Opening a new gym, or any business, is hard work. You have to make sure you have as much as possible in place to ensure a smooth operation. If you fail to pay attention to the details and only focus on the bigger picture you could be dealing with a nightmare.

Here are 5 things you should have in place before you even think about opening the doors to your gym.


Some say ‘money is the root of all evil’. While this may be true money also helps you buy things. Everything. If you don’t have the funds to open your new gym set aside you’re already in bad shape as a new business owner. You need funds to do everything with your new gym. You need it to open a location, buy equipment, hire staff, advertise, and of course pay yourself.

You need to figure out where your startup funds are coming from. Do you have money put away in a savings account? Will you be taking out a small business loan? Do you have a few investors lined up and ready to start a new company? Wherever your funds are coming from make sure they show up.

Business Partner

Deciding whether you should have a business partner isn’t something you should dwell on. Chances are if you don’t already have someone in mind, you’re better off on your own.

The benefits to having a business partner are more funds at the start, another person to bounce ideas off of, and an added perspective. However, with the benefits come the negatives. This includes the added risk of argument, breaking of trust, and getting burned.

Make sure if you decide to have a business partner you sign a contract or agreement. Each party involved should know exactly what is expected of them and what they can and can’t do.

Business Plan

Having a business plan for any business you run is highly important. Your business plan should lie out exactly what you plan to do with your company. What will your financial goals be? What do you plan to make per month? What are all of the expenses you’ll incur? This includes taxes, insurance, zoning, repairs, maintenance fees, and more.

As the owner you’ll need to decide how much you want to make per year, how much staff you want to employ, and how big your gym is going to be. You should also decide whether you want to seek legal council or keep a CPA on deck for any financial advice. Figure out a plan to keep track of your spending.


Another thing to have in mind is what you want your gym to look like. What is its name going to be? How do you want your logo to look? Is there a certain color scheme you have in mind? Deciding on all of these before you open is a must. If you don’t know your gym’s brand how do you expect anyone else to remember it?

Along with your branding you’ll need to decide on advertising. How, where, and to who will you advertise? Do you plan on placing ads on Facebook or at your local supplement or smoothie chain?

You have to be able to tell people what makes your gym better than any other gym they might decide to go to. If you can’t do that then it isn’t time to open your doors. 

Set Location

Lastly, you’ll need to decide on a location. You’ll need to figure out whether you want to build, buy, or rent a gym space. No matter what you do it’s important you stick to your budget. Remember, starting your gym doesn’t stop with renting the space. You still have to buy equipment, hire staff, and keep the utilities on. Don’t blow your entire budget on a space you can’t afford or else you’ll set yourself up for failure.

Where you build, buy, or rent your gym is imperative to the business you will do. You don’t want to put your gym two blocks away from a big named gym, or you’ll get crushed. You also don’t want to put your gym too far from neighborhoods, or else no one will show up.

Obviously these aren’t the only things you need when starting up a new gym but they are important. If you ignore any of these you may be spelling disaster for your new business before it even opens its doors.

If you want a complete checklist on things you’ll need to open a local gym, check out our comprehensive write up Opening Your Own Local Gym.