How to Start Fitness Center & Gym – Business Plan checklist

Are you interested in starting fitness center business of your own? Fitness related business demands careful planning and research. It is an industry which continues to be a lucrative business opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs globally. Generally, the fitness industry is considered as a largely recession-proof industry.

An entrepreneur having knowledge and experience in fitness related activities can initiate this business with reasonable capital investment.

Research and Business Plan for Gym or Fitness Center

Do adequate market research before starting a fitness business. Consider about right location and demographics. The most important step in starting fitness related business is creating a well thought out business plan.

In writing business plan determine your target audience. What are the services you will render to your clients? You may target a large audience by offering a variety of services or you can concentrate on a specific niche like women-only and a discipline-specific fitness center.

You need to craft a well-defined marketing strategy. Calculate startup budget with establishment cost, staffing and equipment cost. Calculate an expected revenue return.

A well-written business plan will not only help you in arranging finance but also give you the confidence in the feasibility of your fitness center.

Let us explain here, in brief, the important key areas which you must include in your business plan.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the most important chapter in your fitness center business plan. Generally, this chapter comes as the opening chapter of your business plan. The executive summary is a brief overview of the entire business plan.

Briefly mention the mission, vision, growth highlights,  products, and services, financial information, future plans if any of your fitness center business plan.

If you are a beginner and starting a business for the first time, naturally you will not have so much of information to demonstrate. In that scenario,  mention your experience, background and your research regarding fitness center business.

Remember executive summary is supposed to be written at the very end though it will come at the very first in the finalized documented fitness center business plan.

2. Company Description

Write here a detailed information regarding what you want to do, what are the key areas which are different from others, and your customer target audience.

3. Market Analysis

In this section of the fitness center business plan, write down market research finding of the fitness center market in your business locality.

Mention the demand for a fitness center in your locality and exactly what kind of services the customers are looking forward to avail.

Write down the competition level and how you are going to compete with the competitors providing similar products or services in the catchment area you have chosen.

4. Organization & Management

Every business can’t be structured in a similar manner. You need to decide the best-suited organization and management structure for your fitness center business. Write down here in this chapter the kind of organization structure you would like to construct for your fitness center business.

5. Service or Product Line

Gym or fitness center business formats broadly are of two types. One is the regular gym with cardio and bodybuilding equipment and the other is fitness center with facilities like aerobics, Zumba, Yoga, martial arts, etc.

Write in detail the business format you have chosen mentioning equipment required and classes to be conducted.

6. Marketing & Sales

Here in this chapter, write down your marketing penetration strategy, growth strategy, channel or distribution and communication strategy of your fitness center business.

Also, lay down your sales strategies specifically in areas like sales force recruitment, training of sales force, compensation structure, sales activities.

7. Funding

If you are interested in funding your fitness center business venture, use this section to outline your requirements. Write down all relevant and essential information needed to include in your financial projections for your fitness center business.

8. Appendix

An appendix section though not mandatory, however, lot many business owners include information such as resumes, permits, and leases, etc. If you have any additional information to provide for your gym or fitness center, use appendix section.

Registration & Insurance for Gym or Fitness Center

Choose a catchy and business specific name for your gym or fitness business. It is advisable to register your business name. You need to contact an appropriate local authority in registering your business name. The registration process depends on the specific law of that particular country where you want to establish your fitness center.

In the United States, this process is known as registering your “Doing Business As” (DBA) name.

A DBA is needed in the United States for Sole Proprietors, partnerships, existing corporations or LLCs. Contact your county clerk’s office or with your state government as per the location of your business.

It is advisable to have specific insurance for your fitness related business. It will protect you and your business both from damages which can’t be predicted.

Establishment and Set up of Gym or Fitness Center

Selection of the right location with right price is crucial to get success in your business. You need to consider to have good visibility, access and availability of parking for your customers. Your gym or fitness business location must be in a high-traffic area.

Consult with interior personnel to craft the floor plan. Concentrate on inside decoration. Giving a smart trendy ambiance inside will definitely help you to generate a good return to your business.

Equipment for Gym or Fitness Center

As far as equipment is concerned there are two choices. You can purchase or can hire the equipment to start with. In purchasing the equipment, compare the rate and check testimonial of the company before giving the order.

Staffing for Gym or Fitness Center

As you are entering a service industry and that little to bit competitive, you need to give special emphasis on hiring people. Be selective in recruiting manpower as it can make or break the business. Always look for skilled and experienced manpower.

Promote your Gym or Fitness Center

Create an attractive, eye-friendly signage and fix it outside of your fitness center. It is advisable to prepare a media kit. Go for some outdoor advertising for brand building. Create your business website.

You will need to be a little bit creative in marketing. Some press release will definitely help you to attract a new prospective customer. Arrange events at your fitness center to attract the community. Offer promotional items like t-shirts as prizes or as welcome gifts to our clients. You can consider the idea of co-branding also. Doctor’s referral also works very well in getting customers.