The fitness industry is growing, as more people of all ages and body types become aware of the importance of being physically active. According to the latest IHRSA data, total fitness industry revenue in 2018 was estimated at $94 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.7%, and the chances are high that this industry will only continue to grow. 

If you’re a fitness aficionado or a fitness trainer thinking about starting your own business in this field, the odds are already on your side. Still, if you really want your new business to thrive, here are several things you need to consider before taking a leap into the entrepreneurial waters.

Choose Your Niche

One of the decisions to begin your entrepreneurial fitness journey with is a choice of a niche you’re going to specialize in. Many begin their business venture with an unrealistic idea that they can cover all the areas of training, and discover the need for specialized approach somewhere along the way after they’ve already burnt out.

By choosing your niche, it will be much easier for you to focus most of your efforts on one particular area, targeting a particular group of potential customers. Depending on your personal preferences and your expertise, you can, for example, focus on weight-loss activities,  corrective exercises, or prenatal yoga classes, and establish yourself as an authority in this specific niche, attracting the right kind of crowd.  

You can get information on the latest trends by following the most reputable blogs in the niche of your choice – if you want to start a business in weight training, search for the best weight-lifting blogs, and if you see yourself running a business in the cross-fit niche,  read resourceful CrossFit blogs. Such blogs can be a great source of constructive ideas. still, when thinking about implementing some of them, make sure you’re guided by your business motivation, and not just your passion, and approach them strategically.

Choose the Right Place

Choice of the location where you’ll be running your fitness business will pretty much determine the context you will be working in, starting with your competition, your most busy hours, prices and the services you’ll offer. If you opt for having your fitness facility downtown, you can expect that your rush hour will potentially be around lunch, as there is a fair chance that many of your customers would like to train during their work breaks. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about running your fitness business in the suburbs, your busiest times will be before and after working hours, with another peak, around 10 am for stay at home parents. 

Still, no matter what location you choose for your business, make sure to provide your customers with a superb experience, so that your gym can soon become their favourite spot to socialize and hang out.

Work on Your Marketing

Your fitness business will be far more successful if you plan your marketing strategy well ahead and start with promotion before you’ve even entered the market.  There are many available marketing and advertising options but in order to get the best results and choose wisely, be sure to research your potential customers as well as your competitors thoroughly.  Try to determine what could work best for your target audience, and consider implementing some of these bulletproof techniques: 

  • Send personalized monthly newsletters to your prospects and customers, offering them high-quality, relevant content, tailored to fit their needs.
  • Use social media to educate and nurture your prospects, engage with them in the relevant niche or local groups, and share their success stories on your social media channels.
  • Start your own blog and try to position yourself as a leader in your niche.
  • Use the power of micro and nano-influencers, to get word of mouth going. Make sure you reward them adequately.
  • Utilize the popularity of video by making your own Youtube video gallery and sharing this useful content on your blog and your social media channels.
  • Offer giveaways and free or discounted sessions for beginners. 

Make sure you keep track of relevant performance metrics and KPIs, so that you can have a timely insight into what works best, and what tactics you can do without, and make the necessary changes.

Get Ready for Rough Times

Starting your own fitness business can come with a hefty price tag, with basic costs varying averagely from $10,000 to $50,000, but they can be much higher, depending on the size, location, facility and the type of fitness you will be running.

Still, having a detailed financial plan can help you manage your business in the long term, and prepare you to go through the rough times before your business starts paying out. When making a financial plan, make sure you’ve included expenses, such as:

  • Facility costs,
  • Operational costs,
  • Equipment,
  • Permits and Licences,
  • Business Insurance and Legal Fees,
  • Your own and your employees’ salary,
  • Management software and hardware,
  • Marketing and advertising.

Also, make sure you’ve got some financial resources left to cover for potential unplanned expenses, as well as your financial safety net provided for.

Once you’ve got these issues sorted out and planned, you’re ready to make a move forward and embrace the challenge of watching both your business and your customers transform and grow.