Gym start-ups have recently become a profitable venture as people get progressively more body and health conscious. Why not use that to your advantage? Have you thought of starting your own gym but you don’t really know how to go about it? We understand that taking the first step may be daunting, so here are ten genuinely helpful tips on how to go about owning a successful gym startup.
CHOOSE YOUR KIND OF GYM
This is the first train of thought you should be on as it is important that you have a clear picture of the kind of gym you want to start. To make this decision easier, you have to take local demographics into consideration. If your location has a median resident age of 65 and the population of women is more than 60%, opening a mixed martial art facility would not be the best idea. Most governments websites have a portal that can give you access to a detailed demographic data in your area - this will help you assess the possible clientele and narrow your gym startup ideas down to at least three or four. Also, having a certain degree of passion and knowledge of the kind of facility you are interested in opening will be the necessary push you need in order to start-up your gym.
GET A BUSINESS PLAN
Okay, calm down! It isn’t as hard as it seems. This is the most important step after you’ve decided on the type of gym facility you want. You need to research gym startup costs and create a solid small business plan in order to begin the process. This will give you an in-depth view of what you want and the costs involved. You will need to develop a list of all small and large expenses you foresee; your long term and short-term business goals and the basic strategies you feel will help you achieve these goals. Having a well-written business plan will also show that you know what you want and will look good to potential sponsors and investors.
ANALYZE YOUR FINANCES
With your small business plan in place, you will need to approach banks and other loan giving facilities for possible grants because - let’s face it - starting a gym business is tedious and you will need all the financial support you can get. If your loan requests get turned down on your first try, don’t lose hope, tweak and refine your business plan a bit and keep trying until you get it. It would help to also seek out individuals or corporations that would be interested in becoming an investor and look up small business tax tips to get all the help you can.
GET THE LOCATION RIGHT
Now that your financing is secured, it’s time to look for a good real estate agent that understands your goal and will be committed to finding the perfect space to start a gym. The location of your gym startup can dictate how profitable it will be. That being said, your gym has to be easily accessible to potential customers. A little trick most business owners’ use in finding the perfect spot for their business is surveying the traffic in their chosen area. A location with heavy foot traffic will give you the benefit of walk-in inquiries. Let’s go big! You will need ample space for gym equipment (researching gym start-up equipment would be a great idea at this point), tanning, massage, showers or any other services you wish to offer. Diversification is the key to any successful business. A gym startup offering different health/beauty services will definitely attract more customers.
This is a crucial step in starting a gym. You don’t want to go through the other processes of setting up your business only to be denied a license to operate! License grants usually depend on your local state laws and you may need to check with your city official as you need more than just a simple business license.
Do not be in a rush to get all the gym equipment you know of all at once. Starting with the basic equipment like the treadmill, resistance machines, pull-up bars, weights and dumbbells until you understand your target market better is advised. For example, if your target market is the mothers in your community, then investing in cardio machines, dumbbells and functional exercise equipment will be beneficial to your business. Instead of outrightly buying new equipment, getting into equipment lease agreements with other fitness facilities or manufacturers is a good idea for a gym startup such as yours.
GET THE RIGHT GYM STAFF
Be sure to thoroughly interview your potential staff yourself as only you will know the best fit for your gym startup. You need to have a very good marketing and customer relationship manager as this will ensure consistent growth in gym membership while ensuring customer satisfaction. Being a startup gym facility, you need a marketer with a good marketing strategy to help get the word out. Making use of a marketing spreadsheet will help keep track of your progress and let you know if you should stick to your strategy or change it. Most importantly, you’ll need a good team of trustworthy fitness trainers who are well versed in their fields and have previously received good customer feedback. Getting trainers with an educational background and knowledge in first aid is a bonus. Ample resource planning is strongly recommended to help manage the affairs of your new staff!
PLAN OUT YOUR INSURANCE POLICY
Having a widely inclusive insurance policy is important in case of accidents occurring in your gym startup. It would be wise to check for government regulations that apply to insurance and fitness facilities.
A beautiful and chic décor will definitely attract more customers. Go with lighter hues of blue with dark undertones for a serene effect but also make sure the décor is something that will appeal to you and the kinds of clients you wish to attract. Splurge on the needed areas and be modest where need be. Hiring an interior decorator if you don’t trust your taste is a good choice.
Once you’ve covered all the basics, you’re almost ready to get your gym started. Now it is only a matter of proper marketing and referrals and soon you’ll have customers lining up to register. It’d help if you already have some sort of initial customer base to work with as combining them with whichever clientele your trainers bring will be a great start for your gym business. In terms of attracting new customers, social media, traditional, and local advertising is a good fit for your fitness startup. Hire a social media marketer, be creative, and reach out to individuals when and where you deem fit. Track your marketing progress using a standard marketing spreadsheet in order to know exactly where you stand.