After a few years working in personal training, many personal trainers decide that they are ready to launch their own gym business. Working for a company means that they dictate your hours, pay and prospects; which is why having a business of your own is so appealing.
Sadly, as a woman you may face more hurdles than a man would when it comes to starting a gym. If you plan on launching a gym aimed at men, you may find they are wary about joining a female operated facility. However, don’t let that stop you, there are plenty of ways you can be successful, with or without male support.
Whether you have been thinking about launching a gym for a while, or the idea has only just struck you, it could be a fantastic career move. However, there are a lot of things you need to think about before making the decision and launching your business.
Take the time to plan and consider your idea by following these handy tips:
Get a mentor or business advisor
Don’t make the catastrophic mistake of attempting to go it alone. Launching a business is hard work, there is a lot to think about, and sometimes it can help to have someone to toss ideas around with.
Before doing anything else – including starting your business plan, find yourself a mentor. Having someone to discuss your new venture with is important as it will give you a different perspective of your ideas. Entrepreneurs who have business mentors tend to be the most successful, so getting a business mentor is key.
Ideally, you should aim to find a business mentor or adviser who has been where you are now. Look for someone who successfully started their own gym or fitness business, and is easy to talk and relate to.
Decide what type of gym you want to open
This is a big decision to make, a decision that if made incorrectly could affect your future as a business owner. There are gyms everywhere, from street corners to town centres; gyms are popular businesses to start. And while that makes it a little more difficult for you to make a success out of your new venture, it’s not impossible.
However, to have any chance of being successful, the gym you launch needs to be unique. It might be a tricky concept to grasp, but making your gym stand out isn’t as difficult as you would think.
The first step is to think about the type of gym you want to launch. To make your new business stand out there needs to be a unique selling point for your gym. Ideally, you want to focus on a certain niche, like gyms for over 50’s or gyms for people who are overweight. Perhaps the gym you launch could be specifically for powerlifters and bodybuilders? Or, maybe your gym could be a ladies only gym? Whatever concept you choose, ensure it is unique.
Get creative and come up with some ideas; before settling on one make sure to talk it through with your mentor or an advisor. It’s amazing how tossing ideas around can help you to come up with an entire new concept or idea.
Assess the cost
One of the most important things, you will need to do is assess how much it is going to cost to launch your gym.
Start off by working out how much it is going to cost to rent or buy a commercial space. Then think about how much it will cost to renovate it, as well as taking into account insurance and utility costs.
Once you have calculated these costs, the next step is to think about the cost of equipment. As any personal trainer will know, having good-quality gym equipment is key. The other things to think about are the cost of buying lockers from a locker manufacturer, as well as the cost of other storage options.
Create a list of all the pieces of kit and equipment that you need, along with the cost of them, and then work out the overall costings. Once you have a number to work from, you can then start thinking about how you will cover the costs.
Think about how you will get the money
Unless you have a huge sum of money saved in your bank account, the next thing you need to think about is how you will get what you need.
The best way to get your hands on the money you need is either via investors or a business start up loan. However, your ability to get a bank loan or investors will depend on your credit score. If you struggle to get either a bank loan or investor, you could consider finding a business partner to team up with instead.
Buy a business plan program
Don’t just attempt to create a business plan from the top of your head, buy a business plan program to use. You might think that this is a waste of money, but it’s really not.
Business plan programs might be a little pricey, but they are fantastic tools. A good business program will give you information that otherwise you wouldn’t have thought about, making business planning easier.
If you don’t have a detailed business plan, it’s unlikely than any investor or bank will offer you a penny to help set up your business. So it is crucial that you business plan takes into account all the key details and doesn’t miss anything out.
Don’t expect to make money
Obviously, you can expect to make money at some point. But don’t expect to make a good income straight away. It can take months or even years to build up your business, and during that time bringing in a livable income is almost impossible.
As your business becomes more well known, and you build up a reliable customer base, this will start to change.
It might be a lot of hard work, but opening your own gym is an amazing career opportunity. You may have a couple of years with little money, but as you business grows and expands, there is fantastic potential for success.