Okay, so you’ve decided you want to open a gym. Great! Now you need to ask yourself the question: what type of gym do you want to open? Boutique Fitness Studio? Yoga & Pilates Studio? Health Club? Crossfit? A simple gym? Now you may know what type of gym you want to open already, but for those that are slightly stuck, allow us to help.
Firstly, think about your own interests. What types of gyms have you been to in the past? What sticks out to you? Ultimately, you’re in this to make a profit, but it’s best not to focus entirely on what is going to make you the most money. For example: if you notice that the best way to make money is by opening a martial arts academy, but absolutely despise martial arts, the chances are you’re not going to enjoy running your business simply because you have no interest in it.
On the other hand, from a business point of view, you need to consider where there is a gap in the market in your area. If you want to open a bodybuilding gym but there are already three bodybuilding gyms in your location, there is not necessarily a need for another one. Consider it a challenge to create the best gym out of the ones local to you; come up with a real point of difference that your gym is going to have in comparison to the rest.
Following on from this idea of identifying where the gap in the market is, you will want to think about your target audience. You always run the risk of targeting an audience that is much too broad. Understandably, you want your gym to appeal to as many people as possible, but it is important to remember that you cannot please everyone. If you try to keep everyone happy, the possibility is that it will not be cost-effective. For example, you could end up spending a large sum of money for different types of equipment for different types of gym-goers, only to have a portion of the equipment left untouched – because the customers that you tried to target with this equipment do not see themselves becoming members of your gym.
However, you may find yourself doing the opposite to this if you try too hard to appeal to a very niche audience. One benefit to having a niche gym is that you can almost guarantee that there will be a gap in the market for it, so you know that very few – or even none – of the gyms in your area will be doing the same as you. Additionally, you will be in a position to create a family-like atmosphere, developing close relationships with your members and in turn making them loyal attendees. Yet again, you run the risk of being such a niche gym that you are completely missing the target audience in your area. It’s about striking the right balance between the two.
So, what we’ve learned is that because there are so many subcategories under the word ‘gym,’ it is important to consider and assess your options. Remember, you need to make sure you’re finding that gap in the market, but it’s okay to be selfish and think about what your own interests are. We hope we’ve opened up the conversation for those of you in this stage of opening a gym!