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The Complete Checklist That Makes Opening a Gym a Simple Process

Are you a small business owner looking for a new investment?

You should consider opening a gym. In 2019 alone, studies show that at least 1 out of 4 Americans went to a gym or fitness center. Even with the global pandemic, it’s a thriving industry because people want to stay fit and healthy.

However, there are a lot of different factors to consider before you can open a gym. Fortunately, we’ve broken down the steps below. Keep on reading our list so you can open and run a gym in no time:

Secure Certification

In the US, you don’t need a license to become a fitness or gym trainer. However, you will need a certificate from a third-party accreditor before you can become a personal fitness trainer. You also qualify if you have a degree as an exercise physiologist.

When it comes to operational certification, you’ll need to approach the IHRSA. This body oversees the fitness industry and manages the operational mandates for fitness clubs, gyms, and physical recreation centers.

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Of course, it’s also possible to open a gym without getting certification yourself. You can hire someone with certification or a degree in exercise physiology. They will be the overseeing expert for your gym.

Legal Business Requirements

Opening any kind of business requires several legal documents. The first is your business name registration. You should also get a business permit and proper business tax documentation.

Because gyms classify under fitness and health centers, you might need to secure a sanitation permit too. This depends on local laws, so make sure to ask the authorities. You can do this when securing your business permit because any additional certification will be a part of the application process.

Create a Business Plan

The next step is to craft a business plan. This can seem like a complex process, but it all boils down to breaking your every step for the next few years. You need to list down your business goals and the steps your business will take to achieve them.

One of the more important steps is to list down how you plan to recover your initial capital. Every process, marketing step, and cost has to be in your plan.

The main purpose of a business plan is to help you identify how you’ll achieve gym profitability. At the same time, it’s a requirement for financing. Banks will require you to submit a business plan before they’ll release a business loan.

Staff Certification and Training

The most basic gym is simply a place for people to work out and use the equipment. However, that kind of gym feels outdated and no longer profitable. For a gym these days to thrive, you need people who can monitor and train gym members.

However, you can’t hire random gym trainers. Don’t hire the first volunteers or applicants who come your way.

You should first focus on the theme and goals of your gym. Hire trainers that can help achieve those targets. If your gym prioritizes weight loss without the use of supplements, you need gym trainers who know how to achieve that.

Find a Location

Every gym needs a suitable venue. You’ll need a large open space since you’ll set up a bunch of heavy training equipment.

It’s also a good idea to find a location close to a residential area instead of a town or city center. People who go to the gym often want to get back home, shower, and rest. You’re not targeting people still at the workplace or school.

Even the placement of your gym in a building matters too. A gym on the ground floor is a good option, but it’s better to keep it on the second or third floor. This motivates people to work out simply by taking the stairs.

That simple addition can motivate people to keep going to your gym instead of others.

Best Gym Equipment

Your gym will thrive or fail, depending on the equipment you get. Focus on three different aspects: aerobics, weight lifting, and cardio.

For cardio, you’ll need treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals. Aerobics will require gym balls, mats, and hoops. Weight lifting needs a ton of benches, adjustable weights, and equipment to target different muscle groups.

With all of the gear, you’ll need to work with a third-party maintenance team too. Invest in proper fitness equipment repair to keep your investments running for months or years.

Insurance Policies

Smart management means investing in the safety of your employees, customers, and gear. You never know when accidents could happen. With the right insurance policy, you won’t have to pay all of the damages or hospital bills in cash.

To protect your employees, invest in a good healthcare program too. This is crucial for their safety. They’ll handle a lot of heavy equipment and will train alongside some of your customers, after all.

Virtual Tools

Due to the pandemic, a lot of people shifted to working out at home. This doesn’t mean your gym can’t offer services to help people achieve optimal health. You can now use virtual tools to continue training your clients.

Invest first in the right software. Conferencing apps like Zoom are a good start. This will allow your staff to conduct video calls with the clients.

You’ll also need to invest in wearable fitness gear. You can sell these or rent them out to your clients. Phone apps that help you monitor their workout sessions will also be a big help.

Consider Opening a Gym Now

Opening a gym can seem like a complicated process, but you can get it done by simply following these steps. Secure certification, process the proper legal permits, get the right equipment, and find the best venue for the business. Invest in good insurance policies and virtual tools too.

Of course, opening a new gym isn’t the only viable business you can try. Discover even more great business ideas with our other lists and articles. Keep on reading for all the business, marketing, and technology tips and tricks you need.


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