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Fitness Studio Business Plan

Fitness Center Business Plan Chicago

If you’re like many personal trainers, you have big dreams of opening your own gym. Whether you open a huge facility or a small studio, if being able to call the shots, and run the facility your own way, is something that appeals to you, then read on. Our fitness studio business plan can assist you in making your dream a reality.

In reality, it takes an incredible amount of planning just to see if it’s possible to open up your own fitness facility. If you’re going to take the idea seriously, you need to do your research, get all the numbers down, and flesh out your fitness studio business plan. It is extremely helpful to share your gym business plan with someone who is already in the business or knows the business well who can assist you. Having someone who knows the business and who has had the experience of creating a gym can give you the insight you need to better prepare your own fitness studio business plan.
You may even want to spend a few months to a full year talking with gym owners around the country. Because many gym owners have had to deal with the struggles of starting their own business, they can help answer your questions with candid responses. Find out what they would do differently and what worked for them. Fight the urge share your plans with them. Instead, ask great questions and listen to their responses.
A fitness gym business plan is a crucial roadmap for business success. In general, this plan projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route your company needs to grow and succeed. Do your research and put together a plan that works for you. The following are the main points you will want to flesh out when creating your gym business plan.

Executive Summary

Begin by creating an Executive Summary you essential design a roadmap for the direction in which you want your company to go. This is a general snapshot of your business plan and touches on your company profile and goals. Flesh this out first before you begin and feel free to continue adding as you grow.

Company Description

Your company description provides information on who you are, and what you are not. Be pretty specific here to help you stand out about what differentiates your facility/club/gym from your competitors. Having a good company description helps you and the markets your business serves.

Market Analysis

From your work as a personal trainer, you may already have an idea of the market of your gym business, but doing as much analysis as you can, is still in your best interest. Before launching your gym business, it is essential for you to research the market, competitors and industry as a whole. For example, if you have big dreams of opening a parkour gym in an elderly community, you may not succeed. By doing your research, you can avoid crippling business issues before they even start.

Organization & Management

How organized are you? While every business is structured differently, it’s crucial to stay organized from the top down. Be sure that everyone on your management team is on the same page. If organization and management aren’t your strong suits, than you may need to enlist help to find out the best organization and management structure for your business.


This factor should be #1! As a gym, service is what you do best. You are giving thousands of people the opportunity to get healthy and stay healthy. For that reason, service is extremely important to benefit your customers. Along with the type of facility, classes, and memberships you provide, how you treat your customers is part of this. Do you provide good customer service? This could be the end-all, be-all for whether or not your clients stay or go. Tell your story and listen to the stories of your clients to give the ultimate service.

Marketing & Sales

Although you may be a fantastic trainer and have every type of certification, marketing and sales is a whole different ballgame. Keeping your marketing dollars on point and having the ability to sell your gym in a competitive market is absolutely necessary. Having a marketing plan and sales strategy are necessary before you open your facility as well as ongoing as your business grows.

Funding Request

How are you funding your business? Are you cashing in your life savings? Do you have investors? According to Entrepreneur, the average cost of opening a gym is $10,000 to $50,000. If you are seeking funding for your business, you’ll need to find out all the necessary information you should include in your plan. Note: If you are still in the funding stages, it’s vital you create a fitness studio business plan. Many banks and lenders will not even consider a business loan unless you have a complete business plan.

Financial Projections

If you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Find out what information you need to include in your financial projections for your small business.

In your complete budget and financial preparations, you will need to include obvious things such as rent or purchase of building, equipment, and marketing. However, other things that are often set on the backburner are crucial to include as well such as insurance, accounting, cleaning services, attorney fees, and utilities. All of these lesser costs can really add up, so they should absolutely be included in the budget.
Always use professional rates when doing the budget for your fitness center business plan. Often when trainers start a gym they think they can cut costs or get mediocre services. Do not do this! Always budget in a professional to do your services from accounting and cleaning to equipment repair. You will thank yourself in the long run!


An appendix is optional for your fitness gym business plan, but it is a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases for your gym fitness studio. Keep all additional information you need for your fitness business plan in your appendix.



Make Your Fitness Studio Business Plan Stand Out

If you’ve been in the field for a while you know that in order to stand out, your business has to be unique. Nailing down the specifics could help you rise above the competition and give you an advantage over your competitors. If you focus on the following three areas, your fitness center business plan will stand out:

  1. Type of gym (large, boutique, club) as well as the number of clients and all sources of revenue generated (class, memberships, etc.).
  2. Operating costs and expenses including all employees and management.
  3. Obstacles that occur when starting your own business and any unforeseen problems that may occur along the way.

Have Some Money Stashed Away Before Making the Jump

Finances is one of the biggest hurdles for any startup. By living on a budget prior to opening your gym and keeping your finances in check, the more your dream will become a reality. Living far less than your income level will help you save for everything from leasing or purchasing a gym location, equipment and covering other necessary expenses.

Do what you can to avoid borrowing extremely large amounts of money. After all, interest rates may seem cheap but what if those rates doubled? When businesses fail and interest rates increase, many people find themselves in huge amounts of debt. It is better to save as much money as you can and have some wealth stashed away before you even think about opening a fitness facility.

If you don’t think you can save enough money on your own, you may want to consider partnering with someone you trust and who could bring capital into the business. This person could be another personal trainer or even an investor who believes in your ability to run a successful business. You’ll want to keep at least 51 percent of the ownership – always hold on to the biggest portion of your dream.

Accumulate Plenty of Clients Before Starting Your Own Facility

Having a solid group of dedicated clients all comes down to relationships and branding. Your clients need to be willing to come with you regardless of the cost. That means that even if they are locked into a contract at another facility or big box gym, they are willing to pay the fees to break their contract and follow you – in addition to paying your rates.

If possible, try to bring your core group of clients over to your new gym when they are all up for renewal at the same time at their current location. Of course, that isn’t always possible but the more you can consider the timing with you startup your fitness facility, the better.
All of your operating budget should be based on the number of dedicated clients who you know will follow you. Be extremely realistic with these numbers and be as conservative as possible with your estimates. You will want to be sure to estimate high on the cost side and low on the income side. Remember, it is much easier to predict how much money you need as far as expenses than what your client numbers and income will be.