If you’re the type of person that’s head-over-heels for fitness, having your own studio or club probably sounds like a dream come true. How difficult could it be?
A lot of people that are new to owning fitness biz are asking themselves the same thing. It’s a specific kind of business that has its benefits and drawbacks.
It’s important that you know what to look out for when you’re just starting out. It could mean the difference between succeeding and giving up. Here are some crucial pointers to help you start out.
1. Focus leads to results
Starting a business can be pretty intimidating, especially if you’ve never had much experience in that sort of thing.
It’s not uncommon for people to underestimate their own knowledge and capabilities when faced with this challenge. Even if you know the ins and outs of fitness establishments and how they work, there’s a lot more that goes into running such a business, which make it seem like an insurmountable task at times.
However, running a business only requires a focused effort and dedication. Just about anyone can start a business, even if they don’t have a lot of experience in management and organization. Doubt can be your biggest hurdle when entering into the fitness industry, even when you do have the necessary experience and knowledge.
It’s more of a mental barrier than anything else. Finding the confidence to get started should be your first order of business. Crunch the numbers and figure out if your investment is worth it.
The current trends show that a fitness business with a good location would turn a profit pretty soon, making your efforts well worth the trouble. As long as you keep this in mind, you’re going to find sufficient motivation to move on with your business plan.
2. A good business requires a good team
Very few businesses are run solo. Even they eventually add new members as the company grows. At the very least, you’re always going to need someone to deal with finances and numbers. Fitness businesses can’t be operated by one person alone. You need a strong team that can provide you with the support and services that are necessary to grow a fitness location.
Fitness clubs are service centers above all else. Having a team that is just as passionate about the business can help provide members with the knowledge and techniques that they need to get their workouts done.
If your team members are helpful and friendly, you’ll find that members will start pouring in from every part of your city. Location is a huge part of the appeal of fitness clubs, but a good crew is what gets people to stay long-term.
3. Transparency gets everyone on the same page
The costs of running any business are going to be high. This is especially true at the beginning. You need to find the right gear to fill up your club and hiring new employees is going to strain your wallet. This often means you’re going to have a rocky start with some cuts here and there.
This is something those employees might not realize is a natural part of doing business. You can’t supply absolutely everything at the very beginning, which means they might notice the club being short on things. If you don’t have every single piece of workout equipment in the first month, that’s understandable.
Be transparent about your finances with your first employees. They should realize that the business is set to grow and supplying necessary pieces of equipment will come with time. This transparency would help them understand where the business is currently at, and they would learn some new appreciation for your efforts. When they’re part of the effort of growing the business, it becomes more personal.
4. Finding your club’s niche helps draw in members
Is there much of a difference between any two fitness clubs? The gist of it is the same. People come to get their workouts and learn how to sculpt their bodies to match their desired look. Everything in-between doesn’t seem too important. However, this is precisely the problem for your business. If people can’t differentiate between your gym and another one, what would motivate them to reach out to yours?
Your gym needs to fill a specific niche to get extra recognition. There are several ways to do this. Perhaps the niche is having a unique aesthetic to your club that nobody else has. The environment people work out in is essential for their motivation. Maybe your employees are extra helpful and willing to lend a hand when it comes to learning workouts. There are countless factors that can make your club more unique and bring in new members. It’s important that you choose one right away to represent the club.
5. Crucial elements are what really matters
When you’re supplying your fitness club, it’s pretty easy to get carried away. You’re looking at all the fancy additions you can add to create a modern and comfortable environment for your new members. Why not add charging stations to lockers rooms and make sure that everyone has an outlet for their hairdryer? Small details like these would be attractive to many members and they wouldn’t put much of a dent in your budget, but they’re not essentials.
Before you decide to invest in small things here and there, you need to make sure that you’ve covered your essentials. Start by getting all the most crucial workout equipment that your club needs. Paying your employees a fair wage is something to prioritize as well. They’re not going to take it well if your gym has fancy accessories while their pay is peanuts.
Members don’t care about the flashy additions in the gym, they’re paying you to get the fitness experience that they require. Without this, they’re not going to stay in your club for long. Before you focus on the aesthetics and flashy elements, you should deal with the most pressing needs first.
6. Safety should be put above all else
No fitness enthusiast will go to an unsafe club or gym. Why risk harming the same body you’re trying to nurture and improve? While other businesses might get away with unsafe practices and equipment, fitness clubs really can’t. All it takes is one person getting unnecessarily injured and you can say goodbye to a huge number of current and potential members.
Clients in your fitness club will work with some pretty heavyweights, which means there can be no skimping when it comes to safety gear and essentials. Slipping is a real risk on smooth gym floors, which is why you need to introduce precautions to prevent it. Most gyms will add comfortable rubber floor tiles to prevent slippage and increase traction. When handling weights, members need to have equipment that uses safety mechanisms in case they fail a rep. If they’re able to fail an exercise safely, they’ll have more confidence going into a workout. Not to mention, the risk of injuries will also become negligible.
7. Working in the business helps you understand
As a business grows, it’s not uncommon for managers to slowly lose touch when it comes to day-to-day work. Everything just becomes a bunch of numbers and you’re trying to produce the best possible results without actively participating in the fitness work being done.
This can lead to some bad decision-making as time goes on. You need to have hands-on experience when dealing with such a personalized line of work. If you’re detached from the work, you won’t know the needs of your clients and employees, which means you won’t be able to make any significant improvements. Always scout out the work floor and make sure you’re truly part of the business you run.
Running a fitness business isn’t as difficult as it might sound. As long as you have a plan and a great crew, you can overcome the tough start pretty easily. Make sure you stick to these pointers when you’re starting out and you’re sure to see some good results very quickly.