Tips and Advice For Starting a Gym
You’re either in the process of considering your own gym, or you’ve already taken the leap and the ball is rolling – what now? While taking the first step is always the hardest, there’s plenty of hard work to come with your own gym. It wasn’t easy for us to build the best gym in Tucson, but we did it and you can accomplish similar success in your city. Luckily, we have experience in this area and would love to provide you with some advice to ensure your gym is successful in the months and years ahead!
Just because gyms have a relaxed atmosphere and you like the idea of being able to work out for free, this doesn’t mean you should be neglecting the business side of things. In the past, we’ve seen far too many gym owners who were too casual and it eventually led to the demise of the business.
• Who is your competition?
• What is your unique selling point (USP)? Why should people choose you?
• Where will you advertise? How do you reach out to your target market?
• How many memberships do you need to cover running costs?
• How many staff members will you need on the rota?
• Will you offer training to your fitness trainers?
• What are your monthly costs?
• Do you need startup investment from an external source?
With a mission statement and a strong business plan as the backbone of the business, everything else will fall into place.
Network with Others
You’re not the first person to open a gym, nor will you be the last, so why not network with people who have already been through the process? While the internet will only tell you so much, successful gym owners will know the minutiae of what it takes to be successful. From lockers to seating areas, parking to gym classes, they’ll provide insights into the smallest details.
Seek Professional Help
Even if you’ve managed a gym for many years, there’s nothing wrong with contacting professionals who can help to get the business off the ground (and help keep it there!). For example, an attorney or an advisor will help with topics such as insurance. How will you protect your employees and gym-goers?
Find Passionate Staff
What about the actual operations side of the business? Above all else, we recommend surrounding yourself with passionate and professional staff. While it might seem a good idea to hire family members and friends, this can be saved for later when you have more security (especially when they don’t have experience in your industry!).
With people who have experience and the right qualifications, starting your own gym suddenly becomes a journey you can venture together. If they’re dedicated to the cause, they’ll be willing to work late, do early morning classes, and everything they can to make sure the first few months are a success. Rather than having no support and doing everything yourself, choose a brilliant team to share the workload.
It seems to be a fact of life in the business world that profit is hard to come by in the first year. Therefore, while on a budget, take advantage of the free tools available to you. With social media, you can create a page and appeal to the community within minutes. If you post interesting facts, stats, and images, you’ll soon get attention and your gym will be thriving. Don’t forget, more people are searching for services on social media than ever before. Most accounts are free to open, and social platforms like Facebook offer small businesses an opportunity to reach a vast audience. Check out the Boxing Inc Facebook page for ideas on creating and managing a social media profile.
With these tips, you’ll progress nicely after opening. For additional advice, we also recommend;
• Specializing in a niche – Example: Crossfit, BJJ, Personal Trainer
• Performing extensive research
• Creating a spreadsheet for costs
• Offering flexible payment options for customers
• Running REGULAR classes (no starting, stopping, and canceling)