As the last year has come to an end, one of the first things that people reflect on and make goals for, in the new year, is regarding their fitness. Health and fitness are the buzz-words of the decade with a lot of emphasis on getting fit and in shape. There are now a number of people who are conscious about their fitness and many middle aged adults are hitting the gyms with a vengeance, to get fit and to build a drool worthy physique. Also there is a growing rage of fitness among millennials, all of which has encouraged many gym and fitness enthusiasts to turn their passion into a business profession. Interestingly, Government statistics indicate strong business growth opportunities for starting a gym business in India.
Entrepreneurs who are passionate about fitness and want to bring about a change in the lifestyles and health of others, can consider opening a gym. A gym is not only a place where people come to workout but it is a place where individuals can learn about discipline, and get acquainted with their strengths. It is also a place where people can come together in groups and explore like minded activities, whether it is yoga and meditation or it is zumba and aerobics.
However, just wanting to start a gym or fueling one’s entrepreneurial dreams on passion alone does not suffice. Entrepreneurs need to know the essential details about starting a gym and also conduct a little research and market study prior to starting their own gum.
How To Start A Gym
A gym, by definition is, a club, building, or large room, usually containing special equipment, where people go to do physical exercise and get fit. Starting a gym requires a number of essential factors to be kept in mind, such as-
Acquiring Knowledge And Training
It is vital for entrepreneurs to get proper training, accreditations, and experience to start their own gym. This training and knowledge is vital to help the clients take care of their bodies and to guide them in exercising the correct way. Also, while purchasing equipment for the gym, it is important to know the functions and mechanics of each machine and which body part the equipment targets and what is its impact. Entrepreneurs can even choose to get training and accreditation for other forms of physical and fitness offerings too, such as Pilates, yoga, zumba or aerobics.
Apart from getting access to the requisite knowledge to start the gym and know about the various equipment, getting training and accreditation also helps develop a sense of trust in the minds of the clients who are counting on the entrepreneur’s gym not just to help them look great, but to keep their bodies healthy and safe by using the gym’s services. So the first step to start a gym is to get the necessary training and certifications.
Choosing Appropriate Location And Space
The location of the gym is another main factor that needs to be kept in mind while planning to start the business. The gym location must be chosen after much thought and strategic planning. The factors to keep in mind while deciding a location are
- Price– the price of the location is a crucial factor and must fit into the entrepreneur’s budget as decided beforehand, when investing in a space to start a gym. The budget for purchasing gym property will have a significant impact on where the entrepreneur can have their gym and whether they can purchase the land and build it as desired or rent a space or lease an existing facility and renovate it. The budget and where the money comes from for these investment decides the location of the gym.
- Demographics– the demographic of the neighborhood must be checked while looking for the gym location and whether that demographic fits the targeted audience for the gym must be seen. Along with the age of the neighborhood, the income bracket of the community residing in the vicinity to the proposed gym site must also be noted, to check whether residents are willing to spend for a gym and similar facilities.
- Accessibility– the ease of access to the gym must also be checked. It must be taken into account whether there is ample parking space for the clients and also the entrance to the gym is easily accessible.
- Competition– the presence of competitors in the area must also be noted while finalizing the location for the gym.
Procuring The Equipment
A gym is defined by the equipment it has and the members visiting the gym will be looking at developing their muscles, strength, and flexibility by using the various equipment and facilities at the gym. The most common equipment is stationary machines for cardio exercises such as treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, stair machines, rowing machines, etc. Additionally, there are isolation machines that allow members to exercise one muscle or group of muscles at a time by using the machine to lift adjustable amounts of weights, such as leg press machines, lat pulldown machines, tricep extension machines, leg extension machines, chest-fly machines, shoulder press machines, etc. A gym also requires “free weights” like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and other resistance training tools. An entrepreneur can even consider starting special classes such as spinning classes or Pilates or aerobics and zumba or yoga and meditation classes at the gym, some of which might require equipment too.
Hiring Trained Staff
Along with all the equipment, a gym also requires knowledgeable trainers to help members with their workout and to guide them on which equipment to use for which body part and for how long. Trainers set a routine for the members, thus focusing on the physical development of each body part of the members in a systematic manner. In order to guide and instruct the members, the staff needs to have requisite training and knowledge and entrepreneurs must hire trainers who have these qualities. Also, the staff needs to ensure that there are no casualties or injuries under their watch in the gym.
Fulfilling Legal Formalities
A gym requires certain licences and registrations for the business to operate. These include
- Business Registration- the business registration helps create a separate identity of the gym which is separate from that of its owners, thus reducing some of the liabilities of the entrepreneur and also providing w structure to the business model. The business registration can be either as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership or a one person company or even a simple partnership.
- The other registrations required for the business include GST registration for taxation purposes, purchasing insurance to safeguard the interests of the business as well as the equipment. Additionally, starting a gym requires clearance from the police department which can be done by visiting the local police station itself.
Meeting Financial Requirements
A gym requires a significant capital investment since funds are required to acquire the gym space, to build or renovate the interiors of the space, to purchase the various equipment needed for the gym, to apply for and get all the necessary registrations for the business. Additionally, there are various miscellaneous expenses while starting and running a gym, such as salaries of all the trainers and staff, electricity bills, maintenance charges, etc. Funds are also required for marketing and advertising the business. Thus, all these capital requirements can be fulfilled via loans and investors.
Loans are recommended to fulfill all the capital requirements for starting a gym and these loans can be obtained from banks or NBFCs (non banking financial institutions). However in order to procure the loans, the entrepreneur needs to submit a proposal along with a business plan, which will help the loan officials get to know the exact nature of the business proposed along with its unique features and marketing and business strategies. The business funding proposal creation needs to be done meticulously, ensuring the proposal is thorough and highlights all the business features.
Marketing The Business
Lastly, the business requires marketing for it to establish itself and attract prospective members. Marketing and advertising strategies can include promotional discounts such as membership discount or couple discount or yearly membership discount or free guest passes or other incentives which will lure the customers. It helps to market and promote the gym business in places customers spend time.
Additionally, the owners can even consider using online marketing techniques such as having a social media presence where the fitness regime of the trainers and celebrities as well as existing members can be shared along with health and diet tips. In the digital age, social media marketing helps promote the business.
These are some of the basics to remember in order to start a gym business successfully.
The gym business is one that aims at health and fitness of the people and will therefore be popular always. However, the business requires certain planning and a considerable investment to start and run the business. Entrepreneurs wanting to start the business can get approach deAsra for loan proposal creation and other business related services that will help establish the business.