Opening a gym can be an exciting prospect for determined fitness-loving entrepreneurs who want to put money into their passion wherever they are in the world. With over 3,600 gyms in the UK as of 2021, it’s clear to see that starting a gym business can have huge revenue potential.
In 2020, the health and fitness industry generated over £2.2 billion in revenue for the UK alone. With estimations that gym businesses, health clubs and fitness centres will continue to see exciting growth for the next five years.
Now you know that starting a gym or fitness business can be a great revenue drive, the next steps are to create a gym business plan to get the financial backing and strategy you need to succeed.
Understanding the sales and marketing strategy, pricing structure, directorship and management of your future gym’s business plan are core components to plan for. As the site owner, you will have a lot to take into consideration, but with the help of our gym business plan outline, we’ll help you through each step.
As highlighted, the turnover for UK gym owners could be significant. But, with popularity comes high levels of competition and market saturation.
You need to be clear about your local competitors in the area you’re planning to open your gym and the fees that go along with it.
The first thing to start with is a gym business plan so you can gather all of your ideas and findings and start putting together your resources.
The average start-up costs to open a gym in the UK is between £80,000 – £100,000. The cost of buying equipment, leasing premises, insurance policies, employing staff; all adds up. Of course, there are ways to open a gym for less.
Such as buying remanufactured gym equipment or being the sole employee in the beginning until you are in a position to employ additional staff.
With this in mind, a gym business plan is how you can prepare for any financial obligations from the very start. We’ll help you figure out how to raise £100,000 in capital based on your current financial situation and existing funds.
We detail every step you’ll need to take to open your gym. It’s essential that, if you’re planning to secure funds from a bank, the business plan for your gym is as thorough as it can be.
Not only that, but we’ll give you over 25 ways to market your gym for free included within your plan.
Below, we’ll walk you through an example of a gym business plan. Remember, this is only a guide. You should take the time to work through the business plan for your gym in much more detail.
It’s the old saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ well, we’re saying ‘over plan and deliver’
This is your attention-grabbing introduction to your business. Treat this section as your pitch to investors. Banks and investors potentially see hundreds of applications every week. It’ll really pay off to put serious time into your executive summary.
Remember, keep this concise (but pack a punch). Don’t overdo it with fluffy words or drawn-out explanations. Shout about what makes your gym (or health club) an incredible business opportunity.
Your company overview is your opportunity to give more detail about the gym and the stakeholders. Give your investors an insight into the brand, the plan for your gym, who operates it, how you plan to make your gym a success.
Again, bringing it back to: why would your investors consider putting money into your gym?
One pro tip we can give you is to think like a business person. For the purpose of the business plan for your gym, you need to think like an entrepreneur.
You need to show that you understand the fitness industry. By highlighting your existing knowledge and plans for the future.
Your goal is to deliver the blueprint of your gym to potential backers effectively, investors or partners via facts and figures, and showcase your people skills.
Feel overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? We’ve done all of the hard work for you.
Here is where investors can truly assess the potential behind the business. Having a fantastic idea for a gym is only as good as the people who are willing to execute it, and you’ll need help to increase customer service levels and stand out from your competition.
Don’t over-complicate this section. Investors are looking for a solid management structure that they believe will carry the business forward. As long as you can reflect that in your gym’s business plan and you’ll be fine.
Having a deep understanding of your market is critical not only for financial backing but for your own sanity. You need to know your competition, your target market and an understanding of the economy within the fitness industry.
Here you’ll really need to explore your target audience. Define them in as much detail as you can. This shows investors your gym has a specific offering; rather than a wide net without much focus.
Is it busy professionals who need a local, affordable gym close to their work? Or are you targeting athletes who need a more serious establishment to prepare for an event? You need to know who’s going to train at your gym so you can tailor your marketing, your equipment and your brand towards them.
How do you plan to separate your business from other gyms in your area? You need to prove that market saturation isn’t a concern and that your gym has more to offer than anybody else’s within a certain distance.
We recommend using a SWOT analysis to determine where your potential strengths and weaknesses are.
Treat your business objectives as milestones. Here you’ll outline to investors what your short and long-term objectives are (and how you plan to achieve them). Our advice would be to show you’re not naive enough to think you’re going to quadruple revenue and membership signups by month three.
For example, your first business objective could be to have ten members signed up to your gym by the end of month one. Alongside that, you’ll have the exact plan for doing that.
Are you planning to run local PR (public relations) campaigns to drive brand awareness? How are you going to build such a presence so quickly?
Show your creativity here. Impress your investors with a solid business plan that clearly defines measurable steps to attract people to your gym.
Detailing what you plan to fill your gym with will indicate the size of the gym you’re planning to open. It will also give your investors a clear idea of how much money you’ll need to buy the gym equipment and lease premises.
There’s plenty to keep in mind here. Be realistic with your goals. If you don’t want one hundred members, then don’t overspend on gym equipment.
Next, consider if your gym is for lifting weights only or are you going to offer fitness classes? So, will your gym business plan filter over into a health club business plan, too?
The benefit to offering more is that you can charge more for people to join your gym (keeping in mind your local competition).
Potentially the most crucial part of your gym business plan is your financials. Again, investors are driven by ROI (return on investment) and risk. If you haven’t thought about where every penny and pound is being spent, you’ll put yourself at risk of being turned away.
These are only a few considerations. Planning your financials is one of the more complicated items of any gym business plan.
You’ll need to show the bank/your investors how you plan to recuperate the money invested. How much money will your gym bring in and from where? Do you know if gym memberships will be the most profitable or will gym classes?
Don’t narrow yourself to a single source of income. You can (and should) diversify your revenue streams. Your investors will feel more comfortable knowing that you aren’t solely reliant on gym memberships but instead have clear ideas for expansion.
We’ve taken all of the hard work out of planning your finances for your gym. Download your gym business plan template instantly below.
Your investors need to know where your start-up capital is coming from or if you have any existing financial support. Can you realistically get backing to launch your gym? Or do you potentially not have enough to get yourself off the ground with your current plan?
Make sure you’re incredibly clear about where the money is coming from, how much you need to borrow to start the business and if you’ve been rejected for any applications in the past.
If you have any ‘red marks’ against your name, it’s important you’re upfront from the start as you’ll be credit checked. It’s best to avoid secrets during this time!
If you need an example of how a gym business plan might look, we’ve pulled together a small Word template that you can use to get you started for your gym business plan outline.
Starting any business comes with challenges – not just fitness businesses. But a solid business plan is how you mitigate risk and set yourself up for success. Whether you need a small gym business plan or you have goals to open a franchise in the next ten years, you need to start here with a gym business plan outline and a plan.
A well-thought-out gym business plan will give you the security that you’ve thought of everything you could need to be successful. Think of it as an extra layer of security or a helping hand from people who have done it before you to kick start your fitness centre dream.
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