I’ve been on the hunt for fitness gym business resources but I’m having trouble! For anyone out there interested in starting a gym or buying a gym, there just doesn’t seem to be much in the way of information. In fact, some of the only information that I can find is related to the 24 hour gym franchise boom. Although I’m sure that each franchisor provides information to their franchisees, where do the rest of us meet to collaborate?
When you search for fitness marketing and related promotional types of information, all you seem to find are various programs for sale. What I’m looking for is an actual resource for gym owners, investors, and managers. There seem to be forums for every kind of business, hobby and sport out there, but if you look for a forum or message board specifically targeted to gym owners you come up with nothing! How can it be that this is the ONLY industry that doesn’t have a sanctuary on the internet?
I’m hoping that all of you reading this will have some ideas; perhaps there are actually resources out there and I’m just missing them somehow – maybe I’m the only person alive who doesn’t know how to perform a Google search. This is becoming a more frequent rant for me lately and it seems that every time I bring it up with people in the industry, they tell me that I should go and create a forum.
Unfortunately, I must be one of the only people out there looking for such a thing because I checked in with Google and their keyword tool informed me that there are currently only 22 searches for "gym owner forum" per month across the whole planet! When I checked in with IHRSA, I found out that there were more than 26,830 fitness centers and gyms in the country (and that was back in 2005). Even if all those gyms were the new fad micro format 24-hour gyms with only 5 people working at them, there are at least 134,000 people who are directly involved in the gym business. By simply looking at that number, I know that it’s way off. I know that most gyms have many more employees, trainer, managers, owners, and investors.
So that begs the question, if there are over 26,000 fitness centers in the country and at least 134,000 employees serving at least 50 million members (IHRSA survey conducted January 2011) – why don’t they have any desire to connect with each other on the internet? It seems almost inconceivable to me that this is the case. Therefore, there must be many "micro" fitness communities on the internet: hundreds of small groups on Facebook, Twitter, franchise system websites, and maybe even a few smaller forums that I failed to locate.
If you’re a gym owner, a gym investor, or even thinking about starting or buying a gym I’d like to you weigh in with me. Would you like a central place on the internet where you can connect with other gym owners, ask questions about strategy, discuss marketing, and mentor newcomers? If not, why? I certainly know that I want it!