How to Open a Gym - 5 Steps

How to Open a Gym - 5 Steps

5 Steps You Need to Take Before Opening Up Your Own Gym

Opening a gym is exciting. The thought of working in an environment you love and being your own boss is motivation enough to sign whatever documents you need to get that loan and open up your own gym. 

But before you rush into opening your own gym take a minute to run through these 5 steps to make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to succeed in the long run.

1) Choose your gym’s model

The first step to opening a gym is to choose your gym’s model. The business model you choose defines how you will deliver the service to your customers. Some gyms models you could follow are group fitness classes, personal training, or individualized fitness

If you are unsure about which model is best for you a great way to gain clarity is to work backwards from why you want to open a gym. 

Questions to help you choose the right gym model:

  • What do you want your gym’s personality to be? 
  • What do you want from owning a gym?
  • What’s your ideal customer’s journey with your gym?
  • How do you want to interact with your customers?

2) Plan a strategy to launch and continuously market your gym

The next step to opening your gym is planning a launch strategy. This strategy is how you plan to get the finances you need to open your gym and gain your first customers. You first need to plan out how much money it will take to open and operate your gym for the first couple of months. We recommend having six months’ worth of expenses on hand when your first open. 

Secondly, you need to plan how you will get your initial clientele. We recommend reaching out to friends and family since you have already built credibility with them, but you could also market digitally and in person. Learn our methods for marketing yourself as a coach in this free Coach’s Toolkit.

The planning does not end there. The next step is to plan how you will continue to market your gym. Losing some clients over time is inevitable and you need a steady stream of new clients to grow. A useful tool when developing your marketing strategy is to write out your ideal customer avatar. Get the questions we use to build customer avatars in 5 Steps to Building a Sustainable Coaching Business.

3) Plan how you will run your gym

Now that your gym is up and running you need to figure out how you will operate day to day. It is worth creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure your business runs smoothly and your customer’s experience is consistent.

What to Include in your Standard Operating Procedures:

  • What is your ideal customer experience?
    • How are your clients onboarded?
    • How do you communicate with your clients on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
    • What happens when they walk into your gym?
    • How many touchpoints does each client receive during their training session?
    • How is your equipment laid out and why?
  • What are the key business activities required to deliver the ideal customer experience?
  • What metric will you track in order to repeat this?
  • How will you measure your performance and client satisfaction?
  • How do you spend your time as a gym owner?

building a gym from scratch can be stressful. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. Learn more about how you can own your own OPEX Gym here.

4) Measure your gym’s success

What gets measured gets managed. The key to a profitable gym is measuring the success of your gym. There are a few metrics you can track to measure success, but there is none better than keeping an eye on your financials. Measuring your financials starts with creating a balance sheet. Here are other metrics inside of your balance sheet that are worth tracking. 

(Coach’s Resource: Learn a system of coaching that is not only profitable but sustainable here.)

Financial Metrics to Track:

  • What are your sources of revenue? 
  • What is your total monthly income?
  • What expenses do you have?
  • What are your total monthly expenses?
  • What is the ratio between your income and expenses?
  • How much are you making per hour? 
  • How can you improve this ratio?

5) Refine and innovate  

Owning a gym is a daily process, it’s not set and forget. To be successful and sustainable you need to constantly be refining and innovating. To implement this we teach gym owners, SEMR (strategy, execution, measurement, and refinement). Continue to look at your business with an analytical eye and you will have a better chance at avoiding the pitfalls of stagnation.

  A Gym is Only as Good as It’s Model

OPEX Fitness has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. Over this time we’ve seen many gyms and coaches come and go. Looking back, the differentiator between being a flash in the pan and long term success has always been the business model. That is why over the years we have perfected our business model, individual design.

Our business model is not only sustainable, but also highly profitable. It combines the independence of box gyms with the personalization of personal training. Learn our exact business model for free when you download this free Coach’s Toolkit.

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