When Is It Time to Open Your Own Gym?

When Is It Time to Open Your Own Gym?


In the Wild Wild West that is the fitness industry, there are now countless options for how you can design your coaching career.  You have the choice of selling products like supplements, you can be a the top one to one coach in your city, or you can build an online “empire” through Facebook and Instagram.  However you look at it, you have options.  But, for most coaches, the big fish in the pond is opening a fitness gym.  It puts your name on the map, it sets roots for you, and it allows you to potentially build a juggernaut.  

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Make no mistake, though, opening a gym is a big decision.  However you want to look at that decision, for you to have success, you need to as yourself these 3 questions BEFORE you open up shop:

  • Are you prepared for the stress of the workload?
  • What is your end game with your facility?
  • Why are you different and unique from the rest of the market?

Wondering if opening a gym is for you? Learn about when you should open your own gym here.

Stress and Work:

Some gym owners have enough cash to hire on managers and coaches but most small gyms are owner coaches which means they are WORKING!  You have to setup all of your systems, you have to setup all of your financial records and bookkeeping, you have to setup all of your standard operating procedures, you have to setup your sales and marketing funnels, and…..you have to COACH!  

Owning a gym will take a lot of time and you have to be prepared for that.  If you are used to coaching 20 classes/week and maybe doing a few hours of admin work or programming, you are likely going to triple (or more) your weekly workload instantaneously.  Working hard is something that you can embrace and enjoy or it is something that can break you down.  When you are passionate and understanding of the work load, you will enjoy the process much more deeply

Your End Game

What do you want to achieve THROUGH this facility?  I know people that want to make big money, I know people who want to help thousands of people get healthy, I know people who want to get an athlete to the CrossFit Games, and I also know gym owners who have no idea.  Some coaches just thought they “should” open a gym.  You need to understand where you want to progress to.  There isn’t one right answer to this.  There is only what inspires you.

The principles around an end game are simple.  It must pull you toward your goals.  The difference between motivation and inspiration is that motivation is a push where inspiration is a pull.  When you know what is pulling you to an end game, there is no finish line, there is a growing passion to achieve and to serve your larger purpose.  And, as you’ll see in the next section, that passion is a key factor in you being unique in the market place.

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What makes you unique

Growing a client base is about a few things:

  1. Client results – this won’t help instantaneously, but it will build you a great reputation which will drive referrals from every angle
  2. A great attitude and environment from the gym – people need to love being in your building.  That comes in different forms but you can’t put 4 walls up and expect people to love it
  3. The right clients – If you are a drill sergeant, some people will love that style while others will be repulsed by it.  Understand who your best clients are and go after them
  4. Competition – the less competition you have, the more leverage you have to drive clients in
  5. Great marketing led by influencers – Not only do you need to design your advertising and marketing funnels, you need to develop such great client relationships through a quality service, trust, and care that those clients become influencers in the community who shout about you and your gym.  When somebody else promotes you, it is worth far more than if you promote yourself
  6. Differentiation – You must be unique.  This is actually an economic advantage that drives your potential client’s willingness to pay for your services higher

All of these components are pieces that create a persona for your facility.  If you strip away your business’s layers, how effectively will you be able to produce ALL of the 6 points above.  And, I use the word “strip” because almost everybody in the market will talk about how unique they are but, believe me, they are not.  You have to create a tangible advantage in the sense that you must show your clients and your prospective clients day in and day out that you are, in fact, the best AND the most unique.  People aren’t just buying quality, they are buying different so what makes you uniquely qualified to deliver the best service to your target market?

While these are only 3 questions in what could be a series of tough questions, I would encourage you to begin here.  If you cannot answer these questions clearly and confidently, I don’t think it’s time for you to go about it alone.  Clarity and confidence can build bridges to massive success, but confusion or lack of direction can make good money and effort chase after bad

Get clear, get confident, design your plan, and go make it happen….every day!

Thinking about opening your own gym? Learn the basics of the business of coaching and how to ensure the best possible service in our free coaching course

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