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How do cheap gyms make money?

Corey Loehr
February 14, 2023
making money in a cheap gym

Whether you're starting a small or large gym business, one thing's for sure: the initial investment is not small. There are many costs involved, including renting or buying a space, registration and licensing fees, equipment costs, and more. However, there are ways of making money in a cheap gym, such as offering additional services or selling merchandise to clients.

But when you are interested in opening a low-cost gym, one question may be on your mind: how does a cheap gym make money? With cheap memberships being offered to potential clients, how is the business going to make ends meet?

If you are planning on opening a cheap gym and want to know how you can make a profit, here are some tips for you.

Gym membership fees

Some gyms offer cheap memberships, and you may be thinking of doing the same thing. But how will this bring in enough money to keep the business afloat?

Well, take Planet Fitness as an example. The gym offers memberships that start at $10 per month. They have a well-established strategy with these low membership fees: they are aiming for a higher client volume, which can bring in more money.

If you have just opened your gym on a budget and want to offer affordable gym memberships, you must come up with a good strategy to make it work. For example, you must set a price and think about how much you will be making in the long run based on the number of people who sign up. You must also think about how many members will stick around, how convenient the area is, and so on.

Basically, not only should a gym membership fee complement the branding, but it should also suit your financial needs.

One thing gym owners do to make money constantly is set convenient fees for potential members. Then, they offer them discounts when they pay for a one-year membership upfront. Meanwhile, they may offer discounts to certain groups of people and charge small fees when they make the gym available for people during premium hours, holidays, and so on.

Offering additional services and goods

Gym membership fees alone are not enough to keep a gym business running – especially when these memberships are cheap. But there are a few tricks that can help a cheap gym generate more income.

They begin selling extra services and goods, making their members’ experiences better while boosting the gym’s income. A gym might begin selling bottled drinks, supplements, and even branded merchandise, like water bottles or t-shirts with the logo of the gym.

Moreover, some gyms go even further with this and provide daycare areas, tanning beds, smoothie bars, or other similar services.

Thus, you could offer additional goods and services as well if you want to increase the gym’s earnings. According to the IHRSA, health clubs can make an extra $2,600/month from these offers.

Great marketing

It’s hard for gyms to survive without a good marketing strategy. Through well-thought marketing campaigns, people can find out about your business and maybe decide to get a membership. And when the gym offers cheap memberships, good marketing will ensure more individuals sign up, boosting your profit.

There are various ways to promote a gym. Some gyms simply take the online approach, which is one of the best methods to advertise any business nowadays. Social media is a great opportunity for marketing as lots of people use these platforms on a daily basis. Others open their own business website and use SEO tactics to optimize it and reach the top spot in Google searches.

Gyms also use traditional methods such as flyers, ads, and billboards, but also word-of-mouth. The more marketing techniques a gym implements, the higher the chances of gathering a larger crowd become. And when more customers come your way, more memberships will be bought, bringing in more money.

Renting out equipment

Another thing some gym owners do is rent out equipment to people who want to work hard to achieve their fitness goals. Members can pay you to rent out certain equipment, and you can use that money for your business goals.

Perhaps you own a racquetball court or a basketball court, which might look attractive to lots of people. Let your members know that these could be rented for a certain price per hour. You can even advertise them on your social media profiles to attract new clients for them. This can help you make some nice profit in the long run.

Final thoughts

There are various ways for cheap gyms to make money. They can provide additional services and goods or offer the possibility of renting out equipment. On top of that, they work hard on their marketing strategy to bring more clients their way.

If you own a cheap gym, you could also implement these methods to boost your profit.