Frugal Fitness: How to Open Your Own Gym

how to open your own gym frugal fitness center startup

Are you thinking about owning your own gym?

It’s a great time to do that since the fitness industry is booming. There are more than 60 million people who are members of a gym. That number is expected to grow as more people are seeking to live healthier lifestyles.

There are more gyms opening up to meet this demand. That means that you’re in a highly competitive market, where the strongest survive.

Are you ready to learn how to open your own gym and make it successful?

Keep reading to find out how to build your own fitness center frugally.


Have a Business Plan

A gym is going to cost a lot of money to open, and you need to have a plan in place before you open your doors.

Your business plan will be your roadmap to a successful business. You can spell out what you do, why you do it, and who your target market is.

You have to also know your demographic. This is critical to understand for a number of reasons. You have to make sure that your demographics exist around your gym’s location.

The other reason why you have to know your demographic is to get your marketing right. You’re in a highly competitive space, and you have to separate yourself from the pack.

The most important part of the business plan is the financial plan. Your job is to outline every expense to startup your gym. You also have to lay out all of your monthly operating costs and show how you plan to make enough money each month.


What’s Your Business Model?

There are a number of different business models for gyms today and a number of different revenue streams.

The traditional gym model is to sell memberships and personal training. This model is common in a big box gym.

If you go this route, you’d have to decide what your price point is and who your competition is. On the low end are the $10 a month gyms. These gyms rely on a high amount of volume to make money.

At the other end of the spectrum is Equinox, which is a high-end membership gym that costs between $150 to $200 a month.

There are also gyms like VillaSport that are more family resorts than gyms. They include activities and everything you could think of for a family.

Outside of the gym model, there are boutique gyms that offer classes. There’s a membership fee, but members go for classes instead of figuring out how to use the machines.

Whatever your business model is, you need to make sure that you know how much space you’ll need.


Franchise vs Independent

Many gym owners see a lot of advantages in becoming a franchisee. To open up a franchise, you pay a fee for the right to open up one (or several) gyms in a specified location.

In exchange for the franchise fee, you get a system to run the business. You also have a lot of brand awareness on your side too. Some franchises will give additional marketing and PR support.

The downside is that the franchise doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility in terms of the equipment you choose, the colors, the layout, and marketing of the gym.

As an independent gym owner, you're in total control of the business. You're responsible for all of the pieces too. That includes building up an unknown brand, which can take years to do.


Pick a Location

You want to pick a location that's easily accessible and has a lot of parking. Your location also needs to be large enough to fulfill the vision you have for your gym.

Your location should have a high-density population within your demographic. Studies show that most people will drive less than five miles to the gym.

You may want to consider buying the building outright because it gives you additional protection if the gym fails. At the very least, you’ll have an asset that appreciates, which you can sell. Another option is to rent it out to another business.

Of course, you don’t see yourself failing in your new venture. Consider this smart financial security that's great in the long-term.


Get Financing

You’ll need to renovate your space and purchase equipment once you have your location locked down. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough operating funds while you’re building up the business.

You can get financing from a number of places. You can apply for a small business loan, or you could get a grant in your local small business community. Another option is to work with investors.

All of them will want to see your business plan to make sure you have a sound idea and that it’s going to be profitable.


Get Your Marketing in Order

Your marketing needs to start well before you open your doors. You should start to get members as soon as you have your location and financing locked down.

You can do that by using social media marketing to promote your gym. Share your vision and position your gym as the new business in the neighborhood. It’s a great way to get people to check out the space and to sign up early.

Marketing needs to focus on retention strategies for your gym. Most gyms will lose as much as half of their members during the year.

That means you’re always going to have to find new members. Instead of marketing to find new members, market your business to keep the ones you have.


Know How to Open Your Own Gym

The fitness industry is growing at a fast pace, but it’s also more competitive than ever. If you want to open your own gym or fitness studio, you have to have the right pieces in place.

How to open your own gym starts with the business plan. It then goes to finding the location and getting financing. You’ll want to start marketing well before you open your doors.

Are you ready for more great business tips? Check out the site again for more frugal business and marketing articles.

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