Opening a Commercial Gym - Your Market & Financing it

May 09, 2023 5 min read

Opening a Commercial Gym - Your Market & Financing it

Opening a gym can be a great way to get into the fitness industry and start your own business. However, it's important to do your research and make sure you have a solid plan in place before you take the plunge.

One of the most important things to consider when opening a gym is your target market. Who are you trying to reach? What are their needs and wants? Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start to develop a gym that meets their needs.

There are a few different ways to finance your gym. You can use personal savings, take out a loan, or find investors. If you're using personal savings, make sure you have enough to cover the initial costs of opening the gym, as well as ongoing expenses such as rent, equipment, and staff salaries. If you're taking out a loan, make sure you get a good interest rate and repayment terms. And if you're looking for investors, be prepared to give up a portion of ownership in your gym.

Once you have a plan in place and the financing secured, it's time to start marketing your gym. There are a number of ways to market your gym, such as online advertising, social media, and word-of-mouth. Make sure you create a strong marketing message that highlights the benefits of your gym and why people should join.

Opening a gym is a lot of work, but it can be a very rewarding experience. With careful planning and execution, you can be successful in the fitness industry.

Here are some additional tips for opening a gym:

  • Choose a location that is convenient for your target market.
  • Invest in high-quality  commercial equipment.
  • Hire qualified staff.
  • Create a positive and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Offer a variety of classes and services.
  • Market your gym effectively.

Fitness is big business, and with so many corporate wellness initiatives and health insurance benefits, starting a club seems like a great opportunity. Nevertheless, operating a gym might be intimidating given the variety of possibilities (trends, building style, commercial gym equipment, programming, etc.).

What type of facility should I open?

Making a decision about the kind of facility you want to build is a great place to start. There are almost infinite alternatives, from one-stop shops with something for everyone to specialised services.

It is crucial to match the type of facility you intend to operate with the demographics of the surrounding area. For instance, you probably don't want to operate a mixed martial arts facility that specialises in private fighting sessions in an area where the median resident age is 55 and the population is more than 60% female.

It goes without saying that having a certain amount of passion for the kind of facility you want to operate and the clients you'll be serving helps you overcome obstacles. Your genuine enthusiasm and the pleasure you experience running a business you truly believe in is one of the biggest advantages to succeeding.

Key Points:

  • Make sure that your business meets the needs of the local population.
  • Play to your strengths; for instance, if you enjoy indoor cycling, don't create a Pilates studio.
  • Love what you do and be passionate about the company.
  • Appoint A Commercial Gym  Designer to create the right layout and look for your audience.


Should I own a franchise or start my own business?

Depending on your background and level of experience, you might feel comfortable building the company from the bottom up with little to no outside assistance. This innovative strategy allows you the flexibility to provide whatever you want inside of your gym. However, building a solid brand and lowering startup costs could prove difficult.

Those who are new to business ownership or the fitness sector may feel more at ease buying a franchise. Due to the concept's track record, step-by-step support, and minimal start-up costs, this approach is typically a little more appealing than establishing an independent facility.

The help and purchasing power you receive, nevertheless, might limit your capacity for creativity in terms of However, the assistance and purchasing power you get may constrain your creative ability in terms of the goods, services, tools, etc. that the franchise is permitted to use inside your facility. In your company plan, you could also need to include money for monthly royalties in addition to an annual franchise fee.

Each approach has advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that best suits your requirements. There are numerous different fitness franchise opportunities available online after a brief search.

Key Points 

  • Independently owned facilities may lack initially as much brand recognition but can offer greater independence and flexibility.
  • Franchises provide a lot of assistance, but there is a cost.

    Funding your  project

    The disciplines of finance and business are extremely varied. However, any plan should include a check to ensure that your financial approach is within your means, supports growth, and has no hidden costs.

    Search for regional grants or any government money, and perhaps think about crowdfunding? This should provide you with the quickest means of raising capital and enable you to set aside money for equipment and tenant improvement (TI) charges (flooring, lockers, mirrors, etc.). The application and approval process, however, is somewhat drawn out and might not fit with your business's timeframe.

    Some gym owners find it more convenient to use equipment leases or financing options offered by the fitness equipment manufacturer directly. In contrast to an SBA loan or a leasing/financing company, rates might not be as affordable, but the terms are often quite clear and don't include any surprises. Unfortunately, since the lease cost only applies to company-owned equipment, it is not possible to include IT and other crucial equipment.

    Going through a third-party organisation may be more advantageous for gym owners looking for lease convenience with a bit more freedom because they occasionally provide prices that are more feasible than what exercise equipment manufacturers can provide. Some of these businesses even pay for equipment expenditures and IT fees. However, residual leasing practises that do not provide a buy out option are widespread and can put gym owners in a difficult position (residual lease: no ownership of the equipment at the conclusion of the deal). Compared to what is offered in residual values, good buyout options give the lessee complete ownership of the equipment and a larger share of equity in the company.

    Whether you're using a regular loan, leasing to own, or residual lease, be sure to work with a fitness equipment manufacturer whose products have a high rate of resale and have readily accessible spare parts.

    Key Points:

    • Make sure your financial plan fits within your budget and promotes long-term growth.
    • Read the small print and be aware of any penalties for early pay-off.
    • Understand the distinction between a residual lease and a lease to own.
    • Partner together with a manufacturer of equipment that has a high resale value and still produces parts for older models.


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