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Starting a gym: sell $1,000,000 in annual membership fees before opening day

Corey Loehr
July 16, 2018
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Even before opening day, starting a gym requires a plan for how you’re going to sell memberships that will send your business revenue through the roof. It’s about creating a strong financial plan that sets solid, attainable goals on a consistent timely basis.Are you worried how to start a gym and generate revenue? Don't worry, you can keep it safe and bring in a solid $5,000 a month. Or you can start a business that brings in $1,000,000 in membership fees before opening day. We’ll show you how.

Ask what you’re worth

The easiest way to make a projected $1 million for the incoming year is to simply ask what you’re worth, and compute the number of members you’d need to get to your projected goal. Creating a simple Excel spreadsheet with these numbers will help you see the bigger picture. Here’s an example of how many products/memberships you’d need to sell before opening day in order to make $1 million.

  • $50 membership/service x 20,000 sales
  • $100 membership/service x 10,000 sales
  • $200 membership/service x 5,000 sales
  • $500 membership/service x 2,000 sales

How much you will charge members for a yearly membership, additional classes, and products will change and ultimately be your decision. Our guide is simply an estimate. However, if you’re a startup fitness business with an amazing experience, a stunning interior, and host some of the most experienced personal trainers, don’t be afraid to charge customers accordingly.

Starting a Gym: Promote Your New Business

In the months leading up to your event, you’ll need to find ways to get people buzzing about your new fitness studio. This will probably come in the form of promotions on all medium: social, flyers, word of mouth. Promote your studio through free and paid promotions, because both can offer serious revenue growth. Free offers to test out new assets at your gym, like tanning packages or massages, can lead interest. Promotions that offer discounts, like first month free, are huge for a new business looking to increase member signups. Keep in mind that early adopters to your business are less price sensitive, and have a high likelihood to upgrade their membership after seeing what you have to offer.Building the hype on Facebook and Instagram can target local communities and invite them to share, tag, and comment on your post. We recommend starting to grow your business on social media 3 months prior to open date – don’t commoditize your studio and your offers by running promotions or discounts too often. Promoting your studio effectively can show you revenue numbers even before opening day; just what you need to secure your finances.

Market - emails, social, events

Even before you open, you’ll need people to want to find out more about what you offer. Strong marketing in the months leading to the open date will allow people to communicate with you, spread your brand to friends, and build excitement.Marketing yourself on a shoestring budget isn’t difficult, either. Keep a consistent posting schedule on Facebook and Instagram, with vibrant imagery, and short, punchy copy. You’ll want to create a list of potential leads in your area and start to begin to send bi-monthly emails informing them on the progression of your business. Upon opening your doors, it will be as if the people following you and subscribed to your business already know you inside and out. This is how you create advocates for your fitness studio… not just customers.

Make the signup process seamless

The physical signup process doesn’t have to be awkward. Booking and signing up new members before your business opens instantly shows growth. Why not find a software that can take this task off of you and your teams’ shoulders?Legacy software providers don’t offer support for new businesses, and traditional paper booking is tedious and error-ridden. Cloud-based booking lets you operate your business more effectively, and shows you growth margins within seconds. You’ll have more money to attract other clients, purchase or update supplies, pay staff, and pay yourself. While you can increase your cash flow in our previous stated options, getting payment from your customers up front and before doors open is the simplest way to gain $1 million in yearly member revenue. Make things easy on yourself and your business, and learn more about how OneFitStop can make you money.

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