The rise of health and fitness chains all over the world it is a proof that most people are willing to dedicate a lot of their time and money to just get in shape especially as obesity rates hit record levels.
In light of these facts, it is clear that opening a gym business is the timely idea for entrepreneurs who know how to spot opportunities.
If you believe in this idea (and would like to know the nitty-gritty of opening up a successful local neighborhood gym) then this guide will provide you with tips for ultimate success.
Formulating A Local Gym Business Plan
When starting a gym, it is extremely important to construct a good business plan. A plan simply shows that you have thought about the idea of starting your gym clearly and you are not just winging it or riding on emotion.
It further helps you to consolidate all your resources as you work towards a laser-focused objective. A few important pointers to consider when formulating a business plan include:
You have to think of how you will market your new gym like what services or enticements will be used as a marketing tool to draw members from the competitors’ gym.
You’ll want to determine the demographics for the area your gym will serve. This will help you make your advertising more targeted and focused.
S.W.O.T & Trends Analysis
After scanning the market, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
What weaknesses does your competition face? Can you work through those weaknesses to establish your brand? What strengths do you possess (e.g. do you have a background in this industry)? Can you use these strengths to take a commanding lead in the market?
Lastly, you need to consider market trends.
How has the industry been faring? How have other gyms been performing over the last few years?
To create a good business plan you may require expert assistance. This will help you capture all the necessary details.
Legal Requirements For Running A Gym
You cannot operate a successful business if you do not have the right legal documents. So, before you even think of implementing other ideas take time to understand the paperwork that is involved in starting out.
Basically, you need to focus on the following documents and licenses:
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
This is a unique nine digit number that identifies your gym business for tax purposes. It is one of the key requirements when starting a new business. As a gym owner you will also need it to open your business bank account.
Applying for an EIN is quite easy because the application can also befilled out online through the IRSor via email or fax where upon completion you receive your EIN. There is no charge for this service therefore you should be aware of Internet scams that will try to sell you EIN application services.
The process of applying for business license may somewhat be complex since different states tend to have varying requirements for specific licenses needed to operate a local gym but this should not worry you.
Just consult with your local business licensing authorities to get an idea of the specific laws that apply to your region.
Registering Your Business with Federal & State Authorities
You need to register with federal and state taxes authorities to pay taxes. The tax situation both at the state level and local authority level may vary depending on the locality of your gym business and can also vary based on specific tax laws.
Consult with your local and state tax authorities for detailed tax information.
Registering Your Gym’s Business Name
It is important to register the ideal name of your gym business just like most other enterprises. The process of registering your business name is not complex although it may vary from place to place.
If your business is sole-proprietorship, then you can simply register it under your name.
Once again, the rules and regulations for registering a business name may vary from one state to the next.
Acquire Business Insurance Before Opening Your Gym
Obtaining business insurance for your gym is vital in case someone using your gym is injured in the process of working out. This sometimes can be a must requirement if you want to operate a gym depending on the state laws.
Even more good reason, since high intensity exercise occurs on a near-constant basis, injury is always inevitable even when great safety rules are observed.
Other Legal Requirements of Starting A Gym
Employer Registrations: This is essential if you have any employees. It requires you to make unemployment insurance contribution.
Daycare License: If your gym has a play area or daycare where children can play while their parents work out, it is important to apply for a daycare license to ensure both you and them are protected.
Popular cities to open a gym in Alabama include Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile.Click through hereto get more information on starting a business in Alabama.
Popular cities to open a gym in Alaska include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau.Click through hereto get more information on starting a business in Alaska.
Popular cities to open a gym in Arizona include Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa. Check this websiteto get more informationon starting a business in Arizona.
Popular cities to open a gym in Arkansas include Little Rock, Fayetteville, and Fort Smith. Go through here toget more infoon starting a business in Arkansas.
Popular cities to open a gym in California include Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose. Click through here to get more information onstarting a business in California.
Popular cities to open a gym in Colorado include Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Click throughhereto get more information on starting a business in Colorado.
Popular cities to open a gym in Connecticut include Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford.Click through hereto get more information on starting a business in Connecticut.
Popular cities to open a gym in Delaware include Wilmington, Newark, and Dover. Clickthrough hereto get more information on starting a business in Delaware.
Popular cities to open a gym in Virginia include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake. Click through here to get more information onopening a businessin Virginia.
Popular cities to start a gym in Washington include Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma.Visit this pageto get more information on starting a business in Washington.
Popular cities to start a gym in West Virginia include Charleston, Huntington, and Parkersburg.Go to this linkto get more information on starting a business in West Virginia.
Popular cities to start a gym in Wisconsin include Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. Click here to get more information onopening your own businessin Wisconsin.
Popular cities to start a gym in Wyoming include Cheyenne and Casper. Get more information here onopening a businessin Wyoming.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. From choosing the right location, to buying the right kind of fitness equipment, be sure to leave no stone unturned when opening a new gym.
Estimate & Secure Start Up Capital
Everything to do with opening a gym requires money. You need to be armed with enough money to survive through the ‘startup storms’ as your business gradually takes over the market.
Start-up capital will vary from location to location, but at bare minimum you should set aside $350,000 if you are in an expensive city. If you are planning to open a state-of-the-art gym facility then you will need much more than that no doubt to build out your facility.
If you don’t have this money upfront then you can look at other options like financing, angel investors, or venture capitalists to provide the support.
Secure The Right Location
The foremost step to open a gym is identification of the right location. Ideally, you should set up your business in a place with good visibility, easy access, and parking facilities.
It is ideal to open in an area with very few fitness options providing the same offerings as you. Note that there are many barriers that are involved in picking the right location and so you need to have patience to negotiate your way around various offers.
Rent prices should also be at the forefront of your mind. In high end areas, rent may be very expensive. So unless you own your gym’s building outright, be sure to find and negotiate for the best deal possible.
Plan Your Marketing In Advance
Branding is everything in business and you can take two options to this effect. The first option is to start branding from scratch through online marketing or local marketing.
You need to put in lots of effort in order to build a brand that sells.
The second option involves franchising. When you operate a franchise, you essentially operate under a large chain which has many other locations across the country. Because the parent company is already established, you will have an easier time getting found and known.
The main drawback of franchising, however, is that some of the profit margin from your gym will go to the mother company. So, consider your options wisely.
Get The Right Gym Equipment
We recommend buying used gym equipment when just starting out versus trying to buy brand new. The main benefit of used gym equipmentis that it is typically near-new quality and requires a much lower amount of capital outlay.
Purchasing used gym equipment gives you full confidence you can properly equip your gym without spending all your start up capital.
Plus, in a worse case scenario, you operate assured that should the business fail you will not have to be penalized for not complying with leasing terms associated with leased equipment.
Moreover, you can own it forever if you want or resell it in order to upgrade when you’re ready.
Indoor gym equipment
Regarding exercise equipment, the best gyms in the world are those that offer a variety of equipment options to their clientele. Most people come to the gym to build strength, flexibility and cardio.
You’ll need a collection of equipment to cover all these objectives.
Free weights such as barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells for resistance training. Other free weights that are a must have in a successful gym include: squat racks, bench presses, dead-lift mats, dip racks and racks for dumbbells.
Cardio machines are also an integral part to your gym. For this reason you need to invest in stationary bikes, treadmills and stair masters. These are just but a few examples of machines you should consider to investing in.
Consider Offering Fitness Classes
You don’t have to limit yourself to gym related lessons. You can expand your course to include other important lifestyle fitness classes such as boot camps and martial arts classes.
Zumba, Pilates and Yoga are other popular classes that you can implement in order to attract a wider audience to your gym.
Hire Personal Trainers
Trainers are one of the most important components of any gym. For this reason you need to get your interviewing on point in order to bring the right team on board. Remember, your employees are the true face of your company and they need to be professional, friendly, and healthy.
Most importantly, they should be responsible individuals who are capable of ensuring fair usage of equipment and protection of your company’s assets. Alongside trainers, you may need to hire front desk staff to handle checking members in and admin duties for the gym.
You may also need to get some training (if you’re not a fitness expert already) just to get in sync with what is happening in the industry.
Avoid Common Mistakes
80% of new businesses don’t live to see their 5th year. This being the case, it is important to put in place adequate measures right from the starting point.
One mistake you need to be particularly keen on is spending too much time in the gym training instead of focusing on building your business. As the business owner, you need to take marketing more seriously than anything else.
At the same time you need to be very keen on feedback. In most cases we tend to believe so much in our ideas that we mistakenly think that everyone is motivated and in line with our brand equally. We often end up championing for our own interests instead of meeting customers’ expectations first.
Well, in the case of running of gym you need to be very keen to listen to your customer feedback. So be open to new ideas and keep improving your services and offerings.
Another big turn-off to some clients is related to the organization and layout of the gym. Most of the times we build gyms that mostly favor the trainers instead of the everyday people.
Avoid committing this mistake by making sure your gym is suitable even to beginners and everyday users.
Remember that any successful business requires a great deal of commitment on the owner’s part in order to rise beyond the challenges of a start up.
This level of commitment is particularly necessary when important decisions such as selection of location, equipment and staff have to be made.
We hope the points discussed in this guide will help you get off on the right foot with opening your own local gym!
Starting Your Own Local Gym?
We can help you get your gym stocked with high-quality used gym equipment.
We can also provide special financing that can help you manage cash flow.