HOW TO OPEN A GYM or Fitness Center: 5 ESSENTIAL FEATURES A GREAT GYM NEEDS

The fitness industry is now booming like never before. We are more health-conscious, leading a healthy life. Your goals might be different you might want chiseled abs or an hourglass body or you don’t care about muscle gain you are maintaining your fitness and immunity with some good old yoga. Whatever you might be aspiring for that is a way of leading a healthy life. So if you are one who wants to go for a start-up in this industry then this is the article for you.

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Starting a fitness studio, yoga studio, or gym is not a cakewalk but it is neither an impossible one. The only thing that you will need is proper knowledge, high aspiration, and motivation to conquer the goals. Before starting on your dream project you certainly have to work on yourself first, because you will be the motivation for your customers that will want to reach your level of fitness or achieve similar goals like you. But does that mean a cross-fit cannot open a yoga studio? Of course, you can. This is where the knowledge comes into the picture. You need to understand your customer’s requirements and guide them in the right direction. So before getting on to this ride, learn about your destination and the path to reach it with us.

First, ask yourself: why do you want to open a gym?

The first step towards anything should come from your passion and dedication towards that. Looking at someone else’s success and then making it your goal is absurd and ineffective. That is why I say before getting into the fitness industry; make an example out of you. Your journey should build the outline of your business and the more you transform yourself the more the people will try to get in the vicinity of your gym. The foundation of the industry should be upon the love and passion you have for it not on the grounds of greed and profit.

Of course, there will be profit, no business runs without profit. It’s just about your intentions and the motivation behind it. A business on the ground of positive vibes will see more growth because you will be personally engaged in the well being of the people. That is very important. Your dreams towards making a change in the world with a healthier human being or help people to get through their tough times, and guide them properly with a regime counts in making your gym the best one. So make a clear picture of your goals and work hard towards them. Clarity gives you perspective and your way of approaching things changes. Hire the best professionals and do not compromise on your quality of service, because it is always quality over quantity.

After identifying the reason behind your fitness club decide on your field. Whether you want to go for the traditional gym or a wholesome boutique, either way, detailed knowledge or research on that respective field is very important.

The fitness industry in the world:

As I mentioned earlier the market fitness industry is rapidly growing. It is there in trend for decades now. But the fitness back then use to be different than now. Due to the modern lifestyle and eating habits, more people now face challenges regarding their health. A higher percentage of people are now under the category of obese. Unsurprisingly the number is drastically increasing. This is the main reason that the fitness industry is attracting more people than ever before. With such a lifestyle and routine I don’t see the number decreasing any time soon. So it is a great industry to invest your money in.

According to the 2019 statistics the market is exceeding 96 billion US dollars. The total number of heat and fitness clubs worldwide is 201k and the total number of members in the health and fitness club worldwide is 184m. However, this data is strictly on the gym and health club. It does not comprise the society recreational studios, local fitness clubs, gyms at hotels, etc. Some of the largest health clubs worldwide offer 24*7 fitness and lifetime fitness in their membership program. At the top of the list, there is L.A. fitness that generated revenue of around two billion dollars.

The current fitness trend:

If we plot the graph of the fitness trend in a graph it would come out as definitely not as a straight line, but with lots of ups and downs, curves and edges. Over the years we have been through many fitness routines like HIIT, functional training, Cross fit, weight lifting, and many more. But the recent trends show an inclination towards wholesome fitness. We are encouraging a holistic development for our overall growth, giving the same importance to our physical as well as mental health to pave for a foreseeable future. So we can say we have taken a path towards wholesome progress with digital expertise alongside.

A Nielsen survey shows that 81% of the millennial wants to join a health or fitness club, whereas only 61% of boomers. The millennials are now more into spending their money in a gym for their health. They are eating smart and working out daily, taking it as a daily pursuit. Whereas women use fitness app twice as men, 46% of them want quantifiable data and 54% of them are willing to buy a fitness tracking gadget.

Despite the rapid expansion and an influx of investment, Asia has huge potential left. The fitness industry in India is under development. In recent years there have been many premium players enter the market, but they generally struggle to generate revenue outside the membership.

There are nearly 3800 clubs and a million members, but the penetration is only 0.12%. With the increase in the average income of the middle-class people there, we can expect more penetration in this industry.

Let’s have a look at what are the features we should ensure of before opening a health or fitness club:

1. Ensure Your Gym Is Spacious

While working out you don’t want to bump into random people or you have to stand so close to each other that you can smell some sweaty armpits. Nobody wants that. Gyms have to be spacious to breathe. When lots of people are coming together to burn some calories there will be lots of seat shedding too. Making the place breathable not only makes it comfortable for people to exercise but also to concentrate on their selves more.

Some clients like their space while working out they don’t want to be surrounded by a hundred people and then try to lift a 100 pounds barbell. A spacious gym is also required for some of the exercises like battle rope, and many cardio-based workouts. To fit all those instruments and weights, and not only fit but also to place them in such a way that they are not invading each other’s space. Also, you cannot have only a single unit of types of equipment; you should at least have 3 units of each. However you can always start with small then expand, but keep you mid-set that you will expand one day and keep your gym spacious accordingly.

2. Identify Your Niche

There are several fitness niches to choose from. Identify what kind of fitness center you would like to open. Explore the different fitness niches listed below.

Specialty fitness center:

Here the focus is mainly on one particular fitness type or activity, like aerobics, yoga, dance, pilates, cycling, and much more. They generally have different programs depending on your level, intensity, and complexity. Each program has a specialized instructor. This kind of fitness center is comparatively expensive because of a boutique experience, intimate interior, and quality training.

Traditional gym:

Traditional gyms are good old school gyms that offer a variety of workout options with lots of instrument, freehand or with weights workouts. They also have the service of a personalized trainer that will be some extra bucks added to your membership program. They have extra amenities like a steam room, massage, tanning, or sauna.

Medical fitness and wellness center:

These fitness centers deal with the health-related issues of the clients. They also provide medical supervision. Mostly physical therapies are under their umbrella, and they engaged with a doctor clinic. They have a very professional staff that specializes in different therapeutic programs. They give special care to each client tracking, managing, and measuring their progress.

Family Fitness and wellness center:

Family Fitness and wellness center needs a big area to start with. It also includes the athletic and country clubs. They have different workout programs for different age groups. They have group fitness, strength and cardio types of equipment, and also personal training. They offer many more services like a swimming pool, sports like tennis, badminton, etc. Steam rooms, child care, sauna, tanning are also on the list.

It’s worth considering whether or not you’d like to start your fitness center as a for-profit business or a non-profit. A non-profit family wellness center, such as the YMCA, will provide services and programs for community members who cannot afford to pay full price. Often this is done on a sliding scale, based on income; students and seniors also typically get a discount at non-profit family wellness centers. For-profit wellness facilities do not offer these discounts.

3. Great types of equipment

It is very important to choose your types of equipment wisely. You can either buy them or lease them. Leasing them will keep you updated on the latest equipment. This will also help you in assessing the types of equipment you need to buy, and how many units, because some equipment is more in use than others. You may find out which brand to choose based on their maintenance costs.

gym equipments

However, leasing equipment does costs you more in the long run than buying the product, because you are giving up the ownership interest.  Do your research and check with a lawyer before deciding on whether or not to lease gym equipment. If you decide to lease equipment, you can check to see if the company is a member of a leasing association such as the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers or the National Association of Equipment Finance Professionals.

4. Good Flooring And Aesthetics

The second thing you should checkbox after proper types of equipment is good aesthetics of the gym. The decor can be more rugged and urban giving it a rusty vibe. Different fitness center requires different interiors. You will not give a yoga parlor a beast mode designs, and a traditional gym a soothing atmosphere. The color, walls, decor, music, and overall aesthetics count to become one of the biggest fitness brands.

The flooring of the gym plays a key role in the aesthetic. Floors vary with different themes, sometimes it can be smooth and shiny and some can be edgy and rugged. The more important thing is the floor area. Place your equipment in such arrangements that they do not create chaos on a busy gym day. Also, make sure to get a heavy-duty floor that will bear all the impacts of dumbbells and barbells. There are specialized gym floors that are crack or scratch proof. So before going ahead and investing your money in something do your research.

5. Marketing

At the first market your business at various places like malls, hoardings, and supplement stores. After you gain a customer base market and promote your business where customers spend time. It may sound simple but for visible results, you need to be consistent and dedicated towards your goals over time. You may ever consider hiring a marketing PR team. Social media plays a key role in marketing nowadays.

Even if you cannot afford a marketing team you can promote your gym on social media and handle them yourself. This is where your transformation matters because they will look up to you. You can start with small creative ideas. Start a new fitness challenge; engage our friends, family, and colleague. Include as many as people you can. Feature them on your page. You can also give them a discount on the total membership amount.  By coming up with a marketing plan for your gym or fitness center, you’ll be able to focus your efforts and get the word out about your new business. You may want to offer free guest passes, membership discounts, and other incentives to keep and attract new clients.


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