All-in-one fitness club software to boost business growth and streamline operations

Get a quote

The top 4 challenges faced by gym owners: what makes running a gym business so difficult?

Corey Loehr
January 15, 2023
running a gym business

Running a gym business may seem simple, but the reality is more challenging. You must take care of the space, keep the staff and clients happy, and ensure that all your finances are in order. While the steps may seem straightforward, you can avoid experiencing significant losses as a gym owner with a good system.

Here are the most common gym ownership challenges that gym owners often face and how you might overcome them.

1. Attracting and retaining customers for running a gym business

The fitness market is competitive, and gym customer retention is crucial. With more and more people looking to stay in shape, gyms are popping up at every corner in major cities and many communities of moderate sizes. Unless you live in a tiny town, there is no guarantee that your fitness studio will be the only one in the area.

To succeed, your gym business needs customers, and to get customers, you must differentiate your business from others in your region through effective gym marketing strategies. What do you have that they don't? How do you convince them to use your gym instead of the others around you?

As a gym owner, one of your primary responsibilities is finding a factor that makes them think your gym is the best in the area. You may have better equipment, competitive prices, or multiple membership types. You have to give them something extra if you want them to stay. Most gyms require you to make an appointment at the location, and yours uses an app.

Create a unique value proposition and an effective marketing strategy to attract new clients your way. To keep your existing customers, make sure you keep providing high-quality services. Don't start slacking just because you hooked them at first; they can always decide to leave if they are unhappy.

2. Managing and securing your finances

Effective gym financial management is one of the most common challenges gym owners face when running a gym business. As a gym owner, you are likely familiar with the intensive challenges of managing business-scale finances. You will have to pay for your staff's income, potential rent, marketing, gym equipment, and much more.

You need consistent revenue, and you can only do that if you are organized with your finances. It would help if you had decent capital backing you up for your business to work out. Similarly, you also require a good business plan to ensure that your gym will continue to be profitable.

When you put your business plan together, consider the gym owner's difficulties in covering the costs you need. Create a detailed business plan covering the budget under which you'll need to function and ways to achieve those income goals - specifically, through a defined client base, service, and product menu.

3. Keeping good maintenance

It's challenging enough to open a gym as it is, but managing a gym and keeping it in good condition is even more difficult. All kinds of people will use your gym equipment. Some pieces may be dropped, others will be drenched in sweat, and the overall gym may look nasty by the end of the day. Maintenance can not only damage the reputation of your company, but it can also compromise your assets.

In addition to having a dedicated maintenance team sized to match your real estate, one of the best gym business tips for ensuring good maintenance is getting feedback from gym members. So, make sure to keep a line of communication open. Consider setting up an app with regular surveys for this.

4. Employee management in running a gym business

Effective gym employee management is essential for running a successful gym business. Each employee has their way of dealing with the challenges of working in the fitness industry. Some may be there because they are passionate about fitness, while others may be there just for the paycheck. It would be best to create a work schedule that keeps everyone happy and doesn't make them feel overworked or unfulfilled.

Try to understand the employees' personalities and manage them appropriately, facing the challenges of running a fitness business. For instance, if they are passionate about fitness, you can have them interact with the members. If they're just there for the paycheck, you can give them a job they are content with, such as maintenance and gym facility management.

Let's set up weekly in-person meetings to avoid potential employee conflicts and keep them happy. This is easier if you use gym management apps that allow employees to access their timesheets readily. If you keep things non-digital, it will only make way for mistakes.

The bottom line

Keeping a gym up and running can be rather challenging. That being said, each of the challenges above has a solution. You need to keep an open mind and have a good plan. And remember that your clients always come first.