7 Considerations When Starting a Fitness Business
You’ve been in the fitness industry for a while as a PT, or maybe you live an active, healthy lifestyle and are extremely passionate to make fitness your livelihood. But before diving straight in to using your expertise and knowledge of the fitness industry and opening your own fitness business, it’s important to remember that a fitness business is still a business. It requires systems, structure and processes, business acumen and an in-depth awareness of your consumer’s needs. Whilst the passion to start a fitness business is extremely important, time and time again business owners in the fitness industry fail to see past the excitement of being the boss in their own fitness model, and are quickly met with the reality of the dedication required when running a business.
At Fitstop, we’ve acknowledged the importance of bridging the gap between industry passion and business know-how. Thanks to our proven systems, our Business Owners are able to align their passions, future vision and business knowledge to create inspiring and successful Fitstop locations.
Whether you are seeking to buy into a proven franchise model or start your own fitness business, we have compiled a list of the SEVEN most important aspects you need to consider when opening a fitness business.
1. Identify your unique selling point
Put simply, there’s not an industry or product that’s successful without having a point of difference. This may seem highly intuitive, yet it’s a common occurrence as people often think they have a point of difference despite it being based on personal opinion and not an accurate reflection of the consumers’ perception.
Fitstop has invested in perfecting our business formula starting from the sessions we provide, branding and processes, right through to creating ample community support to ensure the Fitstop difference is distinct and cannot be replicated.
2. Negotiate the perfect location
The importance of location is two-fold; firstly, finding a location that is suited for a fitness business is essential as aspects such as size, council regulations, parking and signage optimisation is imperative - suddenly, an overwhelming list of requirements exists.
Secondly, your physical location will shape your community. A great pre-qualifying question to ask yourself is ‘would you buy coffee from cafes in the area, eat at restaurants or shop there?’ These are great indicators of a flourishing community that will provide the foundation for a flourishing business. Once you’ve found the perfect location, negotiating attractive terms and contributions presents a whole other challenge. Our philosophy at Fitstop is to support you every step of the way, to not just create a purpose built facility, but ultimately a successful, sustainable business where your overheads and initial outlay are reduced, putting you in a profitable position from day one of operation.
3. Create a strong brand
Branding starts with understanding your purpose. Once this is identified, creating and maintaining a strong, consistent brand presence helps place your business at the forefront of the consumer's mind. This entails spending on advertising, creating organic word of mouth, local partnerships as well as investing in the physical branding assets (logo, look and feel, brand colours etc) from the get-go.
Fitstop’s experience with high brand exposure has driven the opening of each location as brand awareness exists well before the doors open, whilst it also allows for the continual attraction of members.
4. Know your numbers
Forecasting expenses is an extremely important, yet often overlooked business decision, as seeing the upfront costs to get your business running can be a source of fear and deterrence. It’s imperative to have transparency in these costs from the start as opposed to trying to recover costs further down the line when you should be building the success of your business. Know your processes, understand your costs and stay in control.
At Fitstop, we have expert finance resources to support the development of your financial forecasting so there are no surprises and you can control your location’s success.
5. Strategic opening plan
When opening a fitness business, don’t wait to attract members after opening; this is a missed opportunity to gain a community of loyal and excited members! Opening with few members can be perceived as not being successful, having an unwelcoming or low-morale environment which will ultimately impact future sales. Instead, it’s imperative to create a strategic opening plan that integrates operational and marketing expertise to create anticipation and sell memberships prior to opening.
Fitstop is a testament to the success of having a strong brand and even stronger opening campaign that supports membership growth prior to opening and works towards locations becoming cash flow positive from DAY ONE of operation.
6. Ensure compliance (the devil is in the detail)
The fitness industry attracts extensive legal requirements particularly relating to the safety of members, zoning and local council requirements, the appropriateness of your location when considering surrounding businesses and residential demographics - cue loud music at 5am -as well as other considerations like copyright, ethical standards and employment agreements.
The benefits of buying into a fitness franchise like Fitstop is that we have awareness, expertise and procedures to support compliance and legal possibilities.
7. You are willing to work on the business, not in the business
Owning your own business is a highly rewarding step forward in your career; ultimately it’s the dream of many to no longer ‘work for the man’. By virtue of being in the fitness industry, you will be able to act on your health and fitness passions daily; however, you must remember owning your own business comes with more responsibility. You have to be willing to be more than a PT; creating, nurturing and growing a business requires technical expertise, tough business decisions and the management of a high value team. No longer will you be conducting most sessions and helping people reach their fitness goals, instead you will be the driving force for the business vision to come to life and inspire member’s lives on a larger scale!
Ultimately, there are many considerations when it comes to opening a fitness business. Whether that be the decision to open within a proven franchise system or independently, the journey to operating a successful business is one of dedication, persistence and relentless passion. At Fitstop, we arm you with world-class support, systems and processes that drive the Fitstop difference to your business and make your journey as simple and rewarding as possible.
Owning your own fitness business provides the opportunity for business success and financial freedom - if you are passionate about making a difference and want to be supported in a business with proven systems, processes and an unrivalled brand, enquire with Fitstop today - download our Info Pack at fitstop.com/franchise