Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Fitness Center
If you’re looking to start your fitness center, whether it’s as part of an existing business or as its entity, you’ll need to be aware of the problems you may face while starting your business. To help you avoid running into these types of issues, follow the steps outlined below to start your fitness center.
Table of Contents
Finding the Right Location
Deciding where you want your fitness center to be is one of the first and most essential steps in opening your own business. A good location is the key to success; if it’s hard for people who live around you to get there, then they won’t go. If it’s too hard for them to find, they won’t go either. Take into account parking, safety, and visibility when choosing a location.
Before you open your fitness center, there are some necessities your business needs. You’ll want a set of dumbbells, medicine balls, and resistance bands at a minimum. Depending on what services you plan on offering clients, you may also want a treadmill, elliptical machine, and stability ball; these items can help with cardio training and functional strength routines. The equipment can cost thousands of dollars, especially since you’ll buy not just one but at least five to eight of each piece of equipment. You can seek help from a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender who will allow you to secure financing if traditional options are unavailable. No matter the loan option you choose, you must be able to demonstrate how much money will come in when you open your business.
Getting the Right Staff
There’s a reason your local gym has a pool of qualified instructors at its disposal; it’s difficult to find and retain good talent. Employers say top-notch candidates should possess outstanding communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and high levels of energy and flexibility. You will need trainers and people who can handle the gym even when you’re not there.
Setting Up Membership Levels
Membership levels are one of the many ways a fitness center can charge people for their use of its facilities. When you set up membership levels, you’re determining how much people have to pay for certain types of access to your fitness center. There are many options available when setting up membership levels. People who want to use your fitness center regularly could sign up for annual memberships or even lifetime memberships; however, if someone only wants occasional access to your gym, they could pay per visit or even per class.
Promoting Yourself Online
There are many ways you can promote your fitness center and get people interested in joining. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google are free marketing resources. You can ask your friends to join and post reviews online about it! Make a website for yourself and make sure it’s optimized for mobile devices. Mobile devices are now responsible for more than half of all internet traffic, so make sure your business is set up to cater to mobile visitors by making your site easy to view on these smaller screens. Whether you have an actual physical fitness center, there is still plenty of work involved in starting a successful personal training business. You need to do some research before launching into making flyers or setting up ads around town.
Charging for Classes, Packages, and More
Before you have clients and customers, it’s not a bad idea to figure out how you will charge for your services. For example, if you’re going into business as a personal trainer, are you charging hourly or by session? Will there be packages available? What about membership discounts? Keep in mind that these decisions will impact what equipment and facilities are necessary for your studio. Additionally, you should decide on your cancellation policy and discounts depending on the length of their membership.
Keeping Track of Your Business Expenses
One of the main reasons entrepreneurs fail is because they don’t keep a detailed record of their income and expenses. The truth is, running a business isn’t easy. There will be some months when you make more money than others. You will want to be sure that your fitness center makes enough so that you can survive those lean times; otherwise, you could end up with no way to pay your bills and very few prospects for making any money at all.
Remaining Consistent With Your Service
Even after creating an inviting and competitive fitness center, it will be necessary to remain consistent with your service. Well, first of all, make sure each one of your employees is on board with your philosophy and is qualified to run a gym with you. Any inconsistency or confusion can quickly lead to a faltering gym—and in worst-case scenarios, it could even get people hurt. You want customers going to your fitness center because they know they can trust you and depend on you—not because they’re disappointed with their workout experience.
If you want to open a gym, there are many things you need to consider to be successful. You will have difficulty if you only focus on one aspect of your business, so take time and make sure all pieces are accounted for. Write down as much information as possible, and don’t stop until you’ve documented everything that can affect your business. Go through these steps before opening your fitness center, and enjoy success!