A gym or fitness center business is centered around providing personal training or the use of a fitness facility to people who want to keep fit and stay healthy.
The gym business in Nigeria has received tremendous growth in the last few years as more people especially women are beginning to see the need to exercise and stay fit.
Though not an easy line of business, if you are passionate and put in the work, you will reap the rewards.
Here are the things to know before starting a gym business.
1. Get professional training
Before you start a gym business, you need to get the proper training and accreditations that make you qualified as a fitness instructor.
Your clients will be counting on you not just to help them look great, but to keep their bodies healthy and safe using your services.
There are several different personal training certifications you can choose between, and other types of fitness offerings (such as yoga, Pilates, or aerobics classes) will come with their own certifications as well.
2. Identify your fitness niche
There are a variety of fitness niches to choose from e.g personal training gyms, boutique gyms, women gyms, powerlifting gyms, medical fitness gyms to mention a few. Explore these niches below to determine what kind of fitness center you’d like to open.
3. Create a business name
Your business name should be as creative as possible. It should also be short and easy to remember.
4. Register your business
Once you have found a suitable name, register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and get other acreditations and licenses.
A registered business gives your brand more reputation.
5. Prepare your business plan
Your business plan is a written description of your business’s future. It should contain your plans and the methods you intend to carry out those plans.
For example, a business plan for your gym business should contain your business goals (both long term and short term), capital ( and how you intend to raise them), equipment, location, niche, how you intend to earn (ie membership fee), miscellaneous costs among others.
Depending on your scale and location, you will be needing between ₦1 million to ₦5 million to get started. A good percentage of the money will go into renting a space. You’ll also need to acquire (or rent) some equipment.
Some of the ways you can raise capital are through personal funds or loans from financial institutions.
7.Get a good location
It will be of advantage to you if you establish your fitness business in a high profile and easily accessible location as people who reside there are more exposed and are ready to pay money on keeping fit than those who live in the low profile area.
Go for spaces that have standard offices with good amenities your environment will determine if you would get customers.
8. Acquire the necessary equipment
Some equipment that you’d be needing in your gym house include:
– Motorized & Manual Treadmills
– Ski machine
– Exercise mats
– Weight pile
– Stepper boards
– Indoor cycles
– Ankle weight
You can check the prices on e-commerce stores like Jumia.
Also, note that the equipment can be hired on lease at more affordable prices.
9. Hire professional staff
If you won’t be the main fitness trainer, then you need to hire professionals.
Before hiring fitness instructors and personal trainers, check that they have the requiring training. Ask thorough questions during the interview, and consider “auditioning” the person before hiring them. You also may want to consider hiring them temporarily for a few test classes or personal training sessions before committing to keeping them as an employee.
Your staff should already have experience in fitness training and in addition, be passionate about the job.
10. Promote your business
Now that you have done all of the above, you need to let your potential customers know about your business.
Use offline strategies like word of mouth, tell your family and friends to spread the word. You can also share banners and posters around your location.
You should use social media marketing and PR methods to promote your business online. By coming up with a marketing plan for your gym or fitness center, you’ll be able to get new clients and customers.
Start by running ad promotions and discounts on your website and social media handles e.g a customer who registers gets a free one-month membership after registration.