Are you planning to start a gym or a fitness center in your locality and are you interested in knowing what it takes to build and profit from a gym and fitness center? Good, stick around until the end of the post as we elaborate all the things related to this business
Business Pitch – This is a health and fitness related business, the fitness industry is growing tremendously for the past 20 years as people are getting more and more conscious about their fitness and shape. The gym and fitness industry was worth nearly $85 billion globally last year and nearly $38 billion came from the American subcontinent, Indian fitness industry is growing at a tremendous rate of 16-18% CAGR and was worth $1.48 billion last year. So, the industry has a huge potential in the future and is a good investment in the long run.
Is the gym business suitable for everyone?
Well, the answer is yes and no. If you are a fitness coach and if you think you can run it yourself, then it is a very good choice. But if you are new to this business and are interested only in the money part, then there is always the option of getting a franchisee approval which we will talk about later.
What are the permits required to start a gym?
There are many permits and legal hurdles you need to pass to start a gym and fitness center and they vary from place to place. Normally you need to have a standard business license, safety and quality certificates, food and retail seller’s licenses (for selling supplements), building permits, insurance and an NOC from the local health department.
Getting these many permits can cost you some money and a lot of time, but don’t worry because you have crossed the hardest part. Once you get all the permits, it is easier to get the business running.
What are the requirements to start a gym?
First and foremost, you need to have a place of business. If your fitness center is located in a densely populated area, then you can expect good returns without any marketing. But if your place of business is in less dense areas or located in the outskirts of a city then you need to focus on vigorous marketing strategies which we will talk about later.
Secondly, the gym equipment. There are numerous equipment related to the gym and fitness industry like the squat racks, shoulder press machines, chest press, pec fly machine, cable towers and crossovers, situp benches, abdominal exerciser, dumbbells, clothings, etc… Choose the equipment according to your budget and requirements. There are other requirements like shower systems, bathrooms, and resting areas. If you are planning to open up a mega gym and fitness club, then you may need many staff and trainers to run the business smoothly, but if l assume that you are trying to cut costs as much as possible then it is more appropriate to run it yourself.
Thirdly and most importantly – Capital. You always need to have an extra capital just in case you need to make some changes or any equipment needs a replacement. Gym and fitness business is a seasonal business and the people who run it know it very well. So, it is always good to keep some extra cash for the rainy day and it applies to every business in the world.
Lastly you need to have a business model, figure out how much your competitors are charging for their services and plan on how you can do it better. If possible, hire a marketing company (If you are from India, then contact us so that we can get you a better marketing company to market your business successfully).
How do I market my gym center?
Have you ever gone to a gym and how did you come to know about it? Posters? Ads? or did a friend recommend you? Know what works the best for your locality. It also depends on how you interact with the customer. Some gym trainers consider their trainees as friends and some as their soldiers who need to be disciplined. See what works best for you. There is no sure shot when it comes to marketing your business. But discounts to the customer if he/she brings a new joinee seems to work everywhere, it is a win-win situation for both parties.
The real money is in selling health supplements and kits to your trainees. Most of the gyms make more by selling these supplements than subscription money from the customers. So, it is always good to have a business plan to sell these protein and vitamin supplements to the customers who need it and want it.
Have a website and a good social media presence and upload motivational and real time videos and images everyday to increase your reach. This is one of the affordable and effective marketing plans.
How much does it cost to start a gym?
You would need anywhere between 80000$ to $150,000 to start a moderate gym and fitness center in the US. The cost can vary dramatically depending on your business plan and country. But you need extra money to pay the staff, for utility bills, and for marketing your business. Take time and plan your business meticulously and make sure that you have plenty of room for adjustments in the business plan.
Pros and cons of owning a gym and fitness center
1. There is a mass shift toward a healthy lifestyle especially in the developing countries which is a good thing and the industry is also growing at a tremendous rate which opens up new opportunities for everyone
2. As you might have heard in the jokes about new year resolutions, some people just subscribe to your gym membership and never show up due to lack of motivation, which is free money for you.
3. It is a time based business, which means you can allot different time to different people or you can make batches and train more people in a single place in a single day. There are fitness centers that maintain 7- 8 batches every day.
4. You can also make a considerable amount of money from selling supplements and protein bars to your customers.
1. There is a lot of competition in the industry.
2. Customers can be assholes. Most of the people ignore this element while starting a gym, but remember that not all people come to the gym to stay fit and stay healthy and can be rude and indecent and you have to put up with it.
3. Equipment replacement and other expenses can cut your profits short.
Franchise opportunities in gym and fitness business
There are so many franchise opportunities when it comes to starting a gym. In India, the requirements for the area of business range from 600 sq ft to 8000sq ft. And capital requirements range from 500000 rupees to 2 crores. There are many franchisers who will set up everything for you and even complete the permits and other legal requirements, all you have to do is lend your land or invest your money. These types of opportunities are best suitable for venture capitalists whose only passion is money. Please research carefully and then only move into such contracts.Some of the famous franchises in India are
1. Core Fitness Station
2. VISION HRM
3. UFC Gym
4. Energie fitness.
Final thoughts– Starting a business is like investing in the stock market, don’t invest what you cannot afford to lose. Please avoid making huge loans in hopes of huge returns. Maintain your capital carefully and everything will be alright. Good luck.