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Writing a Gym Business Plan? 10 Step Guide To Gym Business Strategy
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If you’re reading this, you’re probably the type of person who takes exercising seriously.
Has the idea of starting a gym suddenly sparked your interest? Or perhaps it’s a lifelong ambition of yours, and you are now ready to make a move.
Either way, what’s brilliant is that you’ve picked the right door. Because the first step you need to take is creating a gym business plan .
As the notorious American football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, once said, “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
Knowing the structure of your business, understanding your target market and Unique Selling Point (USP), forecasting your financials, and hashing out any other details about your future gym: these are the vital components needed to create a valuable business plan.
Are you ready to make a name for yourself in a £4.7 billion industry which is steadily growing? Then let’s get started.
But before we get on the treadmill….
Ask yourself: can you afford to run a gym? This venture could see you outlay on equipment, personal trainers, class instructors, insurance policies, property fees, and more, depending on the scope of your gym.
If you’re comfortable financially, think about how much personal time you are willing to sacrifice, especially in the beginning. Maintaining that work/life balance is one of the greatest challenges of starting any business; you’ll probably need extra working hours to become fully operational.
Remember, though, that money and time won’t be enough to pass ‘Go’ if you don’t have good people skills, a savvy head for marketing and sales, or the ability to manage your finances (unless you have extra cash to splash out on skilled people …).
But here’s the good news: it will be worth the money and the hard work if this is your passion. And a big or small gym business plan is a reliable way to make that dream a reality.
Your Gym Business Plan Template
The latter group is crucial as Score, an entrepreneur mentoring enterprise, explains: in order to raise the capital you need for your gym to grow, “individuals or banks want a realistic forecast for when they will be reaping on their capital” to confidently invest in your gym.
Below is a comprehensive template for your business plan. Include all ten stages and you’ll fly. Miss one and you’ll fall. Because they are all equally relevant to your future as a gym owner.
Step 1: Executive Summary
Your executive summary needs to shout:
The what – your goals
The why – your mission
The how – what’s going to make you a success story
The bigger picture – your vision
It has to be attention-grabbing, to the point and clarifying. Which is why you need to keep it short. But that doesn’t mean you should rush this part of your business plan. It is your business pitch after all, as the Telegraph explains:
“The fact of the matter is that decision makers can only read so much in the course of a day. So if authors want their work to be paid attention, they must first sell it with a convincing pitch. To this end, executive summaries are a necessary and essential part of running a business, from start to finish.”
If you’re itching to say more on your goals and vision, don’t panic. You can flesh out these points in your company overview.
Step 2: Company Overview
This is where you put passion onto paper.
In your executive summary, you briefly outlined your vision and mission statement. In your company overview, you can elaborate on these points for further insight. Think of your vision statement as if it were a tagline on your future website. Cover:
- The purpose of your gym
- Who it’s going to be for
- How you’re going to accomplish your business aims
Your mission statement can be more personal. Talk about your desired outcome for the business. Here’s an example from Nike :
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you have an athlete”
Consider the main reason you decided to go into this industry and share it. Is there something you want to change about the fitness world? Or make it better?
Then give your readers a brief word on your history:
- What have you done previously?
- Have you had any other businesses?
- What is your current status?
Again, this is useful for your investors and partners in understanding your journey and future plans. The more they know, the more they trust you.
Then you need to outline your strategy: discuss what services you plan to offer in the beginning, and how you might approach development and new offerings. Perhaps you’ll need to hire an instructor or build a new facility like a spa or studio. This will be a valuable resource for helping you realise when or where you might need funding or extra staff.
Get another green tick for thinking about ways to increase your market share. You could set up pro bono services with workplaces and schools, for instance. Then you might start to introduce a fee gradually: an efficient way to convert big target customers.
Whether you want to create a gym and spa business plan or any other kind of blueprint, an overview should communicate your planning objectives to potential bankers, partners, employees and financial backers.
Step 3: Management
Consider the positions you’ll need to fill and how these people are going to help your gym succeed..
What’s your employee ladder going to look like? What or who will they be responsible for? What incentives can you offer?
Follow this through into a summary that emphasises how their skills and management experience will solidify your business’s success.
Go back and read this section as if you are an outsider considering becoming a partner to this gym. Does the management structure make you feel satisfied and excited, or concerned?
If it’s the latter, explore how you can change this by making your chain of command stronger.
Step 4: Market Research and Marketing
If marketing isn’t your thing, motivate yourself with the knowledge that solid research and marketing strategies will help you map out a plan for growth.
Your first goal is to summarise your market research. Not quite there with your findings? Think about your location, existing gyms in the area, and your local demographic.
When you are ready, use this space to define your target market. It might be:
- Working professionals
- Senior executives
Or even a specific group, like cyclists. Then explore why this specific demographic would join a gym – i.e. for cardio.
Having done your market research, you should have a better understanding of your target audience. Now ask yourself:
- How will you gain their loyalty?
- What makes you special?
- What’s the best membership package you can offer?
- Is there a demand for special equipment?
Answer these in your plan and define your Unique Selling Point (USP). This should communicate what makes your enterprise a valuable investment opportunity.
Identify your marketing strategies here and you’ll feel more secure about raising your business’s income in the future.
Your marketing strategy might include niche services such as:
- Improving services
- Loyalty plans
- Website promotions
- Email marketing
- New equipment
And any other ideas you have to build your customer base and increase your revenue.
Step 5: Services and Amenities
Here are some examples of products you might buy:
- Gym equipment (treadmills, rowing machines, etc.)
- Specialist equipment (have the best equipment available to draw in members like body-builders, etc.)
- Food or drink products (energy drinks, health foods etc.)
- Personal training
- Classes (yoga, spinning, body pump etc.)
- Swimming pool
For bonus points: describe the benefits of your products and services. Perhaps this is a gym and spa business plan ; look to demonstrate why this added facility would be a valuable asset to your customers.
Next, you want to create a pricing list. The easiest way to do this is to bullet point the costs for specific products and services. This will lead you to your financial forecasting.
Step 6: Financial Projections
Create a menu for your gym. What do you need to spend your capital on? Leave no table unturned, and make sure you put an estimate next to each purchase.
Here are some key areas to get the ball rolling:
- Legal expenses
- Hiring costs
- Building work
- Gym Equipment
- Operational costs for the first three months
- Account software
Then it’s time to get real. Get out your calculator and write down how much you will need to successfully launch your gym. This will give you a clear indication of what you can achieve with your budget, and what you might need funding for.
Your next step in this part of your gym business plan is to highlight potential sources of income.
The idea is to reassure your investors, stakeholders and potential employees that you have a solid plan for your return on investment. Think about how much your services will bring in i.e. classes, a cafe, services, a spa and jot down your educated guess here.
You could also explore opportunities to sell products , such as health foods. You could produce your own protein shakes or energy bars, for example. Just ensure that if you do plan to sell food you keep in check with food hygiene standards.
Step 7: Financial forecasting:
“Your sales forecast is the backbone of your business plan. People measure a business and its growth by sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for expenses, profits and growth.”
Outline your sales forecast for the first, second and third year of your business. It might also be a good idea to detail your active members predictions for your first year.
Make an educated guess based on:
- Unit sales per month
- Any relevant past data that you have
- Breaking down your purchases (as you will have done in the financial projections)
Step 8: Financial Strategy
How will you use your fees to increase enrolment? Perhaps you discovered that all the gyms in your area have higher prices than average. This would be a golden opportunity to add value to your business by being financially sensitive (you could lower your membership fees or have better offers than the competition).
You could also think about rewards for loyal customers, discounts for group registrations, and pro bonos (as we previously discussed).
Additionally, if you’re creating a gym and spa business plan , compliment your gym with discounts for the spa facilities (jumping in the jacuzzi after a workout session is a gym-goer’s dream come true).
Putting your pricing strategy on paper will make you feel more secure about the future of your gym. The Balance contributor, Darrell Zahorsky , agrees:
“The pricing strategy of your small business can ultimately determine your fate. Small business owners can ensure profitability and longevity by paying close attention to their pricing strategy.”
Step 9: Payment Options
How a customer pays for their gym membership or other fees is important. Use clunky, out of date and unregulated systems for processing payments and you’ll repel your customers.
If you do have a quick and painless booking system or banking platform in mind, make it known in this section of your gym business plan .This will instil confidence in your potential investors: with a seamless buyer experience in operation, your customers have an extra reason to be loyal to you.
Your most obvious choice is a managed direct debit service .
Because having automated payments in place ensures that bills are never forgotten, delayed or lost, allowing you to maintain a solid cash flow.
And the easiest way to integrate this into your business is to use a third-party to operate any direct debits on your behalf.
Take FastPay, for instance. Its simple user interface does wonders for user experience.
And since FastPay independently processes your payments, you’ll never have to chase down customers, giving you more time to focus on developing other areas of customer service. It’s also secure: customers are protected by the Direct Debit guarantee.
With a Direct Debit solution like FastPay in place, your customer retention level will rise. Why would they move to a competitor if paying for a class or gym membership through you is so effortless?
Step 10: Funding
Here are the key external resources you might consider to get funded:
- Personal savings
- Soft loans (family members, friends, gifts)
- Sponsorship from other business
Detail exactly where you plan to get your funding from and how much you are going to gain. And if you’ve previously made loan applications, make a note of them here for any potential investor to consider.
You’re One Step Closer to Cutting the Red Ribbon
With a big or small gym business plan that details everything you have learnt today, you’ll be unstoppable in your new venture. Because you now have a solid roadmap that:
- Will act as a point of reference for you when you have to make important decisions
- Be a resource to help you secure investment
- Give you security that you have explored all aspects of your new business
- Show partners or new employees which direction you aim to head in
Your Personal Checklist:
Before you leave, here’s a personal checklist to guide you through the next stages of running your own gym. Refer to it throughout the development of your business to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
- Write business plan
- Register business
- Apply for business license and permit
- Open business bank accounts
- Select online payment platform
- Obtain tax payer’s ID
- Purchase insurance
- Organise rental space / purchase facility
- Purchase / rent equipment
- Secure funding
- Set up Direct Debit service
- Recruit employees
- Draft contract documents and any other legal documents required
- Design company logo and brand
- Develop website
- Write website content
- Create accounts on social media platforms
- Design leaflets and brochures
- Organise branded uniforms
- Hold launch party
Starting any business is not without its challenges, but the rewards are more than worth it in the end. Sign up to a Direct Debit bureau and make collecting recurring payments from your fitness suite members a reliable, secure and pain-free process. It’ll be a weight off your mind.
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- 8 steps to create a great gym business plan
Your gym business plan is your roadmap to success. It guides you on your journey, helps you to make better decisions, and attracts potential angel investors to your business. Creating a business plan is a process. It’s easy to think of your business plan as one single document that you build and then you’re done. But, your business plan evolves and changes with you; it’s not a static checklist.
Whether you’re starting a new small business or expanding an existing one, a business plan sets the foundation for success. As we all emerge out of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s especially important to evaluate your business plan to make sure you’re still on top of your game.
A great gym involves more than fitness equipment. Setting up a gym is a big task which is why you want to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed. All stages of your business plan are equally important and essential for the final steps. In this article, we try to understand the core elements of a gym business plan and how you can craft a business plan for your fitness business.
- What is a gym business plan?
- Why do you need a fitness center business plan?
What is a gym business plan?
Before we dive into how to create your business plan, let’s start at the beginning. So, what is a gym business plan? Well, it’s a document that tells the reader who you are as a business and a realistic idea of where the business is heading. At a basic level, your business plan answers the following questions:
- How does your business work?
- How are you going to succeed?
- What steps do you need to take to succeed?
Research shows that entrepreneurs who write formal business plans are more likely to succeed . Business owners seeking external financial support are also more likely to commit their thoughts to a formal business plan. With a new business, it’s beneficial to pull your ideas into focus and put pen to paper.
Why do you need a fitness center business plan?
The main aim of your gym business plan is to create a blueprint for your business. For instance, if a potential investor were to read your business plan, they would understand how your gym will progress and succeed in the future. Your business plan also helps you to identify fresh opportunities and see gaps in your current business model or set up. Depending on where your business is, a business plan can be dual-purpose. Here’s why you need a business plan from day one.
Test your business idea
Starting a fitness business is by no means easy. So, you have an idea, and you think it could be a winner. But you can’t always go out and test that idea. A business plan allows you to feasibly test that idea without actually starting the business. Working through your idea and creating a business plan allows you to break down numbers, analyze the market and competitors, and save you a lot of time in the long run. In the early stages, it’s a good idea to work through your idea and create a business plan. The more knowledge you have about your business, industry, and potential customers, the better you can see if your business idea could be a success.
Attracts investors and secure funding
If you want to attract investors, you need a business plan. Most businesses need to secure funding and seek outside financial support. A thorough business plan helps you to obtain startup capital and funding for your new gym business. Even established businesses often need extra funding for expansion and business growth. Potential investors and finance companies will need concrete numbers with facts and figures to move forward with your business. Without a business plan, there is little to no chance of getting funding from investors, banks, or other external financial institutions.
Achieve short-term and long-term goals
It’s great to have both short-term and long-term goals in mind, but it’s important to go a step further. A good business plan will contain detailed strategies on how you intend to achieve these goals. It could involve your business model, equipment plans, hiring strategies, and marketing efforts. Think about everything that you need to do to achieve your goals. Most businesses tend to have overarching business goals that are supported by smaller goals. It’s crucial that your business plan maps out your strategies for achieving your goals. Because goals and strategies can shift, as your business evolves, you can update your business plan as necessary.
Make business planning manageable
A business plan is important for both new and established businesses. Firstly, a business plan gives you a higher chance of success. Budgeting, market analysis, and planning will set the foundation for a smoother beginning. When you have set out your goals and strategies to help you achieve them, you can implement what you need to progress. This whole process helps to make business planning more manageable and effective. A great business plan helps you to manage your business, monitor, and assess your progress over time.
The 6 Crucial Steps to Opening a Gym or Studio
Chris Cooper, a gym owner, author and the founder of the Two Brain Business offers expert insight into the proven formula for a successful fitness business . In an episode on The Fitness Founders Podcast, he talks about how gyms were forced to rethink their business models during the COVID-19 crisis and where fitness operators should spend their time and money to be successful.
8 steps to create a great gym business plan
Developing a business plan is an organized process where you go through specific steps to achieve a final result. To start, think about where you are now and where you want to be. This will help you get into the right mindset when writing your business plan. There will be many times when you will refer to your business plan to help you make a decision. So, the more information you have, the better. You will need to dig deep into your business idea, future finances, competitors, and fitness industry to help you collate the information together. By following these eight steps, you can begin to cover all the different aspects of your health club and start building a great gym business plan template.
1. Executive summary
The executive summary is always at the top of the business plan. It should be an attention-grabbing business pitch that’s short and concise, yet interesting. You will continue to flesh out the points from your executive summary throughout the document. But this first section should be very clear and engaging. Although the executive summary is the first document in the business plan, it can be easier to write it at the end. Keep in mind what it should include so that you answer your own questions as you write your business plan. The executive summary should explain:
- Who – who you are and what you offer
- Why – what you hope to accomplish
- How – how you are going to get there
2. Company overview
The company overview is a more detailed description of your business. You go beyond talking about who you are and delve into the type of clientele you plan on serving, how your business stands out from the competition, and the goals of your business. Because gym business models can differ, now is a good time to explain how you will run your business in more detail. Your executive summary states your mission statement and explains your thoughts at a high level. As you go through your business plan, you have the opportunity to expand and build on your thinking to showcase your business. Your company overview can include:
- Expand on the purpose of your business
- Business model and structure
- Products and services you offer
- Target market research
- Founding story
- Legal structure
3. Industry analysis
The industry or market analysis is where you investigate the local market. Think about your niche, current trends in the market, and how your business aligns with market demand. You’re looking to evaluate the fit of your business in today’s market. Try to include some facts and statistics about your industry and the future of the market. For example, a gym looking to obtain funding for expansion into online fitness would include trends and statistics on the rapid acceleration of digital fitness and where the market is headed in the future.
4. Customer analysis
Within the gym industry, there are various niches and audience segments. Even within one business, you can have multiple target audience personas. The customer base you choose to target will have a big impact on your business, the types of services you offer, and how you market yourself. Start by breaking your target customers down by the following:
- Demographics – age, gender, income level, occupation, location, and education, etc.
- Psychographics – needs, interests, opinions, beliefs, and values, etc.
5. Competitor analysis
A competitor analysis investigates businesses that are direct competitors to you. These are the gyms that offer a similar service in your niche. Although you can mention indirect competitors, this section is mainly for a detailed analysis of your direct competitors. Depending on your business type, you could have both in-person competitors as well as digital-only competitors. Although it may be impossible to find out everything about a competitor, you can usually get a clear idea from your research. Break down each of your competitors into the following:
- Services and products they offer
- Target audience
- Pricing and business model
- Strengths and weaknesses
6. Marketing strategy
The marketing section of your business plan is the place to explain everything you plan to do to get your services in front of your target audience. Include your strategy, projected startup costs, and consider who will be handling the marketing efforts of the business. Your marketing strategy can include:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Referral program
7. Management team
Ideally, you and your team members have fitness experience within your niche. This section is a great place to highlight the skills, experience, and expertise of your management team. By doing this, it helps to show how specific team members will help you to achieve success. Lay out key members of your team. This doesn’t need to be limited to your fitness experts, but other experts who will guide your business like marketing and sales managers, customer service, and maintenance personnel. How you structure your business and the type of compensation and benefits you offer will help you to attract and retain high-quality talent over time.
8. Financial plan
Depending on where you are with your business, your financial plan can include current financials for the most recent year and future projections. Your projected revenue should be based on facts and solid research with supporting numbers. The financial plan can include a five-year projection with detailed breakdowns of monthly and annual earnings. Think about your income, cash flow, costs, and outgoings. Your finances are the backbone of your business, so it’s important to be as thorough as possible.
Starting a business is hard and comes with its own set of challenges. A good business plan gives you a point of reference to help you navigate your business. Whether you’re looking to expand your gym or start from scratch, a business plan covers all aspects of your gym so that you have every opportunity to succeed. While you may face some unforeseen issues, a business plan helps you to identify potential problems as much as possible. Your business plan isn’t a static document set in stone, instead, it can serve as a guide to growth and your future success through changing times.
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Gym Business Plans
Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More
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A good gym involves more than just the right exercise equipment. You need to think of the type of clientele you’ll be serving, membership and subscription fees, hosting fitness classes, and finding new ways to differentiate your fitness center from the competition. The best way to plan all this out and leverage your strengths is by starting off with a business plan.
If you need a bit of inspiration check out or gym sample plans for fitness centers, corporate fitness, gyms, health clubs, as well as martial arts studios, gymnastics schools, and a number of other athletics businesses.
If you’re looking to develop a more modern business plan, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.
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Gym Business Plan Template
Gym business plan & example.
You’ve come to the right place to create a business plan for your gym.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their gyms.
Gym Business Plan Example
Use the example below as a template to write a business plan for a gym or fitness center.
Steven’s Gym is a startup locally owned gym located in El Paso, Texas. Steven’s Gym will include various exercise equipment, strength training equipment, free weights, aerobic equipment, and plenty of cardio equipment. The gym will also offer HIIT group classes, spin classes, strength training instruction, and personal training. Located in an up and coming, newly developed, and highly trafficked area of town, Steven’s Gym will attract both men and women ages 16 to 75+. There is something for everyone at Steven’s Gym, whether someone is just beginning their fitness journey or is a seasoned athlete and gymrat. The gym will have a welcoming atmosphere, experienced personal trainers, friendly staff, and frequently cleaned equipment and restrooms. The membership options are affordable and will be offered on a month-to-month basis, a 6 or 12 month contract, or the ability to pay for an entire year upfront. Discounts will be offered to military, teachers, and healthcare workers.
The following are the services that Steven’s Gym will provide:
- Strength training equipment
- Cardio equipment
- Free weights/dumbbells
- Aerobic equipment
- HIIT group classes
- Strength training instruction
- Training sessions upon request
Steven’s Gym will target all men and women ages 16 – 75+ who are interested in achieving and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. El Paso is a very diverse city that includes men and women from all walks of life. There are numerous blue collar individuals, white collar individuals, government employees, and military members as the local Army base is one of the largest in the country. Since Steven’s Gym will be very affordable, it will be able to attract people from all walks of life.
Steven will manage the day-to-day tasks of running the gym, while overseeing the staff, scheduling the group HIIT classes, and making sure all equipment is working properly and safely. He will also be in charge of ordering any new and replacement equipment and cleaning products and supplies. Steven will hire a gym manager to manage all new member sign-ups, placing them on a recurring payment schedule, and handle all member issues. There will be three trainers that will be available to personally train any member that requests training. They will also take turns running the group HIIT classes. Steven will outsource a local CPA to handle payroll, accounting, and tax payments. He will also outsource a local advertising company to develop the gym’s logo, branding, photography, social media accounts, website, and billboard design.
Steven’s Gym will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Large, clean, and spacious facility that has all the necessary equipment for their fitness routine.
- Knowledgeable and friendly staff of trainers.
- Best value for membership pricing. The membership pricing options are affordable and offer military, teacher, and healthcare employee discounts.
- Convenient hours of operation.
Steven’s Gym is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to begin operations of the business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the warehouse space, gym build-out, and purchase of the equipment. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and working capital. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Securing warehouse space, gym build-out, and design: $25,000 to $125,000
- Gym equipment purchase: $50,000 to $100,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $15,000 to $55,000
- Marketing & advertising: $15,000
- Working capital: $10,000
Who is steven’s gym.
Steven’s Gym is a new, locally owned gym located in El Paso, Texas. Steven’s Gym will include strength training equipment, free weights, aerobic equipment, and plenty of cardio equipment. The gym will also offer HIIT group classes, spin classes, strength training instruction, and personal training. Located in an up and coming, newly developed, and highly trafficked area of town, Steven’s Gym will attract both men and women ages 16 to 75+. There is something for everyone at Steven’s Gym, whether someone is just beginning their fitness journey or is a seasoned athlete and gymrat. The gym will have a welcoming atmosphere, experienced trainers, friendly staff, and frequently cleaned equipment and restrooms. The membership options are affordable and will be offered on a month-to-month basis, a 6 or 12 month contract, or the ability to pay for an entire year upfront. Discounts will be offered to military, teachers, and healthcare workers.
Steven’s Gym History
Steven’s Gym is owned by Steven Malone, a retired Army Master Sergeant who is also a seasoned powerlifter. Steven was stationed at El Paso’s Fort Bliss for many years before eventually retiring and deciding to stay in El Paso and embark on his dream of eventually owning his own gym. As a frequent gym goer, Steven recognized that El Paso lacks high quality independent gyms. The nicest and most equipped gyms in El Paso are large franchises that have too many rules and regulations. Other independent gyms are dirty, unorganized, and do not offer a large selection of equipment. Steven envisioned a gym that was welcoming to all types of people that is encouraging, clean, and adequately equipped for those who are focused on sustaining an active, healthy lifestyle. Since incorporation, Steven’s Gym has achieved the following milestones:
- Found a 10,000 square foot warehouse space for lease in El Paso, Texas that can easily be converted to a gym.
- Registered Steven’s Gym, LLC to do business in the State of Texas.
- Began the branding image, logo, website, and social media accounts for the gym.
- Began researching and pricing out equipment.
Steven’s Gym Services
The following will be the services Steven’s Gym will provide:
The Gym industry is expected to grow to an annual revenue of $38 billion in the next five years. This growth is likely a result of increased per capita disposable income, in addition to growing health-consciousness. As consumers’ disposable income levels rise, individuals are usually more willing to purchase gym memberships. Additionally, time spent on leisure and sports is expected to increase over the next five years, effectively increasing the potential pool of consumers.
During this period, demographic changes are expected to drive revenue growth for operators. Additional revenue streams are also expected to play an integral part in industry growth. In particular, as healthcare costs continue to escalate, health insurance providers may implement incentives to promote preventive health practices, including the use of fitness centers among individuals within their provider network. Furthermore, the number of obese individuals in the United States has increased in recent years. Consequently, to cut healthcare costs, many health insurance providers will likely attempt to lower an individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, among other ailments. Additionally, initiatives that promote the health benefits of exercise will likely increase over the next five years, stimulating industry revenue.
Demographic profile of target market.
Steven’s Gym’s target audience will include all men and women ages 16 – 75+ who are interested in achieving and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. El Paso is a very diverse city that includes men and women from all walks of life. There are numerous blue collar individuals, white collar individuals, government employees, and military members as the local Army base is one of the largest in the country. Since Steven’s Gym will be very affordable, it will be able to attract people from all walks of life.
The precise demographics for El Paso, Texas are:
Steven’s Gym will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- High school and college students
- Military and their families
- Blue collar workers (factories, warehouses, service industry)
- White collar workers (corporate or government office)
- Athletes who frequently train for fitness competitions
Direct and indirect competitors.
Steven’s Gym will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Gold’s Gym is a large franchise-owned gym with two locations in El Paso. Gold’s Gym gives access to everything one needs to transform their life: state-of-the-art amenities, a variety of classes tailored towards someone’s fitness needs, and the world’s best trainers. There are weekly classes for group workouts ranging from martial arts-inspired cardio classes to foundational yoga sessions. There are also certified trainers if someone is new to exercise or just looking for more guidance and coaching. Gold’s Gym also has innovative digital tools to take the fitness journey further, no matter the fitness level. Gold’s Gym’s amenities include cardio equipment, group exercise, personal training, a pro shop, sauna/steam rooms, group cycle, free weights, functional training, kids club, locker rooms, and wifi.
Planet Fitness is for people from all walks of life, whether they’re a first-time gym user or a veteran member, they are there to provide a workout environment in which anyone and everyone can be comfortable. All Planet Fitness members enjoy unlimited access to their home club and the support of their friendly, knowledgeable staff anytime they need it. PF Black Club members receive additional benefits, including the ability to bring a guest for free and access to any of their 2,000+ PF locations. Also, the PF member can take advantage of their free fitness training or find motivation by reading real member experiences on Planet of Triumphs. The goal of Planet Fitness is to provide a clean, safe, welcoming environment for anyone who walks through the door, and all the equipment, amenities, and support they need once they arrive. Planet Fitness provinces a diverse, Judgment Free Zone where a lasting and active lifestyle can be built. They seek to provide a safe, energetic environment where everyone feels accepted and respected. The key benefits of Planet Fitness is that they are open 24 hour, offer clean, spacious amenities, free fitness training, Judgment Free Zone, have tons of equipment, and always have a friendly staff.
Anytime Fitness is a welcoming gym that exists to help someone get to a healthier place – by giving the right support at the right times, in the ways the member wants. Every member receives a free, personalized Get Started Plan when they join. Their friendly, professional staff is trained to help someone along their fitness journey, no matter how much support they need. Aside from a large selection of strength and cardio equipment, Anytime Fitness offers the following services – 24-hour access, 24-hour security, convenient parking, anywhere gym access, private restrooms, private showers, health plan discounts, wellness programs, cardio tvs, and hdtvs.
Steven’s Gym will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:
Brand & value proposition.
Steven’s Gym will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:
- Large, clean, spacious, and well-equipped facility.
- Dedicated team of trainers.
- Affordable membership pricing plans.
The promotions strategy for Steven’s Gym is as follows:
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Steven’s Gym will invest in advertising the gym on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram. By using targeted social media marketing, Steven’s Gym will be able to reach the appropriate target audience of El Paso. Before opening, Steven will hire an advertising agency to develop the branding and photography needed to create captivating social media posts.
Steven will invest in two billboards strategically located at busy intersections that receive thousands of traffic daily. The advertising agency will develop the print for the billboard design.
Website/SEO Marketing Strategy
Steven’s Gym will invest in a strong SEO presence so that when someone enters “El Paso gym” or “local gym near me” in their Google or Bing search bar, Steven’s Gym is at the top of the list. Their website will list all of Steven’s Gym’s services, location, pricing, and contact information.
Word of Mouth
Word quickly spreads around town and once a few people experience the clean, affordable, and professional staff at Steven’s Gym, more and more people will come in to see for themselves and sign up for a membership plan.
The pricing of Steven’s Gym will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their services.
The following will be the operations plan for Steven’s Gym.
- Steven Malone will be the sole gym owner and operator of Steven’s Gym. He will oversee the staff, maintain that the cleaning schedules are being enforced, and ensure that all equipment is working per standard and safely. He will also manage all ordering of new and replacement equipment, schedule the group HIIT classes, and daily management tasks.
- Steven will hire a gym manager to be in charge of new member enrollments, place them on an automated payment schedule that will be automatically debited from their account, manage the books, and handle any member issues.
- Steven will hire a team of three trainers to start off with to offer help and training to any member that requests it. Two of the trainers will take turns running the group HIIT class. As the membership grows and clients require more attention, more trainers and classes will be added.
- Steven will hire a local CPA to manage all high level accounting functions, such as payroll and tax payments.
- Steven will also hire an advertising agency to develop the gym’s branding, photography, website, social media accounts, and billboard design.
Steven’s Gym will have the following milestones completed in the next six months. 8/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease warehouse space. 8/15/202X – Begin build-out and design converting warehouse space into a functional gym. 9/1/202X – Hire advertising company to begin developing gym’s branding, logo, social media accounts, website, and billboard design. 9/15/202X – Order all equipment. 9/30/202X – Launch social media campaign and website. Billboards go up. 10/5/202X – Hire gym manager and team of personal trainers. 10/15/202X – Train staff on proper policies and procedures. 11/1/202X – Grand Opening of Steven’s Gym.
Steven’s Gym will be solely owned by Steven Malone. Steven Malone is a retired Army Master Sergeant who has been stationed off and on at El Paso’s Fort Bliss for the past twelve years. Upon retirement, Steven decided to make El Paso his permanent home and embark on his dream of owning his own gym. Steven recognizes the lack of quality, independent gyms in El Paso and wants to open a gym that fits his idea of what a high-quality gym should be.
As a former powerlifter and personal trainer while serving in the military, Steven is aware of the proper equipment and facilities a gym should have. Steven envisions his gym to be friendly, clean, well-equipped, and affordable for the average person so that people from all walks of life will feel comfortable going to the gym and achieving their fitness goals. Steven will dedicate his life and focus on ensuring that his gym is always clean, staffed with the best trainers, and members are happy with what the gym has to offer.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for Steven’s Gym are the membership fees it will charge each person that signs up to become a member. Each member will be placed on a membership plan where they can either pay month to month, enroll in either a 6 or 12 month contract, or pay for the entire year upfront. The cost drivers will be the payroll for the staff, rent, utilities, cleaning supplies and equipment, and gym equipment purchase and maintenance. Other cost drivers will be the targeted marketing costs on social media and monthly fees for the CPA and advertising company.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Initial Number of New Clients per Month: 60
- Average Monthly Membership Fee: $150
- Gym Lease per Year: $100,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, gym business plan faqs, what is a gym business plan.
A gym business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your gym. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing strategies and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your gym business plan using our gym business plan template here .
What Are the Main Types of Gyms?
There are many types of gyms. There are large, franchise gyms that have multiple locations across the country. There are also large single facility gyms. Finally, there are smaller gyms that tend to focus on a particular fitness segment, such as strength training, CrossFit, or group HIIT training.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for a Gym Business?
The primary source of revenue for gym businesses are membership fees. Typically, members pay month-to-month, or fulfill a year-long contract. Members are also usually able to pay for a full year upfront for a discount.
The key expenses for a gym business are the costs associated with payroll, purchase and maintenance of equipment, cleaning supplies, marketing costs, and working capital. Other expenses will be rent, utilities, taxes, accounts payable, and other licensing fees (if necessary).
How Do You Get Funding for Your Gym?
Gym businesses are most likely to secure funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your gym business plan to them. Family and/or friends could also be potential investors and other types of capital-raising such as crowdfunding are other common funding sources.
What are the Steps To Start a Gym Business?
Starting a gym business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Gym Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed gym business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast. Our business plan template is the perfect guide to show you how to start a gym business plan.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your gym business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your gym business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Gym Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your gym business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your gym business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Gym Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your gym business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your gym business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful gym business:
- How to Start a Gym Business
Where Can I Get a Gym Business Plan PDF?
You can download our free gym business plan template PDF here . This is a sample gym business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Small Gym Business Plan【PDF】: Building a Thriving Fitness Empire from the Ground Up
Are you a commercial gym owner, wholesaler, or distributor looking to grow your small gym business? Then you’re in the right place.
The problem is, creating a successful small gym business can be a challenge. But fear not, as having a solid business plan in place can help you achieve your goals.
In this blog, I’ll show you how to create a business plan that’s tailored to your small gym business, giving you the tools you need to succeed.
Keep reading to find out more.
Table of Contents
1. Establishing Your Niche
2. market research, 3. developing your brand, 4. location selection, 5. legal requirements, 6. equipment and design, 7. staffing, 8. marketing strategies, 9. pricing and membership plans, 10. financial planning, 11. bonus: download comprehensive gym business plan template.
When I first started my own gym, I struggled to find a unique angle that would set me apart from the competition. Establishing your niche is crucial for standing out in the crowded fitness industry. Focus on what you’re passionate about and consider the specific needs of your target audience such as:
- Yoga studios
- Boutique fitness studios
- Functional fitness
Back when I was a gym owner, I discovered my niche in functional fitness. I was passionate about helping people improve their daily lives through exercise, and my clients appreciated the tailored approach. It made all the difference in the world!
When I first started out, I made the mistake of underestimating the competition and overestimating demand. It’s essential to understand your target audience, their preferences, and your competition. Let us explore more:
Target Audience and Preferences
Begin by creating a survey to gather information about your potential clients. You may want to ask questions about their fitness goals, preferred workout styles, and willingness to pay for a membership.
Analyzing the Competition
When I started, I visited local gyms in my area to evaluate their offerings and pricing structures. It’s crucial to understand what makes your competitors successful and what gaps you can fill.
Building a strong brand for your small gym is crucial to stand out and succeed in the competitive fitness industry. Your brand should be unique, convey your values, and create a lasting impression on your clients. Let’s explore the key aspects of developing your brand, from identifying your unique selling proposition to designing a memorable logo.
Find Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP sets your gym apart from the competition. It could be your cutting-edge equipment, exclusive classes, or exceptional customer service. Discover what makes your gym special and showcase it in your branding efforts.
For example, when I first started my gym, I focused on providing personalized training plans and tailored nutrition advice. This approach helped me stand out and attract clients who were looking for a more customized experience. That’s when I discovered Yanre Fitness and their state-of-the-art gym equipment that elevated my clients’ fitness experience.
Design an Eye-catching Logo
Your gym’s logo should be visually appealing and instantly recognizable. It should also reflect your USP and brand personality. Consider hiring a professional graphic designer to create a logo that will make your gym stand out and leave a lasting impression.
Create a Consistent Brand Voice
A consistent brand voice helps build trust and familiarity with your audience. Develop a style guide outlining your brand’s tone, messaging, and language. This will ensure that all your marketing materials and communications remain consistent with your brand identity.
For instance, Yanre Fitness’s brand voice is professional, knowledgeable, and approachable, creating an atmosphere where clients feel comfortable asking questions and trusting their expertise in the fitness industry.
Build a Strong Online Presence
When I first started out, I struggled to attract clients until I invested in a user-friendly website and active social media profiles. This allowed me to reach a wider audience, establish my brand, and ultimately grow my business. Focus on these key aspects:
- Creating a visually appealing, easy-to-navigate website
- Posting regularly on social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to showcase your gym and engage with your audience
- Utilizing SEO strategies to improve your website’s search ranking
As a gym expert, I can say from my own experience that choosing the right location for a gym is crucial to its success. The right location will help draw in clients and provide a convenient, pleasant experience. Consider these factors when scouting for your gym’s location:
Research Your Target Market
Understand your target market and choose a location that caters to their needs. Demographic data, such as age, income, and fitness preferences, can help you make an informed decision.
For example, if your target audience is young professionals, consider opening your gym near office buildings or in a bustling business district.
Assess Accessibility and Visibility
Choose a location that is easily accessible by various means of transportation, such as public transit, walking, or driving. Ample parking and good visibility from main roads will help attract potential clients and make it easier for them to find your gym.
The table below provides a comparison of different location types, including urban centers, suburban areas, business districts, and rural areas, highlighting the pros and cons of each:
Evaluate Competition in the Area
Analyze the competition in your desired location. Opening your gym in an area saturated with fitness facilities could make it challenging to stand out. Conversely, being the only gym in the area might indicate a lack of demand. Strive for a balance that allows you to differentiate yourself while still benefiting from a fitness-conscious community.
Consider Space Requirements and Budget
Determine your space requirements and budget for rent or property purchase. Ensure that the location you choose can accommodate the necessary equipment, classes, and amenities, while also aligning with your financial constraints.
Factor in Potential for Expansion
As a gym expert, I’ve learned from my own experience that planning for future expansion is crucial for the long-term success of a gym. As your gym grows, you may need additional space for new equipment, classes, or services. Choose a location with the potential for expansion, either through unused areas within the property or adjacent spaces that could be acquired later.
Starting a gym is an exciting endeavor, but it’s essential to have your legal ducks in a row to ensure smooth sailing. In this section, we’ll cover various aspects of the legal side of things, including business structure, licenses, permits, and insurance. Don’t worry, we’ll make it as painless as possible – no heavy lifting required here!
Deciding on the appropriate business structure for your gym is crucial for legal and tax purposes. When I started my gym, I had to weigh the pros and cons of different structures before making a decision. Some common options include:
- Sole proprietorship: Simple to set up, low cost, but you’re personally responsible for all debts and liabilities.
- Partnership: Shared responsibility with one or more partners, but potential for conflicts and personal liability.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): Limited personal liability, tax flexibility, but more complicated to set up and maintain.
- Corporation: Limited liability, easier to attract investors, but complex setup and double taxation.
Licenses and Permits
Acquiring the necessary licenses and permits is essential to avoid penalties or even closure. Remember that gym owner who had to shut down because they didn’t get the right permits? Let’s not repeat their mistakes. Some licenses and permits you may need include:
- Business license
- Building permits
- Health and safety permits (e.g., fire inspection, pool permits)
- Sales tax permit
Getting insurance is crucial to protect your gym and yourself from potential financial loss. When I started my gym, I had to research different providers and negotiate the best rates. Some types of insurance you should consider are:
- General liability insurance: Covers accidents like slips and falls, which can be common in a gym environment.
- Property insurance: Protects your gym’s property and equipment from damage or theft.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers your employees in case of workplace injuries.
- Professional liability insurance: Protects you from claims arising from errors or omissions in your professional services.
A well-maintained gym ensures the safety and satisfaction of your clients. A significant aspect of this is the equipment and design of your facility. By choosing equipment that is easy to clean and designing your gym to facilitate cleaning, you can disinfect the breeze. Consider these key points on equipment and design:
Selecting the Right Equipment
I can say from my own experience that choosing equipment that is easy to clean and maintain is crucial for the success of a gym. Some materials are designed to be easily wiped down and disinfected. Consider the following when choosing equipment:
- Smooth surfaces with minimal crevices for easy cleaning
- Non-porous materials that don’t harbor bacteria or mold
- Durability to withstand regular cleaning and disinfection
Gym Design for Easy Cleaning
As a gym expert with my own gym, I know firsthand the importance of designing a gym with cleaning and disinfection in mind. Here are some tips to consider:
- Adequate spacing between equipment for easy access during cleaning
- Flooring that is easy to clean and disinfect
- Proper ventilation to reduce odors and maintain air quality
- Storage solutions for cleaning supplies and equipment
Your staff plays a crucial role in maintaining a clean and disinfected gym. Proper training and clear responsibilities ensure that your fitness facility remains a safe and healthy environment for clients. Here are some key points to consider in staffing your small gym business:
Hiring the Right Team
Hire staff members who are knowledgeable about gym cleanliness and disinfection. I highly recommend looking for candidates with experience in maintaining fitness facilities and a strong commitment to cleanliness. Provide ongoing training to keep your team up-to-date on best practices.
Defining Roles and Responsibilities
As a gym expert with experience managing staff, I know that clearly outlining cleaning and disinfection responsibilities is crucial for maintaining a clean and hygienic gym environment. This can include:
- Assigning daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks
- Regular inspections of the facility for cleanliness and safety
- Ensuring that cleaning supplies are stocked and readily available
Based on an article on brpsystems.com , it is estimated that the fitness industry will generate approximately $216 billion in revenue in 2023. This figure highlights the significant growth that the industry has experienced in recent years, as more people prioritize their health and fitness. The fitness industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses in the industry. The key to your small gym’s success lies in effective marketing strategies. In this competitive industry, it’s crucial to make your fitness facility. In this section, we’ll cover digital and local marketing tactics to help you create a thriving gym business.
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for any business. Digital marketing allows you to reach a larger audience and attract potential gym members by targeting their specific interests and preferences. Let’s dive into some effective digital marketing strategies that can help your gym grow.
Search Engine Optimization ( SEO )
Optimizing your website for search engines is crucial to increase visibility and attract potential members. Some essential SEO tips
- Researching relevant keywords and incorporating them into your website’s content
- Improving your site’s loading speed
- Creating engaging, high-quality content that keeps visitors on your site
Leverage the power of Google Ads to create targeted ads that reach your desired audience. With Google Ads , you can set a budget and only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it cost-effective marketing.
When I first opened my gym, I focused on local marketing tactics, such as sponsoring local events and partnering with nearby businesses. By doing this, I was able to create a strong presence in the community and attract a steady stream of new members.
Partner with local businesses and organizations to increase your gym’s visibility. Sponsor local events, such as charity runs or health fairs, to demonstrate your commitment to the community.
For example, when I was running my gym, we partnered with a nearby healthy cafe for a joint promotion, offering discounts to each other’s customers. This collaboration not only increased our brand awareness but also led to an influx of new members.
Designing the right pricing and membership plans is crucial for the success of your small gym. From monthly memberships to tiered pricing, you’ll need to create attractive and competitive offerings that appeal to your target market. Let’s dive into some strategies for setting the perfect pricing for your gym.
Monthly memberships are a staple of the gym industry, offering customers the flexibility to join and leave as they please. Research industry standards and regional competition to determine a suitable price range for monthly memberships. This will help you stay competitive while ensuring you cover your operational costs.
A popular strategy for gyms is to offer tiered pricing, such as basic, premium, and VIP memberships. With Yanre Fitness equipment, you can differentiate between tiers by offering access to advanced equipment for premium and VIP members. This will encourage customers to upgrade their memberships and generate additional revenue for your gym.
Managing the financial aspects of your small gym business is essential for long-term success. Budgeting, expense tracking, revenue management, cash flow management, and debt management are all critical components of financial planning. Let’s explore each of these areas in more detail.
Budgeting and Expense Tracking
Creating a budget and tracking your expenses is fundamental for any small gym owner. Yanre Fitness, a leading manufacturer of gym equipment, offers competitively priced, high-quality equipment to help you stay within your budget. Additionally, Yanre Fitness provides excellent customer support, warranty, and value-added services to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Revenue and Profitability
Boosting your gym’s revenue and profitability involves optimizing pricing, enhancing marketing efforts, and streamlining operational processes. For example, you could offer special promotions to attract new members, upsell personal training sessions, or utilize energy-efficient equipment from Yanre Fitness to reduce utility costs. Conclusion
Creating a successful small gym business plan is essential for the growth and sustainability of your enterprise. By carefully considering your target market, location, services, and financial projections, you’re setting your gym up for long-term success.
Now that you have your business plan in place, it’s time to equip your gym with the best gear. Yanre Fitness is a trusted manufacturer of high-quality gym equipment that caters to commercial gym owners, wholesalers, and distributors. Don’t hesitate to contact us for product details, catalogues, price lists, or any assistance you may need. Let’s work together to make your gym a thriving fitness hub!
Ready to kick-start your fitness journey with a solid gym business plan?
We’ve got your back! We’ve sourced a comprehensive, FREE Gym Business Plan from the experts at GROWTHINK – just for you!
Click here to download your FREE copy today!
This exclusive PDF will guide you through every aspect of starting, operating, and scaling your gym business. Whether you’re just beginning or you’re a seasoned gym owner looking to level up your operations, this plan is for you.
Creating a small gym business plan is an extensive process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here’s the bottom line… With these 10 essential steps, entrepreneurs can confidently tackle the challenges and establish a thriving presence in the highly competitive fitness industry.
Your dream of owning a gym is just around the corner. Contact us at Yanre Fitness for assistance with high-quality equipment needs or any further questions you may have about setting up your gym. Let’s make your fitness entrepreneurship journey a thriving success.
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How to create a business plan for your gym
Looking for tips on how to start a gym ? Planning ahead is key to the world of business and workouts. Just like you wouldn’t hit the gym without a workout plan, a fitness business plan is a requisite for starting your own gym, wherever you are in your journey. If you’re looking to find investors for your new fitness center project or are interested in expanding on the gym business you already have, a business plan is essential.
This step-by-step guide shows you how to write an effective business plan for your gym.
Follow along to discover the practical knowledge you can use for crafting an unparalleled business plan. Remember, this is a flexible and personalized document that forms a cumulative road map for your business, so take your time and hone in on what separates your business from the competition.
#1 Executive summary
An executive summary is your grand opening. It should grab your reader’s attention, concisely layout your business, and effectively pitch your gym to prospective investors in just about one page.
The best way to craft an expert executive summary is by asking yourself a few questions to discover precisely what to say.
Some key questions that will help you formulate your executive summary include:
- What is your mission statement? – Let your reader know who you are. Your mission statement should not only include your gym’s values and goals, it should explain why your gym should exist and what sets you apart from others.
- What are your main offerings? - Are you a gym focused on after-school fitness programs for youth, like Montana’s Missoula Boxing Club ? Or are you interested in encouraging seniors to get active like Jean Grimm of Tuscon, Arizona? Whatever your gym’s main offerings and fitness services are, include them briefly in your executive summary.
- What are your gym’s major goals? – To run a successful gym, plenty of pre-planning is necessary. That said, it’s also necessary to describe your business’s short and long-term goals. Do you see franchises in your future or are you looking to gradually expand your offerings? Brainstorm where your business will be in 1, 5, and even 10 years.
If the executive summary is starting to feel daunting, here’s a tip:
While an executive summary is a classic lead into your business summary, you may have more success writing it after you’ve completed the rest of your business plan. After taking the time to investigate each specific aspect of your business in detail, you’ll be in a better position to write an effective summary of everything you’ll be covering throughout your plan.
#2 Company overview
A company overview isn’t just your opportunity to expand on why you’re opening a gym, it’s a great place for outlining your general strategy when it comes to your business.
Consider touching on some points regarding:
- Daily operations
- Hours and location
- Managerial processes
Also, be sure to add in all your relevant experience, and why you’re qualified to build your own gym.
Take the time to go in-depth about:
- Business experience – Is this your first rodeo, or have you been an entrepreneur all your life? Even if you’ve never opened your own business, look to events in your life where your leadership and vision have led to a successful outcome.
- Fitness background – Whether you’re a certified CrossFit trainer with a decade of experience or a passionate marathon runner, your background in physical fitness is highly relevant to your company overview.
- Personal touches – The company overview presents an opportunity to showcase why this business venture is so important to your life’s journey. You can share a story about your first gym experience, your family’s history of gym ownership, or your lifelong dreams about running a fitness center—just be sure to remain professional and relevant to the task at hand.
Be sure to include your business model and legal structure, while expanding on the overall purpose of your business. After finishing your company overview, a reader should have a clear idea of your business, both in how it functions and what it might look like in practicality.
#3 Market research
It’s time to dive into your target market and explore where your business exists in the marketplace. It’s most helpful to immediately identify your target market, pinpointing your customer base by demographics including:
- Socio-economic placement
- Education level
By understanding more about your clientele, you can offer more specially catered fitness services.
You also need to understand key elements of your business, like:
- Your location – Where are you planning on operating? Where your gym is located will determine the potential demographics of your customer base and contribute to your overall gym marketing strategy . Your location in terms of proximity to other gyms is also important to point out. Show that you know what (and where) you’re getting into.
- Your unique selling point - What do you offer your target audience that the competition doesn’t? Whether your gym has flexible hours, unmatched equipment, or classes that no one in the area has ever offered before, take the time to determine your unique selling points and find inspiration from other business owners. Some local gyms have gotten extremely creative when it comes to standing out from competitors. Take, for instance, Omaha’s The Exercise Coach , a small gym using unique tech to create user-specific exercise routines helping members reach their fitness goals in a curated, personalized way.
Research and statistics regarding gyms in your area can also be highly useful in backing up your business assertions. Feel free to add tables and graphs to further illustrate your ideas. Thorough research and relevant facts are excellent ways to showcase a level of professionalism to your business plan overall.
#4 Marketing strategies
Take your deep understanding of local market trends and your fitness industry expertise to craft marketing strategies that will bring members to your fitness center.
Consider the following marketing options and consider using multiple mediums and campaigns to create a winning strategy for your new gym:
- Shake up social media – Create engaging content to attract more users to your social media. Entice your audience with inspirational posts, contests, special offers, and more. Plus, social media gives your audience a direct line to communicate with you, so you can start interfacing with your customers digitally as well as in the gym.
- Connect locally - From your local paper to open bulletin boards, it’s usually simple and effective to find ways to engage with your local community. Print up some fliers, or take out an ad on a local radio station—whatever way you find to connect with your community. Today, it’s even easier to talk to your neighbors with a Nextdoor Business Page designed for local businesses and their communities.
- Loyalty plans and special pricing – Create plans and pricing fitness programs that encourage more contract renewals, personal referrals, and rewards for your most loyal customers. You want to find any way you can to reward your customers for choosing you, so develop a strategy that can benefit both your business and your clientele.
From email lists to billboards, be open to trying new marketing methods and take note of the ones that work best for your business. Marketing your gym is an ever-evolving process, what works today may change in the future, so stay flexible.
#5 Services and products
The “opening a gym business plan” varies from business, and never more so than in the services and products section. While most gyms sell memberships by the month and year, with a variety of service levels, perks, and specialized options, there are plenty of other services gyms offer.Consider, for example, the wide range of fitness classes you have the option of offering, such as:
The list goes on. Not only should your business plan outline every service you plan to offer—including personal training as well. It should also encompass any products your gym plans to sell online and in-store.
Track your plans for expansion and what more your business can offer to bolster profits and bring up your bottom line. These details will be highly relevant in the following section.
#6 Financial projections
Before you can finish your business plan, you’ll need to properly access your finances. While physical fitness may be your passion, if you’re hoping to turn that dream into a reality, you’ll need to display why your business is a sound investment.
Financial projects should include information regarding:
- Membership numbers – Estimate how many members you’ll have by the end of your first year, based on similar businesses. Additionally, you may want to include your total member cap, as this is a hard ceiling to potential earnings.
- Cash flow – The money coming in and out of your business must be adequate to keep the lights on, the staff paid, and the business running. Show investors that your hard work and research have paid off with a solid cash flow report.
- Costs – Between rent, upkeep, and equipment, starting out can be costly. Estimate your overall costs, as well as when your business will break even on this initial financial investment.
The financial portion of your business plan may require some expert advice or specialized knowledge. Consider hiring a professional financial expert or seeking the (often free) advice available to those seeking to start their own small business.
Grow your gym with Nextdoor
A well-written business plan can open doors for your business. After following these steps, you might find yourself with the connections and capital to finally realize your dreams. Before you start buying barbells, visit Nextdoor to get a headstart on connecting with your community.
By claiming your free Business Page, you’ll have the ability to engage with nearby, potential customers who are motivated to support local businesses like yours. Consider sharing your business plan with neighbors on Nextdoor to find out what your community is looking for out of a gym.
Missoulian. Missoula youth gym emphasizes 'books before boxing'. https://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-youth-gym-emphasizes-books-before-boxing/article_f76a50d2-0285-5b12-8b86-04196ebe72ef.html
KGUN. 78-year-old woman wins award for encouraging elderly to workout. https://www.kgun9.com/spiritofsoaz/78-year-old-woman-wins-award-for-encouraging-elderly-to-workout
KETV. Local gym uses 'smart fitness' technology for workouts. https://www.ketv.com/article/local-gym-uses-smart-fitness-technology-for-workouts/36338943
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How to Create a Fitness Studio Business Plan
February 8, 2023
Whether you are starting a studio, or already run one, a well-crafted fitness studio business plan is essential for building a profitable fitness business. A solid gym business plan helps you stay on track by identifying key market dynamics, illuminating opportunities for competitive advantage, and giving you key performance metrics to focus on.
Your fitness studio business plan may drive such critical decisions as where to locate your gym, how large a space to buy or lease, how many staff members you hire, what their pay rates should be, how many fitness classes and what type of classes and training programs you’ll offer, and the most effective ways to promote your fitness business.
If you own and operate an already established fitness business, revising your business plan – or creating one if you never have – can make a huge difference in boosting your bottom line and helping you to grow, especially if your gym’s growth has plateaued. A business plan is a constantly evolving blueprint that should reflect where your fitness business is in the moment, and let stakeholders know where you’re going and how you plan to get there.
In this post, we’ll review the elements of a solid small gym fitness plan, give you some gym business plan examples and links to gym business plan templates.
Here are the key elements of any good fitness studio business plan:
In this section of your gym’s business plan get down on paper your “why.” What is the purpose of your fitness business plan? What elements will you include in your gym’s business plan and why? How will this business plan demonstrate the viability of your fitness studio over time? What are your long term goals and how will you define success? Consider this section your “elevator pitch.”
Starting a fitness business is no small feat. Doing your homework up front will not only give you confidence to weather the ups and downs of running your own business, but show potential investors that you’re prepared. Imagine being an investor who is reading your business plan, and whom you want to assure that you’ve got a solid vision backed up by well researched facts and figures. Add a few lines about your fitness business’s “why” that inspire and demonstrate your passion and commitment as a small gym or fitness business entrepreneur.
This is the place to give all the details about who, what, where, when and why your fitness business exists. Include your mission and vision plus a detailed description of the type of services your fitness business offers and to whom. How is your gym or fitness studio structured? Is it independently owned by one or more people? Is it a franchise? Is there more than one location? What is the ownership structure? Are there shares? How are important business decisions made and by whom?
This is the place to give clear, concise information about the products and services you offer, why you started your fitness business and what differentiates you in your local market.
Taking time to research your market, understand trends and map the competitive landscape can make or break a fitness business, whether you’re in start-up mode, or an established player.
What is your population size? How far are the people living in your area willing to travel to work out? What is your target demographic in terms of age, gender, income and other lifestyle factors? Pinpoint your major competitors. Get to know their pricing and promotions. Is there an unmet need in your area that your fitness business can tap into? You may want to consider using a SWOT format, outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for competing gyms and your fitness studio.
Also, make sure you’re on top of the latest national and global fitness industry trends like online workouts and gym-goers’ preference for small boutique fitness experiences versus big box gyms. What innovative programs and services are top companies offering? Why?
Many small fitness business plans rely solely on word of mouth to promote their gym. While getting great recommendations through your community is an essential step in building a thriving fitness community, long-term, your fitness studio needs to have a solid, multi-channel marketing strategy to maximize your brand’s exposure to potential new customers.
In today’s competitive fitness industry landscape, it’s essential to understand how to efficiently use digital marketing platforms like social media, local search and email. To effectively run promotional programs, having a fitness business software platform that tracks your customer’s engagement and includes email, web and social media integrations is essential.
List all the key members of your fitness studio’s leadership team and include professional, biographical information that highlights their skills and experience. Your gym’s leadership team could include owners, board members, investors, lead instructors, sales and customer service representative and any business advisors you may have brought on board.
Describe how each person on the team will guide your fitness business to success. Consider including compensation structures and information about performance bonuses. Plan ahead for an eventual sale of your fitness business and formalize how owners and/or investors will be paid.
This is the section where many new business owners are overly optimistic. Base your financial projections on fact and always over-estimate expenses and under-estimate revenues. This includes being realistic about membership sales, seasonal fluctuations, attendance and staff turn-over. Calculate your gym’s monthly expenses and then figure out what your revenue per class or training session needs to be to cover your expenses plus owners’ compensation. From here you can determine how many class passes and/or monthly membership’s your fitness business will need to be profitable.
There can be a high turn-over rate in the gym business, so you’ll need a steady stream of potential new students coming through your doors each month, and know at what rate they will convert into long-term customers. Know your fitness niche’s average new student conversion rate.
Build out at least five years of financial profit and loss estimates. Be sure to take into account any rent increases in your lease, taxes, increases in instructor pay and get granular with your expenses, from phone and internet to Facebook ads to the toilet paper in the bathroom, and don’t forget all those new cleaning products you’ll need to operate safely and courteously in a post-pandemic world.
Gym Business Plan Templates
BusinessPlanTemplate.com This site offers a free outline of all the core content you’ll need to include in a fitness studio business plan. You can purchase a step-by-step business plan builder, including access to customer service and expert advise for $97. Business Plan Template.com is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and has strong, positive ratings from satisfied customers.
Bplans If you need a bit of inspiration check out or Bplans DIY gym sample plans for fitness centers, corporate fitness, gyms, health clubs, as well as martial arts studios, gymnastics schools, and a number of other athletics businesses.
For those who want a higher level of support in creating a full fleged, modern business plan, Bplans offers a paid option called LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you can access for free on the company’s website, plus additional guidance to help you develop a complete plan. Pricing starts at $12/mo. for a year subscription or $18/mo for a 6 mo. plan.
Institute of Personal Trainers This well-respected trade organization offers personal trainers a free business plan that includes step-by-step instructions. You can download the guide using the link on the association’s website. The institute understand that during the process of writing a business plan you will be presented with questions, ideas or challenges that you might not have thought of before. According to the organization, this alone makes it worth doing.
Remember, it’s better to start the process of creating a gym business plan, even if you feel intimidated, than to procrastinate until you feel you’ll get it perfectly right. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained simply by going through the process. Writing out your fitness studio business plan may open your eyes to blind spots in your business strategy or long-term performance goals and shift your business into a whole new realm of growth opportunity in the coming year.
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Gym Business Plan
Are exercise and fitness your passion? Or do you have a good knowledge of gym equipment and workout routines?
Then you might have thought of having your own gym at some point. After all, who doesn’t want to make their passion their profession?
And guess what, having a gym business can be an easy and hassle-free process too! If you have a gym business plan.
A gym business plan will help you pay attention to detail, and make the best strategies for a profitable business.
- Industry Overview
The global gym industry stands at a whopping value of 96.7 bn USD in 2021 and has 174 million members worldwide.
The growing enthusiasm for fitness and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle has led to a growing demand for gyms.
Also, people are becoming more specific with their workouts and want to be trained by experts. This has also contributed to the growth of the health club sector.
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Things to Consider Before Writing Your Gym Business Plan
Choose an accessible location, hire certified trainers.
Good trainers can make all the difference for your business. People who know what they are doing, are passionate and are ready to help your customers are essential.
Get your gym licensed and insured
Gym equipment can be expensive, and as so many people use it, it is also prone to damage. But if you get insurance for your gym you can sit back and relax, instead of worrying about the equipment.
Run promotions and discount offers
Good marketing is crucial to the success of any business. Creating your marketing and promotional strategy can be very helpful.
Why Do You Need a Gym Business Plan?
A gym business plan can help you manage your business with efficiency. It helps you manage everything from your finances to your clients.
A business plan gives a proper working structure to your business. It helps you navigate through roadblocks and carry out tasks to get maximum benefits out of them.
All in all, a business plan helps you turn your idea into a properly functioning business.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
If you are planning to start a new gym or fitness business, the first thing you will need is a business plan.
Before you start writing your business plan for your new gym business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of the gym and fitness-related business plans .
Reading some sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
Use our sample gym business plan to start writing your business plan in no time.
Gym Business Plan Outline
This is the standard gym business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Business Overview
- Tone & Fit
- Private Fit
- Private Group Fit
- Corporate Fit
- Yoga Control
- The Competition
- Risk / Opportunity
- Financial Requirements
- Sales vs. Net Profit
- Company Description
- StayFit’s History
- Mission Statement
- Goals and Objectives
- Critical Success Factors
- Company Ownership
- Exit Strategy
- Tone and Fit
- Pricing Table
- Unique Features
- New and Follow-on Products/Services
- Industry Trends
- Personal Trainers
- Functional Fitness Training
- Market Segment and Target Market
- Income / Expenditure Statistics
- Physical Activity In Canada
- Aerobic Fitness Ratings In Canada
- Greco Lean and Fit
- The Athletic Club
- Free Form Fitness
- Barriers to Entry
- Cost Structure
- Market Segmentation Strategy
- Targeting Strategy
- Positioning Strategy
- Product/Service Strategy
- Pricing Strategy
- Marketing Objectives
- Marketing Vehicles
- Promotional Budget
- Lead Generation Strategies
- Unique Selling Points
- Dollar Sales
- Company Organization
- Organizational Chart
- Organization Budget
- Legal Structure
- Operations Strategy
- Scope of Operations
- Operations Expenses
- Break-Even Analysis
- Income Statement (5-Year Projections)
- Balance Sheet (5-Year Projections)
- Cash Flow (5-Year Projections)
- Ratio Analysis
- Capital Requirements
- Year 1 – Monthly Profit & Loss Projections
- Year 1 – Monthly Unit Sales
- Year 1 – Monthly Sales Forecast
- Year 1 – Monthly Direct Unit Costs Forecast
- Year 1 – Monthly Direct Cost of Sales Forecast
Let’s understand how you can complete each section of the gym business plan.
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary section sums up your business idea. It should be written in such a way that an outsider can understand your idea in under 10 minutes.
As it forms the first page of your business plan, it’ll probably be the only section that your investor reads. Hence, you should write a good executive summary if you plan on getting funded.
An executive summary mainly includes your vision and mission statement, business summary, and financial summary.
As a gym business, you will add a description of the services you provide. As well as your funding requirements and pricing strategy.
2. Products and Services
This product and services section would consist of a description of the various services you offer. It would also include where your service would fit in the market and how it would solve an existing problem.
As a gym business, you must include the services and types of membership you offer and also include your pricing strategy for the same.
3. Market Analysis
This section is one of the most important ones in your plan. It helps you make sense of your market research and get valuable points out of it.
In this market analysis section, you can include points about your competitors, the market size of your industry, and how you will fit into the same. It is also a good practice to include information about the tastes and preferences of your target market.
4. Competitor Analysis
Whenever you start a new business, it is always recommended to see who your competitors are and what they are doing.
Competitor analysis includes everything ranging from the size of your competitor’s business to the level of impact they can have on your business.
For example, as a gym business, you will include the number of gyms operating in your locality, their size, and their customer base.
Also, include the services they offer and the pricing strategy they follow, so you can devise methods for standing apart from your competitors.
5. Marketing Strategy
A good marketing strategy can help your business grow by leaps and bounds. After, you carry out market analysis, devise clear marketing strategies for reaching out to your target audience based on your analyses.
Your marketing strategy plays a crucial role in making your brand known in the market. Hence, make sure to strategize in a way that resonates with your target audience.
6. Operations Plan
This section consists of long-term and short-term goals, as well as your strategies for achieving them. It mainly comprises how your business functions and what milestones you would need to achieve your business goals.
As a gym business, you may write the number of customers you plan on achieving in your first six months with strategies to do the same.
You can also write about your expansion goals and when and how you plan on achieving them.
7. Financial Plan
A financial plan ensures that your business runs smoothly and without any hiccups.
In this section, you should include your funding requirements and plans to use them. Also, include your projected cash flow and profits in this section.
As a gym business, you must note down the cost of setting up your gym and buying equipment. Write down the funds you’ll require for the same.
Download a sample gym business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free gym business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your gym business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan
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Gym Business Plan Summary
In conclusion, a business plan can take away the hassles of running a business. It ensures that your business journey is smooth and easy.
As a gym owner, a business plan lets you focus on improving your business’s customer experience instead of worrying about your finances and management.
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample gym business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your gym business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
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About the Author
Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more
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Gym Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]
Gym Business Plan
If you want to start a gym or fitness center or expand your current gym business, you need a business plan.
The following sample gym business plan gives you the key elements to include in a winning business plan for a gym.
You can download our Gym Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.
Gym Business Plan Example
Below are links to each of the key sections of a detailed gym business plan:
- Executive Summary – The executive summary is a brief overview of your gym business plan, including your company’s mission statement, target market, objectives, and goals. If you are seeking potential investors, it is important to make a good first impression with this section.
- Company Overview – The company overview provides an overview of your company, including its history, legal structure, business model, and ownership structure.
- Industry Analysis – Conducting an industry analysis is critical to understanding the market opportunity for your gym business. This section should include a description of the industry, its size, growth potential, and key players.
- Customer Analysis – This section of your gym business plan should describe your target customers, including their demographics, needs, and purchasing habits.
Download our Gym Business Plan Template and learn how to start a gym business plan.
- Competitive Analysis – Conducting a competitive analysis is essential to understanding the landscape of the market you are entering. This section should include an overview of your direct and indirect competitors, their market share, and their strengths and weaknesses.
- Marketing Plan – Your marketing plan should describe the marketing strategies you plan to use for reaching your target audience. This section should include your pricing strategy, membership fees, advertising and promotional strategies.
- Operations Plan – In the operations plan, you should describe your fitness center, exercise equipment and fitness classes, as well as your personal trainers and their qualifications.
- Management Team – This section of your gym business plan should describe the experience and qualifications of your management team.
- Financial Plan – The financial plan should include your financial projections (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement), as well as how you plan to secure funding such as bank loans.
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Gym Business Plan Sample
Gym Business Plan Template
Gym business plan.
If you want to start a new gym business or expand your existing business, you need a detailed gym business plan.
Since 1999, we have helped over 10,000 business owners create business plans to start and grow their gym, health club and fitness businesses.
Write a Business Plan for Your Gym Business
A good business plan includes financial projections, detailed strategies and action plans. We recommend that you start with a simple gym business plan template.
Below are links to each section of a winning gym business plan:
- Executive Summary – The Executive Summary is the most important section of your business plan. It should be clear, and concise and provide an overview of your gym business plan.
- Company Overview – The Company Overview section should include your company name, business model, location, history, and a brief description of your products or services. You can also include your company’s mission statement and/or a list of your key objectives.
- Industry Analysis – The Industry Analysis should include information on the size of the fitness industry, trends, competition and growth potential.
- Customer Analysis – The Customer Analysis should include a description of your target market, customer needs and how you plan to attract and retain your target audience.
- Competitive Analysis – The Competitor Analysis should include a description of your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses and how you plan to compete with them.
- Marketing Plan – The Marketing Plan should include your sales and marketing strategy, pricing strategy, and the promotion plan for your gym.
- Operations Plan – The Operations Plan should include a description of your gym facilities, equipment, staff, policies and day-to-day procedures. It may also include your gym or fitness business milestones.
- Management Team – The Management Team section should include biographies of the gym owner, your executive team members, and key employees.
- Financial Plan – The Financial Plan should include your gym’s financial statements, funding requirements, and investment analysis.
- Appendix – The Appendix should include any supporting documents such as your gym’s lease, contracts, permits and licenses.
Next Section: Executive Summary >
Gym Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my gym business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Gym Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Gym Business Plan.
Where Can I Download a Gym Business Plan PDF?
You can download our gym business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
What Is a Gym Business Plan?
A gym business plan provides a snapshot of your gym business or fitness center as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes solid market research for your local market to support your plans. This is true for an opening a gym business plan and a plan for an existing business.
Once you have a handle on your market and the basics of running a small business, include more detailed information in your formal gym business plan. This better prepares you for financial negotiations with banks and other business opportunities to help your fitness business grow.
Why Do You Need a Gym Business Plan?
Fitness is big business, as baby boomers lead the charge to remain healthy for a lifetime. Gyms have come a long way, and new gym owners have a seemingly endless array of choices. Yet many new gym businesses fail because their owners try to be all things to all people. A written business plan is crucial to growing and developing your gym in a controlled, sustainable manner. In addition, gyms are expensive to build and outfit. Potential investors and loan officers look to the business plan to decide whether to invest in your gym.
What Are the Sources of Funding for Gyms?
To secure funding for a gym, the main sources of funding are small business loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a solid gym business plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second best way to secure funding for a gym is through angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a gym. They might consider funding a chain of gyms, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual gym or fitness center could never achieve such results.
How Much Will It Cost to Start a Gym?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the start-up costs for starting a gym will vary depending on the size and scope of your business. That said, you can expect to spend anywhere from $25,000 to $500,000 or more when starting a gym.
How Do I Write a Business Plan For A New Gym?
A business plan for a new gym will include your purpose for entering the fitness industry, key market data, direct and indirect competitors, and a more detailed description of your marketing plan, management team, target audience, and more. Outside of the 10 sections noted in the gym business plan outline above, you may also include the following information in your gym business plan:
- Mission Statement : Define your philosophy on fitness and why you are opening this specific gym.
- Facility : Describe your gym’s layout and which equipment you will be using.
- Services : Describe the services you offer, such as personal training, available exercise equipment, hosting fitness classes, and child care.
- Membership Fees : Explain your pricing structure for memberships and other services.
- Financing : Detail how you will finance your startup costs and day-to-day operations.
- Growth Plan : Outline your plans for growing the business, including expansion into new markets and acquisitions.
- Risks and Threats : Describe the risks facing your gym and how you plan to address them.
- Exit Strategy : Explain how you will sell or close the business, including a timeline for doing so.
As you can see, a business plan for a gym is comprehensive and detailed. It should be updated regularly to reflect your changing business goals and strategies. Having a well-written gym business plan is essential to the success of any gym or fitness center.
What Marketing Strategies Are Effective For A Gym Business?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the marketing strategies that are effective for a gym will vary depending on the type of gym you own. However, some general marketing tips include:
- Creating a strong branding strategy, including a recognizable logo and tagline.
- Developing marketing materials such as print ads, website design, social media profiles, and more.
- Creating a referral program to incentivize customers to refer their friends.
- Developing partnerships with other established businesses in your community.
- Running promotional events such as free trial days or discounts for memberships.
As you can see, many marketing strategies can be effective for your gym. Your marketing strategy should support your overall business strategy, which is defined by your mission statement, vision, and unique selling proposition.
GYM BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE
- Gym Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Company Overview
- 3. Industry Analysis
- 4. Customer Analysis
- 5. Competitive Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
- 10. Appendix
- Gym Business Plan Summary
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Writing a Gym Business Plan: How-to Guide & Case Study
- Become a Personal Trainer
- Editors: Abbie Watkins
- Verified By: Chloe Twist
This guide will not only show you how to find success similar to OriGym’s business ventures, we’re going to give you a step-by-step break down of how we did it, providing you with all the industry tips for developing your own gym business plan.
Before jumping in, when running a gym, being qualified is a must! Get started with our Personal Trainer Diploma by enquiring below or download our course prospectus to see what else we offer.
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Step One – Market Research
First you need to brainstorm some ideas.
After you become a personal trainer and gain industry experience, you need to decide what type of gym you feel your target market in your location would benefit from and how that would differ from the competition.
Step Two – Why finding the perfect location is one of the most important aspects of setting up a successful gym
When writing your gym business plan or personal training studio plan, you need to think about the location of the gym. Even if everything else is water-tight, a large part of your success will be determined by where you choose to set up.
Why gym location is so important…
When you’re trying to complete a gym business plan, or any business plan that operates within a specific location for that matter, it only makes sense that your first thoughts should immediately turn to the location of your business premises.
A good location improves your marketing, makes attracting audiences easier, and can be the difference between your business flourishing, or crashing out at the first hurdle.
When setting up OriGym, location was of primary concern:
Luke Hughes: “When deciding how to set-up a gym, location was key, irrespective of how unique or innovative our later plans were. Before we settled on our final premises to start OriGym, we had visited over 30 different sites. “What’s important to remember is that there are so many variables that you need to consider that could affect your future success of your business. For us, being close to a target audience, and being able to find the right staff was key, so we chose our venue based on these factors.”
What location factors you need to consider when setting up a gym…
As well as business-specific factors, there are also a few practical considerations that you have to keep in mind when you’re choosing the site of your venue.
Any gym business plan that doesn’t consider the following, risks having their business stifled by regulations and red tape…
Luke Hughes: “We elected to go for a warehouse-based gym that was just off a main A road. Our venue therefore had plenty of accessibility, visibility to passing traffic, and came with a free car park for our gym members. “There were no competing gyms within a three mile radius, no business rates, and rent was low due to it being a warehouse that we converted into a gym”
Before we move on, let’s look at some of the most important factors to consider when drafting up your business plan.
Remember, neglecting to cater for any of the below could see your whole plan, and business, collapse at an early stage.
You might have started with an aesthetic vision for your business, be it a boutique gym, a warehouse conversion, or even an inner-city venue with more of a commercial feel.
Regardless of your plans, one thing that all new gyms need is council permission and landlord authorisation.
On most search engines, you can search via D1 premises, inputting your location and industry to pinpoint ideal locations.
You may believe that you have found the ideal location for your new gym, however, bear in mind that it often turns out to be the case that a premises requires you to officially declare the purposes of your business, in order for you to legally open a gym in that building.
Now, here’s the important part: it is a legal requirement for a gym in the UK to have D1 planning permission.
Many applicable sites will already come with this planning permission, but it can become a difficult process if you find a perfect site that only has the planning available for offices or retail.
While the process has many steps – outlined in this excellent article – the basics are that you will need to ask the estate agent if the landlord would be willing to support a change of use, before applying via the local council for that planning permission to be accepted.
As you can imagine, this can be a time-consuming process, during which there is the potential for another company to swoop in if they do not require so many changes to existing regulations.
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Foot Flow & Visibility
Finding a suitable premises that has a guaranteed foot flow, or, at the very least, consistent volumes of traffic that pass by throughout the day, is critical for setting up a successful gym.
Keep in mind that venues placed on high streets or close to major transportation links often charge more on their leases, as they know this is what most businesses want.
When writing your gym business plan, you need to conduct a SWOT analysis of the immediate area in relation to your competition.
It’s all well and good securing a gym premises on a busy high street or main road, but if you are setting up a personal training studio next to a large national chain with a massive marketing budget, you could find yourself getting priced out of the market and struggling to make your lease rent.
When contemplating how to start a gym and putting your gym business plan together, you should always consider how accessible your potential venue is to your customers.
Is there good public transportation links such as bus stops and a train station nearby? Is your prospective venue situated off a main road? Are you in a thriving business area?
You must calculate the cost difference of being on the main road or high street, against the cost of the increases in gym rent and, potentially, reduced gym space.
Future Development Work
Another industry tip to when it comes to opening a gym is to consider what development is planned in the coming years for the surrounding area.
If you find a potential gym premises that has scheduled increased public transport, infrastructural changes, or business development e.g. a nearby business park, you could be getting a real steal on your premises before the land value sores.
When evaluating how much it costs to start a gym, one of the biggest outgoings to consider is the rent or lease cost.
Bear in mind that lease costs can vary based on where the venue is located, the type of premises it is, the square foot of the venue, and the level of accessibility / visibility your gym would receive.
Another aspect to take into consideration when evaluating how much it costs to start your own gym are business rates.
A business rate is the tax you pay to the council for having a commercial premises. It is calculated based on the rateable value of that premises. With gyms requiring large spaces, they normally have large business rates that come with the property.
That being said there are a few ways around business rates:
- Firstly, you do not pay business rates on a property under £12,000 per annum.
- A shrewd way of saving money is renting a venue where the space you are renting is part of a larger overall building, meaning your neighbours may be paying the business rates on that property, or you could at least split the costs between your businesses.
Style of Building
One major cost to factor into your gym business plan is if there are any works to the prospective venue that need completing, in addition to any other work in the way of renovation.
These may include:
Step Three – What services will you offer?
When writing your gym business plan, you need to be clear in your mind what services your gym is going to offer.
Without knowing what you want to offer, you can’t make provisions for target audiences, and without planning for target audiences, you can’t accurately choose a location.
So, how best to condense what you are going to offer to your paying customers?
Let’s start with the factors you need to consider…
Step Four – What fitness equipment should you get? Should you buy equipment or lease it?
Of course, there is no one straight forward answer here.
Your budget for equipment depends on factors like what type of gym you are looking to set-up, the overall budget you have for your gym business plan, the size of the premises, and the expertise of your future clientele.
If there was one golden rule – and this applies to all aspects of business planning – it would be to not get carried away trying to beat your competitors in terms of buying state-of-the-art equipment .
Different gyms have difference client-needs to serve: being the best doesn’t necessarily mean owning the most expensive equipment.
But don’t just take my word for it…
Steph Roberts: “If your costs for setting up a gym are limited, or you just want to start a personal training studio, having a large functional based space is a great place to start, as it does not require much investment and is multi-purpose. “When we set-up our first gym, we leased a few pieces of cardiovascular machines and fixed resistance equipment as they depreciate in value and soon become outdated. Most of our investment was originally spent on functional equipment, weights such as a squat rack, Olympic bars, and dumbbells as they have a much longer shelf life.”
Where should you buy your fitness equipment from?
Again, there is no straightforward answer to this…
Depending on who your clients are, and what they need from your facility, you might be able to save a lot of money only buying certain, specialist equipment, and avoiding expensive weights machines entirely.
A CrossFit Box, for example, may draw just as many clients than a commercial gym, and will usually have less than half of the equipment.
But if you do need to buy expensive equipment, where can you save money?
Major fitness equipment brands provide finance, and will allow you to lease or buy gym equipment outright if you have the capital to do so. They also provide packaged discounts the more gym equipment you buy, so it’s advisable to coordinate your equipment needs and buy in bulk.
Some of the brands OriGym had particular success with were:
Luke Hughes: “Looking on Ebay or Gumtree always produces some hidden gems, especially for cardiovascular based equipment such as treadmills, cross trainers, bikes, or rowers for your gym.” “Like most aspects of life, being pro-active has its rewards. “If you see a gym closing down or a gym planning to announce an upgrade on its gym equipment, a pro-active email / phone call could help you secure cheap gym equipment in bulk for your new venue. “In the past, we’ve even had gyms give us used fitness equipment for free, as long as we were willing to come and pick it up!”
Step Five – Where are you getting revenue from?
How much should i charge for gym memberships.
So, you’ve sorted your location, you’ve conducted market research, and you’re certain that your target audience are in the local vicinity of your gym…
One question: why is everything so quiet?
If you’re experiencing a low take-up in your new facility, it’s probably because your prices are too high.
Similarly, if you’re experiencing unprecedented business uptake, but you’re still struggling to pay the rent, then it’s probably because you’re not charging enough.
Choosing how much to charge your members can depend on local competition, what equipment you have secured, and the contact hours you and your staff intend to have with clients (weekly personal training vs. pay-as-you-go gym sessions, for example)
Here are some of the main factors you need to consider:
- Service Ad-ons – Are you including any additional services, alongside access to the gym? E.g. free personal training sessions, free supplements, or free health checks.
- Gym Facilities – Is there going to be a pool? Are there going to be fitness classes running out of a studio?
- Gym contract – Normally the longer you get someone to commit to a contract for, the lower the monthly amount they have to pay. Many gyms now do not even have a contract
- Gym Equipment – How much fitness equipment will there be? Will the gym equipment be branded and new?
Now listen up, because the next step is crucial.
When writing your gym business plan, you need to factor in how many gym members you believe will sign up to your facility in the early months, and you need to go on to make accurate predictions of your month-by-month growth .
What secondary gym revenue streams will there be?
A well thought out fitness business plan will evaluate every angle of potential revenue that the gym might earn.
When asking yourself how much would it cost to start your own gym, you must first anticipate the possible income generated through your primary services, in order to find out what potential there is for secondary revenue streams.
Here are a few additional revenue streams you might not have factored into your gym or personal training studio business plan:
Before we continue, check out our guides below for advice about getting your fitness business started:
- Personal Trainer Business Plan
- Starting a Personal Training Business Checklist
- Achieving Your Personal Trainer Business Goals
Step Six – Gym advertising and marketing to get your gym off the ground
I can’t tell you how many people neglect this step, and as a result, how quickly their business ambitions fall through the floor.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that in order to succeed in business, you need to learn about marketing.
Or, you need to hire someone who knows about marketing.
Or, pay for freelancers who are professionals in marketing.
Basically, if you can’t compete with other gyms in terms of marketing, you’re going to lose out.
Luke Hughes – “Gym advertising and marketing is extremely important, and you need to have a clear route to market and a gym advertising budget set aside to promote when setting up a gym. “There are two forms of advertising: organic and paid. “Paid gym advertising should be your first point of call to get immediate results, where organic gym advertising should be your long-term strategy.”
Step Seven – Factoring recruitment costs into your gym business plan
When asking yourself how much would it cost to start a gym, you need to start thinking about how many members of staff you will need, and what their wage will be, determined by their expertise.
Below, we’ve compiled the most important factors you should consider when budgeting for staff and recruitment.
Steph Roberts: “ When starting a gym, one of the biggest gym costs to place in your gym business plan is staff costs. With OriGym, we used some free platforms and business links to get our first staff without paying any upfront costs to advertise for positions”
So, what are the best avenues for recruiting gym staff?
General Jobs Boards
Featured: Indeed is the largest jobs board in the world, and it is perfect for starting a private gym as it allows you to advertise jobs in one location, completely free of charge.
Leisure Specific Jobs Boards
- Leisure Opportunities
- Active Careers
Featured: Active Careers is a free jobs board within the health and fitness sector, where you can advertise for fitness-based positions completely free of charge.
Gym Recruitment Agencies
- Flow Sports
- Leisure Recruitment 4 U
- Gym Career
Featured: Gym Career is a recruitment agency specifically focusing on fitness professionals. With access to a huge database of high quality trainers, you will have plenty to pick from. But be warned, it will come at a financial cost.
Partnering with a fitness training provider
Most reputable fitness training providers have obligations to their graduates after they have finished completing their fitness qualifications, including guaranteeing interviews with gyms.
By offering to help their fitness instructing and personal training graduates find employment, you get a new staff member and the training provider fulfils their promises to their students.
What personal training structure should you use?
Remember, the structure with which you pay your personal trainers can drastically affect both your ability to earn, and theirs.
You want to design a structure that is enticing in order to attract the best personal trainers, but also one that ensures that your business remains profitable.
Steph Roberts: “ There are many different ways to offer personal training in your gym. In general, you can treat your trainers as a revenue stream, or hire them on an annual salary. At OriGym we combined paying some of our trainers per hour with options where freelance trainers could pay per client they bought into the gym. “This allowed us to generate some income, but still have the best trainers around for our gym members to work with.”
Step Eight – Gym Insurance
There are many legality issues that you need to factor into your gym business plan, and taking out a policy of public liability insurance is an absolute must.
Insurance companies such as Protectivity and Insure4sport specialise in gym insurance and have specific packages to cater for the following:
Step Nine – Unexpected overheads to consider in your gym business plan
As any business owner will tell you, it is often the aspects of running a venue that you can’t plan for that will cause you to lose sleep at night.
Even if you have the best gym business plan in the world, planned to every immaculate detail, there’s always going to be something at the end of the month that you didn’t expect.
Of course, one problem with unexpected costs is that we can’t exactly write a definitive list of what they might be… Otherwise, they wouldn’t be unexpected, would they?
However, here’s some of the costs that caused us to double-take while getting our first OriGym venue of the ground:
You’ve made it through all the foundational steps of drafting your gym business plan, and got some valube insights from OriGym’s co-owners along the way.
Deserved pats on backs all round.
But we’re not done yet…
For the serious prospective gym owners, below you can find everything you need to know – and what we wish we’d known – in order to execute your gym business plan to its maximum potential.
Why it helps to be personal training qualified before opening a gym
There are many successful gyms out there run by individuals who have never set foot in a classroom to complete their level 2 or level 3 personal training courses .
And it’s true, business acumen, a sharp eye for marketing, and a great sense of timing are all aspects that are going to help you succeed if you’re looking to open your own gym: all skills more aligned with a business graduate than with a fitness one.
But there are also some huge benefits if you’re a qualified personal trainer looking to expand your business by owning your own venue…
Luke Hughes: “ Becoming PT qualified enables you to understand the market, in addition to the needs of your customers and staff to provide a better service. “Additionally, if you are planning to run personal training sessions, conduct gym inductions or perform health checks yourself, you must be PT qualified to do this legally. “Lastly, even if you have no intention of running any physical sessions yourself, you can fill in for staff absences, holidays or sickness to keep your customers happy.”
How should you name your brand?
Creating a brand is the aspect of setting up a business that many entrepreneurs get excited by.
After all, this may be the culmination of years of planning and ambition, so you want to be proud of the sign above your door and the branding of your website.
There’s only one small problem: it’s actually pretty difficult…
To avoid spectacularly missing the mark when it comes to naming your brand, keep these tips in mind:
Creating a memorable fitness brand name that leaves a clear first impression of what your business does is crucial when learning how to set up a gym.
Steph Roberts: “We selected OriGym as our brand name as it combined the word “original” with the word “gym” to capture our brand ethos.”
Registering your gym or personal training studio on Companies House.
Before officially registering your gym name on Companies House, there are a couple of housekeeping rules to be aware of…
What you register your business name as on Companies House has little bearing to what name you can market as a trading name, as long as this is transparent on your website and marketing materials. Getting your brand name trademark protected is far more valuable and should be a priority when incorporation incurs.
Don’t forget to pencil in a pre-sale event into your gym business plan!
Ever wondered how all those new gyms seem so busy as soon as their doors open?
Well, now you have an answer, and its gym pre-sales.
Once you’ve established the day that your gym will open, you should immediately launch a gym-presale event in order to attract your first members.
The whole idea of your presale is to draw customers to your new facility, and the easiest way to do this is to offer a discounted price for pre-sale clients.
Remember, marketing is a key aspect of your gym business plan, and this kind of campaign is an easy win in terms of attracting some early customers and attention.
Add to your pre-sale by offering virtual tours of what your gym is going to look like upon completion, and by offering brochures with price-lists for more services (this way, new clients can see how much money they are saving too!).
And with that, our guide to writing the ultimate gym business plan is complete!
If you follow all the steps outlined above and deliver a unique service to your area, you’ll set yourself on the right path to expanding your local business into a national one.
There is no better way to prepare yourself for a career owning a gym than to gain a Personal Trainer Diploma and establishing a solid foundation for your future. For all you need to know in terms of available career paths, download our free prospectus .
Written by Luke Hughes
Join Luke on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group
Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.
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