How to start a gym, part 1

How to start a gym, part 1

Starting a gym involves a lot. And it is often difficult to determine exactly where and how to start. In this blog we will discuss how you can start your own gym.

You get up early, full of energy to teach the first class of the day at your new gym. You love motivating people to become the best version of themselves. You get energy from training and you know how to find a suitable solution for challenges. If this is something you want to do, then read on. In this blog we will discuss how you can start your own gym.

Starting a gym involves a lot. And it is often difficult to determine exactly where and how to start. In any case, you should not be afraid to roll up your sleeves. And, we help you! Then you can make use of the more than thirty years of experience we have in the fitness industry and all the gyms we have already set up and seen ;).

What do I need to start a gym?

A good plan! Opening a gym may sound simple, but there's more to it than choosing the equipment and recruiting members. First of all, you need to be clear about what kind of gym you want. What is your passion and specialty? For example, do you want to open a powerlifting club that is self-sufficient while you still have a full-time job? Or do you want to start a gym that earns you enough money to pay yourself? In most cases, the latter option is chosen.

Write a business plan

A step that takes a lot of time and which many entrepreneurs like to skip: writing a business plan. Still, making this plan is an essential part of starting your own gym. Not only to attract investors, but also to map out exactly what you want to do, how, what you need, the financing, what your objectives are, et cetera. This is the common thread in your adventure. By writing a business plan, you immediately discover what is not yet completely clear or what should be done differently. It is better to know this in advance than to run into a wall in the middle of the process. And writing the plan significantly increases the chances of success.

In your business plan you also determine who your target group is. Do you want to open a niche gym or attract the widest possible audience? Both have advantages and disadvantages so choose where your heart and knowledge lie. Niche gyms are trendy and that can trigger new customers. On the other hand, with a niche gym you do appeal to a smaller target group. You can also make a combination. For example, a gym with fitness equipment and a separate functional fitness/HIIT room.

Choose the right location

Do you have a clear idea of ​​the type of gym? Then finding the right location is the second step. The type of gym you want to open determines the location. Not only in terms of the space you need, but also in terms of the environment. Is it easily accessible? Is there parking? What about the competition? Where is your target group located? Take your time to find the right location. View different buildings and study the area. For example, do you want to start a crossfit box? Then you would rather not opt ​​for a building where houses have been built above in connection with noise pollution and vibrations. Such a location is suitable for a yoga studio.

Also make sure that all permits are properly arranged. The last thing you want is to see your dream shattered by paperwork issues.

Make an overview of the costs

What costs do you expect to incur? Think of rent, equipment, floors, insurance, electricity, telephone, internet, permits, taxes, possibly personnel, et cetera. Don't count too narrowly, it's better to have money left than money short. Then calculate whether you can pay all expenses for at least six months without income. This is the minimum time you need to build a solid membership base.

Have you reached a certain amount? Great, then double the estimated costs and cut the estimated revenue in half, because chances are this is the most realistic scenario. Can you still succeed with these new numbers? Then you have the best chance of success. This may sound daunting, but in practice it often works that way. It is better to be well prepared than to think afterwards 'If only I had…'.

Determine the financing of your gym

Now that you know what costs you will incur, the next step is to find financing. Unless you have enough money, you probably need investors/investors. Start in the circle of people around you. Perhaps you have a friend or family member (or several) who believe in your idea and would like to invest. In most cases they want something in return, so discuss and determine what return on their investment is achievable for both parties. Also agree well in advance how and when you will repay the amount. If you don't have investors within your friends / acquaintances, going to the bank is an option. With a complete business plan and a well-founded idea, you have the best chance. The financial part also includes insurance. Don't risk it. An accident is just around the corner. Especially if you work with heavy weights.

Find out which insurance policies you need and which provider is best for you. For example, consider fire insurance and personal injury insurance. Better safe than sorry ;).

Finding customers for your gym

The financing has been arranged, the renovation is in full swing and now it is a matter of recruiting members. Trusting that word of mouth alone will help you run your business is risky. So investigate how you can best reach your target group. Especially online. Because a good website is indispensable these days, but not enough. Supplement with active social media pages, online marketing and possibly with online advertising. Be consistent and active in and with your expressions and show people what sets you apart from other gyms. Read more about how to best use social media to recruit members.

Believe in yourself

If you want to be successful, you have to believe in yourself. Quiting is not an option! It takes time, determination and patience to open and run your own gym. If things are not going well, think carefully about why you started this again. Because it's your passion!


Now you know exactly which steps you have to go through to open your own gym. You have a solid plan, a good location and a clear objective and target group. Would you like to diver deeper into this subject? Than read our blog: How to start a gym, part 2.

Do you want to know how to optimally furnish your gym? Which dumbbells, barbells and fitness accessories should you choose? Please feel free to contact us. In addition to our own brands Lifemaxx®, Crossmaxx® and LMX.®, we are also the exclusive distributor of well-known and innovative fitness brands such as: Suples® Bulgarian Bag, Vicore® Fitness, TRYON® & PT4Pro®, Concept2®, Glutebuilder®, Theragun®, Bootybuilder®, Torgue Fitness®, Exxentric® and Assault® Fitness.

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