Proper Preparation for The Gym Business
Getting prepared and qualified to be a fitness club founder is like laying the foundations for a home or a mighty fortress. The better the foundations, the longer the structure (of your fitness business) will last, and the higher you can build.
If you’ve had a long career as a trainer, or been a successful manager for a big box fitness brand for many years, you’re probably ready right now. On the other extreme, if you’re just out of school or starting from scratch, now’s an excellent time to seek a fitness certification or two.
Fitness Certifications for Gym Owners
Certifications for fitness come in a broad range of categories, as you may know. Anyone of them is worth pursuing if it fits in with your plan.
- The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has all of the fundamental fitness certifications: Personal, Group, Health, and Medical (Special Populations) Training certification.
- The IFPA offers a course that’s specifically for fitness center management. If your next move is into ownership, you probably want a certification like this one.
Small Business Administration Training
The Small Business Administration has outstanding resources for small business owners. Regardless of what else you do, talk to your local SBA advisor. The agency has networks of local counselors and volunteer mentors who can help you get the most out of resources and point you in the right direction for success.
Stuff Worth Knowing
What you need to know are the basics of management. While knowing your field is a good thing, understanding how to manage is even more critical. You can sum up management theory in three words: Train, motivate, and delegate.
Train your staff, so they understand your goals, policies, and mission. Motivate your team to take responsibility and then give it to them. This is the only way you can expand your business and retain your sanity.
As your business expands, you’ll need to have an overview of how to manage:
- Finance – The money supply, international trade, and foreign exchange, Federal reserve, equity, and debt business financing
- People – Equal opportunity requirements, employment law, and hiring procedures.
- Marketing– Build your brand and a strategy to create awareness among your target market, bring in the prospects and how to sell.
- Business Law – Company formation, contracts, liabilities.
- Accounting – Bookkeeping, accruals method, double entry, accounting software, financial reports
I designed Insight to make managing a fitness club and memberships as easy as possible. Use it to organize your new members, trainers, and activities.
Gym Insight gives you an accounting application that’s tailored to the subscription model at the heart of fitness. Additionally, it integrates with your payment system and has all the EPOS capabilities you’ll need to get the revenue coming in. Managing your business, memberships, and payment is simple with this gym management software suite.
Don’t Rush into It
Once you have your first business and fitness certification, understand that you don’t have to rush into it. In fact, it helps Take a deep breath and build deep, strong foundations. The one skill that’s transferable anywhere is leadership. It’s always easier to be a strong leader and learn a new industry than attempting to learn to lead on the fly.
However, leadership skills will grow with experience. Take the time to find your inner leader. It could be the difference between success and misery. When you’ve built the confidence that you’re capable of leading and motivating people, you have as solid a foundation as you could want.
Take the time to learn the business and whether you want to commit your life to it. If you can afford the time to gain experience selling and managing people, it will serve you well in founding your fitness club.
If the plan’s in place and you can pull the finances together it’s time to go, it’s a great thing to do. Go for it! And don’t forget to check out The Insight Gym Management Software Suite of tools.
Collora, Chris. 2014. “Fitness Certifications 101.” Text. Exercise Science Guide (blog). April 13, 2014. http://www.exercise-science-guide.com/certifications/.
Fagan, Lawrence. 2016. “Gym Owner Leadership Approaches Reviewed.” Gym Insight Blog. August 22, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3885-gym-owner-leadership-approaches-reviewed/.
———. 2017. “Fitness Certifications Make the Gym Business Go Round.” Gym Insight Blog. September 18, 2017. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4613-fitness-certifications-make-the-gym-business-go-round/.
“Small Business Certifications.pdf.” n.d. Accessed April 27, 2019. https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/articles/Small%20Business%20Certifications.pdf.