Are you thinking about opening a gym? Are you curious where to start? The truth is, there are plenty of places you can start when opening a gym, or any business.
You’ll find, though, the most important place to start is with yourself.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself before opening a gym. Your answers to each should help you determine if you’re ready or tell you what you need to work on.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes?
Owning a gym will be a commitment. It will take a lot of your time, energy, and money. If you aren’t willing to come in early and stay late a night then it might not be for you. This doesn’t mean this will always be the case but when you first start out you can pretty much count on it.
Even when you’ve owned your gym for years you’re still responsible for the way it looks. Sure you can hire staff to keep it clean but no one will care as much as you do. No one will be as thorough as you would be. At times you might find yourself cleaning toilets, washing towels, or cleaning up after customers.
If this doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in then you may want to think twice.
Are you ready to be a business owner?
Firstly, you need to make sure you have the funds to own and operate your business. If you don’t have the funds or a way to get the funds wait until do.
Owning a gym means you will wear many different hats. Some days you will be the CEO, others you’ll be the receptionist, and as mentioned above sometimes you’ll be a one-person cleaning crew.
As a business owner you’ll need to have a business plan. Does this business plan include a business partner or team of investors? That’s something you’ll need to figure out.
No one expects you to know everything from the start. The more research you do and the better you know what you want out of your company the more likely you are to get it.
Are you willing to take advice?
If so, you’ll learn a lot. If not, it’s going to be rough. Talk to as many past and current gym owners as you can. Learn as much as you can from seasoned pros. Figure out what they did wrong and what they did right. Learning from others mistakes is a sure way to prevent a costly failure.
Learning what works can help you gain an advantage that could have taken you years to figure out on your own.
Are you okay with the negatives?
Owning a gym won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. You’ll need to be prepared for broken equipment, moody staff members, rude customers, and pushy sales people. You’ll need to learn to keep your cool in high stress situations. You’ll have to play nice to avoid losing customers or giving yourself a bad name.
There’s also the matter of delegating tasks. While you’ll want to do everything yourself letting others do the work you hire them to do will be more difficult than you might realize.
Are you doing it for the right reason?
This is absolutely the most important question to ask yourself. Along with, do you truly care about fitness? Do you want to help others succeed? Or, are you only in it for the money?
There isn’t a lot of money when you first start out in the gym business, and there won’t be for a while. Not until you have a well known brand people trust. When you can prove you care and can be trusted that’s when you’ll bring in the big bucks.
If you’re only in the gym business for the money then you better leave now. People will see right through your corporate mindset and won’t give you the time of day.
There are a lot of people out there that want to own a gym. The honest truth is it isn’t for everyone. You have to be able to accept the bad along with the good. You have to commit to seeing your gym succeed. There’s tons of competition out there.
You’ll have to fight for your customers and give the best experience to gain new members. If you don’t give 100% then you might not make it as a gym owner.
It’s not all bad though. As long as your heart is in the right place, and you’re willing to put in the work, you’re sure to succeed.