7 Steps for Starting a Fitness Center

The world of fitness is booming more than ever in the modern day. With as much as 33% of adults within the United States being obese and with an estimated 20% of American citizens owning a gym membership, the time to start a fitness center has never been as lucrative as now. It is reported that up to 66% of the American population weighs more than they should. One in three children is also overweight. When starting a fitness business, you can use these facts to your advantage by offering a fitness opportunity and cashing in.

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If your plan is to help others staying fit and healthy, then you should start your own fitness center at your home. Getting worried which particular facility would be the perfect for you and how to get started? Don’t be nervous, I am going to take a look at the steps involved and the points to be considered when starting a fitness center, including the startup requirements, capital investment and market potential.

1. The Business Plan for Starting a Fitness Center

Starting a fitness center is a real business opportunity that will require a complete business plan, especially if you do not have funds readily available to use as a startup investment. During this initial step, you will need to do some research and decide on a few things that will impact the way you are going to start your business, the amount of initial capital that will be required and potentially affect the audience you will be targeting. Be sure to include your decisions and findings regarding the next few sections in your business plan.

2. Business Model

Before you start with your planning phase and writing your business plan, you need to decide on the type of clients you are going to target and the type of fitness business model you want to implement. This is a vital decision that will have a major impact on your entire operation. There are a large variety of fitness centers all over the world – you need to start by choosing the type of fitness business you want to start. To help you out, here’s a list of some of the most popular types of fitness centers that you can use to start a fitness center.

  • General gym
  • Yoga and Pilates center
  • Fitness center for women
  • Fitness center for men
  • Group fitness center
  • Family fitness center
  • Athletic training facility
  • Advance body building center

It’s usually best to decide on a specific business model when starting out. This will keep the entire process relatively simple and will make things easier during the starting phase of the business. As your business grows, you can always start to add additional features down the road.

3. Target Audience

Once you’ve decided on a business model that you want to implement, determining your target audience will be much easier. You do need to determine who your target audience will be. This will help you choose a location and better target potential clients in your marketing campaigns.

Your business model will help you determine who your target audience is. For example, if you’ve chosen to start fitness center for women, your main target audience will be women. If you’ve chosen to start an advance body building facility, then your main target audience will be bodybuilders. In the same way, a family fitness center will focus on getting families to have gym time together.

4. Location

The next step is to decide on a proper location for your fitness business. The type of fitness center business you want to start and your target audience should help you decide on the best location to place your business. For example, if you are opening a general gym that offers gym memberships for people on a budget, then you won’t be able to make a lot of money in a high class area. In the same way, if you are targeting high class stay-at-home moms with an advance yoga center, positioning your business in an area surrounded by low-income households won’t do much good. It is important to consider exactly where your target audience is located, then to position your fitness center where it will be easily accessible for your target audience.

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5. Finalizing the Business Plan

You’ve covered the basics of the business plan, now it is time to finalize the business plan. In order to complete a professional business plan, you should also focus on adding additional sections that revolves around your business, including:

  • Branding information – the name of your fitness business, logo, creative slogan, etc
  • Legal information – the legal requirements for starting fitness center in your local area. You can contact your local authorities to find more information in regards to this matter.
  • Financial requirements – you will need an initial investment to start your business. You can choose to obtain this from various sources including personal savings, a business loan, crowd funding or even from a wealthy family member.
  • Financial forecast – conduct a research analysis to determine your potential.
  • Equipment requirements – this goes hand-in-hand with the financial requirements section. You will need an array of different equipment in order to start a fitness center business. Research and find out what you need for the business model you’ve decided on.

6. Taking Action

Once you’ve covered the business plan, it is time to take action. If you do not have the necessary funding available in a personal savings account or cannot obtain it through a family investor, then you will need to acquire financing. This is why it is so important to set up a professional, efficient business plan. A business plan should always accompany a loan application, especially due to the fact that starting a fitness center isn’t a $10 business, but could actually cost you well over $10,000. You can visit your local bank to apply for a business loan or contact a crowd funding company to acquire the necessary funds. If you are declined for these financing options, then you can apply for a personal loan and cover the expenses with the loan.

Acquiring the necessary funds is the first essential step to start a fitness center. The next step is to rent a place and gain the necessary licenses from your local authorities. After you acquire these important elements, you can purchase the necessary equipment needed in your fitness center. Be sure to focus on safety measurements as well – such as a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

Finally, you will need to hire a couple of trainers, cleaners and a receptionist to help run the business. If you do not have enough time to hang around the center all day long, then you might also consider hiring someone to be the manager.

The last step is to launch your business. This is done by simply opening the doors to the public – but, now, the question is: “How do I get people to come to my fitness center?”

7. Marking & Promotion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully started a fitness center. Now it is time to attract some attention to your new business venture and to get some feet in the door. The best way you can get people interested in your new business is by promoting your fitness center several weeks before launch. You can print flyers, advertise on local radio services, distribute posters, place an advertisement in local newspapers and even hand out branded merchandise. The more buzz you can create about your launch, the better.

Once you have launched, you should keep up the marketing strategy and continue distributing advertising material throughout your local area. You can also set up a professional website to promote your services, list your fitness center on Google Maps and utilize social media to expose your center to more potential clients.

Final Points


Investing in the fitness industry can yield an array of benefits for you. The return on your investment can also be substantially high.  The key to success with this business venture is to start with proper planning. Invest time and effort into your business in order to gain the maximum level of benefits, while also enjoying an opportunity that can bring in a large amount of recurring revenue.

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7 Steps for Starting a Fitness Center : Small Business Idea
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7 Steps for Starting a Fitness Center : Small Business Idea
If your plan is to help others staying fit and healthy, then starting a fitness center is a good option. You can start your own fitness center at home.
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Home Business Ideas Center
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