How to Open a Gym?

Would you like to learn how to open a gym? Read a step-by-step instruction and some useful recommendations concerning this business.

Every day fitness-services become more and more popular.

It can be easily explained by the fact that nowadays it’s very popular and fashionable to go in for sports.

People are eager to go to the gym and wish it was not far from their home.

That’s why it’s a perfect idea how you can open your own business.

Before you learn how to open a gym, you should make up a certain algorithm and a strategy how to make organization’s tasks simpler.

Advantages of opening a gym


  1. Gym’s services are always in great demand.

    Moreover, even unfavorable economic conditions very seldom influence or affect work and profit of suchlike establishments.

  2. Gym’s targeted audience is very wide.

    They are more popular among men, but today more and more representatives of the fair sex mix cardio exercises with muscle-strengthening exercises on training equipment and dream not simply to lose weight, but to acquire beautiful shape with vivid muscles.

  3. You need relatively small initial capital to open a small gym.

    Perhaps, a sports hall in the basement, which is about 100 square meters big, is not beyond your wildest dreams.

    Though, if your possibilities are limited, you’d better consider such option as a nice possibility how you can start your own business.

    In perspective, you can always open a gym of a higher price bracket (your own one or under the brand of a definite network using franchise) or create your own network.

How to open a gym: coping with legal obstacles

  1. File an application on the business license.

    Just like in most kinds of businesses, it is necessary to do this in order to receive the proper licensing and to open your gym on the legal basis.

    Nevertheless, such process is pretty difficult, because different countries have different requirements to get certain kinds of licenses, which you need to own and manage gym.

  2. Sign up in federal, state and local tax administrations.

    Every business must be registered, so that you knew how to pay taxes and were able to do it.

    Consult local tax inspections and get all the information you need to know about tax accounting.

  3. Register the name of your company.

    Just like most companies, a gym must be registered under the name of your business in order to work legally.

    The details of the process may vary as well as in tax accounting depending on the region in which you live and open business.

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  4. Get insurance.

    There is one thing, about which gym will always have to worry and which does not usually have influence on other kinds of enterprises –one can get injured or even die in a gym.

    Exercises with high intensity are regularly used, that’s why there is high chance how you can get injured even if wide range of security measures is made.

    In such a way, insurance of civic responsibility (depending on the state and local laws) is a wise idea.

    It may also be a necessary requirement before you are allowed to open a gym.

How to open a gym: detailed planning


  1. Pick an available and advantageous location.

    Just like other kinds of small businesses, great part of success depends on its location.

    People do not like going far to satisfy their needs in fitness.

    The best places, where you can open a sports hall, are located in those regions, where they are in demand, where a gym can be easily available and where rivalry with other gyms and fitness-clubs is minimal or, at least, controllable.

    • Rent.

      If you do not own a place, where your gym is located, you’ll have to pay rent, and it’ll be one of the defining expanses of your sports hall.

    • Proximity to the populated places.If your gym is too far from clients, they won’t go there.

      Good places to open new gyms must be located close to the populated areas, in them or at least people must know how to easily reach it by car, bus, train, etc.

    • Local market’s conditions.Finally, the best places for gyms are those, where gyms are in demand, but no one still gave any offers to satisfy the demand.

      Opening a gym across the street of another gym is a very risky step.

      Why do you need this high competition, when you can open a gym in the part of the city, which lacks gyms?

  2. Attracting capital and getting a loan.

    Any kind of business, including opening a gym, requires money.

    You must pick a place, buy equipment, rebuild the building, hire employees, register/pay licenses’ fees – all these things may become significant financial obstacles to opening your own gym.

    Most owners of small businesses do not have the whole sum of money or advance to pay for everything they need to open a gym. In such case, one should find a way out.

    Usually one must learn how to persuade rich investors to secure your capital or simply learn how to get a loan.

    You’ll almost always have to present a detailed business-plan to people or legal units, who are going to give you money to open your business.

    This business plan must be convincing and explain how your business can quickly become profitable.

    Otherwise, investors won’t probably give you money.

  3. Consider the possibility to open a franchise.

    Another potentially profitable option is to open not your own independent gym, but the one on the franchise basis.

    In this situation the owner manages the gym, which is a part of a big network.

    A parent company, as a rule, covers the initial costs of opening a gym or supplies it with their own equipment or pays for it.

    Nevertheless, speaking about franchise’s case, most of the profit will also go to the parent company.

    Franchise’s location may also be the subject for selling quotas.

    Parent companies usually offer their huge resources to the gyms’ owners, which include already working brand, which people recognize, a possibility to study, connections and financial support during “hard times”.

    Make sure you learn all pros and cons of franchise’s contract before you make up your mind to open gym in such a way.

    Owning franchise may seem attractive, but usually it’s not your most profitable option.

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How to open a gym: gym’s supplies

  1. You must secure the space and equipment, which people need to go in for sports.

    The best gyms offer wide range of possibilities for their clients.

    These possibilities must satisfy interests of different people, who do exercises there.

    Many popular kinds of sports may be relatively cheap, when we speak about offers and support.

    For example, all you need to play basketball are several baskets of adjustable size, which may be put indoors or out-of-doors, or in both places.

    Here you’ll see a few kinds of sports, which you can offer in your sports hall (and space and equipment you need for each of them).

    Pay attention that many gyms offer only a couple of these kinds of sports or even none of them:

    • Basketball: baskets of adjustable sizes and the ground (might be out-of-doors or indoors; usually includes marking on the floor).
    • Football: balls, field of the needed size and marking.
    • Running: a track; usually includes a starting mark and/or distance marks.
    • Baseball: a field or a net with batting.
    • Box/sparring: a boxing ring or gym, punching bags, boxing gloves and helmets.
    • Swimming: a swimming pool under roof or in the open air, it’d better be of the Olympic size, but you can have of any size you want.
  2. Buy precise weight to open a gym.

    Your gym’s clients, who are really ambitious in sports and have serious goals about it, will be eager to have a possibility to develop their muscles, power and flexibility.

    That’s why, almost all the time you’ll need different loads (dumbbells, weights and other equipment, which is oriented on resistance).

    Nearly every serious gym must have, at least, one sector of the gym devoted to the wide range of weights.

    Some kinds of weights, which usually offer serious gyms, are listed below:

    • Equipment for power lifting;
    • Squat racks;
    • Rugs for deadlifting;
    • Stands to work out biceps;
    • Horizontal bars or stands for dips;
    • Stands to work with dumbbells, benches to exercise the upper body.
  3. Install insulating equipment before you open a gym.

    Most modern gyms offer insulating machines in addition to the free weights.

    These training machines let you load and work with a certain muscle or a group of muscles, while you can control the weight with the help of such machine.

    Though this equipment can change from the point of view of their usefulness and real potential, irregular visitors of your sports hall usually use these training machines, because they show how to do weightlifting exercises easy and safe.
    Some types of these training machines include:

    • Hack squat machine;
    • Lat pulldown machine;
    • Triceps extension machine;
    • Leg extensions exerciser;
    • Horizontal chest press;
    • Shoulder press.
  4. Buy cardio-vascular machines.

    Nowadays, most sports halls offer several variants of cardio-vascular machines.

    It’s not uncommon to have the whole “cardio zones”, which have tens of machines installed there.

    Very often these cardio-vascular machines have electric ventilators and TV monitors, so that the clients were comfortable and could entertain themselves, while they are working.

    Here are only some kinds of cardio-vascular machines, which offer most gyms:

    • Stationery cycles;
    • Elliptical machines;
    • Run tracks;
    • Ladders;
    • Machines to practice row sport.
  5. Secure the visitors with the choice of teaching lessons.

    Gym has a social aspect for some members (unlike doing exercises at home).

    These people enjoy doing exercises in the company of other people.

    It may even bring them more satisfaction and benefits than going in for sports alone.

    In order to satisfy such type of clients, you can offer group lessons or programs.

    These lessons may require from you a definite room in the gym and hiring some qualified teachers, but you are sure to compensate the expanses taking money for the lessons.

    Most fitness-lessons, which you are able to offer in your gym, are gathered in the following list:

    • teaching swimming;
    • martial art classes;
    • cycle racing;
    • sports camps;
    • yoga;
    • Pilates;
    • aerobics (and other rhythmical exercises on the dancing basis).

How to open a gym: hiring qualified staff


  1. Hire employees, who will become the face of your gym.

    The first employees, which people usually face first coming to you, are the administration.

    These workers are also responsible for prevention from any losses, and guarantee that only registered club members, who paid for lessons and membership are allowed to come in the sports hall.

    As a rule, modern gyms usually do it by scanning identity cards, which they give to every member during the registration procedure.

  2. Hire qualified coaches.

    Coaches mostly provide their clients with special lessons, either private or group ones.

    Besides, coaches usually offer their clients detailed plans on reaching their goals outside of sports, providing them with how they should keep a diet, working hours and many other things.

    • Coaches’ qualification may be different.Almost all coaches must be sporty and be good at anatomy and various healthy ways of training.

      Academic education in the sphere of health care or biology might also be required.

      Good coaches must be well-wishing, open and have a wide circle of clients.

    • Private coaches may also receive certificates from different private agencies.Nevertheless, standards, which these organizations use, may differ a lot from the employer’s requirements.
  3. Hire coaches for private lessons.

    If your gym offers group lessons such as yoga, Zumba, swimming lessons and other, you are going to need some qualified coaches.

    These people may be the members from your staff training or the employees from the outside.

    Regardless from the fact, whether you hire a person from the outside or use your own working resources, you must make sure you chose a qualified specialist, who has both experience of how to be a teacher and knowledge how to control big groups of people.

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  4. Rent equipment and hire cleaning staff.

    Just like any other company, gym requires to be cleaned.

    Moreover, it needs technical support, which will guarantee that everything functions well; and it is safe and presentable to train there.

    However, taking into account the kinds of activities, which are typical for gyms, the need of technical service may be much higher than in other companies of such size.

    In order to support gyms’ functional conditions you need to hire street cleaners, gardeners and other plain staff.

    You may also sign a subcontract with the company, which will solve all your problems with searching and selecting staff.

  5. Hire an accountant (a cashier or an economist).

    If your business allows, you might hire your own one.

    If not – you might need a part-time accountant, who will have to count how much salaries to pay, work with taxes and count how much you need to get every month from your clients’ fees.

We hope that the information above will give you answers to the main questions on how to open a gym and make money.

If your business is organized properly from the very beginning and you put all your efforts to achieve the set goal, your establishment is sure to become very popular, visited and turn into a constant source of income.

Good luck in business!

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