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What are the cons of opening a gym?

Corey Loehr
February 7, 2023
fitness industry trends

Opening a gym may be your dream, mainly if you’ve lived a healthy lifestyle for a long time. You have the determination, knowledge, and training to qualify to become a gym owner. However, this process is quite challenging, and opening the doors to the unknown can be a scary experience. Keeping up with the latest fitness industry trends, such as virtual classes and wearable technology, can be crucial to the success of your gym business.

While the idea of being a gym owner and helping others reach their body goals sounds excellent, it’s also a great responsibility. The new journey can quickly become a disaster if you do something wrong. Staying on top of the latest fitness industry trends, such as the increasing demand for online coaching and personalized fitness plans, can help you remain competitive and avoid common pitfalls.

Since you’ll be in charge, you must know the potential cons of opening a gym, even if you should not let them stop you from pursuing your dream.

So, here is what you should be aware of when opening a gym:

1. Dealing with the cost of opening a gym

Money is one of the main reasons why more people don’t become gym owners. One of the scariest parts about opening a gym is the budget required for such an investment. Whether you’ve decided to open a small, local gym or a large business, your budget must be pretty generous before seeing your dream come true.

For example, a small or mid-sized gym can cost between $65,000 and $120,000. In reality, the price is influenced by several aspects, including the type of facility you settle for.

Besides, the expenses do not stop here. Apart from the existing facility, buying gym equipment and machines would be best. If you are eyeing the most modern ones, expect the price to increase significantly. On top of that, you may have to hire other staff members to keep the gym running, which will substantially boost the costs.

However, there are ways to save money. Making a checklist and planning for each expense can make the gym opening process more streamlined.

2. Attracting customers can be challenging in a bad location

People are increasingly interested in changing their lifestyles by going to the gym. However, this doesn’t mean large groups will sign up for a membership in every location. Some areas are anything but convenient for gym owners, with many realizing that they might have chosen the wrong place.

Attracting customers will be challenging if you don’t open your gym in the right area, and the business may fail. This is why it’s crucial to do proper research before picking the location.

3. Most of your time will revolve around the gym

Being at the gym all the time may sound like a dream – for a while. When you become a gym owner, you’re responsible for a big business, including its employees and gym members. You won’t work 8 or 10 hours every day, then leave the gym and go home. As a gym owner, you’ll work a lot, as 10 hours is often insufficient to cover your duties.

Hours, days, and weeks will go into your gym, as you’re responsible for it. And since you want your business to be successful, you must invest all your time in it. This is especially true when you’re just beginning your journey.

The good news is that you will not have to do all of this by yourself. Once you hire qualified staff to keep the gym running, you can focus on less work and have some time outside the business.

4. The field is very competitive

Depending on where you live, the area might be overflowing with gym businesses, particularly if you’re in a big city. If you want to open a gym in such a location, you may have difficulty promoting yourself and finding customers.

Most people will already have memberships at other gyms and will not want to switch to a different one, especially if it’s far away from them or if they already have all they want. That being said, the risk of failure becomes quite scary.

To succeed as a gym owner in a competitive area, you must prove that your business can offer something others cannot. Keeping up with the latest fitness industry trends, such as the growing interest in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and functional fitness, can help you create innovative classes and programs that attract and retain customers. Special promotions, new equipment, or other unique amenities can further set your gym apart.

The bottom line

Opening a gym is not a piece of cake. You must be better than your competitors, prepare your budget, invest time, and work hard to attract customers. The good news is that you can overcome all these challenges.

You can establish a successful gym business by creating a solid strategy from the very beginning. Develop a detailed plan that includes all the costs and potential pitfalls, and find solutions in advance to keep the drawbacks to a minimum.