Starting your own fitness business has never been easier. That statement, of course, assumes you have the charisma and certifications to run your own shop. Or you have access to a high six-figure sum of capital to invest.
I’m mostly talking to the former fitness employees, the gym professionals ready to strike out on their own. I’ve met many outstanding trainers that could manage the journey if they had to do it. If you fit that description and you’ve committed to bootstrapping your way into fitness club ownership, keep the following three things in mind.
Charge What You’re Worth
One thing that I’ve noticed over the year in fitness professionals is the tendency to undervalue their services. When you become a business owner, the pricing is a different thing from an employee paycheck.
The costs of the business add up: Expenses you can attach to each sale reduce income in your calculations. Fixed costs for such niceties as a studio, insurance, various taxes and a host of things first-timers don’t expect. As a business owner, you have to pay all of these costs before you pay yourself.
The big box gym companies and franchises can offer low prices but only for the most basic services. As the big gyms add features to their offerings, you’ll notice the price jumps up quickly. Competent training and good client experiences are the most valuable things you can offer, and you have every right to charge what you’re worth.
Believe In What You Do
Underpricing your memberships and services is a dangerous game, one that’s likely to end badly for you. There’s no point in struggling and working yourself to death for people who don’t value what you offer.
High-quality fitness training and facilities are something that health-conscious consumers crave these days. Leave the low-budget discount stuff to the corporate brands that can survive on razor-thin margins.
If you believe in what you do and offer, you’ll be much more comfortable asking for what you’re worth. Additionally, if you know the value of what you offer, you’ll close more membership sales.
The old saying in sales is as valid as it ever was: People buy people. The expression means that they buy from people they like and believe to be confident. Your passion and belief in what you offer are the secret ingredients to your club membership sales success.
Be Clear About Your Business Model
Your pricing should reflect both the market in your community and the budget you need to meet to thrive in the fitness business. Your business model has to work as a going concern and also work for you as a human. There’s no point leaving a mediocre, middle-income job for self-employment if it means working all the hours for subsistence profits.
Fortunately, there are more options these days, which make it easier and less expensive to start a business. You can start out part time and research the potential of your ideas. You may have to pivot through a few experiments before you find the one that can be a full-time enterprise.
If you have something genuinely new and innovative, the most significant part of your job is going to be educating potential customers. In such cases, you have to teach the unaware that you have something they’ll love. If you can convince enough people to sign up for a new concept in fitness, you’ll achieve the most remarkable success.
And One Final Thing
When you’re ready to make the commitment and strike out on your own, we at Gym Insight have the tools to help you measure and manage your club. I founded Insight many years ago to support my own gym business; it was a software solution that no tech company was providing at the time.
The Fitness profession is very special; it’s an industry that focuses on people. You can build a business based on your certifications, your client training experience, and the drive to have the independence and respect that come from entrepreneurial success.
At the beginning of 2018, fitness professionals have more opportunities than ever before. Consumers value fitness and the quality of life that it gives them. When you start your own fitness business, you take the risk and reap the rewards. We at Insight have made that journey ourselves, we have had the privilege to walk it with others, and we would cherish the chance to take that trip with you too.
Fagan, Lawrence. A Pro Tip For Small Gym Business Client Acquisition. October 30, 2017. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4705-a-pro-tip-for-small-gym-business-client-acquisition/ (accessed January 3, 2018).
—. Mastering The Subscriptions Model And Avoiding The Obvious Mistakes. January 2, 2018. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4821-mastering-the-subscriptions-model-and-avoiding-the-obvious-mistakes/ (accessed January 3, 2018).
Zabonik, Rachel. Sales: Do You Have Tightwad Customers? November 25, 2016. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2016/11/sales-do-you-have-tightwad-customers/ (accessed January 3, 2018).