How do I Start a Health and Fitness Business?

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  • Written By: A. Garrett
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Entrepreneurs seeking to open their own gym or wellness center should first generate business ideas that will help him or her determine where cash flow will come from. Also, fitness marketing and the associated capital requirements for advertising and creating customer awareness about the gym should be considered. An enterpriser seeking to start a health and fitness business should also consider the type of products and services the fitness center will offer. Finally, having knowledge of exercise and nutrition will not be enough to start a health and fitness business. Someone opening a health and fitness business should have solid comprehension of accounting and the laws and regulations of the gym’s locale.


Before opening a health and fitness business, an entrepreneur must decide what demographic he or she intends to target and weigh the pros and cons associated with each. A fitness center that caters to young people will have access to a group that may frequent the gym often, but also may not be willing to pay high membership fees or sign long term contracts. Catering to people who are overweight may result in long-term clients, but the potential clientele pool would be limited. Fitness centers catering to older clients would have access to a customer group that likely could afford to pay more, but also may not appeal to a younger crowd. Identifying the ideal demographic for a gym is important because it will influence how the gym is marketed and the activities offered by the gym.

Advertising is important to any fledgling business and can facilitate success. By advertising instead of relying on word of mouth or referrals, a fitness center can quickly grow its customer base. Marketing services and highlighting key features such as equipment, recreation rooms and personnel allows a gym to gain the trust of potential members. A new health and fitness business can also use advertising in order to promote special rates or discounts that potential competitors may not be willing or able to match.

Fitness centers vary in the types of services they offer and those considering opening a health and fitness business must know exactly what they intend to offer to the general public. Some gyms cater only to recreational activities like swimming and basketball. Other fitness centers offer personal training and focus primarily on providing members with adequate space to workout. A health and fitness business may also offer a hybrid of services that focuses on recreation, fitness and wellness.

As with any company, opening a health and fitness business requires owners that are capable of managing finances. In order to operate a gym, property must be leased, utilities must be paid, equipment must be purchased, and employees require compensation. Also, the local government where the health and fitness building is operating may require the gym to carry liability insurance or satisfy regulatory requirements necessary for ensuring patron safety. Contracts between the gym and the property owner, clients and insurers are prevalent in the health and fitness business. Therefore, knowledge of the legal language associated with this area of law is also important when opening such a business.


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