Whether you’re a personal trainer with a loyal following or a business-minded individual looking at it as an investment, opening your own gym can be quite fun! After all, it’s your opportunity to put your ideas into play, live your dream and do things exactly how you want to do them. But, it’s not all sunshine and roses and we want you to be prepared for it all. Read the five tips below for advice that’ll create your road to success.
1 – Ask yourself what type of facility you want to open
Powerlifting? Indoor cycling? 24-hour card access? A little bit of everything? No matter the club’s specialty, make sure you know your niche and what sets you apart from nearby competition.
If you are looking to have more time with your hobby, this venture might not be right for you at this moment. Owning a successful gym is a business and will consume every free moment in your life, at least in the early stages.
2 – Make a budget
Often, it’s the small expenses that add up quickly so find cost-effective resistance bands, dumbbells, medicine balls and storage racks that will last. Purchasing high-quality equipment is key but make sure you have enough machines to fill your space and fit your traffic flow. If you purchase low-quality pieces, you’ll find yourself replacing the items sooner than expected and it’ll impact your bottom line in the near future. It’s alright to start small and add items as revenue builds – you’d rather have members rave about your amazing equipment than for them to tell others you skimped on the most important assets.
3 – Use social media to your benefit
Social media is the best way to reach the most people and unless you create paid ads, it’s free! Start pages on social media platforms then grow your followers organically by asking those who have invested in the business or those close to you to share the links with their friends. Even if the gym’s grand opening is months away, post on a regular basis about the facility’s progress and let them see your logo or the equipment you’ve purchased to get people excited! Building buzz in the early stages is smart and will pay off in the end.
If done properly and tracked closely, paid social media ads can create a very positive ROI. Don’t be afraid to get out in your community to build buzz, too.
4 – Hire staff
The number of staff you’ll need depends on the type of club you want to open. You might be willing to work ’round the clock in the beginning or you might have the resources to add some part-time help immediately. Whether you are looking for an aerobics instructor or someone to man the front desk, be sure each individual you hire is passionate about your mission/vision, willing to do whatever it takes to make your business a success, is dependable and will come across friendly to members.
Keep in mind that it might take time to find those individuals, so factor that into your overall planning. These will be your ambassadors and the face of your business so choose wisely! Setting operating procedures from the start will help your staff understand expectations and understand their roles and responsibilities. Leading by example is a terrific way to set the tone.
5 – Get creative with programming
Want to attract potential members who will want to give your business a try? Promising innovative programming at convenient times for your ideal demographic is always win-win. If your target audience works a 9-5 job, stay away from heavy programming during the weekday. On the flip side, if stay-at-home moms or college students are who you wish to serve, daytime programming might be a perfect fit for their schedule!
For example, what is a passion for you, like kickboxing, might not spark your community’s interest. You can add kickboxing exercises into a cardio fusion class and it will incorporate your love for the sport while allowing others to step out of their comfort zone without even knowing it.
Believe in yourself and make each decision based on your training and what you’ve learned from previous experiences! Good things will fall into place if you follow your business plan, have a strong support system, create a fun environment and are filling a need in your community. Play to your own strengths and remember your definition of success will transform over time. One day, you might find yourself reminiscing about a time where you only had 10 members and offered two classes.