Read This Before Starting A Gym Business

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  • Read This Before Starting A Gym Business

The Armchair Stage Of Starting A Gym Business

Do you dream of starting a gym or fitness studio? If so you may have made serious inquiries into what it takes. Like starting a restaurant, founding a gym captures the imagination of people at all levels of experience and qualifications. The fitness industry seems like an easy entry; passion is a great starting point. Running a gym is a consumer service business, and there are many resources available, including software like Insight for Gym Owners.

Visit the Small Business Administration website, determine your strengths and weaknesses, set your goals and outline a plan. The SBA will give you guidance on writing a business plan and point you in the right direction to find financial help if you need cash to make your concept into a reality.

More Details Of What It Takes To Start A Gym

Just to set up a gym as a destination you will need specializations, certifications, insurance, equipment, and a commercial property lease. The key here is to be realistic in your planning and expectations. If you have to start small and bootstrap your gym or get the experience first, then that is what you should do.

Ask yourself:

  • Can you run a business without a location?
  • Can you share a space?
  • What are your leasing and rental options?

You will need to have suitable contracts and terms of service. These aren’t things that you can cut corners on; you need the guidance and contract-drafting skills of an attorney to ensure there aren’t any vulnerabilities that make you a target in the courts. Decide what kind of gym business suits your objectives and what form of ownership will get you there:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • LLP

The Trainer Who Invented A Fitness Concept

The experience of Greg Glassman is a classic case study of a trainer who developed a fitness program over many years. From 1974 until 1995 he worked as a coach, building a reputation and finding a unique approach to training. He didn’t start CrossFit until he had a clear vision and an outstanding professional reputation on which to begin.

Glassman’s reputation generated buzz that’s worth more than advertising, media attention that fed upon itself. Eventually, he was able to expand CrossFit into the empire we see today. Glassman drove the business into existence over time, through passion and a lot of hard work; it took him twenty years to get there.

Learn To Survive And Get Paid

In all of this, you will live and die by your membership subscriptions and all of the other customer purchases. After all, you don’t have a business if you do not have income. And you won’t have a business for long if you don’t make a profit. Know how much you spend and how much you earn.

Business never changes on this level; you make money or get out before you run out of cash. You will have to deal with taxes that will be due quarterly if you are self-employed or a small business in the United States. You neglect paying taxes at your peril, prepare yourself.

Decide on software applications and subscriptions, which is where Insight can help you. We provide the software to manage customers and gym operations, and we also help you find the best payment processing solution.

Line Up On The Runway Of Finance

If you are going to lease a space and take on employees of any kind, the necessary funding for your small gym business rapidly hits the hundreds of thousands of dollars, just to open the doors. Part of your planning and research has to be to find every possible way to cut costs, borrow, or improvise. Even so, you’ll need cash to cover the cost of operations until you break even.

You may be able to bootstrap, if so that is awesome. More likely, you will need some source of cash until you get paid. That may mean savings, a home equity loan, partners, or small business loans.

Starting a business in the fitness industry is an incredible experience; it can also be a nightmare if you take on too much too soon, debt, or run out of cash. Starting a business is never a joke, but if you put in the work over time and you have the original concept you can build a business doing something unique and add value to your future members’ lives.


CrossFit Virtuosity. Greg Glassman Biography. (accessed March 6, 2017).

Fagan, Lawrence. Bootstrapping A Gym Business From Zero. September 19, 2016. (accessed March 6, 2017).

Gajeski, Brian. A Successful Trainer’s Advice on How to Open a Gym. September 23, 2014. (accessed March 6, 2017).