Many people are wishing to be fit and healthy these days. It includes getting into more exercise. Those who do not own any fitness equipment for this often purchase a membership in a gym or fitness centre. Starting a gym or fitness centre is not an easy job. But it is a very remunerative business if you are ready to put on your hard work to it.

Fitness centre or gyms are emerging as a profitable business in recent years. People are moving towards a fit lifestyle today. Different types of people are joining the fitness centers with different motivations. It is necessary to understand the motives and keep up with trends before setting up gym business. 

The Fitness Industry in the USA

The US industry includes about 34,000 fitness and recreational centre established (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $30 billion.

Many of the gym or fitness centre employ very less or no staff which addition reduces the start-up cost and barriers to entry is low. With proper skills, training, and commitments, starting a fitness centre can be a successful business plan. 

Get an Idea About Why you Want to Start a Fitness Center or Gym

Get a clear understanding of why you want to open a fitness centre. Be honest with yourself on the idea of your starting a gym or fitness centre that will help you to maintain a focus on your goal and it will be a successful enterprise or else won’t last long in the business.

The idea of starting a fitness center should come out from love and passion if you want you to last longer in the business. Make sure you go through all the possibilities and determine to start a fitness center or gym is a good choice for you.

Do Market Research

Before starting a gym business don’t skip the market research phase. Talk to other fitness owners to know how and what it takes to keep up with the business. Getting ideas and education who is already successful in that field will help you save your time and lots of energy in the longer.

Learn about your opportunities, what locations are available, what is the start-up cost for the business, what is the competition, who are the targeted customers, what all the equipment you’ll need? Find out all the answers to these questions before you start a fitness center.

Let’s look into the things you need to consider and understand before you get into this business:-

  • Business idea: Before starting any business, you need to have an idea in place and have to offer something that no one else has offered before; something that no other fitness center focuses on. You need to have a unique business idea that makes your business stand out. There may be hundreds of businesses just like the one you are going to start but your unique business idea will make you different from others.
  • Competition:  You must be aware of your competition. Unless you know what is your competitors are doing, you will not be able to survive in the business for long. Check if there is competition in the area of your fitness center. What you offer to your clients and what makes you different from others. You can offer your clients discounts and other facilities which will make them attracted to your fitness and they can choose you over your competition.
  • Goals: Before you start any business plan, you should be clear in your mind with your objectives. You can have short- term and long- term goals. Your primary goal should be to start your business with some special inputs and when you have complete clarity and focus on the goal you have, you can succeed in any business and especially the kind as a gym business where you offer to take care of lifestyle challenges.
  • Technology: Technology is something you should never compromise with when you are starting with a new business. You must choose the right technologies that will help you run your business very smoothly.
  • Money: You will require a fair amount of money to start any business. Starting a Gym is a comparatively expensive business plan. Fitness equipment is costly and you will also need money for operating your day to day activity. If you have taken your gym venue for rent, you will have bare monthly expenses. Hiring skilled staff, you have to pay them well; marketing your gym everything will need enough money.

Steps Involved in Starting a Gym Business are as Follows:-

#1. To Decide What Kind of Fitness Center you Want to Start

There are different kinds of fitness centers that you get to choose as your gym. You should decide and select one among them to set up as your business.

(i) Specialty fitness centre: 

These fitness centers are specialised in any one fitness activity such as yoga, cycling, pilates, etc. This type of fitness center will have an instructor who is certified in that activity. These fitness centers can be quite expensive due to their specialised services. They can provide monthly packages and membership to their clients.

(ii) Traditional fitness centre:

These fitness centers may provide all fitness activities under one roof. They may provide fitness classes, personal training, cardio, and many more. They can also provide extra services for an extra fee.

(iii) Medical fitness centre:

They provide physical therapy and other services that help them to recover from their health issues. These kinds of fitness centers will be associated with the hospitals and doctor’s offices who will have the skilled and specialised staff which will know about managing those clients. They provide services and recommendations. They also provide classes for mental wellness.

(iv) Family fitness centre:

The family fitness center involves athletic and country clubs. They provide group fitness classes, personal training to adults, teenagers, and children. They also provide other amenities such as massages, tanning, steam-room for an extra fee.

You decide you want to start a profitable fitness center or non-profitable fitness center. If you are willing to start on- profitable fitness center they provide services to those community members who cannot afford to pay the full price. They provide discounts in the family wellness center. They do not provide as many discounts in the profitable fitness center.

#2. Get Trained

Make sure you are properly trained before starting a fitness center. You should be very well experienced to guide your client in your very own gym. Clients coming to your gym will look up to your knowledge and skill you have while training them and helping them keep up with their fitness. It is better if you have trained some people before as a personal trainer before you start your own gym business.

There is a different certification fitness course you can choose to do and make sure the staff you hire should also be certified with fitness courses and experienced enough to train your clients as well.

#3. Find the Location

Once you decide what kind of fitness center to start you need to search for the proper location and how much space you will need for your requirement. It is important to consider how many clients you prefer to provide service before selecting a location. A good location is key for a successful business. If you find a location with easy access you can get more of clients to your gym.

It is good that you select an area with a highly educated population who are more attracted to a fit lifestyle. The location is worth paying more money if the business opportunity is seen.

Even if you do not find a good gym location, your business model and your marketing strategies should make up for it. Have your plans ready in case anything goes wrong anywhere. 

#4. Finding Out the Staff and Equipment you will Need

Before you hire staff for your fitness center, check their training and experience properly. Ask them the questions in the interview to check with their knowledge. Check their skill and personal training before hiring them as your employees permanently. Good staff will help you to keep up with your clients and meeting their requirements.

While hiring, you need to understand that your staff should be able to take up actions and decisions on their own when it comes to the client’s fitness model or regime.

Figure out the equipment you need to start your gym. You should also look into the latest fitness technology before understanding your need before purchasing. Then you need to decide if you want to buy or rent the equipment. Then check if it is feasible for you to lease the equipment for the long term because it might end up costing you more.

#5. Get Financed

You should have sufficient finance to start any business plan. Check out the best resource planning to manage the money to operate your business. If you are not starting a fitness center by own finance, then getting funding is a good option for you. You should be in good financial shape to get finance. Any financial agencies that provide finances will look to your previous years of the tax return and financial statements. Have them corrected so that you can skip all trouble.

You will also have the option of gym equipment financing if you are starting your fitness center with loans or credit money. If you are looking for start-up funding you will have many options of getting loans from various sources you can also take a personal loan.

#6. Get Necessary Permits and Insurance

If you need to operate your gym in your state and locality, there are certain business licenses and permits you will require. You should follow those guidelines and regulations outlined by governing agencies to start a fitness center.

Once you get the necessary permits then you need the certificate of occupancy. It confirms that all the government regulations are met. If you are leasing your gym then it is the responsibility of your landlord to provide the certificate of occupancy. You also need to get an EIN (employer identification number) and state tax identification number. You will need the employer identification number for various reasons.

Get insurance to protect your business in case customers meet with an accident while using your equipment. You can also cover your cost if your equipment gets stolen or damaged.

#7. Market your Fitness Center

Once your gym is set-up, you need to promote your business in a place where customers spend time. It helps you to build a solid customer base. You can hire people for the marketing of your business. If you can’t afford that then do it on your own. You can use social media platforms to promote your gym. You can launch a promotional website for your fitness center, you can sponsor a fitness event at your gym.

You can also provide membership discounts and free guest passes and other marketing initiatives to attract the clients.


If you are looking some business to invest in, given the lifestyle challenges each one of us faces every day, a fitness center is something that you can try to understand and if you are convinced with the business model it needs and if you think you can develop it, you should take a chance in it. It will not dishearten you in any way. 

If you market your business right, in no time you can earn a lot of profit from your gym or fitness center. If people like the model you use for your fitness center and by pitching it to the right people in the right way, you will get not just loads of customers flowing in, but several investors willing to split your investment too.

If you are lucky you might even be able to open up a chain of your fitness centers in no time.

Similar Posts