How to Open a Gym: The Ultimate Guide

Have you always dreamed of starting a gym that you can run for yourself? Do you want to help others achieve their loftiest fitness goals? If so, then you need to learn how to open a gym and turn that dream into a reality.

Doing so can help you understand what it will take to create an atmosphere that helps your members, while also staying profitable and coming out on top each month.

See below for n in-depth guide on how to start a gym that will help give you a great life as the owner, while also providing value to those that use it.

1. Create a Business Plan

No matter what kind of gym you’re going to make or how large/small it will be, this is a business venture. You’re creating something from nothing. You’re planting a seed in the ground and nurturing it into a small business.

Every successful start-up always begins with one thing: a detailed business plan. Start this endeavor by writing out a strict plan of attack.

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to create one, there are plenty of free online templates that you can use to get started. To get things in motion, start by including each of the following:

  • Mission statement
  • Market analysis
  • Description of your gym
  • Company outline (who’s in what position)
  • Financial projections
  • Services
  • Pricepoints

If you’re looking for funding, then your business plan can increase the likelihood of getting key investors on board. Investors like to see detailed outlines and examples that you’re going to use. But more than that, they invest in the person, not just the plan. Consider that as you look for funding.

For those of you that already have seed money for your gym, that’s great! The business plan can then be used to show you where your seed money should be allocated.

2. What Will Your Gym Entail?

As you’ve probably experienced for yourself, there are many different forms of gyms out there. There are niche gyms that cover things like yoga, CrossFit, kickboxing, spin classes, and dancing, while others have a general outline with classes that cover each of those types of exercises.

It’s important to project what you think that your gym will entail. What will the name of your gym be? What kind of customers fits the mold of a “target client” for you? How will you get them there? What type of exercise are those target clients searching for?

Once you answer those questions, turn your attention to the profit-generation side of things. Will your gym be membership-based (most gyms are)? If so, how much will you charge your members? How much can you charge them monthly to cover the costs of operations, yet still turn a profit?

What kind of promotions can you offer to get people in the door? For example, some gyms offer a 7-day free trial. Others offer a 50-percent off discount for annual membership signups.

After you have those metrics in place, you’ll be able to see how profitable this business model can become. This, yet again, is something that investors are dying to see.

Determining a legal entity is crucial to the success of your gym. It’s a valuable tool for elaborating on your business structure, which is essential for tax purposes and protecting you legally.

There are many different structures to choose from, but the most common include limited liability companies (LLC), corporations, and sole proprietorships.

These have all kinds of implications that we won’t cover in this article, as it would take too long. However, be sure to visit this page on the IRS’s website for a detailed description of business structures and how they can benefit you.

You might also consider hiring a lawyer or financial advisor that can help you determine the best business structure for your gym’s business model. It makes a huge difference!

4. Purchase Used Gym Equipment

As you start out building your gym, you’ll find that your startup budget will get tighter and tighter. Most business owners make the mistake of buying brand-new gym equipment, which will only go down in value. Not to mention that it will complicate the budget.

A better option for you would be to purchase refurbished gym equipment. This helps you shave off the price of the equipment, while still getting access to the best brands and all the equipment you could need.

Refurbished gym equipment ensures top-quality items as well. They’ll be void of any smudges, have a new paint job, and all of their necessary parts have been fine-tuned.

5. Get Your Accounting in Order

Hate it or love it, accounting is an essential part of any business. Fortunately, there are experts out there that can help point you in the right direction.

First, you’ll want to start by planning for taxes based on the business structure that you chose in step 3. Open a business bank account and get a credit card you can use for all your gym equipment, staff, and so forth.

A business advisor can help you fill out all of the necessary permits and licenses to turn your gym concept into a legitimate business.

How to Open a Gym: Create a Modern Business Model

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to open a gym and create a sustainable business model, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Take the time to browse our website for more articles on starting a gym, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful.