Want To Open Your Own Fitness Studio?

If you think you are ready to set up your own studio or gym what are the main considerations? Here we consider the main tips for any budding gym owner or fitness studio teacher.

Get Your Location Right

First  things first, ensure that you acquire a site where your target audience is. Not only that, make sure there are enough potential users to make your business viable. If you want city workers for example are you set right amongst offices and businesses? The demographics here are really important. There’s no point opening a really funky young studio in the middle of a location whose demographics are essentially elderly people. Then there’s the issue of income. If your studio is going to be a budget offering then a location in an area of low income is fine but if you are targeting wealthy clients you need to locate yourself in a wealthier neighborhood.

Also, can clients easily get to you? Are you near a station, bus stop or better still is there a car park? You must also ensure that you do the maths on price. This is true whether you are renting or buying a property Project forward to ensure that whatever path you take you will raise enough revenue to pay off rent or a mortgage.

Finally, see what competition there is in the area. It isn’t true that you should never set up near another gym, you may be offering a different experience, but be clear what already exists in the area to see what they do and how your ideas can compete or complement.

Establish Your Brand

Branding has become the real buzzword of the business world - because it is REALLY important. Your brand is your differentiator, it tells your clients what they can expect from you and how to differentiate you from your competitors. In some ways it is the personality of your business.

So will you be a traditional gym or something different? Will you offer high end gym equipment or more basic equipment? Establishing your brand at the very beginning is crual as it will drive all the decisions you then make from the look of your gym, the equipment you stock and the staff you hire.

With branding in mind also ensure that your logo, colours and any straplines are uniform throughout marketing materials, on and off line, social media and also on your website.

Buy The Right Equipment

We touched on this under branding but equipment is really important. It must support the brand you are trying to establish. Upmarket gyms don't use cheap fitness equipment that constantly breaks down. Likewise, "Strong's Gym" will not be full of cardio pieces. The equipment that you buy needs to reflect your vision but that isn't to say you should stick to the norm.

Buying the right equipment should be about the balance of exercises. If you're looking at becoming a cardio specialist, then that doesn't mean you won't have a strength and free weight area. It may just be that you would look to establish defined zones for cardio and strength. On the other hand if you are offering boxing/bootcamp classes you may want to create a stretching and relaxation area for after sessions. You may consider that your studio could offer more indoor cycling so you may want more of these bikes.

Ultimately, you need to start with your brand principles and aims, then work on the equipment that will support that brand and attract punters.

Recruit The Right People

Entering a studio can be a daunting thing for many people to do. Your staff must endorse your brand and make people feel welcome and wanted. Be clear what you are looking for and what skill sets you need. Recruit carefully, check all qualifications and gather feedback from clients to ensure that staff are delivering.

A differentiator for you could also be that your staff are well trained and aware of new fitness techniques and can advise people well. Make sure they keep educating themselves in health and fitness and that you have all bases covered.

Retaining Members

Once you are up and running it is crucial that you keep members. After all as the Harvard Business review concedes getting a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. So with this in mind there are a number of things you can do to ensure you retain those valuable clients. Firstly communication is vital whether that is through e mail marketing or social media. It is vital that you engage with your clients and make them feel listened to and valued.

Consider also creating a community where people feel they are part of something, this can be in a post work out relaxation area or a café. Also be responsive to space according to what your members use. If the strength equipment is under ultised but the cardio is popular and there are waiting times then react and change things around.

Harness technology to help members see how their efforts are developing. This can include apps, wearables, cloud platforms and club programs that keep members connected with their fitness data. People seem to really want this now with their fitness regime so consider how your studio can engage with this new technology.