There is a great emphasis nowadays on health and wellness, as well as looking and feeling good, which is why gyms across Canada have seen a sharp rise in popularity. If you’re a businessperson who happens to be enthused by fitness, there may be no more fitting business venture for you than opening a gym. But you have to do it right. If you open your gym in an over-saturated area, hire inept staff, lack security and equipment, and fail to advertise, your gym may be doomed before it has a chance to take off. Follow these few steps, however, and you can open a successful gym in no time.
Choose Your Location Wisely
The old adage is still true today: location, location, location. Find an area that is underserved, where there is a strong interest in fitness (i.e. a high volume of the gym-going demographic) and place your gym there. If there is a gym across the street, and another one around the corner, it may be in your best interest to choose a different location, or at the very least ensure that your brand is markedly different.
Choosing the facility itself is a whole other matter. You want to find somewhere with wide open space, high ceilings and ample light – both to give a sense of spaciousness and to ensure that everyone can work out safely. You want fairly unobstructed sightlines, and space for large changing rooms and showers. A parking lot is certainly a bonus, though if you’re opening a gym, for instance, in downtown Toronto, at least try and find a location with a close proximity to a parking lot.
Screen For The Best Staff
Your staff is the frontline of the business, the face that gym-goers see when they first walk in. Hire only accredited trainers, and hire desk staff that are cheery, helpful and have a good knowledge of the fitness industry.
Setup An ID Card System
For security – as well as to discourage non-paying visitors –get an ID card printing machine and take photos of your members upon signing up. Especially when you first open up, you can’t run the risk of non-members using your gym, which is why it’s important to enforce an ID card policy from day 1.
Buy Your Equipment
Shop around for the best price on commercial gym equipment, and if you need to save money, either buy used equipment (not too used, mind you), or lease your equipment. If your brand is “budget gym”, you might be able to get away with inferior equipment, but for all other cases, investing money in good gym equipment is a wise idea.
Get The Word Out
A mix of traditional marketing and online advertising should do the trick. Take out social media ads, start social media profiles, but don’t neglect the physical side of marketing. Hand out pamphlets, offer promotions or promotional products, and discount trial memberships.
Opening a gym may seem awfully daunting at first, but with some perseverance, and by following these steps, everything should “work out”. Get it?