Attention here if you’ve always desired to start your own gym or fitness business. It’s beautiful to know what you want to do as a business. Firstly, because it resonates well with you. Secondly, it opens another stream of income for you.
Talking about streams of income, the fitness industry is lucrative and provides a secure career for anyone in the US who wants to make money from their passion.
The United States has the single largest fitness and gym studio market in the world. This may be why you want to venture into opening your gym center. But setting up a business in the fitness industry requires more than your love for it. You must be ready to put in the hard work.
What is a Fitness Business?
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A fitness business is a type of business that is focused on helping people get body vitality, wellness, and overall body maintenance. It involves opening a facility with gym equipment where people pay to work out. While working out, they can get defined exercise classes and other associated wellness services.
The fitness business would include personal trainers, gym and fitness center owners, fitness equipment suppliers, orthotics, etc.
What is the Average Cost of Opening a Gym Center in the United States?
The average cost of opening a gym studio is between $30,000 – $125,000 depending on the space, scope, and type.
Steps on How to Start a Gym or Fitness Business.
Setting up a gym business takes the following steps:
1. Decide What Fitness Business Niche You Want to Operate
Identifying your fitness business niche speeds up the process of starting strong. If it is a gym studio you want to operate, there are 5 types of gym centers you may consider:
- Membership Gym: The membership gym is the type where your client pays monthly to use the gym services daily.
- 24-hour Access Gym: This type of gym facility opens round the clock. Clients who were unable to come during the standard business hours can make use of this.
- CrossFit Gym: A CrossFit gym is more than a regular gym center. It is a gym facility that provides more intensified functional body movement – cross-fit training.
- Training Gym: This type of gym facility specifically gives her clients training for different fitness activities such as aerobic training, flexibility, mobility, balance, and stability training.
- Bootcamp Gym: This type of gym conducts group physical training programs for other organizations or groups.
Whichever your fitness niche is, different from owning a gym facility, you still have to define your specialty. Whether you are starting as a personal trainer or opening a gym equipment showroom.
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2. Create a Fitness Business Plan and Select a Business Entity
The secret to a successful business operation is the ability to identify your business strengths and maximize your potential. Creating a fitness business plan is necessary if you want to have a place in the industry. The business plan is the one-stop document for the details of the business.
Selecting a business entity is another important aspect of starting a gym or fitness business. Picking a limited liability company offers liability protection for your business. You may also decide to stay as a sole proprietor to operate the fitness business you want to start.
3. Get the Training and Accreditation
Let’s assume you pick the interest to start a fitness business because of your passion for helping people stay fit and healthy. The next thing is to identify the niche of the business you want to operate in. This makes it easier for you to know the right qualification to obtain.
A medical fitness and wellness center, for example, is associated with medical qualifications, so a background in medicine or a related field is required to operate the business. The bottom line is to get trained and certified in line with your fitness business idea.
4. Find the Proper Business Location
Your business location is a vital step to consider in line with factors such as target market, visibility, competition, and business size.
Since the advent of social distancing and work-from-home rules, businesses like fitness centers recognize the need for virtual platforms. So, while you find a good location for your brick-and-mortar, also get an online store where you can sell your services.
5. Get the Necessary Licenses, Permits, and Insurance Packages
Starting a gym business in the United States follows the same procedures as every other business. You need to check with the local area and state to get information about permits and licenses required for owning a gym studio in the locality.
A certificate of occupancy is required to confirm all building codes, zoning laws, and government regulations of the business property. Except it’s on a lease, then you have to confirm with the land owner for the certificate of occupancy.
In addition, obtain liability release contracts and waivers to make customers take responsibility and for the business to avoid frivolous lawsuits between the gym and customers. Purchasing business liability insurance will insulate situations of clients’ injuries, and cases of stolen or damaged equipment.
6. Get Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The EIN is required to obtain certain benefits:
- Filing tax information
- Hiring employees
- Opening a business bank account
- Speeding up loans
To get your EIN immediately, you can apply with the IRS online.
7. Finance Your Gym Business
The next step after acquiring the space is to fund the business. It’s quite challenging getting past the operational costs and initial expenses. This is why you need to identify your financing options for the business. There are different avenues to raise funds as you need to purchase necessary equipment and staffing.
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8. Market the Business
After everything is in place, your gym needs a marketing plan to drive massive sales organically. Utilize available marketing tools such as local advertising, digital marketing, and special offers to reach a new audience.