How to Achieve Your Dream of Owning a Fitness Studio: A Guest Post by Emily Woodman
Fitness studio business is booming. With the average American spending an estimated $112,000 in their lifetimes on health and fitness and 87 percent of Americans attending gym and fitness classes regularly, understanding why the health industry is a lucrative field is not a difficult leap.
Professional trainers are increasingly looking into opening their own fitness studios – a prosperous business in the long run.
However, running just any kind of business calls for investments. In the case of fitness studios, there are initial and recurring costs, both of which are somewhat different from the same categories in other industries. Let’s break this down.
Initial investments are not set in stone, given that there are numerous variables to consider. Much depends on the location and size of the facility, as well as on the equipment of your choice.
As far as real estate goes, studios located in elite locations are more expensive than those in the suburbs. No big surprises there.
The first calculation that needs to be made is related to the type of ownership. Some trainers choose to buy a studio, while others opt for renting.
Next on, larger studios need more personnel than smaller ones, so there are salaries to calculate. Additional costs include uniforms and merchandise, but these can also be considered as recurring costs.
There are no one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to choosing the location and size. When deciding on the best choice, consider the offer your studio will offer. E.g., if you intend to offer multiple fitness classes, sell supplements and feature exclusive amenities (spas, saunas, and similar), a larger space is required.
As regards the gym equipment, costs largely depend on the type and quantity. The prices range from $10,000 to $50,000, and leasing is also an option.
Next comes the paperwork. This is the trickiest part, as some documents may be overlooked. There are licenses, permits, certifications and insurance, the costs of which vary greatly depending on the studio’s location and size. General paperwork also includes a surety bond, general liability and employees’ compensation.
Hiring legal assistance is highly recommended when opening a new fitness studio. The average price of legal services stands at $200 per hour.
Large studios often invest in certification. Certificates are numerous and are a matter of individual choice. Some common options include the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE) and International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).
Last but not least, any serious fitness studio should also consider the costs of internet connection and the POS system. Again, the costs depend on the provider and the hardware, with some estimates ranging from $550 and $2,300.
Recurring costs are made up of operating profit (a minimum of $1000), fees, renewal permits, insurance, HVAC maintenance, taxes, monthly bills, employee wages, processing, and credit card fees (up to 3.25 percent and PCI compliance fees (usually start at $5 per month), equipment repairs and maintenance, and miscellaneous fees.
The costs of the advertisement should also be taken into account. Smaller studios advertise online, through social media channels and on their website. Other options include leaflets and business cards (for local businesses), giving away accessories and special promotions.
Make certain to invest in a mobile-ready website, as most people look for a fitness studio in the vicinity online on their mobiles.
Keep informed about the competition. Subscribe to their newsletters, if applicable, or simply follow them on social media.
For a fitness studio to be successful, the offer must be evergreen and by no means more expensive than similar offers of other studios.
Setting up your own newsletter email campaigns is highly recommended, as it is a free form of advertising and also highly shareable. It is also a good way to distribute special offers, the most common ones of which include special discounts for regular customers and free training for customers bringing in new members.
Social media are another good way to increase your fitness studio’s online presence. Remember that insightful posts have numerous shares, which means a great many people will become familiar with your offer.
The content doesn’t necessarily have to do with the studio offer. You may also engage yourself with posts on a healthy diet, exercise tips and similar.
Personal Trainers Going Places
Personal trainers sometimes decide to open their own fitness studio when they have a sufficient number of clients. Since they already have a fitness plan that they know is successful, their studios are often recommended by word of mouth.
Normally, personal trainers commute to their clients’ places, engaging in in-home sessions. A studio may come in handy in that it can host group programs coupled with a gym.
Since the common practice of personal trainers is to charge their clients per session, a studio may also provide additional benefits to the clients in that it may offer additional discounts for monthly programs and lower prices for regular customers.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Options are limitless when it comes to getting creative with your fitness studio offer. From private programs to group training to wellness and supplements, a fitness studio may turn your routine into a dream job.
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