In 2018, over 62 million Americans frequented gyms across the country according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. This number has steadily been increasing in recent years. No doubt that this is thanks to a societal shift in health awareness and self-care. And this translates well into healthy bottom lines for businesses in the industry. If you’re thinking about cutting a piece of this pie by starting your own gym, here’s what you need to know.
The Right Certification
Although you technically don’t need a professional fitness certification before starting your own gym, the approval of certain organizations will definitely give your place more credibility and appeal. Consider getting accredited by groups like the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) or The American Council on Exercise (ACE). Getting certified by these organizations will not only help you get clients, you can also use this to help you secure loans for your business.
You can also get certified in a personal capacity. This will help you understand the industry better. It’s one thing to frequent a gym and another to care about how everything is run. A personal certification will also give you access to a network of peers and potential clients.
The Right Location
Like most businesses, your location can make or break your gym. Understanding your target market is key in determining the best location. Ideally, you’d set up shop where you’ll be visible to people who have already taken interest in working out. A gym near a popular running trail is a good spot. You can also target office workers in the city by choosing a spot close to their daily commute or foot path.
You’ll also need to consider the size of your business. Securing a location with high traffic and visibility usually means more expensive rent. Make sure your budget can cover these costs while maintaining reasonable expectations about your return on investment and timeline projections.
The Right Equipment
A standard gym usually has free weights and cardio equipment. These won’t be cheap so choosing the right ones is crucial. It will help to remember that you don’t have to have all the equipment at opening day. Find out what the essentials are and use your budget to acquire them first. You can upgrade to more specialized equipment in the future. Like in most cases, better quality should be the choice instead of quantity.
Another expense that definitely won’t be cheap is liability. Securing the right equipment ensures safer workouts and in effect, less liability. Of course, even the best equipment won’t be safe if your clients don’t know how to properly use them. Aside from always having someone stand by to assist, also consider putting up information posters.
The Right Business Plan
Your future plans should involve more than getting better equipment. The health industry’s growth offers a unique opportunity to business owners to maximize earnings while giving your clients the tools they need to develop their well-being. Expansion can mean opening in more locations or venturing into complementary businesses like health cafes, sports, and health spas. You can explore other health and wellness franchise opportunities for the future.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a business mindset while having health and fitness at the heart of your operations. Take advantage of this time and set your gym up for success.