Opening your own facility has a LOT of perks, but too many fitness professionals take the plunge without getting clear on their strategy. If you want to set your business up for success, you MUST follow these 5 steps before opening your doors.

  1. Find the BEST location for your business - The single most important thing to consider when opening a new facility is location, location, location. Nail down geographic and demographic data for an area and then ask yourself if your target market and potential customers are there. If they are, great! But if not, try a different area until you find one that’s right for YOUR business.
  2. Fund your opening - It’s rare that any fitness professional – or business owner – has enough cash to start up their own facility without using some sort of funding or lending.Here are a few options that you might be able to use to open up yours:
    • Credit Cards - There are many 0% interest offers available for cards for 12 months. This is the best rate you’ll find on borrowing money anywhere.
    • Microloans - These are small loans typically issued to borrowers who are low-income earners or have less than perfect credit and do not qualify for traditional bank financing.
    • Grants - A grant is a specific amount of money given to an individual or business for a specific purpose. You don’t need to pay the grant back, but there’s a lot of competition and they’re almost always awarded for a specific purpose or project.
    • Crowdfunding - This is where you ask for “pledges” or donations from others to support your cause or goal. A webpage is set up to donate various set amounts in exchange for different bonuses, services, etc. at different levels of giving.
  3. Define your brand (and why others should think you’re special) - Your brand has a massive influence over your facility. You’ll be painting walls, putting up your logo, and more. Get it right now so you don’t have to waste time or money redoing it all in the future!
  4. Choose your equipment and layout - Whether you have a big or small space, you should map out specific zones within the facility to utilize the space well.You don’t have to start out with a massive facility full of cardio and weight machines. In fact, you shouldn’t pack your gym with machines – make sure you have plenty of free space to move around.
  5. Make it rain new clients with pre-sales and grand opening marketing - After you’ve invested money (and time) into your facility, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is opening your doors and just waiting for people to come.You need to start marketing BEFORE your grand opening so you can get sales going and have cash to help cover the costs from rent, equipment, design, and more.

Follow these steps to open your own facility and take your business to the next level by creating a better community experience for your clients, enhancing your brand, and making it easier to continue growing your business in the months and years ahead.

Author: Sean Greeley