If you have plans to open a gym of your own, we offer the best wishes for your success. The fitness industry is one of the most lucrative ones. Hence, chances of success are bright.
However, finding the perfect business idea doesn’t suggest that you have succeeded. Instead, it’s the proper execution that guides you towards a prosperous business.
To help you get started, we have created a simple yet comprehensive guide to open a gym. The steps mentioned here will allow you to start a well-planned business.
Table of Contents
- Step-By-Step Guide to Open a Gym
- Do Your Homework
- Create a Business Plan
- Training and Accreditation
- Obtain Licenses and Permits
- Calculate the Startup Cost
- Learn about the Post-COVID Practices
- Finalize Financing Matters
- Choose the Ideal Location
- Pay Attention to Flooring Planning and Interior
- Buy Top-notch Equipment
- Consider Additional Ways to Generate Revenue
- Hire Professional Staff
- Choose the Best Gym Management Software
- Don’t Forget to Market Your Business
- Final Words
Step-By-Step Guide to Open a Gym
Just like any other business, starting a gym also needs careful considerations. You must take into account all essential aspects before making a decision.
In this guide, we have discussed those important factors that need your attention. So let’s see what we have here.
Do Your Homework
Before going any further, you must have proper information about a commercial gym. The fitness industry has evolved a lot in the recent past. It has several niches and each of them has its setup criteria.
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For instance, you might have to choose between a CrossFit Gym, Pilates Studio, or a Traditional Gym. Hence, it would be better to do some market research.
It will help you decide what type of gym services are in demand. Besides, don’t hesitate to talk to other gym owners. As a result, you can learn from their experience.
Create a Business Plan
If there is a viable plan, you have won half the battle. A great plan is important for any business. With this, you can draw a clear line of action. It provides you a way forward, a path to follow.
So, the first step when setting up a commercial gym is to have a vision or plan. At this point, you create a blueprint for the gym of your dreams. To start with, you can use an online business template.
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When making such a plan, do consider the issues that you might face. In this way, you can find the solutions for such problems. It would help you to steer through the initial phase of your business.
Also, your business plan should be flexible. It must allow you to make necessary amendments and improvements whenever required.
Training and Accreditation
If you don’t have the required training certificates, opening a gym won’t be possible. You have to receive training and obtain the certificates first. After that, you can set up a specific type of gym depending on your training.
Further, you also need accreditation from renowned groups or councils. These authorities should have the authorization to accredit you as a professional fitness/gym trainer.
This might not be mandatory in some countries. However, it would better if you consider this to gain some attention in the industry. A person with the required certification and specialization can start up a gym much easier.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Normally, you need a business license to open a gym. Yet, the requirement may differ depending on the state regulations. If it demands a specific permit for this purpose, you have to apply for it in advance.
If your gym plans to offer some additional facilities, it requires extra paperwork. This may involve obtaining NOCs from the concerned department.
For example, the services listed below need relevant licenses and permits.
- Serving food and drinks
- Massage or spa treatments
- Childcare or daycare services
Calculate the Startup Cost
Knowing the startup costs for any business is crucial. Similarly, it is of significant importance to know the cost of opening a gym. Although there isn’t a fixed amount, you can consider an estimated cost.
For instance, the cost of opening a modest gym starts from $200,000 and goes up to $400,000. A larger gym with all the amenities can cost up to a million dollars or even more.
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A few of the gym owners buy used equipment to minimize the cost of starting up a gym. This might not be a good idea. People expect brand new equipment when joining a brand new gym.
Besides, used equipment won’t last for long and also cost more in terms of maintenance. So, we won’t recommend you making such a mistake.
Instead, you look for reliable gym equipment manufacturers that can provide you commercial gym equipment at market competitive rates.
Learn about the Post-COVID Practices
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still there. Like any other affected industry, gyms and fitness clubs are no exceptions. At present, opening a gym isn’t that easy as it used to be in the past.
You need to consider even those aspects that were not on the list a couple of years ago. A few of these include contact tracing, sanitization, and prevention of surface transmission.
Figure-5 Post-COVID best practieces (Image src-inews)
For this purpose, you have to rely on the latest technology like “Digital Access Control”. It’s an efficient way to lower the chances of establishing a contact when a member enters the gym.
In addition, there are certain other access management solutions. For instance, you can take the advantage of software to schedule or control entrance.
Finalize Financing Matters
If you don’t have sufficient money with you, think about getting some financial help. The most common and recommended way is to apply for a business loan.
The business plan that you have created earlier would help you get a loan. For this purpose, you need to visit a bank and seek the necessary information.
You can also take advice from business consultants. Professionals like these can help you evaluate your loan application. They might also assist you while preparing for the questions asked by the banks.
Choose the Ideal Location
Once, you got the money, it’s time to look for the best location for your gym. Start your quest to find a suitable location depending on the demographics. Also, keep in mind the type of clientele that you are expecting.
Go for a location where there is a large concentration of expected clients. After finding the best location, the next step is to choose the building. Depending on your finances, you can either select a rented building or buy your premises.
Both these options have their specific pros and cons. The most viable method is to start with a rented building. Once you have successfully established a gym, you can think about buying a place.
When renting or buying a building for your gym, there are certain factors to consider. These include:
- Spacious entrance and reception area
- Office space for admin work, HR, and consultations
- Washrooms & locker room
- Sufficient space for gym merchandise/complementary businesses
- Transport accessibility, parking, and other facilities
Pay Attention to Flooring Planning and Interior
The aspects like gym floor layout and design need your utmost attention. The elements associated with floor planning are of key importance. Hence, you must consider them when building a gym.
Figure-6 Gym floor layout (Image src-pinterest)
Here are the most crucial aspects.
- Intelligent use of available Space
- Proper Layout and design
- Dedicated areas for specific workouts
- Well-planned equipment placement
- Choose an attractive color combination
- Excellent lighting
- Safe, engaging, and comfortable atmosphere
Buy Top-notch Equipment
So far what you have done was essential to open a gym. However, this particular step relates to running a successful gym. This is so, as the gym interior and aesthetics won’t keep the clients engaged for too long.
This is the area where the gym equipment really matters. So, don’t settle less than the best fitness equipment. Installing the top-quality equipment would show how serious you are about your gym.
Figure-7 Gym equipment (Image src-usedgymequipment)
It can help you attract more customers and retain them for longer. Therefore, don’t even think about compromising the quality of your gym equipment.
You can choose to either buy the machines or get them on lease. Both these options are viable and have some benefits to offer.
You can even get the best gym equipment online. There are a range of online vendors who sell premium quality and hammer-strength weight machines.
Yanre Fitness is one of the most reputed gym equipment manufacturers around that can provide you any kind of quality gym equipment in bulk. In addition, they offer self-design gym equipment around the world.
Consider Additional Ways to Generate Revenue
Generally, gyms generate revenue through membership fees. However, there are numerous other ways to increase revenue. This is the decision that you need to finalize before you open a gym.
Including some other factors in the guide, this one also relates to the pre-planning. If you have plans to introduce extra revenue streams, add its expense to your budget.
You need a specific interior layout and design. The staffing requirement would also change. Consider, partnering with other businesses by offering them a place in your gym.
This would help you to get a regular income besides the membership fee. Following are the income streams that you can think about:
- A walk-in gym for clients who are not interested in hiring a personal trainer
- It’s a good idea to start group fitness classes for a specific age group
- Introduce other kinds of health and wellness facilities
- Dedicate a space for massage therapists or nutritionists
Although there are numerous ways to increase your revenue but don’t get greedy. Make sure to keep things under control to prevent creating any havoc. In some cases, you can damage your gym’s branding.
So, besides everything discussed above, try to establish your own business. Once the foundation of your business is strong, you can think about other ventures.
Hire Professional Staff
At this stage, you have done most of the hard parts of establishing a gym. The next step might not seem to be difficult but it is crucial. This relates to assembling your team.
After finalizing the operational aspects of your gym, start hiring qualified trainers. This particular element can help you a lot during the initial phase of running a gym.
Figure-8 hiring gym Staff (Image src- thelonelypetunia)
Without a qualified and experienced trainer, a gym is just like a class without a teacher. Therefore, make sure to verify the qualification and expertise of every prospective employee. If you have successfully created a proper team, you are not far from owning a successful gym.
Choose the Best Gym Management Software
In this era of technological advancement, you can’t afford ignoring latest technology. At present, gyms are taking advantage of a variety of technologies. It helps them facilitate clients and boost their businesses.
By doing so, you can follow the path towards long-term success. Now you don’t have to keep yourself busy with administrative tasks. By simply using gym management software, you can automate most of these tasks.
These tedious procedures are:
- Issuing memberships
- Creating and managing membership record
- Handling queries
- Maintaining inventory
- Payment tracking
- Making invoices and more
Don’t Forget to Market Your Business
Once you have done everything required to open a gym, the final step is to spread the word. If you have some amount left in the bank, you can use it to hire marketing professionals.
These professionals would help you build a brand identity for your gym. They would also suggest you the best marketing channel depending on your budget.
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On the other hand, it is still viable to market your gym yourself. However, before doing so, make sure to learn some basics of marketing. This would help you market your business in the best possible way.
The purpose of creating this guide was to give you an insight into how you can open a gym. We hope that the provided information does justice to the cause.
By simply going through each of the sections, it won’t be difficult to take a step forward. You just need to stay focused and show patience when going through each step.
Besides, if you afford it, don’t mind taking the help of a professional service provider. It would prevent you from making initial mistakes and achieve your goal much faster.