10 Step Gym Business Plan Guide for Beginners

Do you want to start a gym business? If so, this article can be a guidebook. We have listed down the steps associated with creating your gym business plan covering aspects like selecting location, equipment and setup, licenses and permits, and much more.

According to the IHRSA report, the revenue from the fitness industry grew from $87.2bn in 2017 to $94bn in 2018. Industry experts predict the revenue can reach around $110bn in the year 2020. In the United States alone, there are about 40,000 active health clubs running successfully. The reason for the recent rise in the fitness industry is due to the increase in obesity problems and the general awareness of people at large in keeping good health.

Though the competition is a little stiff in running a profitable gym or a fitness center, however with a proper plan and creative outlook, there is still a wide scope in building a successful gym or fitness center business.

Here is a Gym Business Plan Guide for Beginners

1. Understand the Local Market

Like any other business, before starting a gym it is extremely important to know the demand of the local market. The Fitness business generally faces stiff competition.

Your market research must be based on two factors. The first one is the kind of gyms and fitness centers and their service offerings. And the other one whether the local people are ready to visit gyms for better health. If the answers are positive, the chances of creating a profitable gym business become more.

2. Get Trained

Generally, customers attend fitness centers not only to get their bodies in shape but also to remain healthy as a whole. The customers will prefer only those trainers who can provide trust and confidence among them.

To be a successful owner of a gym or fitness center, one must have proper training and certifications from a reputed training center. There are many authorized training institutes and associations that provide quality education. Some of the training institutes you can check are the following:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

Another aspect is to choose the type of gym to start. You can start a traditional gym, specialty fitness like a Yoga center, or a wellness center.

3. Select a Proper Location

The selection of the right location with the right price is crucial to get success in your business. You need to consider having good visibility, access, and availability of parking for your customers. Your gym or fitness business location must be in a high-traffic area.

4. Create a Business Plan

Based on the information collected from your market research, start documenting your gym business plan. If you are planning to take funding from financial institutions, it is advised to consult a local attorney or a professional business writer. If you are starting with your own money, it is wiser to write your own business plan.

Write in brief about your vision and vision, objectives, operating plan, financial plan, and marketing plan in your business plan document.

5. Register Your Gym Business

In the United States, this process is known as registering your “Doing Business As” (DBA) name.

A DBA is needed in the United States for Sole Proprietors, partnerships, existing corporations, or LLCs. Contact your county clerk’s office or with your state government as per the location of your business.

It is advisable to have specific insurance for your fitness-related business. It will protect you and your business both from damages that can’t be predicted.

6. Procure Licenses and Permits

A gym or a fitness center demands normal state licenses for running a legally compliant business. Talk to the local appropriate authority and procure necessary licenses and permits.

Do not forget to buy liability insurance for your gym business. As customers will use fitness equipment, there is a chance of injuries to them. Liability insurance will protect you from those hazards.

7. Choose a Business Name

Choose a catchy and relatable name for your gym or fitness business. It is advisable to register your business name. You need to contact an appropriate local authority in registering your business name. The registration process depends on the specific law of that particular country where you want to establish your fitness center. Check this guide to know more about choosing a business name for your gym business.

8. Equipment and Set up of Gym or Fitness Center

Consult with interior personnel to craft the floor plan. Concentrate on inside decoration. Giving a smart trendy ambiance inside will definitely help you to generate a good return to your business.

As far as equipment is concerned there are two choices. You can purchase or can hire the equipment to start with. In purchasing the equipment, compare the rate and check testimonials of the company before giving the order.

Choose a proper point of sale(POS) software for easy financial transactions for customers.

9. Hire Skilled Manpower

As you are entering a service industry and that little to a bit competitive, you need to give special emphasis on hiring people. Be selective in recruiting manpower as it can make or break the business. Always look for skilled and experienced manpower.

10. Create a Promotional Plan For Your Gym or Fitness Center

Create attractive, eye-friendly signage and fix it outside of your fitness center. It is advisable to have a well-designed marketing plan. Go for some outdoor advertising for brand building. Create your business website.

You will need to be a little bit creative in marketing. Some press releases will definitely help you to attract a new prospective customer. Arrange events at your fitness center to attract the community. Offer promotional items like t-shirts as prizes or as welcome gifts to our clients. You can consider the idea of co-branding also. A doctor’s referral also works very well in getting customers.

Running a gym is not going to be an easy cakewalk, however, if you are committed and dedicated to the business, the rewards of a successful gym center are multifold.