How to Start a Fitness Business — and Should You Franchise?

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November 30, 2021

Starting a fitness business can be an exciting and intimidating venture. The first question you often ask ourselves is: Where do I start? Without support or guidance, it can be hard to figure out the first step, but we’ve got you covered — read on to find out what you need to do on your journey.  

Five Steps for Starting a Fitness Business

1. Decide what kind of fitness business you want to run 

Gone are the days of one neighborhood gym with basic workout amenities. These days, most gyms are specialized to a specific type of fitness. Pick one that works best for you — consider your own fitness training or knowledge, general overhead costs, and the demographic that populates the community you’re targeting. As you research different types of fitness studios on your quest to starting a fitness business, consider the following options: 

  • Yoga studio
  • Pilates studio 
  • CrossFit gym 
  • Spin/cycling studio 
  • Dance studio 
  • Powerlifting gym 

2. Pick a tentative location

Ideally, this step will go hand-in-hand with step one, as the location might influence the type of studio you’re opening based on the demographic that lives in that area. It’s also important to consider what studios are already in that neighborhood — if there’s a yoga studio down the block from your ideal location, you might want to consider opening a different type of fitness business. 

3. Do your research to come up with a business plan 

You can’t get your fitness studio off the ground until you have a business plan in order. With each step in the process of starting a fitness business, your plan should become more robust. 

Here are some areas you’ll want to research:

  • Know who your target market is, and understand their fitness and buying practices. 
  • Gain an understanding of your local consumers’ economic habits.
  • Understand your competition, and think about how you might turn competitors into allies. For example, a cycling studio owner and Pilates studio owner might work together by providing customers with a voucher for a free class at the opposing studio — each studio provides very different services, so they aren’t competing as directly as two yoga studio owners might. 
  • Come up with a marketing and sales plan. How are you going to catch your target market’s attention? What local channels can you take advantage of? This could range from contacting a local newspaper about your opening to utilizing the bulletin board in the library to advertise your offerings. 
  • Draft up your financial plans and projections. Know what you can afford and how you’ll make money. You can’t get your fitness business off the ground without this information!

4. Dive into the details

This stage isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly important. At this point, you’ve worked out the financial details and picked your location — now you need the proper permits, licenses, and registrations to start your fitness business. Requirements vary by state, so be sure to check the requirements that exist within your state, county, and town. Also look into the kind of insurance required to protect whatever equipment you’re investing in. 

And if you’re looking for a partner to simplify the process and have your back through it all…

5. Consider franchising

Figuring out how to start a fitness business can be a difficult path, but choosing to start a fitness franchise can make the journey forward much easier. Franchising comes with all of the benefits of independent ownership, plus incredible support from the franchisor, including assistance with marketing, location selection, training, and construction. What’s more, you have a community to lean on that is just as passionate and dedicated to the brand as you are.Interested in starting a fitness franchise with a built-in network of marketing and other support? Connect with us today to learn about BODYBAR!