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A CEO’s guide to scaling a fitness empire in 2024 (+ monthly plan)

Chelsea Erieau-Larkin
January 23, 2024
Hapana - Man at desk in front of window. Blog: "A CEO’s guide to scaling a fitness empire in 2024 (+ monthly plan)"

Mark Zuckerberg is famous for a few things. Wearing the same t-shirt every day, building social media monolith Facebook, and - more recently - building an enormous underground bunker in Hawaii

Discussing how he prioritizes his time, Mark says: 

“The question I ask myself like almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’ … Unless I feel like I’m working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I’m not going to feel good about how I’m spending my time. And that’s what this company is.”

If you’re aiming to scale your business this year, check out this 2024 guide for CEOs with the most important, high-level priorities by month. 

January: Laying the foundations with market insights and goals

As the new year begins, the first step for any fitness CEO is to conduct a comprehensive market analysis. Understanding who your customers are and what they seek is crucial - as Roy H. Williams says: "The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations."

In 2024, younger Millennials (those whose childhood was shaped by the changing of the millennium) and Gen Z (the generation born 1995-2010, overlapping with millennials) will stay on track to become huge demographics in the fitness industry. These two groups are increasingly health-conscious, and tech-savvy, and favor fitness apps and personalized experiences.

Growth in the fitness sector is predicted in online, digital, and virtual areas, with forecasts suggesting the online fitness market will hit $59 billion by 2027. Countries like Poland and Turkey in Europe, as well as regions including the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America, are poised for serious expansion in the next years. Meanwhile, the US maintains its position as the largest health and fitness market at present, with the Asia Pacific region becoming the fastest-growing market.

Action steps for January

1. Research current trends: Dive into the latest reports on fitness industry trends, focusing on consumer behaviors, technology usage, and market growth areas.

2. Identify your audience: Tailor your services to resonate with Millennials and Gen Z, who seek innovative, technology-driven fitness solutions.

3. Set strategic goals: Based on your market analysis, set clear, measurable goals for your business. These could range from increasing member retention to integrating new technologies.

With a solid understanding of the market and clear goals, you are well-equipped to navigate the year ahead with confidence.

February: Embracing the future with innovative tech integration

The rapid evolution of technology in the fitness industry cannot be overstated. This month, focus on integrating the latest technological advancements to gain a competitive edge. Artificial Intelligence (AI), for instance, has revolutionized how fitness businesses connect with clients, offering personalized workouts and real-time engagement.

Action Steps for February: 

1.  Embrace digital fitness solutions: Consider incorporating fitness apps and virtual classes to meet the demands of a tech-savvy clientele.

2.  Invest in smart equipment: Smart mirrors, wearable devices, and interactive equipment can enhance the workout experience by providing real-time feedback and performance tracking.

3.  Personalize member experience: Utilize AI tools to analyze member data for personalized workout and nutrition plans, elevating your service to a new level of customization.

By integrating these technological solutions, you can create a unique and innovative fitness experience that sets your business apart.

March: Elevating the member experience with a holistic focus 

In March, the focus shifts to enhancing the member experience, a crucial factor in the success of any fitness business. This month, it's all about creating a more engaging, holistic, and community-focused environment. Holistic wellness, which encompasses both physical and mental health, is increasingly important to fitness enthusiasts. The “wellness economy” is predicted to grow by 8.6% annually. Gen Z, as digital natives, turn to holistic fitness as a key priority.

 Action steps for March: 

1.  Incorporate holistic wellness practices: Add mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation to your offerings. These practices cater to the growing demand for well-rounded health experiences.

2.  Foster a sense of community: Organize social fitness events and group workouts. Creating a strong community feel within your gym can enhance member retention and satisfaction.

3.  Enhance your space for wellbeing: Consider redesigning parts of your gym to create dedicated spaces for relaxation and mindfulness, making your facility more than just a place to exercise.

By focusing on these aspects, you will not only attract new members but also deepen the loyalty of existing ones.

April: Streamlining for success with operational excellence

April is the month to focus on operational optimization. The efficiency of your operations directly impacts customer satisfaction and your bottom line. This involves streamlining processes, utilizing the right software solutions, and adopting sustainable practices to reduce costs and environmental impact.

 Action steps for April: 

1.  Streamline with technology: Implement software solutions that streamline administrative tasks, member management, and scheduling. Check out Hapana for the very best in studio streamlining.

2.  Go green: Adopt eco-friendly practices in your operations. This can include using energy-efficient equipment and reducing waste, which resonates with the growing eco-conscious customer base.

3.  Evaluate and improve processes: Regularly review and optimize your operational processes. Look for areas of inefficiency or member dissatisfaction and address them promptly.

Optimizing operations not only improves the member experience but also positions your business as a forward-thinking leader in the fitness industry.

May: Investing in people - staff development and empowerment 

In May, the spotlight is on staff training and development. Your team is the backbone of your fitness empire, and their skills and service quality directly impact the success of your business. This month is about investing in your staff, ensuring they are equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques in the fitness industry.

 Action Steps for May: 

1.  Conduct regular training workshops: Organize workshops and training sessions to keep your staff updated on the latest fitness trends and techniques.

2.  Encourage certification and continued education: Support your team in pursuing further education and certifications in their areas of expertise.

3.  Foster a learning culture: Create an environment that encourages continuous learning and sharing of knowledge among staff members.

By focusing on staff development, you not only enhance the quality of service but also boost staff morale and retention.

June: Dynamic marketing strategies to build your brand

June is all about marketing and brand expansion. In a highly competitive fitness industry, effective marketing can set your business apart and attract a broader audience. This month, focus on leveraging digital marketing and building a stronger brand presence, both online and offline.

 Action Steps for June: 

1.  Enhance digital marketing efforts: Utilize social media platforms to connect with your audience. Create engaging, informative, and inspiring content that resonates with your target demographics.

2.  Engage with influencers: Collaborate with fitness influencers who align with your brand values. They can help amplify your message and reach a larger audience.

3.  Explore new advertising channels: Experiment with different advertising channels to see which works best for your target market. This could include online ads, local events, or partnerships with other businesses.

By expanding your marketing efforts, you can increase brand visibility, attract new members, and establish your fitness business as a leader in the industry.

July: Expand the brand with new market opportunities

July is dedicated to exploring new market opportunities. Expanding into new markets can be a game-changer for your fitness business, allowing you to reach new audiences and diversify your revenue streams. This requires careful planning and understanding of the unique aspects of each potential market.

 Action steps for July: 

1.  Conduct market research: Identify potential markets for expansion, considering factors like demographics, cultural trends, and regional fitness preferences.

2.  Analyze competitors: Study your competitors in these new markets. Understand their strengths and weaknesses to position your business effectively.

3.  Develop a market entry strategy: Create a tailored strategy for entering new markets. This might include localized marketing efforts, partnerships with local businesses, or adapting your offerings to suit regional preferences.

Expanding into new markets can be challenging, but with the right strategy, it offers significant growth potential for your fitness business.

August: Financial analysis and budgeting 

August is the time to focus on financial analysis and budgeting. This is crucial for ensuring the financial health of your fitness business and making informed decisions about investments, expansions, and operational costs.

Action steps for August: 

1.  Review financial performance: Analyze your current financial status, including revenue streams, membership statistics, and expenses.

2.  Budgeting for growth: Based on your financial analysis, create a budget that supports your growth plans. Allocate funds for marketing, new equipment, staff training, and potential expansion.

3.  Plan for future investments: Identify areas where investing now can yield long-term benefits, such as technology upgrades or expanding into new markets.

Effective financial management is key to sustaining and scaling your fitness business in a competitive market.

September: Tuning into feedback for outstanding service

September is all about focusing on customer feedback and service improvement. In the fitness industry, member satisfaction is paramount for retaining clients and attracting new ones. Actively seeking and implementing customer feedback is essential for continual improvement.

Action Steps for September: 

1.  Collect and analyze feedback: Use digital surveys, suggestion boxes, and direct conversations to gather member feedback.

2.  Implement changes based on feedback: Address common issues or requests to improve your services. This could range from adjusting class schedules to upgrading equipment.

3.  Communicate improvements to members: Let your members know that their feedback is valued. Share the changes you’ve made based on their suggestions, reinforcing your commitment to their satisfaction.

By prioritizing customer feedback, you not only improve your services but also build stronger relationships with your members.

October: Partnerships and networking

In October, the focus is on building strategic partnerships and networking. Collaborating with other businesses and professionals in the fitness industry can open up new opportunities for growth, innovation, and reaching wider audiences.

Action Steps for October:

  1. Attend industry events: Participate in fitness conferences, trade shows, and networking events to connect with potential partners.
  2. Explore collaborative opportunities: Look for businesses that complement your services, such as nutrition experts, wellness brands, or fitness technology companies.
  3. Build strategic alliances: Form alliances that can offer mutual benefits, such as cross-promotions, shared resources, or co-hosted events.

Effective networking and partnerships can significantly enhance your business's reach and reputation in the fitness industry.

November: Review your tech stack to stay competitive 

November is the time to review and upgrade the technology used in your fitness business. Staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements is key to maintaining a competitive edge and offering the best possible experience to your members.

Action Steps for November:

  1. Evaluate current technology: Assess the effectiveness of your current fitness technology, including equipment, software, and member management systems.
  2. Research new innovations: Stay informed about the latest trends in fitness technology, such as AI, virtual reality, and wearable devices.
  3. Plan for upgrades: Based on your evaluation, plan for necessary upgrades. This could involve investing in new equipment, updating software, or integrating new digital tools into your operations.

By keeping your technology current, you ensure that your fitness business remains modern, efficient, and appealing to your members.

December: Year-end review and planning for the next year 

December is a crucial month for reflection and planning. It's time to review the past year's achievements and challenges and set the course for the next year. This strategic planning ensures that your fitness business continues to grow and adapt to the ever-evolving industry landscape.

Action steps for December:

1. Conduct a year-end review: Assess the year's performance against your set goals. Celebrate successes and analyze any shortcomings.

2. Gather team insights: Involve your team in the review process. Their insights can be invaluable in understanding different aspects of the business.

3. Plan for the upcoming year: Set goals and strategies for the new year. Consider market trends, technological advancements, and member feedback to inform your decisions.

This structured approach to reflection and planning sets a solid foundation for continued success and growth in the upcoming year.


Scaling a fitness empire in 2024 requires a blend of strategic planning, embracing technology, enhancing member experiences, and continuous adaptation. By following this month-by-month guide, you position your business to thrive in a competitive and dynamic industry. Remember, the key to success is not just in planning, but planning when to sit down and execute these strategies.

To further streamline and optimize your fitness business operations, explore Hapana’s comprehensive software solutions, designed to empower your fitness empire's growth and efficiency.