5 Steps For Running A Successful Fitness Business In 2023

The fitness sector is always changing. New fashion trends, along with new business models and teaching methods, develop every day. Therefore, it can be tremendously fulfilling for fitness experts to assist people in achieving their fitness goals and leading healthier lifestyles. Furthermore, a fitness business has significant profit potential. Thus, if you want to start a fitness business but are unsure of where to begin, you are at the right place.

What Does It Take To Start A Fitness Business?

Professionals in the fitness industry and everyone who loves and enjoys physical activity will naturally consider starting a fitness business. However, you should keep in mind that starting one requires more than simply a passion for physical activity. Moreover, to succeed in the fitness sector, you must possess vital business abilities. In fact, the most common reason why not every personal trainer launches a fitness company is that they lack entrepreneurial skills. However, if you take the right actions, your goals might materialize.

Starting a fitness business is challenging. Besides, the pandemic added many more challenges as more gyms and fitness centers turned to online fitness instruction and programs. But, the good news is that if you want your fitness business to expand, an internet presence is essential. It would be preferable if you took into account a variety of additional factors. For example, having access to client management software and effective business promotion.

So, let’s get right into the prerequisites and procedures for launching a fitness business. We’ll tell you what steps to take to make your fitness business a hit. But before that, let’s first examine what a fitness business is all about.

What Is A Fitness Business?

You must understand what a fitness business requires as a fitness expert before starting one. You can define it as a facility that offers focused group exercise sessions. Or it can be a room with gym equipment where people can work out and reach their fitness goals. We can separate a fitness center into regular big-box gyms and studios that specialize in group fitness. On the other hand, a fitness facility includes a wide range of fitness services connected to the fitness business.

Traditional big-box gyms have more of an emphasis on individual training. Meanwhile, group fitness studios spend a lot of attention on building a community where individuals workout together. The pandemic strengthened people’s devotion to fitness and health as they looked for other strategies to keep healthy and meet their fitness objectives, including online training and workouts. So, which fitness center you select for your fitness business is entirely up to you.

What Is the Startup Cost for a Fitness Business?

Naturally, you must be aware of the costs involved in starting a fitness business from scratch. These costs might range from starting one from home to buying or renting a gym complete with all the necessary amenities. However, there are many ways to finance your fitness business. We’ll talk about it later. Let’s get back to the primary question. Depending on your specialization, starting a fitness business usually costs between $10,000 and $50,000. On the other hand, a mega-gym with all the necessary equipment might cost you around $1 million.

Since it relies on the specifics of your fitness business, all these numbers are just estimations. A cycling studio might run you approximately $50,000, while a mid-sized gym might set you back about $115,000. As they need less space and equipment than traditional big-box gyms, group fitness studios can be easier to set up on a budget. This informs you that the expense of launching a fitness firm differs globally and depends on your niche.

One-time Costs

Let’s examine some expenses you might only make once when starting a fitness business (depending on the type of fitness business).

  • Gym Equipment: You can buy or rent equipment. However, renting will allow you to keep up with the most recent trends without incurring a one-time expense. A fully outfitted commercial gym will run you about $50,000, and buying exercise gear for your home studio will run you roughly $10,000. Moreover, you should bear in mind that if you buy gym supplies as a set, you will receive a discount.

  • Certifications: You need to have the required certifications when starting a fitness business. It’ll help you to build trust in potential customers. Moreover, if you have any staff, they should also have the necessary certificates. That usually costs between $500 and $800 per certification.

  • Location: If your fitness business has a physical location, you must factor in the costs. When selecting a location for your fitness business, conduct sufficient research on the commercial spaces in your chosen neighborhood. Additionally, if you want to own the facility, you will need to spend roughly $800,000.

  • Licenses and Permits: When launching a fitness business, you must have a few specific licenses and permits. All these permissions and licenses will cost differently. However, you should keep in mind that they are mandatory and you must not disregard them.

  • Miscellaneous: The likelihood of unexpected events is high when starting a business. Therefore, you should save aside some cash to avoid getting in a bind. You should set up roughly $500 for other gym expenses.

  • Insurance: Insurance costs will vary depending on different circumstances. But, you should budget roughly $12,000 for this purpose.
Repeating Costs

Let’s take a look at some of the ongoing expenses you will have while starting a fitness business.

  • Equipment Lease: As mentioned before, you have the option of buying or leasing equipment. Leasing equipment will enable you to keep up with the most recent trends in fitness. However, depending on what you want and how many pieces you’ll get, leasing gym equipment is going to cost you repeatedly and differently. Talking about the average, it can cost you between the range of $3,934 and $8,067.

  • Utility: This is going to cost you a lot because a fitness center uses a lot of electricity every year, especially if it is open around the clock. The average annual expenditure for large-scale fitness centers is from $63,465 to $68,413.

  • Insurance: Since some insurance requires annual payments, such as the $12,000 premiums at first, you will need to include this in your ongoing budget expenses.

  • Cleaning Materials: This will cost money since your fitness center needs to be clean at all times. Small-scale fitness centers often spend $150 per month on average. Meanwhile, larger facilities typically spend between $12,609 and $29,980 annually.

  • Maintenance: You’ll have to pay to keep your gym in good condition and to fix broken equipment as they arise. Each year, this might cost roughly $25,040. However, if you do not rent your equipment, you must maintain and inspect it all since you do not want someone to become hurt while using your gym equipment as a result of bad maintenance.

  • Permits: You must take into account the fact that some permits have a renewal charge. Thus, it is important to verify with your locality to make sure you are on the correct track as compliance permits typically have renewal fees.
Starting a Fitness Business In 5 Easy Steps

As was already mentioned, starting a fitness business is not simple. There are so many elements that must be in place. The estimated costs for building and operating your fitness facility are now clear to you. So, let’s look at the five stages you should take to launch a profitable fitness business.

#1. Ensure You Receive the Right Training

A person must receive the required training in their chosen industry before beginning a business. Additionally, employers prefer to work with candidates that have the necessary training and credentials. This also holds true for launching a fitness business. Therefore, you must first learn how to work as a personal trainer or a fitness instructor. However, we won’t suggest getting training while working.

Select A Niche

There are various types of fitness businesses. So, you must decide which one you want to work in before you can receive the appropriate training. You could decide to create a dancing studio, a personal training business, a yoga studio, a Zumba class, a physical therapy practice, a walking or running club, or any niche of your liking. We’d suggest selecting only one option rather than going behind all of them.

You should always do what you love if you operate a fitness business! Following the selection of your expertise, you can thoroughly investigate the sector and get the required education and credentials. Also, remember that you have the option to change your mind if the niche you decide on proves to be tough to maintain.


Your potential clients will prefer to engage a personal trainer or go to a fitness center with certifications and accreditations. So, it would be highly beneficial if you hold the required certificates and knowledge. Besides, running a fitness business may need special permits and licenses in some states.

Identify Your Competitors

To compete, you will need to be able to match the formal training that the competitors in your area have received. In other words, there will be a specific level of training among the other fitness instructors employed in the community where you are going to set up your fitness center. So, to avoid finishing last on the leaderboard, you should explore the type of training that everyone received.

You should overjump your competitors’ level of training if theirs is high to be competitive. If their level of training is average, you should slightly outperform it to gain the upper hand. You might also consider starting slowly and building up once your fitness business is set up so you can determine the kind of training it requires. Everything is up to you.

#2. Understand Your Competitors

The next step is beginning your fitness business and identifying your rivals when you have selected your niche, received the necessary training, and are confident that you have picked what you truly want to do. To successfully launch your fitness business, you must research your rivals.

Select a Location

There are several factors to take into account when deciding on a physical location for your fitness center. You must first choose whether you want to buy or rent the space for your fitness center. As a result, you should search for ideal physical sites for your fitness business. However, before settling on a certain place, check about and consider your possibilities. You should also take into account the types of fitness facilities offered in the region while you are browsing around.

Moreover, you can create unique selling points by researching your competition in the fitness industry. These features will persuade potential customers to select your fitness facility over those of your rivals. Knowing the price range you will provide for possible customers will also be helpful. Besides, you can figure out how much to charge your customers for your services by assessing the rates that people in the neighborhood can afford.

The location of your fitness business is crucial since it will set the tone for the rest of your business life. It will decide the pricing structure, business hours, and rivals of your fitness facility. So, you shouldn’t pick a location with an excessive number of fitness centers. It would mean more competition for you, and you definitely don’t want to deal with that.

Find Your Weaknesses and Strengths

You must decide on a certain niche within the fitness industry, as we said before in this post. This is relevant for determining your advantages and disadvantages. So, before setting up your fitness business, you might already have a plan in place, or you could make a decision later on. We’d also advise you to feel free to switch to another niche if you find your current one to be unsatisfactory.

It would be preferable if you chose an alternative path. For example, starting the first yoga studio in that region.

Also, you might decide to start a Zumba class only to discover that there are already roughly four Zumba courses in the area where you wish to launch your fitness center. Being the fifth individual in that region to provide Zumba classes will be a drawback because the competition will be fierce.

Define Your Target Market

Since everybody can choose to live a healthy life, the fitness sector is accessible to a wide range of people. Even so, not everyone will visit your fitness facility. This is because once you choose a specialty, you can only cater to a specific group of people. Therefore, you should be aware of your target market. Ask yourself if your fitness center is for young people, older people, or both. Does your fitness center cater to expectant mothers? By answering these questions, you will be able to pinpoint your target market.

You should also be familiar with the training routines of your target market. One must know when its potential customers work out, what kind of equipment they use, and how seriously they regard training. This way, you can better serve and understand your potential customers.

#3. Pan Your Business

Create a business plan once you have the required training and a better understanding of your competitors. It’s important because, as they say, there is no successful business without a plan. This step is challenging since it calls for business knowledge. However, it’s crucial because your company plan aids in the identification of your objectives and concepts. You can discuss your goals with the required parties and easily explain them using a business plan.

In fact, if you want to get funding, you’ll also need a business plan as your investors need to know what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it. Besides, before you can get a license, certain local and state agencies will also want to review your business plan. Therefore, you should take into account some of the following advice when writing your business plan:


You’ll need money to start your fitness business, and you can get it with the help of your business plan. If you have enough, you can decide to finance your company yourself or pursue other sources of funding. But, if you need funding, you can borrow from a bank. However, most banks won’t cover 100% of the charges, so you’ll need to have your own cash. You can use financing for gym equipment or solicit donations from friends and family. But, if you do this, you should have a proper contract drawn up so that both parties know how much they gave and how much they are to receive.

A business line of credit or an SBA (Small Business Administration-backed loans) loan are additional options. The only drawback to testing out these two possibilities is that you could have to use your assets as collateral for the loan.

Select The Right Business Entity

You must understand the sort of business entity your fitness business comes under in order to define your business structure while writing a business plan. It might be a partnership, a limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship. If you are unsure of what any of the three possibilities entail, you must conduct further research. Each has unique qualities. For example, if your company is registered as a sole proprietorship, there is no legal association between the company and the business owner.

Financial Expectations

Your financial expectations, or how much you estimate to spend on each component of the fitness business, should be in your business plan. It should include an estimate of the startup costs for a fitness establishment. Aldo, it must have the cost of leasing the space and the amount you plan to spend turning it into a gym. Moreover, your specialization will determine the amenities and equipment you have in your fitness center.

On the other hand, you should estimate what you think your fitness business will make in its first few years. You will find this to be a challenging undertaking. However, you must realize that your figures should be backed on by calculations rather than being the result of guesswork. Finally, if you plan to hire staff, your business plan needs to include an estimate of how many people you could need to hire.


The core purpose of starting a fitness business is to assist clients in achieving their fitness objectives. You must be able to attract clients. Thus, your business plan must include your marketing plan. Moreover, it should have marketing expenses in it.

#4. Market Your Fitness Business

Only if you have an effective marketing plan, people learn about your fitness business. You may market your fitness business by using your understanding of your target demographic. So, if you want to pull in customers, you can’t keep quiet. As you can see from your business plan, this is the perfect time to put in place the marketing strategy you created.

There are many marketing strategies you can use. However, having a strong internet presence is the most successful way. You must also make the most of the power of social media as a tool for your benefit. It can help you immediately connect with your target market and set up a distinctive fitness business. Since social media plays a significant role in the fitness sector, it is always a good idea to take advantage of it.

You should strive to provide discounts to potential consumers and advertise your services before launching your fitness center. Create accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Moreover, post fresh material every day to engage your potential customers and be consistent. You can publish updates, training videos, and fitness suggestions (a before and after photo).

#5. Client Management Software

Our final stage is client management software. After your fitness firm is set up, you must have access to client management software (apps for fitness professionals). With that, you can easily manage every area of your fitness business. It will be a great idea to hire someone to handle all the difficult work while you take care of the simple matters.

Our lives have been easier thanks to technology. Moreover, the fitness sector is an exception. Someone in this situation would benefit greatly from client management software. You can use this software for a variety of tasks and it will also lighten your workload. You can watch your client’s progress thanks to the software. Besides, here are some of the things you and your clients can perform using client management software:

  • Sending automated messages to your clients is one way to communicate with them.

  • Customers can view their progress through the program, typically in the form of a graph, and this will act as a source of inspiration.

  • You have control over your appointments, reservations, and payments.

  • The program allows customers to pay for and schedule in-person or online sessions.

  • You can share various fitness and diet plans with clients by having access to them.

You now know the five simple steps you must take to launch a successful fitness business in 2023. While every step is important, you should not overlook client management software. It will help you operate your fitness business successfully. Click here if you want to learn more about it.