What to Consider Before Starting Your Own Gym

What to Consider Before Starting Your Own Gym

If you enjoy exercise, health and fitness and are looking for a new business opportunity, starting your own gym is certainly worth considering. People

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If you enjoy exercise, health and fitness and are looking for a new business opportunity, starting your own gym is certainly worth considering. People today are paying much more attention to their health and fitness and globally the health club and gym industry brings in billions every year. Approximately one in six adults have a gym membership. But just because it’s a great market, don’t be fooled into thinking that you should simply dive in without some careful preparation, research and planning. In fact, competition in the gym industry is pretty high – so it’s important to know what you’re offering and how you’re going to stand out from the crowd to attract clients.

Opening a gym can be a great business opportunity, but there are several factors that you should bear in mind before you are ready to open the doors.

Getting Certified

Of course, there’s no requirement to actually qualify as a personal trainer before starting your own gym – you could simply employ personal trainers to work for you. However, if you’re starting up on your own and want to take a more hands-on approach to your business, a personal training course will be beneficial. Not only will taking a personal trainer course enable you to learn more about what works and what doesn’t when you open your gym, but it will also provide you with more credibility and encourage potential clients to trust you and what you offer. You can find personal training courses that allow you to study online if you need the extra flexibility to get your qualification while setting up your business at the same time. Check out the range of personal trainer courses at TRAIN.FITNESS. This accredited site offers a range of courses at different levels with distance, part-time and full-time study options available.

Choosing a Niche

It is worth considering a niche if you are entering the health and fitness market as this will help your business stand out from the crowd and attract a certain type of client. For example, you may want to work specifically with clients who are working towards a certain goal such as weight loss or training for a sports event. Maybe you will tailor your gym to clients who want to use fitness and exercise to recover from an injury or health condition. Focusing on a niche allows you to become more attractive to those clients who may not have yet found a gym option that is designed for people like them, rather than simply offering a general fitness service. This helps you stand out from the competition and enables you to further target your marketing efforts.


Once you know what type of gym you would like to set up, it’s time to consider getting financing. The amount that you will need will depend on a range of factors including the location that you choose, the size of your gym, and the equipment that you are going to provide to your clients. There are several options for getting funding; you could go down the traditional route and apply to your bank for a loan, or opt for a small business lender or an investor if you are unlikely to be accepted by the bank. Regardless of the option that you choose, you will need to put together a well-organised, concise business plan before lenders or investors are likely to consider providing your business with funding.

Choose a Strategic Location

When putting together your plan for opening a gym, the location is going to be a key factor. Location is typically very critical to the success of a gym, so spend some time doing market research on your potential client base and figure out the key demographics that are likely to make up the bulk of your clients. Once you have this information, it will be easier for you to figure out the location where you are most likely to find the highest concentration of these individuals. Once you’ve determined an ideal location for finding clients, consider the logistics. Try to find somewhere that is easily accessible by car, public transport and on foot. You will also need to consider the price of running a gym in a specific area, including rental prices or the price of purchasing a facility.


Once you have secured financing and decided on the ideal location for your gym, you will need to turn your empty space into somewhere that people want to come to exercise. This usually means purchasing a lot of equipment, which does not come cheap. The equipment that you will need will depend on the type of gym that you are running and whether you are focused on any specific niches. For example, you are unlikely to need treadmills and exercise bikes if you want to run a boxing gym, but you’ll need a lot of boxing equipment in order to get started. For those starting a general gym, you’ll need to purchase some basic free weight equipment like squat racks, dumbbells, bench presses and more. You may also want to provide some cardio equipment. Consider classes, too – if you want to offer fitness classes then you will need to ensure that you have the studio space along with any equipment that these classes require.


Getting the right insurance is absolutely essential if you are planning to start your own gym. Public liability insurance is crucial for any business that works with members of the public but will be even more essential for gyms, where clients are going to be taking part in activities that could potentially be risky to them on a daily basis at your premises. While you may have plans in place to ensure safety and educate your clients on exercising in a way that is not a risk to their health or safety, some types of exercise can be unsafe for certain people, so it’s important to ensure that everybody is protected both legally and financially from any major accidents. Along with general liability insurance, it’s worth considering specialised insurance policies designed for gyms.


It’s going to be difficult for you to start and run your own gym without getting some help, so spend some time hiring the right people. Ideally, you will want to consider hiring a few personal trainers or perhaps allow freelance personal trainers to use your gym. You will likely also need employees to maintain equipment, provide advice to potential members, and ensure that everybody is exercising safely. If you are offering classes, you will need to bring in qualified instructors who know what they are doing. Before hiring anybody or bringing in a freelancer, you should carefully vet the individual and ensure that they have the relevant qualifications. Along with the staff who work directly with the clients, you might also want to consider hiring professionals to help you with the business side of things such as marketing, social media management, human resources, accounting and more.

If you’re passionate about health and fitness and want to start your own business, opening your own gym can be a very lucrative and exciting opportunity that allows you to build a career out of the things you love most.