Opening a new business is no small feat and opening a new gym or studio is no exception. There are many things to think about and to strive for, when building your business. When you're starting out, the most important thing having your foundations down a setting yourself up to succeed.
Here's a basic roadmap, to get your started. It's not all encompassing but it will get you thinking in the right direction.
1) Create a Business Plan:
We can't emphasize enough the importance of having a good business plan. Establishing and managing a business is an incredibly large endeavour and a business plan will help guide your journey. A good business plan will break down many important concepts and strategies for opening a new gym, which should help you with conceptualizing your business. Although you can't plan for every pitfall ahead of time, a good business plan should help you avoid many of the bigger ones. There are countless resources for how to write a good business plan: Google, blogs, and other online resources are great, but if your community has a small business association or centre, they are likely to become your best resource.
2) Market Research:
If you don't know your market, you're going to have a very hard time being successful. An effective business will have a thorough understanding of its target demographic, the breakdown of its market, as well as a breakdown of competitors and potential threats. Knowing this is key when opening a new gym. Market research can be done in many ways, but we recommend going out and obtaining demographic and industry sector data, through firsthand and third party sources. Here are some useful stats from IHRSA, to get you started.
3) Choosing and Setting Up a location:
Opening a new gym can be exciting but, without the right location, people may not be as excited as you are. Locations that are hard to get to may create an inconvenience that overshadows the benefits of attending your gym. Additionally, obscure locations may disqualify walk-ins and storefront advertising from the equation. It's often the case that, the better the location, the higher the price. Make sure you do an in-depth cost benefit analysis, to figure out the best location. Longer leases in up-and-coming neighborhoods can be a big advantage.
Create excitement and buzz. Find the best blogs around that your target demographic reads and create campaigns. Whether it's a 'get fit' campaign or just articles written about an interesting facet surrounding your business, get your name out there before, during and after opening a new gym. Imagery is huge here. Make sure you either learn photography or hire an expert, depending on your budget. Many people find out about new businesses opening through social media networks. Make sure your company's Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts are curated well, are thoughtful and visually impressive. Take a look at similar, successful businesses' social networks to see what they do.
A good team of staff is instrumental when opening a new gym. Staff can convince people to sign up and to stay members; customer service should never be an afterthought. Learn how to be an effective leader and manage your students in a way where they develop a sense of ownership. Keep in mind that different personalities are motivated in different ways. Take some time to get to know your staff to figure out how to best manage them.