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How To Open a Fitness Studio

So, you want to open a fitness studio, and you don’t know where to start? Well, having the idea of opening a fitness gym is a great start! But, now you must learn how to OPEN a fitness studio.

Just like starting any business, you need a great deal of energy, your "why", a plan of action, and goals to bring everything to fruition.

Let’s start with your WHY. This answer must be strong enough to refer to when things get tough, and your dream of opening a fitness studio seems far away. Uncover your compelling reason why?

  • Is your “why” because of your fitness journey?
  • Is your “why” community base?
  • Is your “why” because it’s your dream to get as many people in shape as possible?

UNDERSTAND YOUR "WHY"

In understanding your "why," figure out what kind of fitness studio you will open:

  • Will this gym consist of athletes? 
  • Will this gym consist of boxing?
  • Will this gym consist of boot camp?
  • Will this gym consist of training/teaching?

Disclaimer: For those who only want to be a personal trainer or run a boot camp solely, you do not need to spend a ton of money to lease and open a gym. There are alternatives like online platforms, outdoor spacing, and more. Research your options before committing to opening a fitness studio.

Create an Ideal Community and Customer Loyalty

Aside from brainstorming a name and creating a budget, you want to make sure you open a facility for loyal customers/clients to come into. Don’t be just a fitness studio. Go above and beyond for your business and find a way to reward those loyal to your gym.

By doing this, you create community and build loyalty, which is a great way to market your gym through word of mouth.

Build and Develop an Amazing Team

Similar to what is mentioned in our blog, Yoga Studio Business Plan: 6 Steps to Success, you want to hire a team that shares your vision. You need a team that wants to see your fitness studio reach its highest peak. This team will help you reach your dreams and ignite your passion.

You will need to hire a manager that can help manage your facility. They must be aware of your mission statement, know your goals, and execute your visions. In addition, they must be dedicated and committed to managing your fitness studio.

You will need a coach (one or more) to get your clients the desired results. Your coaches must have enthusiasm, energy, passion, and much more.

Your accountability coach is someone you will hire to reach out to your clients and hold them accountable. They will recognize the clients who are reaching their fitness goals, and they will reach the clients who aren’t achieving their goals and will encourage both.

While hiring a team, you must let them do their job and trust that they will execute your vision as an owner of your gym. Do not micromanage your team. As tempting as it may be (and it can be at times), you will be doing yourself a favor by focusing primarily on your role and not playing the roles of others.

Marketing and Developing your Systems

  • How are you going to get clients/new clients?
  • Where are your clients/new clients coming from?
  • How will you market your clients? 
  • Are you willing to spend money on ads?

Creating a marketing plan doesn’t have to be daunting. 

Simple things you can do or hire someone to do is:

  • Get your website up and ready
  • Partner with local businesses and restaurants
  • Post regularly (before and after)
  • Offer deals
  • Get your client’s the best results they can get (reverse bad habits)
  • Feature testimonials (a fantastic way to build trust)
  • Network with local communities

Don’t make your marketing strategy solely about posting to get likes or to get seen. This is about your customers and attracting the right clientele for your fitness studio.

While opening your business, you must put some systems in place. You cannot be everywhere at once. You CAN NOT! It is simply impossible.

The systems you create and implement will help you run your business easier. For example, perhaps you put a plan in place where you send out emails to your clients bi-weekly, keeping them engaged and making their experience personable.

Your business is unique and the way you operate it will be unique. So, while brainstorming your systems, create them in a way that works best for you and your fitness studio. Think of everything that makes up your fitness studio from sun up to sun down.

NOTE: What are some systems you can put in place to ensure that your business is running successfully and your team can follow easily?

Your Employee Roles

What exactly will everyone in your business be doing? You are the owner, which means you will be delegating everything. You are responsible for not only running your business but assigning roles within your business.

Some of these roles include but aren’t limited to:

  • Maintenance personnel 
  • Fitness coordinator 
  • Cleaning Staff
  • Sales
  • Consultant
  • Front Office 

Pay extra close to your employee’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, those who are good at selling but lack elsewhere should be on your marketing team. Those who have great enthusiasm and energy to train should run training sessions. While opening a fitness studio, you need to think critically and strategically like a chess game. 

Find your Location

LOCATION IS KEY! When opening a fitness studio, you must have locations in mind. As mentioned in our blog, How to Negotiate a Lease for your first Fitness Studio, you should be negotiating on more than one location at a time. Don’t put all your eggs and one basket only to find out that you either don’t get that location or are stuck in a terrible lease.

When searching for a location, keep the following in mind:

  • Is there an abundance of parking spaces?
  • Who are your neighbors/ Are you located at a shopping center?
  • Are there any competition/ Neighboring fitness studios? 
  • Will your gym be visible/easy to locate?

Plan your Grand Opening

When opening a fitness studio, you will need to have a grand opening. Without one, there will likely be days when your gym is empty. Just imagine one of your clients (new or not) entering your gym, and they see a ghost town. They are thinking: red flag and will probably search elsewhere for a gym membership. Avoid this scenario at all costs!

Presale this grand opening via emailing list, your social media platforms, have specials, and so much more. Attracting customers is the first step to retaining customers. Don’t be afraid to advertise your fitness studio’s culture and what makes you different from the rest. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there and become personable with potential clients. Build trust and sell unique memberships to those who attend your grand opening.

Just like any business venture, getting started is the scariest part. Do not psych yourself out or tell yourself that you can’t open your fitness studio because you can. You are more than capable of opening this unique studio in a way that brings you and those around you much success. So, what are you waiting for? Get planning and open your fitness studio!

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