Do you want to ensure the success of your new fitness studio or expansion of your current one? If you need funding from investors or lenders, or are looking for partners who would be willing to put in some major sweat equity, you’ll need to have a solid business plan. 

A business plan is a formal document outlining your business objectives, the strategies you will implement to achieve those objectives and the time frame for completion. It serves as a roadmap for taking your operation to the next level. Your business plan will cover the specifics of what resources your studio has today, the goals you’re aiming to meet in the future and what you will do to get your studio to achieve those milestones. 

Keep reading to learn about the key components of a foolproof business plan, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration

Executive summary

While the executive summary appears first in your business plan, most business funding companies recommend that you include this section of your business plan as the final component. Ideally, this section should be one to two pages in length and compelling enough to make the reader want to dive further into your business plan. Think of it as a highlights reel for your operation. It’s your chance to introduce your business, your successes and how you plan to grow. 

The executive summary should include your fitness studio’s mission statement, followed by concise highlights from the rest of your business plan that will make the best first impression on potential business allies:

  • Description of your company
  • General information about company history, organization, team, and location
  • Financial growth and milestone achievements for existing businesses or market analysis and growth rate
  • Product and service offerings
  • Goals, and any resources needed to achieve them
  • Business funding needs and financial projections
  • Future growth plans

As you write the executive summary and the rest of your business plan, keep your intended readers in mind. Limit your usage of insider jargon unless you’re including brief definitions so that anyone — not just those in the fitness industry — can understand the full scope of your business details, objectives and needs. 

Company description

The company description offers a detailed look at your fitness studio’s history, internal organization, objectives and strengths within the fitness industry. In this section, you will offer a narrative about how and why you have chosen to start a fitness studio or expand your current one. 

Your company description will also provide an insight into the solution your fitness studio provides for your target audience. Be specific about who your ideal client is and how your studio will service your core community’s needs. This is where you can touch upon who you are as a brand, and your unique value propositions as a company. 

For new studio owners, include any past professional achievements that make you confident that you will be successful. For existing studio looking to expand, include your studio’s successes to date to predict how additional investment will lead to additional growth. 

Market analysis

In the market analysis of your business plan, you will need to research three areas that can help predict the success of your business: the industry, the market, and the competition. You will use this section to show the demand for the products and services your fitness studio has to offer. 

Fortunately, experts predict continued growth in the fitness industry. All you have to do is show demand for fitness studios in your local market. If you are starting a new studio, include the number of prospective clients by using Facebook Audiences Insights along with the number of other successful fitness studios in your area that offer similar services.

For studio owners looking to expand, you can talk about how an expansion will help your studio serve a larger percentage of your local market. Focus on the growth of your local community and how your studio needs to expand to meet your market’s fitness demand. If other studios have expanded in your area, include information about how they have expanded and how their business has increased as well. 

Letting potential investors and lenders know about successful studios won’t hurt your chances for getting funding for your business. It will demonstrate that you know your target audience, what they want and how to keep your pricing structure competitive.

Organization and management

In the organization and management section of your business plan, you will give details about the legal structure and key people involved in your fitness studio. Once you have shown how owners, managers, directors and other stakeholders are organized in a chart, you can list each member’s strengths and how they will help you build a profitable studio.

To help readers further get to know your studio’s team, reference each member’s resume or CV, which will be included in the appendix. For new studios that may not have everyone needed onboard, include your hiring needs in this section of your business plan. 

Products and services

In the products and services section of the business plan, you will describe what you are selling to your target audience in greater detail. For fitness studios, this will include your membership plans, private training sessions, branded merchandise, food and beverage products, spa services and any additional products or services. 

Along with detailed descriptions of each of your products and services, you will want to include what makes your studio’s offerings stand out from your competitors. 

When New York Sports Club opened an in-house new boutique space called the Red Zone at their Flagship Astor Place location, they honed in on the space, equipment and customized programming to create a unique fitness experience. 

“We brought in a lighting system that gives the room a nightclub vibe and creates a real emotional intensity for the participants. We also combined different equipment you might see at other boutique HIIT or CrossFit style studios but brought them all together in one place, such as turf for functional training as well as Rogue Rigs which are used for slower, heavier lifting.”  

Also include any upsells or cross-sells you have that make each offering more profitable, the current stage of development your offering is in and any additional needs you have to get your offering ready for your market — such as vendors, suppliers or new hires. 

Marketing and sales

How do you plan to make your fitness studio profitable? In the marketing and sales section of your business plan, you will share your strategy for getting fitness clients to your studio and making sales. 

To give your prospective partners confidence in the viability and future success of your fitness studio, show them a solid marketing and sales plan for your products and services. Include specific strategies on how you will attract clients at each different stage of the sales funnel (i.e. awareness, interest, decision and action). Determine which channels —  online and offline — you will employ to attract prospects and boost conversions.  

These tactics can include social media marketing and advertising, search engine advertising, strategic partnerships, a booking calendar for classes, an online ecommerce store for branded products, extensive sales training and bonuses for top-performing studio employees. 

Funding request and financial projections

For fitness studio owners seeking business financing, the funding request and financial projections section may near the end, but it is one of the most crucial. If you’re looking to expand your studio and have financial history, you will want to include income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, expense analysis and other financial documents that show your business’s financial health and growth.

For new fitness studios, you will want to use your market research data to create financial projections for your first year of business and create projected income statements, cash flow statements, balance statements and expense budgets. You will also want to project an outlook for the next three to five years of your business to show investors and lenders the financial goals you expect your studio to achieve. 

Once you have optimistic financial projections, you can apply for funding. Your request should include a specific loan amount, how you will use the funds and how you expect the investment in equipment, working capital or new hires to benefit your business. 

Appendix

Finally, the appendix will include the supporting data and documents for your business plan. This may include data and charts from your market research, credit histories, resumes and CVs, permits, legal documents, business contracts and any additional information that supports the content of your business plan. It allows you to include crucial details for those that want to dive deeper without distracting readers from the main sections of the business plan itself.

Writing a business plan can be an in-depth process, but when done right, it can create be solid foundation for starting or expanding your fitness studio.

This post was contributed by Funding Circle — the world’s leading lending platform focused exclusively on small businesses, matching established and creditworthy businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. Funding Circle offers competitive rates, manageable repayment schedules, and provides each applicant with a dedicated account manager to guide them through the quick and easy online application. To learn more or apply, visit https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/.

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