Gym Business Plan



Gym Business Plan

There are dozens of reasons to start a small gym with so many people now interested in improving their fitness and to find the time to make it a priority. A small gym can offer a more unique approach to fitness, thereby attracting avoiders of mainstream gyms. A passion for fitness, strong social skills and savvy business sense are valuable skills that will serve you well.

Like many lifestyle activities, health and fitness is affected by the vagaries of fashion trends. In the late 1980s, the market was dominated by the boom in aerobics, led by celebrities like Jane Fonda. During the 1990s, exercise became more intense and innovations like the ‘Reebok step’, and ‘boxercise’, a cross between boxing and martial arts, were increasingly popular. By the end of the 2000s, and reflecting changing lifestyle trends, more gentle forms of exercise such as yoga and Pilates were increasingly in demand.

There is now a call for having your own personal trainer as people get fatter and fatter every year and meeting your personal trainer down at the gym is now commonplace.

Gyms cater for a number of activities and provide access to machines and equipment designed to help people keep fit. Customers or club members can expect the provision of a number of activities including access to free-standing and machine weights.

Exercise classes such as:

  • Aerobics, which is defined as any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature.
  • Pilates, which was developed in the 1920s by the physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates, and is now a very fashionable form of exercise. The Pilates Method is an exercise system focused on improving flexibility and strength for the total body without building bulk.
  • Step classes, which build muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
  • Yoga, the most popular in the west is Hatha Yoga, which works primarily through posture and breathing exercises.
  • Spinning classes utilize fixed bikes or exercise bikes to provide a complex cardiovascular workout.
  • Boxercise is one of the most effective forms of cross-training available, combining the use of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise in a workout that enhances hand-eye co-ordination, balance and timing.
  • Salsa for fitness - the health and fitness benefits of Salsa dancing include weight loss and muscle gain, boosting physical endurance. Exercise based on forms of dance is becoming increasingly popular.


Providing a cafe bar or refreshment lounge for relaxing with friends, reflecting the leisure and social aspects of exercise as well as changing and shower facilities, along with a secure locker room in which to leave clothing and other possessions while in the gym.

Nearly 65% of health club members claim to visit more today than they did two to three years ago. Almost 62% were not members of a fitness club six months prior to joining their current club. Over 8% of the population belong to a fitness club.

The majority of members joined a health club to get fit or maintain their current fitness level. The other main reasons were to lose weight and relieve stress. Most members visit their health club two to three times a week with a session length of between 45 minutes and one-and-a-half hours.

Medical researchers have said that exercise can improve mental ability in the elderly and prevent mental decline as exercise improves the body’s ability to pump blood and carry oxygen to the brain.

A Gallup poll conducted on behalf of the BBC discovered that nearly 40% of the population never takes any exercise and the same amount of people believe they are overweight. The Chief Medical Officer has found that although people were living longer, they were also getting fatter. According to the national audit report, 18 million working days are lost, directly or indirectly, to the detrimental effects of excess weight.

The health and fitness market has grown from $2.6 million in 1996 to an estimated $6.6 billion now.

KPMG have conducted the first financial benchmarking review of the private health and fitness sector. Here are some of their findings:

  • There has been a 25% increase in clubs in the last five years and the sector is now reaching maturity. Certain cities and towns have reached or are nearing saturation supply. This increasing rivalry puts pressure on a club’s market share and operating profits.
  • Membership sales accounted for an average of 75% of revenue, with food and beverage being the second highest earner.
  • Excluding rent costs, the highest proportion of operating costs is payment of staff.
  • KPMG conclude that the main challenge to clubs is the prospect of a slowdown in the growth of new members. It will be increasingly important for clubs to focus attention on improving other areas of their business.

In the last ten years, memberships at health clubs has risen by 17%; this trend is projected to continue. Not only that, but frequent users of fitness clubs soared by 19% during the same period. From recent surveys of fitness clubs, the eight most profitable programs for fitness centers were identified.



Gym franchises are rapidly opening as people become more and more health conscious, the need for fitness centers has expanded. A nice gym is a great addition to any neighborhood or city. If you are considering buying a franchise, consider the benefits to purchasing in on Gym Franchises. In addition to being able to use the facilities yourself, you can get all of your friends and family to go to the gym as well. Incorporating your friends and neighbors into your gym is beneficial for their health, and will benefit your business as well.

Scientific research is advancing every day. While there is continued research on a variety of factors affecting health, the benefits of exercise are undisputed. There are different degrees and levels to working out; some light and moderate exercise is ideal for most everyone. People with the time and desire to sincerely work out should seek the advice of a professional. If you buy a gym franchise, you will need to contract-out, or hire, trainers to service your patrons. Not only will it help draw business, but also training sessions give your gym goers a safe and reasonable workout to suit their individual needs.

Gym franchises are a great business option for anyone seeking a successful business venture. Gyms are pleasant environments to work in, for various reasons. Plus, by buying a franchise you will receive tremendous guidance from the head of the franchise chain. By following their rules and specifications, you are practically guaranteed to have a successful gym franchise.

The number of people battling with fitness related problems has increased tremendously over the years and if you have the drive to change this situation, then you can help like minded people get in shape in your gym. Having proper fitness equipment, a great team of fitness instructors and spa facilities in place is part of running a gym.

Remember that to run a gym you have to live what you preach; it is important to be in good shape as well in order to prove to others that you can train them effectively to acquire overall fitness.

The keys to success for your Gym will be your ability to market effectively, creating an unmatched "cool" atmosphere where people will like to be, and hiring qualified/certified and knowledgeable staff to aid in the running of your programs.

The sports and fitness club industry is a booming business.

Your Gym should be a multisport and fitness complex designed to be used by the residents from the nearby vicinity. It should be your mission to provide the best programs, staff, and equipment, to fully meet the various sports and fitness needs of your members, while generating a profit foryourself.



The Keys to Success for your Gym should be to make it a common name in the area and creatively market your services to each of your market segments.

Through the use of first class equipment, floors, colors, and big screen TVs you should attract people who will want to frequent your facility often and your ability to retain members will be enhanced.

You should provide the users of the Gym with knowledgeable and qualified staff who show genuine concern for the patrons; people will feel comfortable and confident that the Gym can meet all of their sport and fitness needs.

Prior to the first meeting with your prospective investor be sure that you have thoroughly reviewed all of the material that you intend to present in your Gym Business Plan.

In addition be sure to consider the following important points:

  • Relax and try to maintain a confident manner.
  • Be fully aware that the investor will question you about the areas where you show lack of confidence or lack of knowledge - the areas where you don’t have a clear grasp of the details and the areas where you cannot support any claims or conclusions stated in your Gym Business Plan or don’t have adequate back-up supporting documentation.

If the investor identifies any weaknesses or potential problem areas in your Gym Business Plan, business concept, or management team structure, turn this around with a “positive pro-active” position that this is something that you aware of and have a solution for the remedy. A positive response when addressing “perceived weaknesses” will typically win respect from most investors and demonstrate that you can take a “tough-minded approach” to solving problems.

Most Gym owners approach the issue of negotiating with great stress and anxiety. This often leads directly to a weak bargaining position or may cause you to become defensive when asked too many questions.

Either way, you lose!

In order to avoid this situation make sure that you have clearly defined what you are looking for and expect to receive before the negotiations begin. It is also recommended that you have a number of alternatives and trade-off options that you will be prepared to submit as counter-offers in the bargaining process.

Other key points to focus on include the following:

  • Determine which points are worth fighting for.
  • Express your objections and questions to any point.
  • Avoid verbal agreements. Get it in writing, leave nothing to chance.
  • Evaluate everything in terms of your long-range goals.
  • Pay close attention to what is defined as a contract default.
  • Establish upper ceilings and caps. You want to avoid paying huge payments if rates go up.
  • Plan for the unexpected. Attempt to have an "interest only" clause or "skip payment" provision in the event of projected income not being realized.
  • Look for “no pre-payment penalty” or the right to buy back your stock at a fixed price.
  • Pay attention to covenants, conditions, ratios, restrictions or other clauses, which could have serious long-term effects.
  • Seek legal and professional advice before you sign anything. Lawyers and accountants may not help you fund your deal, but they can help you spot the small details that may become “pitfalls” or traps for you down the road.

Writing A Gym Business Plan

Writing A Gym Business Plan

Writing A Gym Business Plan

If you want to set up a Gym yourself or go into partnership with a friend, you may wonder why you should go to the trouble of writing a formal Gym Business Plan. Why not just fill in the bank’s own cash flow form and explain all else at an interview?

There are two good reasons why you should write out a proper Gym Business Plan: first, because it will help you to understand your Gym and its problems better; and second, because of the nature of bank procedures.

It may be that your bank manager is a friendly type who really wants to help the small Gym, but he or she will be working under conditions imposed from above - an expensive member of a big bureaucracy. No doubt bank managers would like to be perceived as the benevolent figures portrayed in some TV ads, dispensing advice to all customers. In practice, however, most of the bank manager’s time is spent in administration, dealing with the problems of those further down in the bank’s hierarchy and reporting to those above. The manager also has to promote and advertise the bank locally, so the amount of time allocated for actually dealing with customers is not unlimited. Naturally enough, the manager is expected to concentrate on the best paying customers - the bigger ones. One cannot reasonably hope for anything else.

The bank is not a charity!

Therefore, except in the smaller branches, it is highly likely that your application for a loan with be dealt with by, in the first instance, a junior, though the manager may make the final decision. Now there are problems in dealing with a junior, even when ‘manager’ appears as part of his or her title. For one thing, a junior is only given power to say ‘No’, and will have very limited power to say ‘Yes’. Almost certainly the junior’s main function is to act as a filter, so that the manager will not have to waste time on doubtful cases. Moreover, this junior status may mean that as yet neither his or her good judgement nor conscientiousness has been proved. Therefore you must spare no effort to ensure that your application goes forward to the real decision maker. A well-written Gym Business Plan will not only be impressive in itself, it will save the junior having to write up a report on your project.

This could give you a big advantage.

In order to attract investment dollars for your Gym, it's critical to supply an exit plan to investors so they can get their money back (hopefully with a healthy return) and exit your company. The exit strategy section of your Gym should also outline your long-term plans for your Gym.

Begin by asking yourself why you are getting into business. Do you see yourself running your Gym twenty years from now, or are you interested in moving on after a few years? Are you in it for the big money at the end of the rainbow, or are you more interested in running a solid and steadily growing family business?

It's important to think through these issues and decide what you intend to do with your Gym before you can adequately answer the questions, and address the issues, concerning how your investor will exit your company. The requirements of each investor will vary in terms of return and exit strategy they seek. Two examples follow:

Venture Capital – These investors look for a high return and an exit strategy of approximately 3-7 years. They work almost exclusively with companies that may go public or can be sold for a significant profit. However, keep in mind that going public is very rare and is unattainable for most companies.

Angel Investor – These investors typically are looking for a high return but are more flexible with the terms of the exit strategy. Angels are typically less sophisticated than venture capitalists or institutional investors, and will become involved in your business because of a personal relationship with you.

Here are some possible exit strategies to consider:

  • Initial Public Offering (rarely realistic from investor's standpoint)
  • Merger / Acquisition
  • Buyout by partner in business
  • Franchise your Gym
  • Hand down the business to another family member
  • "Going out of business sale"

The following are several common mistakes found in the exit strategy section:

  • Assuming you have a Gym with the potential to go public.
  • Failing to explain how your investor will specifically recoup their investment and a sufficient return.
  • Failing to take your personal goals into account when planning your exit strategy.
  • Completely ignoring this section in your Gym Business Plan or having no exit strategy at all.

Gym Business Plan

Gym Business Plan

Gym Business Plan

Write the Gym Business Plan, search for investors, build the Gym, and figure out how your investor will cash out later - right? Well, not exactly. Investors are interested in the growth of your Gym, but ultimately their commitment of capital hinges upon their ability to recoup their initial investment and a healthy profit. The lack of a solid and realistic exit strategy demonstrating how investors can accomplish this goal can immediately turn off many sources of capital. Your chances of cashing in with an investor are seriously reduced without a clear definition of how they will cash out their investment.

Gym owners rarely place the same level of importance on the exit strategy in a business plan that an investor would. Gym owners are focused on raising the capital needed to launch and expand their venture. Solid business plans with thorough marketing, sales, operations, management, and concept analysis can, and will, fall short when little consideration is given to the exit plan.

Entrepreneurs and business owners most often list "going public with an IPO in five years" as their intended exit strategy. Although this is an optimistic and hopeful goal, this outcome normally remains just that - a hope. Providing realistic exit strategies will result in instant credibility and helps reassure investors concerned with receiving a significant return.

Acquisition or buyout is the predominant method for achieving liquidity for small company shareholders. The primary method of achieving liquidity is not IPO - far from it. But the misconception remains. Too often, entrepreneurs and their Gym Business Plans say they will take their company public in five years. The odds are that such an event will not occur. So entrepreneurs need to consider how that investor is going to achieve liquidity.

So the exit strategy plays an important role in the Gym Business Plan, especially in the eyes of your potential investors.

Great Gyms do not happen by accident.

They are planned that way!


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