How to start your own gym - MAGICLINE Blog

How to start your own gym

The concept: Founder series part 2

The launch of your own studio

You decided to open a gym business? Awesome! Congratulations! Have you already read our founder series part 1 on how to write a business plan and financing? Have you completed all the mentioned steps?  

Then it’s time to implement your project! The earlier we talk about your plans together, the more effectively we can support you in implementing our software and make you even more successful. Simply make an appointment:

Establishing a new concept or becoming a franchisee?

One of the most important questions before starting your own gym is definitely whether to join a franchise system or not.

For some it is more worthwhile to become a franchisee and for others it is more appealing to found their own start-up. For this purpose, we have compiled an overview with all the advantages and disadvantages for franchisees.

 Advantages of a franchise system: Brand awareness and support

  •  Direct market access
    When opening a new franchise studio, one of the greatest advantages is the already existing brand awareness, so that an important and usually cost-intensive component in marketing is omitted. Franchisees save money for advertising and can attract the attention of their target group more quickly. The studio name has already been established and the image of a well-known company creates a head start in trust.
  • Clear positioning
    The franchisor’s many years of experience are a door opener to the market. Thanks to the learnings gained you can easily access success- proven promotional activities. A target group-specific marketing strategy as well as the corresponding advertising materials are already available. This saves a lot of time, the budget is used in the best possible way and new members can be won more quickly.
  • Territory protection
    You can also count on the headquarter for help with the selection of the right location. A so-called territorial protection prevents competitors from within the company to be too close. Another advantage is that the location is usually ready for occupancy. No big issues related to the construction of the location are to be expected.
  • Financial advantages
    Purchases for the studio often come with discounts due to larger purchase quantities ordered within the franchise system. The brand’s reputation also allows easier access to loans.
  • Regular training
    Through trainings provided by the franchisor the team always stays up to date. The franchise’s internal network is another plus point of this model.

Disadvantages of a franchise system: High costs and restrictions

  • High starting costs
    To become part of a franchise system at all, royalties and, of course, initial equipment costs usually arise. Depending on the system, monthly franchise fees will come on top as well. Since franchisors are mostly corporations, some of them require a minimum capital. The franchisee is also fully liable with his private assets.
  • How to find the fitting franchise model for you
    Which franchise concept suits you best? There is no generally valid answer to this question. It must be answered by each founder himself. Depending on where you are located, there are franchise portals where franchise providers are compared with each other and concrete offers for the acquisition of a franchise license can be found.
  • Strongly limited freedom of choice
    If a founder decides to become part of a franchise system, the dependency on the business policy of the head office is high. Adherence to the contractual obligations is a basic requirement and in case of violations, termination without notice is to be expected. In addition, the franchisor can close the studios at any time. The operators must also assume liability for the products that are distributed in the name of the franchisor.
  • Possible image damage
    Negative PR (Public Relations) from another franchise studio has a direct effect on the entire franchise chain. If, for example, the employees in another studio are unfriendly to the members, the false belief can quickly arise that “all” employees of the company behave in this way. Thus, franchisees are dependent on everyone following the rules and working hand in hand to avoid possible damage to their image.

Which type of studio suits you?

Define your studio type
Defining your studio type is extremely important: EMS, Boutique?

Next, you should think very carefully about what kind of studio concept you would like to offer to your future members. The first thing to do is to clarify where the focus should be:

Do you want to open a budget studio and thus compete with the big well-known chains? Or do you want to open an all-in-one club with a family atmosphere and a good mix of everything? A women’s studio? Nowadays there are numerous studio concepts.

Five current business trends in the fitness industry

For inspiration, we’ve created an overview of five current gym trends. These can also be offered in combination with each other, if desired.

EMS studios

EMS is considered a very effective training concept and allows the athlete to achieve maximum success with minimal effort. Already 20 to 30 minutes per week are enough to achieve good results.

EMS training particularly appeals to a target group who, for professional reasons, for example, only has little time for fitness. The purchase of the required equipment is very expensive, however. This concept is therefore more worthwhile for micro studios in the premium segment.

Martial arts studios

Martial arts studios are often structured a little differently than normal gyms. However, this does not mean that the administrative effort is therefore less. Quite the opposite: martial arts is becoming more and more popular as a balancing sport and thus, of course, the number of members is also increasing.

The martial arts segments Krav Maga, Karate or Boxing have been particularly popular. This is because not only muscles are built, but also self-confidence and concentration are enhanced.

Premium providers

Intensive support, high-quality equipment, targeted training and thus more fitness – these are the declared goals of premium providers that provide their members with an all-round service. The flip side of the coin: time and thus also budget for studio management are scarce.

Studio operators in the premium segment attach great importance to intensive member support. In such studios, not only the trainers must be highly competent and experienced, but also the administration and controlling must function smoothly.

Yoga studio

The number of yoga studios is increasing every year and an end to the boom is not yet in sight. Particularly popular in 2020 were the so-called Yoga hybrids. These represent a combination of classical yoga with other sports, such as dance or music.

Three major yoga trends last year were HIIT yoga and gin yoga, for example. Not only the demand for yoga offers is booming, but also the number of new members. Conversely, many new customers also mean a lot of additional administrative work for studios. Fortunately, there is Magicline to support with this!

Franchise studios and chains

Successful and international studio chains as well as franchise companies trust Magicline. The larger the company and the more studios are organized under one roof, the more difficult the process and cost control gets, as well as the communication with your members. This is exactly where Magicline jumps in and supports large chains to make even better use of their sales potential.

Regardless of which studio type you choose, Magicline can be used to manage new customers and significantly simplify financial accounting.

Simply make an appointment with us, test Magicline for free and profit from our special launch offer for our new international customers!

The perfect name for your studio

Every company has a name. The decisive factor in the naming of a company is its chosen legal form of the company. If you decide on a franchise system, the naming is usually quickly clarified. The well-known brand name is often only supplemented by the location such as: Franchise Fitness Studio Example City.

However, if you decide to start your own gym, the following questions need to be answered in advance: Should the concept of the company be obvious and mirrored in the company name?

Define the name of your own gym
Defining the name of your studio is a highly strategical question

What do you want your own gym to be called?

Finding a brand name is often underestimated. One of the biggest misconceptions in naming is the idea that the name can be developed independently of the strategy.

But the name must also fit the strategic orientation. Also,  a brand needs a story. Especially when founding a new company, the name is the heart and should embody the story. Especially with fantasy names, however, it should be checked in advance whether it could evoke negative connotations in another language.

For this reason it makes sense to proof the name for linguistic-cultural issues (even if no internationalization is planned) as well as to conduct a preliminary legal examination.

Is the desired studio name already used elsewhere?

A brand name can be registered online (signature-free), electronically (signature-bound) or conventionally in paper form. Both private individuals and legal entities or a legal partnership can be considered as registrants.

Before naming your studio it is therefore essential to check whether the desired name is already used by other studios or companies. This is not only important with regard to name and trademark law, but also in the creation of your social media channels or website.

The company’s website

You have found a suitable name for your own gym? Great! But have you also thought about your digital presence? What about the website? Always check whether the desired name is available as a domain.

It may well be that the great name you’ve come up with has long been taken on the internet. If a website is not accessible, it does not mean that it does not belong to someone else. Anyone can easily check whether this is the case via different providers on the internet

Where is the ideal location for my studio?

In order to find the right location for your own gym, the analysis of the catchment area and the potential target group is crucial.

The increasing number of fitness studios intensifies the competition for new customers and for this reason the location of the studio is becoming an increasingly competitive advantage. The studio should be easily accessible for the target group. In addition, the location should have sufficient parking facilities for cars and bicycles. But also the connection to public transportation has a great influence on the flow of visitors.

A studio operator should determine how large the potential catchment area is. Check that there are not too many competitors with comparable concepts in this area. For this purpose, studio founders can get a rough overview via Google Maps, for example. Once you gain your members, you will be able to see your individual catchment area in Magicline.

Analyse your catchment area
Analysing the catchment area in Magicline

Advice and assistance in the creation of your studio

You need professional advice and support with the initial management of your gym? Simply make an appointment with us to set up your own business with success with our gym management software Magicline.


The most important decisions you have already made! You have considered the advantages and disadvantages of a franchise system and now know which studio concept, at which location you want to open. You have also secured your desired name as well as the corresponding domain and social media channels.

In our third part of the series “Starting your own studio” you will learn everything about the cost calculation with regard to acquisition and running costs. What hardware and software should not be missed in your studio and how can new members be won with the help of marketing campaigns for your studio?

Haven’t read part 1 of our series “How to open a gym business” yet? Then this way!

Any questions?
Maike from Magicline will help you.

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

Maike Kumstel

on March 27, 2021

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7 min
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