on March 27, 2021
Have you dreamed about opening your own gym for a while now, but feel overwhelmed by the load of things you have to consider in order to be successful? We hear you! Starting your own business requires courage and discipline and can be scary for sure. But with the right preparation it is possible!
That’s why we wrote this easy to understand step- by- step guide that highlights all the different aspects you have to think about when you want to open a gym business. We can’t wait to be part of your exciting journey to make your dream come true!
You also want to know how our gym management software Magicline can support you with opening a gym? Feel free to contact us! We’re happy to consult you!
Opening a gym: The right fit for you?
Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, since it comes with certain risks and requires a lot of discipline and perseverance. Before moving forward with your big plans, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you whole heartedly convinced that being self- employed is for you?
- Are you ready to change your life completely and work harder than you’ve ever have before?
- Do you own a degree, similar certifications or have lots of working experience in the fitness industry?
- Do you have knowledge and experience in business administration or a trusted partner that can take care of your finances?
- Do you have enough savings to persevere through times without revenue, especially in the beginning?
- Are you confident to keep an overview over all tasks and manage them well?
- Are you aware that you will have to get most of these task done yourself?
- Are you physically in the shape to deal with the stress and workload you will face?
- Are you well connected in the industry and have the ability to build a strong network?
- Do you have a strong support system including friends and family that will have your back if needed?
You answered all questions with “yes”? Congratulations! You fulfill all the requirements to proceed with a gym opening: Determination, ambition, self- confidence, bravery, realism, energy and a strong will! These characteristics are central for the founding of a business. But: all of these things alone don’t guarantee that you will be successful. The business idea and concept is essential as well!
What is your business idea?
Before writing your business plan you should dive deep into your business idea and define the basis of your business concept.
What does your studio stand for?
Is there a specific studio type that you can identify with, or that you had an awesome experience at? If so, this might give you a hint what kind of studio concept you want to launch. Do you for example like EMS, nutrition consulting, personal training or do you prefer class based concepts?
Why is your idea unique? Or why doesn’t it have to be unique?
Look at your competition and analyse if you’re the only one providing the service you have in mind. No? Then you should find out how you differ from the rest! A unique offer or characteristic is needed in order for your clients to recognise and remember your studio. Are you the only one that’s open all day? Is the coaching aspect different in your studio? Really analyse what you’re doing differently and define your unique selling point.
Who’s your target group?
This is one of the central questions to answer for a start up. Who do you want to attract? Do you want to attract everyone or a specific target group? Your entire business concept is based on that question. Think of who your perfect customer is. Who can you serve best and why will this customer come to your studio instead of any other? Think of the needs of the different target groups and how you could help them. Recent studies and analysing your competitors will help finding your perfect target group as well.
How does your business plan look like?
Once you’ve defined your business idea and target group, you’re ready for the next step- the business plan. Writing a proper business plan is time- consuming and a lot of work. Take your time for this, since it’s essential for you and your potential investors. Your business plan should contain all the below mentioned topics:
- Status quo of your project
- Qualifications of the founder
- Location and market analysis
- Concept idea
- Investment plan
- Finance plan
- Marketing concept
- Cost preview
- Revenue forecast
- Profitability forecast
- Liquidity planning
It is very important that all of these mentioned points are addressed in your business plan since they are essential for your business planning and will be the basis for the approval of loans and funds. The decision if a bank will support you with your big dream or not will depend on an accurate and complete business plan.
How do you finance your own studio?
The fundamentals to opening your gym are done and your business plan is ready to go- now you need to think about financing your gym. First, define how much equity you want to invest. How do your personal finances look like?
Usually your own starting capital isn’t enough. A classical option to get some additional funding is a bank loan– your business plan will become the star of the application for a loan. That’s why it is important that your business plan is bulletproof and doesn’t leave any room for questions.
Besides the classical loan, also check out if there is other funding options provided by the government or other institutions. Also, you might find a group of people that want to participate in your plans and provide some funds. But before choosing this option, you should consider that once someone else’s money is in the game you also give away control and won’t be able to decide all by yourself anymore. How much starting capital you need, you can read in our second blog entry of this founders series.
How do you find a network of other founders?
Opening a gym can be overwhelming and scary. That’s why it is very important to have a support system besides family and friends. It can be very helpful to exchange thoughts, ideas, challenges and fears with other founders since they are experiencing exactly the same as you are.
You can find peers at trade shows, industry events or in business networks. Just search online and you will find plenty of free support options. Of course theres is professional consultants out there as well. Most of them are pretty costly though.
The first step is done! In this article you learned how to develop the basis for a successful gym business: How to define your business idea and create your business plan including financing options to realize the dream of your own gym business. Now you also know that courage and perseverance are two must haves in this mission as well! In our second part of the founder series we explain what to do next addressing different company structures, the right choice of a studio name, location choice, equipment and lead generation. Stay tuned! If you want to know how our gym management software Magicline can support you when opening a gym, feel free to contact us:
Hey there! Do you want to know how our gym management software Magicline can help you when opening a new gym? Feel free to book a consultation. I am looking forward to learning more about your business concept! Maike