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How do I start a small business gym?

Corey Loehr
February 15, 2023
personal training business

If you are passionate about health and fitness, opening a gym or a personal training business may be your biggest dream. Fitness is a continuously growing industry, with more and more people deciding to get a gym membership. But as much as you want to open your small gym or start your personal training business, you may not know where to begin.

In order to open a gym or fitness studio, there are some steps you should go through. But don’t worry – this guide is here to prepare you for the process, so let’s get to it! Here’s how to start a small business gym.

1. Create a business plan

Creating a business plan is key to ensuring your small gym or personal training business. In a business plan, you include aspects like funding costs, things you need to get started, your strategy, potential risks, and other similar details.

In your plan, you must include everything you think is necessary for the business. Here are some aspects you should add to the plan:

-        The description of the company

-        Executive summary

-        An analysis of the market

-        Management and organization

-        Your marketing strategy

-        A financial plan

2. Make sure you know the costs involved

Opening a business will require some money, even if we’re talking about a small business. So, while the costs may not be as high as with a larger business, you still need a budget for the location, equipment, licensing, and more.

Determine how much money you currently have available for the business and how much you’re willing to spend on your small gym or personal training business. Is the amount enough for your business or should you wait until you have more money saved?

Overall, the costs for opening a gym range from $10,000 to $100,000, but you can cut some costs if necessary. If you use a garage or a house you already own for the location, you might make the whole founding process less pricey, and use your money towards other necessities.

3. Get training and obtain accreditation

In order to run a gym, you need to be qualified to teach people how to reach their fitness goals. So, you must get trained and accredited. Bear in mind that there are different types of personal training qualifications. So, you can get qualifications for a personal trainer, yoga, Pilates, and others. Get the one that suits you best.

Your personal training business members trust you with their wellness and health, so it’s your responsibility to have the right knowledge, as well as the skills to teach them. For this, you must get the right training and accreditations. If you’re not going to be the trainer, you must hire certified instructors.

4. Think of a name

Find a name that represents your gym. Ideally, you should stay away from long and complicated names. You should pick something that describes the business and is also short and very easy to remember. If the name can also get the attention of those who see or hear it, it’s even better.

5. Choose a business structure

Business risks, taxes, and daily operations will all be influenced by the business structure you pick. The most popular options are:

-        Limited liability company

-        General partnership

-        Corporation

-        Sole proprietorship

Choose the right one based on your business goals.

6. Obtain licensing

If you want to start a successful personal training business, make sure you have all the necessary licenses and permits for your gym, as required by your state. Each state has its own requirements in terms of permits required for the gym, so make sure you look it up before you begin the business founding process.

Once you have the gym’s name and legal structure, you must register with the right state department to obtain the IRS employer identification number. Then, you can apply for your business permits and licenses. For some permits, you may also need a city sign permit and a local fire department permit, but it depends on the state.

Anyone who works for you must have a personal training and fitness certification. On the other hand, you do not necessarily need it since you’re the gym owner. If you want to hire more staff for your small business gym, find certified fitness trainers and instructors.

7. Obtain insurance

Getting insurance is necessary considering how common gym injuries and accidents are. The last thing you need is a client suing you. There are different types of insurance you can apply for, such as:

-        Worker’s compensation insurance

-        Commercial property insurance

-        General liability insurance

-        Equipment breakdown coverage

-        Professional liability insurance

8. Get the right equipment

Invest in the right equipment based on the type of gym you want to open. For example, if you want it to be a small weight-lifting sanctuary, buy basic equipment that most clients will use, including dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, cable machines, bar clamps, and others.

9. Market your business

Marketing is key to getting your business out there and making it successful. You can market it by making social media profiles for it, opening your own website, and creating review site profiles. If you don’t know how to do the marketing yourself, you should hire a specialist to help you.

Final thoughts

Starting a small business gym can be a smooth process as long as you know the right steps to take. Follow the tips included in this article and everything will go smoothly.

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