Guide on how to start a fitness studio from scratch - Blog | YCLIENTS

Guide on how to start a fitness studio from scratch

Business in sports and health is a promising new business option. But before you open a fitness studio from scratch, it is important to calculate the cost of future investments, draw up a business plan, determine a management and promotion strategy so that the invested funds pay off as quickly as possible. Be sure to analyze your competitors and potential clients. Try to find your competitive advantage and find a way to minimize your costs. So you will understand whether it is profitable to open a fitness club and worth doing in your area.

Consider the legal stuff

When you open a fitness club, you do need to be aware of all the legal issues on your local regulations. Usually, a certain set of documents is needed:

  • registration documents of the legal form of business (for instance, LLC);
  • lease/ purchase agreement for sport equipment;
  • permission of fire and sanitary inspections;
  • conform to the standards set by a local health organization (for instance, in the UK it is Health and Safety Executive (HSE)).

Depending on the country you are opening your fitness business in, there are also certain insurance requirements like Professional indemnity insurance for fitness instructors and so. 

Calculate the main costs

Do not borrow money and do not spend personal savings until you have precisely calculated how much it costs to open a fitness club from scratch in your case. Costs are directly dependent on the scope and concept of the project. But for any fitness room, the main expense items are:

  • rental/purchase agreement;
  • leasing/purchase of fitness and sport equipment;
  • staff salary;
  • tax deductions;
  • installation of fire safety systems, ventilation, air conditioning;
  • utility payments;
  • phone and Internet costs.

Find your target audience

The cost of opening your fitness room from scratch largely depends on your clients’ ability to pay. Keep this in mind and establish pricing policy.

You can count on a narrow segment, for example, open children’s fitness, or combine classes for different groups. This directly affects the choice of equipment. For example, to open a fitness studio for women, you are unlikely to need powerful fitness equipment for bodybuilders. But it’s probably worth buying treadmills, exercise bikes, stretching equipment, low and medium power loads.

It is highly advisable to decide in advance whether it is worth opening a fitness room for group training for aerobics, gymnastics, yoga, etc. This decision affects the layout and the required amount of free space. On average, in group classes, there are 2 square meters per client and 3 square meters per coach.

Note that the new fitness business has more potential for success with the exclusive training type, in which there are almost no competitors. This can be a trampoline center, gymnastics in hammocks, EMS-training, etc. Although with the right business approach, a classic fitness studio can succeed.

Choose fitness studio premises

When you open a fitness studio from scratch, it is important to choose the right location. If you have a small hall planned (up to 150 square meters) and you are counting on a small audience, it is better to open a club in a calm neighborhood so that people can visit it in their free time. It can consist of one training room, a locker room, and a bathroom.

It is reasonable to open a large fitness club with an extensive list of services for different groups of visitors in the city center or in the large shopping centers so that it is convenient to get to it from different parts of the district.

Most fitness centers are designed for up to 60 people in an area of ​​about 400 square meters. They accommodate:

  • reception desk;
  • locker rooms;
  • a bathroom;
  • training room and a room for group classes.

Real calculation of income and expenses

Before you open a fitness studio, multiply the cost of all possible costs by two, and reduce the probable income by 2 times for six months in advance. Why do this? Because absolutely all risks and problems cannot be predicted. By calculating the increased costs and reduced income, you can improve the model of your new business in the first stages.

To avoid potential risks, many people decide to work on a franchise. Usually, it is less costly and, as a huge plus, you have a well-established brand. Anyway, this approach has its pros and cons.

What do you need to know to open a franchise fitness studio?

In fact, when you think about how to open a fitness club: from scratch or under a franchise, you choose between taking risks and a viable, well-considered business model. In these cases, guarantees for profitability are different.

With your own business from scratch, fitness clubs do not receive a large flow of visitors in the first six months. About 85% of them quickly close due to a lack of experience and incorrect calculations.

In cooperation with the franchisor, you are only looking for a room and draw up permits. Other issues are dealt with by the franchise developer. Then the probability of a successful startup is much more. But if you want to calculate as accurately as possible how much it costs to open a fitness room for a franchise, you should consider not only the initial payment but also monthly percentage-based payroll. These deductions are made as a percentage of income or a fixed rate. Some franchisors require up to 70%.

Differentiate from your competitors

When it comes to minimizing business risks, you need to develop a strategy that makes you different from your competitors. Make it easy for your customers to reach you anywhere they are and book your services. YCLIENTS allow you to automate your business and minimize costs by:

  • saving your staff time;
  • letting you get more customers;
  • controlling work efficiency;
  • organizing the whole business management.

YCLIENTS, an all-in-one service for automating business processes, does an excellent job of these tasks. Automate your routine with easy-to-use and powerful tools for online booking, scheduling, finance, and client relationship management. YCLIENTS provides essential functionality:

  • 24/7 online booking;
  • the choice of the hall at the nearest location (for fitness chains);
  • feedback about your fitness coaches;
  • appointment scheduling;
  • client database;
  • financial accounting;
  • team management and payroll;
  • inventory and accounting and more!

Our team will help you to guide you through the product and help to set it up accordingly to your business needs.