Are you interested in running a fitness club? If you are, you are not the only one. The reason why there are so many options at every corner is rather simple: the health industry in the U.S. is worth a stunning $30bn and has been growing at a 3 percent annual rate for a while. The trend is predicted to keep going steady, keeping in mind that at the moment, the average American spends $112,000 annually on health and fitness. Stats show that 87 percent of Americans attending gym and fitness classes on a regular basis and consider them to be a high priority.
Knowing all that, it seems that the best time to open a fitness club is now. Still, running a business is not to be taken lightly, no matter how ripe the time is at the moment. Therefore, it is essential to plan ahead and plan well, to avoid unpleasant experiences in the future. For one thing, recurring costs need to be taken into consideration no less than one-time costs, as should be operating profit. There are no strict limits when it comes to the latter, but some general recommendation would be to have at least $1,000 for any eventuality. Listed below are our top five tips for running a fitness club.
- Plan Well Ahead and Master the Art of Marketing
Planning ahead seems like a glorified platitude, but in reality, it may make all the difference between running a successful or unsuccessful business. The number of businesses that have gone bankrupt bears witness to the truth that simply setting up a business and expecting it to do all the work without any interference from the owner’s end is an impossible mission. The most important aspect of it all is, unbelievable enough, marketing.
Advertising is capable of making or breaking a business, and it is not the same thing it used to be even a mere decade ago. With the rise of the 4th industrial revolution, which has developed (and is still developing) at an unprecedented pace, ads have become so much more than just handing out business cards and pamphlets. Any business intending to become serious should have a responsive website and run regular email marketing campaigns). Even small fitness clubs are certain to attract new clients and keep the regulars simply by sending regular updates on special offers and benefits. Special offers usually consist of free sessions for loyal clients and lower costs for advance payments, but there are many other options as well.
To make certain your business will always stay on top, familiarize yourself with competitors’ offers. The best way to do that is by subscribing to receive their newsletter. Keep in touch with your clients on social media, too, and post updates on a regular basis. The golden rule of marketing is the same one as for statistics: the bigger the online presence, the more people will see the offer.
Finally, another way to advertise your fitness club is by selling or giving away T-shirts or accessories with your company logo.
- Employ Only Licensed Staff
The finest fitness clubs employ only licensed staff. Whether you run a modest or a big-scale business, you should make certain that your trainers are certified. There are numerous certificates available; still, some are more respected than others, including: International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). On average, the cost per certificate varies between $500 and $800.
- A Little Something That Goes Without Saying, But Is Easily Overlooked Regardless
Some simple things that appear to be obvious are easily overlooked, most often because nobody thinks it is possible to forget about them. It turns out, many future fitness club owners fail to include them all in their cost calculation.
The first obvious thing is the internet. Nowadays, even the most modest of studios have internet connectivity and, in truth, the costs are not that significant after all.
The next is the POS system. Lacking one will possibly lose you a great number of prospective clients. Compared to potential losses, the 3.25 percent credit card fee doesn’t seem that significant. Annual costs for the internet and the POS system, depending on the hardware and the provider, vary between $550 and $2,300.
- Keep the Clients Happy
To this day, human interaction remains one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. A fitness club, even more than other types of businesses, must strive to create a community with the clients. For one thing, group fitness programs will bring many different people together. For another, a successful client is likely to recommend your club to others. Always make time for each and every one of your clients and get to know them better.
- Make the Right Improvements
Any business needs continual improvements. When it comes to fitness clubs, those should depend on clients’ feedback. This step is, therefore, closely linked to the previous tip. I.e., if many people are inquiring after yoga classes, employ a yoga trainer. It goes without saying that equipment should always be in top form, so equipment maintenance needs not to be mentioned here. You may also wish to add some novelties over time; fortunately, those are abundant. From offering free merchandise to selling new supplements to renovating locker rooms, improvements are a certain way to keep the clients happy in the long run.
Our top tips may well be expanded as to fit different fitness clubs’ experience, so consider them the essentials instead. Use your creativity to come up with new ideas on how to improve your offer, keep the clientele happy and do work on those ads. Even when you think enough people have heard of your business, remember that there is no such thing as “enough” in this fast-paced booming business. Keep your fitness club evergreen with a zest of pleasant surprises, and it will never go out of fashion.