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So you’ve decided you want to open a gym. Awesome! 

With 1 in 7 people in the United Kingdom holding a gym membership and the revenue of the fitness industry expected to reach £2.1 billion (source), it’s a fantastic industry to work in.

But, like many other industries, opening a gym is a big undertaking and comes with a lot of fear and overwhelm – especially when 20% of businesses in the UK fail within the first year and 60% fail in the first three.

To help you avoid falling victim to another statistic, we’ve put together some questions you should ask yourself before putting the wheels in motion.

What different types of gyms are there?

What type of gym should you open?

Think about your own interests; does your passion lie in bodybuilding? Crossfit? Classes? If you’re passionate about something, it’s much easier to motivate yourself to work through the more challenging days. However, if you’re passionate about bodybuilding and know there are already two bodybuilding gyms in your area, you might want to reconsider – or, find a niche within bodybuilding that you can cater to.

Who will my gym be for?

You should be starting to build an answer to this question now that you’ve decided what type of gym you’re going to open, but it’s time to think more deeply about who your gym will be for. It’s important to clarify the types of people coming into your gym because it’ll inform a lot of your upcoming decisions. How much money does your audience make? Do they have children? Is exercise a hobby for them or are they serious athletes? What time do they like to hit the gym?

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What problems will your gym solve?

Now that you’ve got your target audience in mind, think about the challenges they face that would lead them to shop around for a gym membership. Is it to improve their mental health? Do they want to take care of their bodies? Are they training for a competition? Maybe they’re already a member of another gym and aren’t happy with the service – how are you going to rebuild their trust in gyms as a whole?

How are you going to make money?

This is perhaps one of the biggest questions to answer before you steam ahead with your new venture and the one that causes problems for most new businesses: you need to decide how you’re going to make your money. Are you going to sell monthly memberships? Run classes? Or maybe even both? Work out what percentage of your income you want to come from each of these products. In doing so, you’re giving yourself a plan that will make it easier to direct sales efforts when the presale period arrives.

What to include in a gym business plan

Have you organised a business plan?

Finally, it’s time to compile all of your notes into a business plan, which isn’t as scary as it initially sounds. It’s essentially the act of putting all of your dreams and ideas down on paper in a way that allows you to spot any holes or things that might not work. A good business plan will give you a firm direction, as well as make it easier for potential lenders to see your vision if you decide to apply for funding. The key elements of any business plan should focus on a description of your business, market research and strategies and financial documents. 


Hopefully, these questions will help you put the wheels in motion for your new venture. There’s a lot to consider and it can feel overwhelming, but breaking everything down into simple questions allows you to cut through the noise and start putting pen to paper.

ClubRight is proud to be the go-to club management software for new startups in the fitness industry. ClubRight’s founder and CEO, Wayne Heath is no stranger to the highs and lows of opening a gym. He founded ClubRight intending to create software that allows new fitness businesses to thrive from day one. To learn more about what ClubRight can do for your new venture, speak to a member of the team today by giving us a call on +44 (0)203 884 9777 or book a free online demo to see the software in action.

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