HomeFitnessStarting a Gym: is it as Difficult as it Sounds?

Starting a Gym: is it as Difficult as it Sounds?

The fitness industry is booming. Many individuals are looking to capitalize on the trend towards being more health-conscious by opening their own gym. Some 64 million Americans have a membership to a fitness center, showing the popularity of the industry. However, with around 41,000 other gyms to compete with, opening your own successful establishment can be challenging. Here are some of the biggest pitfalls people encounter when starting their own fitness business.

Don’t Forget What Sets You Apart From the Crowd

The fitness industry is a relatively saturated market. Therefore, if you want your venture to be a success, you need to focus on elements of your business that make you different from the crowd.

Your prospective clients who are just looking for a treadmill or some weights generally won’t be too fussy about where they do this. They will likely shop around and find something close to home or that offers low monthly rates.

Successful gyms tend to do well because they understand their target audience, capture them and offer a tailored experience to clients within their niche. Therefore, you should avoid setting your sights on being a one-size-fits-all experience. Larger companies will undoubtedly offer lower rates and capture the audience looking for this kind of gym. Instead, focus on what makes you unique, who you’re doing this for, and take steps to market your offerings to your target market.

Don’t Skimp on Insurance

This might not be at the forefront of your mind when you set out on your entrepreneurial journey, but gyms and fitness businesses can be hazardous environments. To protect your business and your clients, finding an affordable fitness insurance plan will set you on your path to success. If you want to get into the industry, look here to compare essential insurance for your training business.

Don’t Over-Spend On Equipment

Many entrepreneurs trying to break into the fitness industry take a gung-ho approach when it comes to purchasing equipment. The “go big or go home” mentality is rife in the fitness community, but such an approach can significantly harm your chances of long-term success.

The more equipment and floorspace you use in a fledgling fitness establishment, the more money you can expect to spend on upkeep and rent. Unless you have a significant source of funds or outside investment, the wise option is to open smaller facilities when you are just beginning. Such an establishment will require fewer clients to turn a profit, and you probably won’t have an extensive list of patrons when you first open.

Don’t run before you can walk; start slow and grow gradually.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Accounting

You would be surprised at how many small business owners lack the required skills to record vital financial information properly. As an entrepreneur, you will need to take control of your company’s finances to ensure that you remain profitable and that you do not fall out of favor with the tax authorities.

Savvy gym owners will wax lyrical about the importance of getting a good accountant early on in your journey. A competent financial advisor can help you boost your cash flow and keep your doors open, even during difficult periods. For example, an accountant can help you pay less tax by depreciating the equipment in your gym. This will allow you to keep some of the money you would otherwise send off to the IRS, which will help your business to stay in the green.

Don’t Avoid Social Media

Social media platforms are one of the most valuable tools for small businesses. When you are starting out in the fitness industry, using every available social media platform can help you quickly generate buzz among your target audience.

Generally, the main investment you will need to make in these platforms is time. For many small businesses, time is money, but typically small gym owners have an abundance of time. Therefore, you should invest as much as you can into your social media channels. This will help to get bodies through the doors and build your client list.


On the whole, breaking into the fitness industry is a difficult task. It is a saturated market where large companies have a large share of the target market. However, by avoiding these common pitfalls, you can enhance your fitness business’ chances of success.


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