When brainstorming ideas for a new business, concepts such as a new restaurant or café or a small retail specialty shop might come to mind. While these are excellent ways to begin your journey, it is often hard for a new place to stick out in the minds of consumers. With competition from large fast food chains and big box retailers it can be hard to offer the value, selection, and low prices their larger infrastructure allows.
The increased demand for health and fitness in this country is a perfect reason to open a gym. New health clubs and fitness facilities are opening in mini malls, medical complexes, and even right next to the fast food chains that you seem to find on every block. The growing fitness market is a perfect way for you to start your own small business and even create a chain of locations.
Create a Specialized Concept
Not all gyms need to cater to power lifters and bodybuilders. Many people feel intimidated when they enter a gym and find themselves surrounded by 250 pound men, walls covered in mirrors, and blaring club music. The stereotypical depiction of a gym as a Jersey Shore mecca might turn off some people from getting in shape. Fortunately, there are places popping up all over the country that cater to specialized needs, ages, and abilities.
If you want to build a truly unique gym, it is important to stick to a specific demographic and build around their needs. The best method is to not focus your business model on the general public, but cater to your target market by purchasing specific equipment and offering specialized classes and courses. According to Rosemary Lavery, a spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association; “Clubs that stay in tune with their brand and marketing have the most success. They know what they’re selling and it’s very clear to consumers.”
Because of the childhood obesity epidemic, gyms catering to children are becoming very popular. Gyms specializing in teen and tween fitness are also becoming popular and offer services like tutoring and Internet cafes. According to the IHRSA, Express fitness clubs which have less than 350 members and less than 3,000 square feet apiece accounted for over 10,000 facilities in the U.S.
Build an Online Presence
The Snap Fitness chain offers members several online advantages for club enrollment. Not only is it possible for members to use any facility across the country, but they also have access to an extensive fitness resource through the corporate website. Your gym can offer fitness tips and a blog where users can ask questions, find answers, and arrange workouts with other members.
If you decide to open a chain of gyms, you can use decision analytics to find out which locations are the most popular. When members swipe their access cards, their information will be sent to your IT database and available for your business use. You can find out which locations are working out the best and which ones need improvement.
Recruit Trainers and Specialists
In order to make those new to fitness and exercise feel comfortable, it is important to hire specialists to make your customers feel comfortable and get the most out of their memberships. Trainers are usually gain accreditation from a college or university and are trained in exercise science, basic human anatomy, and nutrition. It is also important to hire people who specialize in popular courses such as Zumba, Boot Camp, and Kickboxing. If you do not have enough money to hire a trainer or specialist, it is possible to become accredited on your own by researching The National Academy of Sports Medicine and taking the proper steps.
By finding success as a fitness center owner, you are not only helping your financial situation, you are also helping improve the lives of others. Just remember that you can’t make money without burning a couple of calories.