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9 Steps To Start A Gym And Fitness Business.

The global fitness industry has an annual net worth of at least 80 billion U.S. dollars. In 2019, the industry registered a total net worth of $94 billion U.S. dollars. It’s an industry that is constantly growing which means the networth is set to increase. There are various factors, trends, and needs you must address before you start a gym. 

We have identified fitness as one of the highly marketable hobbies. In this list we will go over the steps to start a gym. We will also cover more business opportunities in the fitness industry that can support your gym business.  

9 Steps To Start A Gym and Fitness Business

  1. Draft A Business Plan 

The first step to establishing any business is to draft a business plan. A business plan will act as your road map for your business journey. It will provide a basis to make adjustments as you grow. Your business should have all the components on this list plus:

  • General description. What is your mission? What is your vision? The general description offers an overview of who you are as a business and what you want to offer.
  • Products and services. What are you offering your clients? Create a list of what you offer. It may include workout charts, workout plans, supplements, and more. 
  • Market Analysis. Is there a need for a gym where you wish to start one? Create a profile for your target market and another for your competitors. Market research and market analysis will help you overcome market challenges.
  • Strategy. A strategy is an actionable plan that will make your business competitive. Consider factors like prices, quality control procedures, subcontracting, policies & procedures, and how you will accept payments. 

The other components of your business plan are part of the other steps. 

  1. Create A Budget and Save up the Capital

A budget is the roadmap for your finances as you start your gym. You risk getting into debts if you start a gym without a budget plan. The budget will determine how much capital you need to secure and when you can start. It will also be useful to monitor your profits against your investment to determine your direction of growth. Your budget should have components like:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Machine and equipment cost 
  • License fees
  • Instructor salary
  • Marketing fees
  • Insurance and legal fees
  • Facility software
  • Amenities like tissue 

You will need a capital of around $5,000 if you are on a shoestring budget. Otherwise, you can comfortably open one with $10,000 capital to start a gym. You may  need to save up, get an advance, or a loan to acquire the capital if it is not readily available. It also helps to have some capital to sustain you a few months after you open. This will cushion your expenses as you wait for the gym to gain customers.

  1. Secure Convenient Location

Convenience is a key factor as you search for a location for your business. How accessible is it to your customers? You also want your location to attract customers and be secure to them. A hidden dark alley location will repel customers. It is important that you get a location where you will not receive noise complaints. 

  1. Fulfil Minimum Space Requirements

You will also need to fulfil space requirements for your gym. Customers will not like a congested facility. Try to ensure that your space measures at least 10m by 10m. Furthermore, you may need to provide or have access to various amenities. Such amenities include:

  • Electricity. It will run your machines and gym in general
  • Water. You will need it to keep your gym clean, and for customers to freshen up or drink. It is a major added advantage to have showers. However, if your facility is small, you will need to do without them. 
  • Storage space. Customers come with various stuff like water bottles, change of clothes, electronic devices, and more. It will help to have changing rooms for individuals who go to the gym after work. 
  1. Apply for Licenses, Insurance And Legal Fees

The licenses to operate your gym will depend on your county or country. They may cost you between $200 to $400 depending on your location, and the number of your staff. Furthermore, you will need the authorization of a relevant copyright body for the music you play in the gym. 

You will also need insurance for your equipment. The cost will depend on the equipment you have and the insurance company. As for legal fees, accidents can happen. You do not want to lose your gym as you fight legal battles. 

  1. Acquire Machine And Equipment

People go to gyms for the health benefits, equipment, and instructors. Weights and treadmills are the most basic gym equipment. You may need the help of a gym professional to guide you on further equipment to purchase. Other equipment you will need includes:

  • Sound system
  • Computer
  • Chairs
  • Towels 
  1. Hire Instructors

The number of instructors you hire will depend on the size of your gym. It is vital that you hire qualified instructors. They are necessary because they help to:

  • Offer quality training
  • Prevent injuries and accidents
  • Operate the gym smoothly
  1. Market Your Business

It is now time to spread word of your gym. You should use multiple strategies to market your gym. They include:

  • Use Social media

Market your gym on multiple social media platforms. Use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp. You can also rely on social media influencers to boost your social media presences. 

  • Ask for Referrals

Ask your family, friends, and customers to help you spread word. 

  • Website

Your website will provide the most information about your business as compared to your social media page. Upload information about what your business offers, images and videos of your premises, your location, and other relevant information. 

  1. Invest in Opportunities For Your Gym Business

It helps to diversify your income sources for your gym. This is an important step towards achieving sustainability. Other possible avenues of income include:


Like any start up, you may need some patience. Try to multiply your income avenues for your gym to grow. Do you have any further questions on how to start a gym? Are there any steps we may have left out? 

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