Five Important Considerations for Operating a Health Club


fitness club

With over $28 billion spent annually on gym memberships by over 80 million adults in the United States, it’s safe to say that owning a gym can be quite lucrative. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get a piece of the health and fitness pie, owning and/or operating a gym may be your inroads into this industry. As with any business venture, a strong market is no guarantee of success. Here are some important considerations to ponder before you get started.

Type of Gym

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of health club to provide. Are you offering a general box gym with various weight and cardio machines and locker space for customers looking to get or stay in shape? Perhaps a business that focuses on a particular sport or exercise such as a yoga studio or boxing gym is more your speed. Before you commit to a certain type, do your homework. Are there many fitness centers in the area? Maybe there’s an under-served audience or demographic who would patronize your business. Determine who your target clientele is before making a decision.


Once you’ve settled on the type of gym, you’ll need to think carefully about the staffing needed. For a basic club, you may only need staff to run the front desk and attend to the needs of customers. For a more high-end or specialized facility, you’ll need to hire licensed staff such as personal trainers and health experts such as a nutritionist, depending on the type of services you plan to offer. Other skilled positions include lifeguards, CPR experts and class instructors. Hiring certified staff shows your clientele that you mean business and are committed to helping them reach their fitness goals.

Products for Sale

Selling products such as activewear, sports gear and private label supplements can be a great additional source of revenue for your gym. The ability to purchase products to enhance a workout at the health club is convenient for your customers at every fitness level. This also demonstrates that you mean business. Branded apparel and items such as water bottles are also a great way to promote and market your facility with your customers and potential referrals. Choose products that are high-quality and go with gmp certified supplements.

Membership Types

Another important consideration is the type of memberships you offer. The type of services and equipment available should factor heavily into the types of memberships you’ll have. Are you offering contracts, and if so, for how long? What type of engagement and features do your customers require? Think carefully about where you can add value to your clients. You may be able to reach and retain a wider customer base if you offer different membership levels with more amenities for the monthly or annual price.

Business Tools and Equipment

Deciding on which business tools to use is also an important consideration for a gym. What type of machines will you use for conducting transactions? You’ll need to develop a customer database to keep track of memberships and payment information for recurring charges. What software will you use for accounting? You’ll also have to decide what type of equipment and machines are provided in your club. What equipment will you need to provide for your customers to have experiences that will keep them coming?

Owning a gym can be very lucrative with thorough research and careful planning. Health clubs offer customers a way to achieve and/or maintain a certain level of fitness. Give thorough consideration to the type of clients you’ll be serving and plan accordingly.


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