Opening a gym involves much more than simply creating a venue for physical exercise. Your responsibilities include business strategies, staff management, marketing and many other challenges.
But do not give up on your dream! It may be a long journey, but it will be rewarding. As well as the potential profits offered by the sector, your gym will be a place where people will train to better themselves, physically and mentally.
Why open a gym?
Gyms and fitness centres provide increasingly modern equipment. It is now much easier to combine different sports at the same venue. Nowadays, it is easier to combine new technologies with staff and equipment to create a practical, comfortable and relaxing location.
As well as being somewhere to workout and look after your health, a gym is also a place for socialising. It is a place where socialising is very important, and any need can be satisfied with different integrated services. Good planning and vision will create a profitable and growing business, while helping people stay healthy.
7 aspects to take into account when opening your gym
1. Market research
Before making any decision, you have to define the goal of your venue. Do market research and understand who gyms are aimed at. Find out the target audience of these facilities and decide how you can complement the service or offer something extra. Another option is to attract a target audience that is not yet catered for.
Visit the social networks of other gyms and their facilities. See how they present and position themselves in their marketing. Study the marketing strategies they implement and the sports and services they provide. With this information, establish what kind of fitness venue you will create. Whether it is a traditional gym, a venue providing a specialised service, or a health and well-being centre, focus on always giving more than what is on offer on the market.
The choice of location should be carefully considered. It should be integrated into the future of the business, as you will be competing with other spaces in the same region. As well as operational needs, think about ease of access, parking and other attractive amenities.
Location means more than simply the city or region where it is situated. The entire economic and social context should be taken into account. Habits, culture, setting aside zones for concentration and movement, and offering a vast range of activities and leisure options are other important factors.
Above all, your venue should be easily accessible for its members, no matter how mobile they are.
3. Develop your brand
In such a highly competitive market as the fitness sector, a strong brand which represents the culture of your venue makes all the difference. Strengthen the sense of community you will create and always transmit your values and ideas. The most important thing about your marketing is that it is consistent!
Do not forget to incorporate your branding in your venue and on your equipment. Take advantage of the logo and colours chosen to decorate the facility and show your members that your gym is unique. Make your venue a pleasant and appealing location that attracts new customers and encourages your regular users to come back.
4. Staff, education and training
Your staff, as well as being qualified, must have team spirit and transmit the values of your gym. Provide training on health and how to use the equipment, so your staff can better serve the users of the gym. The number of employees you hire will depend on the size of the premises and the activities and services you offer.
Prioritise flexibility in your service and marketing. Your staff should be able to identify customer needs, be polite and interested, and familiarise themselves with the sector and the market. And, as an entrepreneur, invest in your own training and education. Take part in seminars and register for congresses and courses. Keep up to date with the surrounding community as it has a direct bearing on the life and health of your members.
5. Investment strategy
After defining the identity and structure of your gym, it is time to face one of the biggest challenges in creating a new venue. This is a project that implies a huge initial investment, incorporating the site, equipment, licences and certificates. As well as these expenses, other fixed and variable costs include your staff, maintenance and cleaning of the equipment, software, marketing and advertising.
Draw up a business plan for your gym. See what your budget is and what investment you need to make, in the long and short term. As large sums will be involved, it may be necessary to use external financing.
6. Marketing the venue
Keeping your existing customers happy and satisfied while you attract new members is essential for your business. It is a job that requires dedication and consistency, but which brings big benefits. What matters is captivating your customers, providing them with positive and impactful experiences at your facility. The marketing effort should involve platforms to communicate easily with customers.
Find out about the potential of digital marketing, and the tools available in this area. Social networks provide an excellent tool to share content that represents your gym in the best light and inform people about your facilities. Put a lot of work into the graphic design, photos and videos and provide incentives to your target audience through promotions and discounts.
The choice of equipment for your gym depends on the sports and services you will provide. In addition to quantity and quality, strike a balance between versatility and specialisation. Review the identity of your gym and your audience, and focus on serving their needs as much as possible.
Separate the venue into different zones to optimise its layout. Be creative, plan the space you have available based on the quantity of equipment needed, and try to combine the available activities as much as possible. You can install different flooring options to create dynamic and specific areas for the widest range of workouts.
Stay up to date!
Keep track of all the news and developments in your sector. To keep the customers you have gained engaged, you have to provide them with the best conditions so they can take full advantage of your facilities.