How to start a fitness business? What do you need to know in order to make it real? What are the ways to enter this business and where to start if you decide to start a business by yourself and from the scratch? Since the fitness business is the same business as any other, with its goods, services, customers and sales, we will consider its starting according to a typical template.
If you decide to start a fitness business, that is, become an entrepreneur, I highly recommend you to read my previous article, “Who is the owner of a fitness club”, in which I talked about which people are most often involved in the fitness business and why they are doing it. If you are afraid that you don’t have enough knowledge or experience, the main thing for you is to have a desire. If you really want something, you will find for this both time and money and strength and opportunities, including the right people who will help, prompt and show you what to do and how to do it properly. Therefore, if you really want to start a fitness business, it’s time to figure out how to do this.
How to start a fitness business
Let’s start with the fact that if you want to start a fitness business, you have two options: either create this business from scratch, or buy a ready-made one. There is also a third way, it is called partnership or co-ownership. This method doesn’t require you to create a new business or buy a ready-made one (although such options are possible). It implies that you find a fitness club that is already running and, on the basis of an agreement with its owner, draw up a contract, invest money, take on certain risks and obligations, distribute shares in the business and share the profit along with the club owner. In theory, the easiest way is to buy a ready-made business, or enter into ownership of a ready-made business. The most difficult way is to start a fitness business from scratch. So let’s talk about this option.
So, first of all, you need to understand that a business starts with planning. The first question that most often arises for any person when it comes to starting a business is where to get the money. However, you need to understand that in order to find them, you must first find out exactly how much money will be needed to start a fitness business, and this is a planning task. In other words, your business must first be described, and as detailed as possible. Therefore, I propose to start by exploring a simple business description model, and then move on to raising funds. Now, in marketing, there is a term called “Marketing mix” (or 4P model) – a theory that allows you to describe any business from four different angles: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Now let’s take a detailed look at what exactly you should describe according to each of these parameters.
- Product. What exactly are you selling? What goods and services? Who is your target audience that will use them? Your proposal, in the broadest sense of the word, should be at least no worse than that of competitors, and at best – better. How will your fitness business differ from competitors? Why should people go to you? How do you plan to win their loyalty? It’s necessary to build on the fact that you must bring something new to the market: a new format, a new design, new services, new equipment or new technologies.
- Price. How much will your goods and services cost? How do your prices differ from competitors? Will your fitness business have advantages or distinctive features that allow you to set a price higher or lower than competitors? If you bring to the market new services or technologies that competitors don’t have, you can safely inflate prices. If there are no technological advantages, then a lower price may be a competitive advantage. However, remember that a business should earn money, and not just survive, so think it through in advance.
- Place. Where will your fitness business be located? Will it be a downtown or a suburban area? Will it be a standalone building or a rented premise in a residential building or shopping center? Will it occupy a basement or will it be located on the first, fifth floor or even on the roof? How close or far will it be from traffic intersections? The key to success for a fitness club is location. A crowded place with a large flow of people forgives mistakes in business management and allows you to save a lot of money on advertising.
- Promotion. So, you have a fitness business, you have goods and services that you plan to sell and prices are already set for them, but this will not work until demand is created for your product. In other words, you may have a great and unique business, but it will not bring you money until no one knows about it. How will you attract people’s attention? What will be your marketing strategy? What channels of information will you use to reach your audience? Your ads, as well as your product, must also be unique.
Where to get money for business
- Relatives. The easiest way to collect the necessary or close to the desired amount of money is to ask your family, friends or acquaintances. Someone will give more, someone will give less, and someone will not give anything at all. Someone will lend, someone will borrow, and someone will give on account of the upcoming birthday. Even if this is not the whole amount, but only part of it, it is still better than nothing. The missing part of the amount you can get at the expense of the other methods listed below.
- Investors. You need to find a person or group of people who, according to your data, has money, come to them either with an idea or with a ready-made business plan, and if approved, financing will be given out for your project. However, it is important to remember two things. Firstly, borrowed money is usually issued in a ratio of 1:2, that is, $1000 will be invested in your project only if you invested $2000 by yourself. Secondly, investors always require a share in the business and often a major one.
- Partners. If you have only part of the required amount or there is no money at all, you need to find a person who is just as interested in starting a fitness business as you are. You can either put money together with your partner, or if you don’t have any money at all, make an agreement that you provide an idea and implementation, and a partner provides financing. However, partnership also implies equity participation, so you will no longer be considered the sole owner of the fitness business.
- Work. Not the easiest and far from the fastest, but the most common way to raise the necessary amount of money is to earn it. Everything is fundamentally simple here. Each time when you receive a salary, you need to put aside part of it for the expense of future business. It may take more than one, two or even three years, so to speed up this process, you will either have to take after hours, or take extra work home, or even get a second job. Also, you can do it both alone and with a spouse.
- Loan. This is one of the most popular ways to get money for business. Loans are now issued almost everywhere, quite quickly, literally to anyone and for any purpose. Loan can be taken on yourself or on one of the relatives. In this case, the first thing to remember is that you will have to start paying the loan right after you take it. That is, of the money that you took, next month you will have to make a down payment. So in this case, you need to start a business as soon as possible.
- Pledge. Another option to collect the necessary or to get the missing amount of money is to put some property in the pawnshop. This option is rather extreme, when you have already borrowed from all relatives, attracted partners, took a loan, but there is still not enough money. You can pawn literally anything, from a washing machine to a car or apartment. However, keep in mind that if you cannot return the money in term, your property will be taken from you.
Let’s summarize as follows. If you decide to start a fitness business, the first thing you need to have is a desire. If you have a desire, then as I said at the beginning, you will find time and money and opportunities and the right people to help. Second, you should describe your business in as much detail as possible, for this you can use the 4P model that I cited above. Third, you certainly need money, and if you don’t know where to get it, then again I have given six different ways that you can take into service. Business is neither easy nor complicated. Any business, from a fitness club to a car dealership, is just a delivery of value to a client. You give him something and charge him for it. That’s it. Therefore, the first – don’t be afraid, the second – don’t complicate and finally (if you are still afraid) remember – you never know, until you try.
Author – Felix Palmer