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Business plan template: 12 steps to success

Developing your gym business plan should be an organized but dynamic methodology. Consider where you are now and where you want to go. This mindset will help you get into the zone when writing your gym business plan.

The more information you provide, the better your business plan will be. You will be required to explore and dissect your business idea, future finances, competitors, and the fitness industry to bring your project to life. Following these steps will set you on the path to building an excellent gym business plan template.

1: The Executive Summary

The executive summary of your Gym’s business plan should highlight:

  • What are your goals, and what are you trying to achieve with your future Gym?
  • What is your mission, and why does this fuel your ambition?
  • How – what will make you a success story? Do you have something that will make your property stand out?
  • The big picture – your vision for years to come. Where do you see your Gym in 5 or 10 years?

It has to grab attention, and it has to be concise but still engaging. You will elaborate and expand the contents of the executive summary into the rest of the business plan. In this section, don’t allow yourself the luxury of going into too much detail. Your executive summary should be an exciting launch without going overboard with facts and figures. It is often easier to put the executive summary together once the rest of the gym business plan has been created.

2: Company overview

In the executive summary, you have briefly outlined your vision and mission. However, since gyms’ business models can be different, now is a good time to explain how you will run your business in more detail.

The business overview acts as a more detailed description of your fitness business.

It goes beyond describing who you are and explores the type of clientele you plan to serve and how your business stands out from the competition. 

Your business overview can include:

  • Expand the scope of your business – profile of the ideal member?
  • Business model and structure – who are the shareholders, and who will profit from them?
  • Products and services you offer – where will the funding for the new attractions come from?
  • Targeted market research – think of ways to increase market share, for example, pro-bono sessions.
  • Legal structure – so potential investors know what kind of business they are running.

 3: History and background

Painting a background picture of the company’s history and your personal history is useful for investors and partners to understand your journey and plans.

What have you done previously? For example, have you previously worked in a gym, or are you a personal trainer? What is your current status? The more investors know, the more they will trust you.

4: Management

What is the current position on your employee ladder? What exactly or who will they be responsible for, and what incentives can you offer?

Prepare a summary highlighting how their skills and management experience complements your gym operations. It may be helpful to read this section as if you were a stranger who wants to invest in the business. Does the management structure make sense to you? Maybe ask a friend who already runs a successful business. Then, explore how you can build on existing management structures to strengthen your chain of command.

This section should not be limited to your fitness experts but also marketing and sales managers, customer service, and maintenance personnel. It is important to explain how you will treat high-quality talent and how your corporate culture will affect your hiring processes.

Do you want to reduce your operating costs right from the start? By implementing the right gym management software, your Gym can automate many interpersonal interactions with customers. By allowing members to sign up online, check in via QR code and manage their membership through the customer portal, you will reduce the overall number of staff needed to address basic back office activities. 

5: Industry and Competition Analysis

Industry or market analysis is where you investigate the local and global fitness space and see what your competitors offer. Take a moment to think about what makes your gym model special, current trends in the fitness market, and how your business aligns with current demand. As we emerge after the pandemic, the fitness industry is still struggling with capacity limitations, so running outdoor fitness classes or a hybrid business model could be something to consider as a business strategy.

6: Analysis of the target market and customers

Within the fitness industry, there are various trends and audiences. Even within the same company, you can have multiple personas of target audiences. Your first goal is to analyze your market research to understand better who your target market will be.

It can consist of students, schools, working professionals, or any specific group of people, such as cyclists. Then ask yourself why this specific demographic should join a gym – that is, for cardio.

Once you have an idea of ​​your market, ask important questions like: How will you earn their loyalty? What makes your gym special? What is the best subscription package for them? Do they need special equipment?

If your target market may be students, you will need to think about flexible memberships and gym management software that can mass freeze enrollments during the summer holidays. On the other hand, if you are looking to serve the elderly population, offering physiotherapy or chiropractic as an additional service may not be a bad idea.

7: Marketing strategy

The marketing section of your gym business plan explains how you will promote your services to your target audience. In addition to your strategy, establish expected start-up costs, and consider who will manage the marketing efforts of the business. Your marketing strategy can include:

  • Social media marketing
  • Advertising
  • Referral programs
  • Sponsorship
  • Loyalty plans
  • Promotions on the website;
  • Email marketing
  • New equipment
  • Partnerships

 8: Services and amenities

Including a description of your products and services will paint a picture of the type of Gym you want to run. Here are some examples of products you could buy:

  • Gym equipment (treadmills, rowing machines, etc.),
  • Specialized equipment (having the best equipment available to attract members such as body-builders, etc.)
  • Food or beverages (energy drinks, health foods, etc.),

9: Financial forecasts and projections

Where will your capital be spent? It pays to create a tax menu for your Gym. Leave no stone unturned and evaluate each purchase. Areas to focus on to get started include:

  • Legal fees
  • Hiring costs
  • Construction or renovation work
  • Gym equipment and their maintenance
  • Operating expenses for the first three months
  • Accounting software

Your sales forecast is the backbone of your gym business plan. People measure a business, and its growth based on sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for expenses, profits, and development. Implementing a CRM system that can accurately predict your sales forecasts will be a time saver! Perfect Gym’s management system uses business intelligence and analytics to help predict sales forecasts. It allows the business owner to run more than 100 reports that can be used to analyze your company’s revenue. What’s more,

Now is the time to get down to business. First, grab your calculator and calculate the approximate costs to launch your Gym successfully. These calculations will tell you what you can achieve with your budget and what you may need funding for. Next, outline your sales forecasts for the first three operating years and estimate expected sales for members based on your market research.

10: Financial strategy

This section explains how you will use your rates to increase signups. For example, you may have identified that other gyms in your region have higher average prices. This scenario could be a golden opportunity to add value to your business by being financially sensitive.

Think about a reward program for loyal customers, discounts for group memberships, and how you will run trial passes. Writing your pricing strategy will make you and potential investors feel more confident about your Gym’s future.

11: Payment Options

The method by which a client pays for their gym membership or other expenses is important. You will need a gym management system integrated with payment providers for a frictionless experience. A fitness center requires a unified solution that collects payments in various ways. Providing members with the flexibility to choose the best way for them is an attractive selling point.

Any successful company, whether in the fitness industry or not, must adapt to the consumer to survive. Your prospective members will want flexibility when it comes to payments, and if you can provide it, you’ll be sure to attract a larger group of customers.

12: Funding

This section of your gym business plan determines potential sources of income. Explain were any additional seed capital will come from. Please take it as an opportunity to evaluate your business budget candidly. Is it possible for you to get the funding you need to achieve your goals? Or does your plan need to be revised?

Some essential external resources you might consider to help finance:

  • Personal savings
  • Soft loans (family, friends, gifts)
  • Bank loans
  • Crowdfunding
  • Partner
  • Sponsorship from other businesses

You will need to establish a timeline for when you will be able to pay off investors. And if you’ve made any loan requests, attach them for any potential investor to consider.

summing up

Starting a fitness business is challenging, and nothing is easy. A good business plan for a gym gives you a point of reference to help you navigate your business. A great business plan covers all aspects of your Gym, so you have every opportunity for success. While unexpected problems may arise, a business plan helps you identify potential issues. Remember, the best business plans are dynamic and guide future success through changing times.

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