The Short Answer Is Still "No!"
That guy who wrote a book about having a business in only X hours per week now has a book out about fitness. OK, that’s nice. So, completely separate from that, what I’m wondering, is whether there can be a gym business that you can run on half a workday per week?
I’ve gotta say, I’m skeptical about the whole short-time easy-money approach to anything. If you’re already the owner of a small fitness club, just the title probably made you roll your eyes, right?
I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that anyone who follows that kind of advice and starts a conventional fitness business finds out that it’s not so easy, and they end up working harder than ever. If you want to be a gym owner, it’s a way of life, if you want something else out of fitness, then you’ve got to be very, very creative.
The Old School Alternatives
If you want to have a physical workout space and offer memberships to the general public, the costs will be high enough to give you a nosebleed. A commercial lease for a suitable space, located in the parts of town where the people go, means writing five-figure checks every month. Filling it with members will be a full-time occupation, if not for you than someone you hire.
So the ways to cut your weekly involvement are, to be blunt, brutal. If you have a pile of cash that allows you to buy a fitness club outright, or build one from scratch, you can hire experienced managers and step back. Otherwise, you’ll have to substitute your labor for the capital you don’t have.
As a new club owner, you’re going to spend time on a range of activities: You have to sell to membership prospects, cover the front desk, and do all of the back office paperwork associated with running the business. You’re not going to set up a gym and then head off to Malaysia for some remote mountain trekking.
Jumping Out of The Box
These days, if you can think outside the box, I think there could not be better a time to be a fitness professional. Much of the cost of fitness comes from the basic fact that it’s a competitive business. You have to pay the market rate to rent or buy your club facility if you want success by any conventional measurement.
Also, it’s filled at every level with people who’re driven by passion. According to the BLS, there were nearly 300,000 fitness trainers and instructors in the U.S. in 2016. If you look at it another way, you may find more opportunities that flow from it being so intense an industry.
However, if you have an insider’s understanding of the industry, you might be able to find something else that takes less effort and makes good use of your knowledge. You could become a blogger and write about the industry or set up a service that brings people together for special events and sell tickets.
If you have a passion for producing videos and posting them to YouTube, you could turn that into a business too. Use your photography skills and charm to build an Instagram following. In fact, some exciting things are going on with Instagram, and it’s become the go-to platform for people who want to exploit their social presences to make a living.
Start Taking Lots of Pictures
The secret to taking great pictures is still to put in the practice, and Instagram seems to be a great place to do it. At the far end of the Instagram road, some people are actually making a living from their Instagram profiles. These influencers earn substantial fees for paid posts.
If you’re not on this latest digital social media platform, now is the perfect time to investigate it. The platform allows you to connect with other people with similar interests and tastes. Instagram is built around posting a stream of images and using them to create a narrative.
Next-level Instagrammers use hashtags and stories to entertain their followers while they consciously balance producing authentic things to amuse. Meanwhile, they include just enough sponsored content from brands to earn substantial incomes, without alienating their audience.
Fitness is a full-time passion, and if you own a gym, you need management tools like automation and delegation to make the most of every hour of the day. We created Gym Insight to give you the tools to operate a fitness operation from the small scale of a startup studio to a network of big box full-service clubs.
There may be another outlet for your fitness passion if you look away from conventional fitness careers and businesses. However, whether you do or don’t, get on Instagram and build your story around the fitness lifestyle. It could help you to develop your fitness club business as a gym owner; alternatively, it could also help you find another rewarding professional path.
Barker, Shane. How to Become an Instagram Influencer and Start Earning Money Now. February 8, 2018. https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-become-an-instagram-influencer-and-start-earning-money-now-a8ef3169e96d (accessed November 14, 2018).
Dredge, Stuart. Ten tips that will make you a master of Instagram. July 15, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/15/ten-ways-to-master-instagram (accessed November 14, 2018).
Fagan, Lawrence. Top 10 Reasons Why New Gyms Fail. September 8, 2013. https://blog.gyminsight.com/1750-top-10-reasons-why-new-gyms-fail/ (accessed November 14, 2018).
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fitness Trainers and Instructors. April 13, 2018. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm (accessed November 14, 2018).