If you have a passion for health and fitness and you’re looking for a new business opportunity, opening your own gym could be an excellent move for you. The American health club industry is hugely profitable. The companies that do it right are never lacking for customers. Like any business opportunity, though, it’s not something in which you should dive headfirst. There are several factors to take into consideration before making a decision.
Where Will You Locate It?
You’ll need to find somewhere with the ideal atmosphere to fit the personality you want for your gym’s. Some of the costs you’ll need to consider are the building’s cost (rent or mortgage payments), maintenance fees, insurance and utilities. You’ll probably be using a lot of electricity. Depending on your location, you could check into alternatives such as solar panel cost to lower your utility bill.
What Are Your Goals?
What are your intentions behind this business venture? Do you want a more extensive gym where members mostly do their own thing or a smaller, more one-on-one personal training gym? Do you want a gym with many features like various types of workout equipment, tanning beds and massage chairs or just a few of the more basic types of workout equipment? If you have a passion for helping people get fit and healthy and love personal interactions and knowing your members by name, you might be happier with a smaller gym.
Is There Market Potential?
Once you know your overall goals, it’s time to research the market to better understand the industry in general and locally. Who are your competitors? How will you stand out from the competition? Have you noticed ways that your competition is lacking in this industry?
What’s Your Business Plan?
Next, it’s time to create a business plan. Your business plan will guide you in detail through the future of your business. Lenders and investors will also use it to decide whether to finance the company or not.
How Will You Finance It?
Once you complete your business plan, you can look for potential lenders and investors. There are a few options, so if one doesn’t work, don’t lose hope. A traditional business loan through a bank requires good credit, but even with excellent credit, they may not lend you as much money as you need. However, if you can get what you need from this type of loan, the fixed interest rates can be very beneficial. The hands-off approach that banks take with businesses to whom they loan is also a plus.
Crowdfunding is another option for building the startup funds your business will require. You can also offer people you know a chance to invest in the business.
What About the Logistics?
It’ll be necessary to register your business through the state and license it through the city. The proper business insurance is also essential. It’ll protect you, your employees, your clients and your business.
You’ll need to research where to affordably purchase the equipment you need. You’ll also need to buy business hardware and software, such as computers, phone lines, security systems, check-in systems and point of sale systems.
Employees will need to be trustworthy and preferably have experience in the industry. They can help you learn the gym business in general, and you and your team can learn your business, specifically, together.
What’s Your Marketing Strategy?
Finally, it’s time to start marketing your business to get the word out and start signing up new members. You may want to hire someone to handle your marketing, especially if you don’t have marketing experience. This will include building a website and creating social media profiles. There will also be advertising, including digital (e.g., email) and traditional (e.g., radio and television).
If you’re ready to make a positive change in your life that also helps others, you may love owning your own gym. With a little research and forethought, you can use your creativity to build a business that positively impacts you and your community.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.