can get certified to train in senior fitness. Or add post- and prenatal exercises to your repertuar. GymGuyz is one of those bold and brilliant franchise groups. They pride themselves in providing customized and convenient workout sessions to their members.
Founded in 2008 and franchised since 2013, GymGuyz now has 125 active franchises globally. If you are interested in signing up with them, you would need an initial investment that ranges between $56,000 and $225,000.
Getting into business with them will mean that you will have to commit to a ten-year contract. This gym franchise group has lower investment fees than most other franchises. And they charge a six percent royalty fee and a two percent marketing fee.
Figure 4: GymGuyz Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Opportunities)
- Initial franchise fee: $5,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $37,500 – $256,000
A 9Round franchise start-up, can cost you as little as $99,000.
9Round fitness franchises offer 30-minute workouts designed around the art of kickboxing. They incorporate circuit training, cardio, strength, interval, and functional training. All in a half an hour training session.
Each workout program consists of 9-base workout stations. Each station was designed and developed by a world champ in kickboxing. This high energy, quick turn, fitness brand also offers nutritional guidance. And you can opt for one-on-one personal training sessions.
The group was founded in 2007 and started their franchising journey in early 2009. Since then they have grown to boast more than 600 active locations in the USA.
Initial contract length is ten years. And they also charge a six percent royalty, and two percent monthly marketing fee. Initial capital outlay to sign up with this franchise, ranges between $99,000 and $143,000.
Figure 5: 9Round Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Direct)
- Initial franchise fee: $50,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $56,000 – $150,000
You can invest in a F45 Training franchise from as little as $100 000.
F45 Training offers high intensity workouts that lasts 45-minutes each. The workouts are designed to help with everyday functional body movement, hence the ‘F’. It also aims to body sculpt and help their members with weight-loss. And one session at F45 Training can see you shed up to 750 calories.
In every fitness studio you will find many screens. This explains the various workout drills in detail. The screens also display the group and individual performance metrics. This includes heart rate, calories burnt, and effort input per person.
This franchise group was founded in 2010 and started franchising in 2015. Being new to the franchise market, they are already boasting close to 500 franchises globally. Their royalty charge is seven percent monthly. And active marketing will cost you two percent of your monthly revenue.
Interested in investing with this franchise group? Well, it will only cost you an initial investment of between $100 000 and $300 000.
Figure 6: F45 Fitness franchise (Image SRC: Point Franchise)
- Initial franchise fee: $3,150 to $42,500
- Estimated total initial investment: $58,870 to $521,437
Interested in starting your own Anytime Fitness gym? It can cost you as little as $114, 995 in initial investments.
Anytime Fitness is one of the gym groups that offer their members 24/7 access to their facilities. They are open 24 hours a day. And you will find their staff ready to welcome you, every day of the week.
Their latest security technology allows their members to access the facilities at any hour of the day or night. Access is available, even if there is no staff active on the floor.
This is brilliant if you are looking to buy into a franchise where you want to operate all hours of the day. Especially if you do not want the extra staff costs.
Some other member perks include things like personal and group training sessions. They also offer great personalized fitness consultations.
Anytime fitness started in 2001 and rolled out their franchising campaign one year later, in 2002. The group currently operates in more than 2350 locations around the globe. And they have a steady growth rate.
Initial investment will cost you anything between $114 995 and $677 800. Royalty fees are calculated at six percent. The marketing and advertising fee will cost you two percent of your monthly revenue. Contract length is six years.
Figure 7: Anytime Fitness franchise (Image SRC: Inside Fitness Business)
Burn Boot Camp
- Initial franchise fee: $40,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $142,330 – $349,150
Initial investment in this small gym and fitness franchise can start from as little as $148 850.
Burn Boot Camp focuses on the female fitness industry. They offer 45-minute workout sessions. Each session aims to burn more than 700 calories per workout. They have fantastic support groups and a strong social media platform.
This franchise offers unique programs designed to shape and uplift. They also provide nutritional meal plans and recipes. As well as strength and burst training, ongoing motivational support and a super positive environment.
Extra perks for moms are their free childcare facilities. These will keep the little ones active, while the mommies work up a sweat.
Burn Boot Camp was founded in 2012 and started their franchising journey in 2015. They are boasting more than 200 existing franchises across the United states. It will cost you in the range of $148,830 and $353,000 to invest into.
Monthly royalty fees are six percent. Advertising and affiliate marketing will cost you two percent per month.
Figure 8: Burn Boot Camp Fitness franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Gator)
- Initial franchise fee: $29,500
- Estimated total initial investment: $148,000 – $462,800
To start-up a Snap Fitness franchise can cost you anything from $153 980 in initial capital outlay.
Snap Fitness also offers their members 24 hour access all year round. They are focused on traditional weight training and gym machine exercises. They also offer performance matrix screens that monitor heart rate and performance. As well as personal training or group training sessions.
The initial investment in this traditional gym group is smaller than the investment with most other gym franchises. This makes them a great option if you are looking for something that you can start out small.
Snap Fitness started their franchising journey early in 2004. They have more than 2000 active locations globally. Initial contract length is ten years. Your start up investment can range anything from $153,980 to $530,000. Royalty fees and marketing fees are calculated at six percent each, monthly.
Figure 9: Snap Fitness franchise (Image SRC: SlideShare)
- Initial franchise fee: $60,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $160,395 – $310,745
Interested in a Pilates franchise? Then this one’s for you! Initial investment with this group starts from as little as $167,000.
Interested in a Pilates franchise? Then this one’s for you! Initial investment with this group starts from as little as $167,000.
Club Pilates franchises offer full-body workouts aimed at cardio, stretching, and suspension training. Workouts is a class-based fitness program. Workouts include the use of specialized equipment like springboards. They also use EXO-chairs, TRX’s, and TriggerPoints.
All workouts are based on four different difficulty levels. And the group offers private sessions for more focused, individual training as well.
The first Club Pilates was started in 2007 and the group started their franchising journey in 2012. Boast more than 850 franchises across the globe and are growing strong. Initial contract terms are ten years and investment fees can range anything between $167,967 to $280,500. Royalty fees and marketing fees run at seven and two percent, respectively.
Figure 10: Club Pilates Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Direct)
- Initial franchise fee: $60,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $198,650 to $446,250
Joining the Pure Barre franchise family will have you invest anything from $179,000.
The Pure Barre franchise group offers workout programs designed around the ballet barre. This creates the best zone for customers who are looking for that lean and fit physique.
The workouts at Pure Barre are focused on providing a total body workout with key focus areas from top to toes. All workouts are low-impact and safe with zero running, bouncing, or jumping. Pure Barre also offers great meditation exercises, much the same as Pilates or yoga.
The first Pure Barre was founded in 2001 and they started franchising eight years later in 2009. They currently operate in more than 460 locations.
Initial investment can run anything between $178,400 to $370,000. Royalty fees are calculated at seven percent of your monthly income. And the marketing and advertising will cost you two percent.
Figure 11: Pure Barre (Image SRC: Rochester Mom)
- Initial franchise fee: $49,999
- Estimated total initial investment: $214,944 – $559,494
It will cost you an initial investment starting from $215,000 to become part of this franchise family.
iLoveKickboxing offers workouts that are designed around the art of kickboxing. It involves high-intensity, cardio, and strength training and is focused on class-based training.
Every workout includes a warm-up session, time on the punching bags, and partner drills in kickboxing techniques. The workouts are designed to include a total body workout. This includes quads, glutes, abs, back, triceps, and shoulders.
iLoveKickboxing started their franchising journey in 2012. Contract terms stretch over ten years and initial investment can run anything between $214,944 and $559,494.
They currently have more than 250 active franchises globally. Royalty fees are charged at six percent of gross sales and advertising is only one percent.
Figure 12: iLoveKickboxing Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Gator)
- Initial franchise fee: $60,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $319,150 – $497,200
If you love cycling, then this might be the franchise for you. Initial investment starts from as little as $290,000.
This fitness franchise prides itself in being one of the classiest indoor cycling studio groups in the world. CycleBar provides several different classes that their members can choose from. These include strength and endurance classes. In-class performance competitions, and connect classes, which offers monitor free training sessions.
Their globally celebrated instructors always go the extra mile. They do not only coach, but also educate and motivate their members.
CycleBar rolled out their franchising in 2015. They are currently the biggest indoor cycling franchise in the world. They boast over 200 active locations.
Initial investment can range anything between $290,000 and $490,000. Royalty fees are seven percent and monthly marketing and advertising at two percent. Contract terms are ten years with another option for a ten-year renewal.
Figure 13: CycleBar Franchise (Image SRC: Pinterest)
- Initial franchise fee: $30,000 to $50,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $100,000 to $2,000,000
UFC Gym offers martial arts-based interval training classes and coaching. Besides their general martial arts training class, UFC Gyms provides Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. They also provide TRX suspension training, kickboxing, spin, yoga, and youth training. Locations have a training area, heavy bags, cardio and strength equipment. And most locations have a retail section.
UFC Gym began franchising in 2012 and now has 146 locations. Training centers tend to be large in size and need an investment anywhere from $295,057 to $4,912,007.
UFC Gym provides 25% off the franchising fee for veterans. The least cash required to start one of their gyms is $100,000, which can be a combination of owner and investor cash.
Figure 14: UFC Gym Franchise (Image SRC: FranchiseHelp)
- Initial franchise fee: $32,000 to $40,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $2,200,000 to $5,000,000
Gold’s Gym staked their claim to fame through the well-known actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. They are globally known for their status as the ‘bodybuilding mecca’. Gold’s gym is immensely popular within the fitness industry as well as the American culture.
Founded in 1965 they have since grown to have more than 700 gym locations. They are active in more than 29 countries around the world. They also boast a 3-million strong international membership base. And they continue with a steady annual growth.
Currently, this franchise group has several international franchise opportunities. They also have listed local USA franchise opportunities available.
The only barrier to this famous fitness franchise is the investment needed. Your initial investment can range anything from 2 million to well over 5 million.
Gold’s gym franchise group also requires their franchisees to have a minimum net worth of more than one million dollars. As well as liquid assets that exceed the $400,000 benchmark.
Figure 15: Gold’s Gym Franchise (Image SRC: Entrepreneur)
The Bar Method
- Initial franchise fee: $35,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $303,000 to $499,850
The Bar Method workout routine is designed to provide a safe and challenging exercise. They use your own body weight for resistance along with a few basic pieces of equipment such as free weights, mats, and exercise balls. The classes are appropriate for all levels, ranging from 45 to 60 minutes. The Bar Method technique was created under the guidance of physical therapists. This makes it safe even for those with physical limitations and injuries.
The Bar Method was founded in 2001 and started franchising in 2008. The company has over 107 existing franchise units nationwide. An initial investment ranging from $303,000 to $499,850 is required if you want to become a franchisee.
fees include a royalty fee of 6% and an ad fee of 2%. The initial agreement length is 10 years.
Figure 16: The Bar Method Franchise (Image SRC: FranchiseHelp)
- Initial franchise fee: $25,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $304,500 to $2,100,000
Crunch Fitness aims to provide a no-judgment fitness room for everyone, regardless of shape, size, age, race, gender, or fitness level. It offers personalized fitness training designed to help clients meet their fitness goals.
Every class has the help of certified personal trainers. Their services also include group training and classes such as Zumba, Pilates, yoga, and barre.
Crunch Fitness was founded in 2010 and started franchising in the same year. There are currently over 140 existing franchise locations nationwide. If you want to become a franchisee, you need an initial investment between $304,500 and $2,129,500.
The ongoing fees include a royalty fee of 5% and an ad fee of 2%. The initial contract term is 10 years.
Figure 17: Crunch Fitness Franchise (Image SRC: FranchiseHelp)
- Initial franchise fee: $54,950 to $59,950
- Estimated total initial investment: $563,529 to $999,121
Orangetheory Fitness offers members class-based training in an energetic and contemporary atmosphere. They are known for their signature orange color scheme and trade dress. Classes make use of exercise equipment, such as treadmills, rowing machines, and free weights.
t provides 60-minute, trainer-led group workout sessions. Sessions are broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Orangetheory is known for their heart rate monitored training. It is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism, increases energy. And is known to burn around 500 to 1,000 calories per workout session.
Orangetheory Fitness was founded in 2010 and started franchising in the same year. The company has more than 1,200 existing locations across the United States and more than 100 franchise units outside the country.
An initial investment between $560,000 and $1,000,000 is required to become a franchisee. The ongoing fees include a royalty fee of 8% and an ad fee of 2%. The initial contract term is 10 years.
Figure 18: Orangetheory Fitness Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Direct)
- Initial franchise fee: $20,000
- Estimated total initial investment: $1,000,000 to $4,300,000
Planet Fitness is a workout gym that aims to provide a judgment-free experience so everyone will feel comfortable. Locations are open 24/7 and the company prides itself on having clean and spacious facilities. Services include free fitness training. Certified trainers are available to provide a customized workout plan for their clients and help them with the equipment.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 and started franchising in 2003. There are currently more than 1,400 existing franchise locations across the country. If you want to become a Planet Fitness franchisee, you need an initial investment that ranges from $969,600 to $4,242,500. The ongoing fees include a 7% royalty fee and a 9% ad fee. The initial contract term is 10 years.
Figure 19: Planet Fitness Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Direct)
The only way to know which gym franchises will suit you best, is to do your own due diligence and investigations. You will have to make a list of the gym franchises that align with your financial affordability. Also look at the franchises that have available opportunities in your demographic area.
All franchises listed in this article welcome curious investors to request information for free. Simply contact the franchises you are interested in and they will be ready to guide you on your next steps.