There’s never been a better time to start up a business in the fitness industry. The latest figures from the 2015 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report has found one-in-eight people in the UK are a member of a gym.
This also means that competition will be fierce, particularly for independent start-ups who will have to take on the heavyweights like Fitness First, Total Fitness, and the many hotel-based fitness clubs across the country.
So here are four steps to help you get a foothold in the fitness business:
1. Identify your target market.
As with any start-up, having a target market is the base on which you build your business, so think carefully about who your business is looking to help.
This will involve checking out what competition is around, and also the type of demographic you’ll be serving. Once you’ve identified your target market, take the time to understand its needs and how this will impact your business.
2. Work out how you will best serve your target market.
Once you’ve identified who your fitness business is aimed at, it’s time to work out the best way to help them.
If for instance, you’re looking to help young athletes gain optimum fitness, you’ll need a flexible workout plan that intensifies as they improve, as well as lifestyle guidance and diet plans to make sure they get the maximum from your service.
If, on the other hand, if you’re looking to launch a business that promotes health, fitness, and wellbeing among disabled people, in order to provide the best service possible, you’ll have to invest in specialised apparatus like adaptive cycling equipment, such as handcycles, and therapy benches.
While you’re working on solutions for your target market, it’s a good time to think of a name for your business if you haven’t already done so. Try to make it something that’s memorable and explains what your business is about, also make sure you include it in your website’s URL and any associated social media accounts.
3. Think about how to get clients on board.
Once you’re ready for business, the tough task of getting clients in can begin and because health and fitness is very hands-on, people will feel like they’re bearing their souls to you. There’s a good chance people will want to see what you have to offer before they sign up.
With this in mind, it might be a good idea to offer taster sessions to all new clients, then maybe offer them a discount or some other incentive if they sign up on the day.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to tell their friends and colleagues if they like your service, word-of-mouth is still one of the best and most trusted marketing tools around.
4. Keep your clients coming back for more.
Once you’ve got your clients on board, you need to make sure they stay locked in – and that doesn’t mean leaning on them to sign up to a 12-month contract (although, from a purely business perspective, that would help).
So make sure the experience they have with you is enjoyable, educational and, above all else, effective – set realistic goals and don’t be afraid to try new techniques to help clients reach their targets.
With all this in place, you’ll have clients, and hopefully their friends and colleagues, coming back for more.
Do you have any tips for setting up a fitness business? Let us know in the comments below!