Becoming a fitness business owner is an exciting and extremely rewarding venture. You have the opportunity to help your community reach their fitness goals while boosting their energy and sharing your passion. As you build out your business there are a lot of elements to focus on and implement to get your studio up and running smoothly. Read on for everything you need to know to find success as a fitness business owner.

Create a business plan

Your first step as a fitness business owner is to build a thorough business plan for your studio. Your business plan is a detailed roadmap for your fitness business — a starting point that covers goals, vision and milestones. Important elements to consider incorporating into your fitness business plan include your start-up costs, operational costs, membership programs and pricing, marketing channels as well as employee hiring plans.

What type of specialty classes and coaching will you offer? How many classes can you offer each week? You will also need to determine how many members you will need to sign up to start making a profit, and at what monthly membership price point. Once you understand how many members you will need to sign up, then you’ll determine how many instructors to hire based on forecasting.

Establish your unique brand identity

When opening and managing a fitness studio, prioritize your core branding and hone in on your niche. Doing so allows you to market specifically to your ideal clientele. Elements of your fitness brand include not only your core fitness classes but also your values, promises, personality, tone of voice, tagline and logo. As a fitness business owner, you should take time to learn how to effectively tailor your brand to attract your fitness community.

Find a space and sign a lease

Choosing the right location is extremely important for your fitness studio to succeed. Explore the saturation of your niche in the fitness market. You ideally want to bring a new type of fitness studio to a neighborhood. For example, if you are opening a hot yoga studio you should look up how many yoga studios are within a 5 to 10-mile radius. In this example, make sure to focus specifically on hot yoga studios. If there are already established yoga studios in the area offering the same classes, it will be more challenging to gain a share.

When you find a neighborhood in need of the type of fitness program you offer, it’s time to negotiate a lease. As a fitness business owner, you’ll need to do your homework. Don’t forget to read the fine print. Consider adding a clause that doesn’t permit the landlord to rent any other units on-premise to a similar business.

Hire top talent who align with your brand and values as a fitness business owner

As a fitness business owner, you can only wear so many hats at once to best serve your clients and prevent burnout. Begin by outsourcing the administrative work that is extremely time-consuming such as bookkeeping, cleaning and studio operations.

Hiring the right instructors who align with your brand values is really important for the success of your fitness studio. Your instructors are the face and voice of your brand. Someone might be the best HIIT teacher in town, but if his or her vibe doesn’t fit with your studio’s, they might not be the best person to hire. During the interview process make sure to ask candidates questions about their core values, teaching style and how they work with others. 

Build out your branded fitness website 

A branded website is a key piece to any strategic fitness marketing plan because your website creates your online presence. Your website should include your brand personality and highlights your fitness classes in a descriptive way alongside your class schedule. It’s also impactful to take time to optimize your website with easy navigation and FAQs. Include a clear way to communicate with your studio staff through a contact form, phone number or chatbox. 

Prioritize facility design and upkeep

Effective facility design can help you achieve a bright welcoming space that feels like a relaxing oasis to your clients. There are many interior design best practices to help you maximize and beautify your fitness space in creative ways.

For example, incorporating cohesive color schemes can transform your wellness space dramatically and set the mood. Lighting matters, too. While contributing to the energy of your fitness or wellness space, explore using LED lighting, wall sconces or ceiling fixtures. Your common reception area gives you the space to express your brand image and inspire your clients through artwork or wall murals. Maybe you want to have your brand motto written on the wall, a painted collage, favorite painting or an inspirational photograph.

Many people spend most of their day indoors, so implementing more natural design elements brings your clients closer to the rhythms of nature. Above all, make sure to keep your facilities clean, safe and organized. 

Invest in fitness marketing resources

There are many effective ways to market your fitness studio to create brand buzz and fill up your weekly class schedule. In doing so, you can increase your brand exposure online and offline, plus reach and connect with your ideal demographic in an authentic way. And, of course, get new customers in the door. If you don’t have the bandwidth to build a marketing strategy, consider hiring a marketing expert.

Reach out to experts in your network for guidance 

Utilize your fitness network and talk with other fitness business owners to learn about their successes and failures. If there are really successful fitness businesses in your area, reach out and connect for support and guidance.

These fitness business owners can let you know what worked well for them and where they saw areas for improvement or learned lessons. They might also know experts who can help you such as accountants, marketing gurus or fitness studio managers. 

Join a fitness marketplace

A fitness marketplace like ClassPass is a great way to gain even more exposure, fill unsold spots and attract a targeted audience. The fitness industry is a competitive market and many people look for diversity in their workout programs. As a new fitness business owner, you can get more people in the door through these marketplaces. 

Becoming a fitness business owner is an exciting investment and will require dedication. You’ll be helping your community feel healthier and stronger which is extremely rewarding. Although it may feel overwhelming at times to juggle all the business owner tasks, the positive impact on your community will be worth it. Learn more about how ClassPass can grow your business.