When starting a health club business you can decide to buy into a franchise or start on your own. As with other industries in this down economy, the health club industry has seen slow growth lately, but there are projections for slightly better growth for the health club industry in the near future. A fast growing number of clubs are using social media to keep their members engaged in their clubs with alerts of special events and promotions. There is also work being done using software to track members’ health progress in order to offer new approaches to prevent illness and injury. Today it takes more than a love and knowledge of fitness equipment to succeed; when starting a health club business you will need to be creative and find ways to keep making the health club experience relevant for its members.
When starting a health club business you will need to first write up a detailed business plan. You will need to determine what the goals of your club will be for your members; i.e., primarily core strength training, preventive health programs, or primarily weight loss, etc. You will want to conduct market research to uncover if there will be enough demand for the services you are offering in your area. You will have to estimate costs out all the necessary equipment and supplies. You will have to find out about the licensing of the club and its instructors. When starting a health club business you will need to determine the square footage needed for the facility. It is often a good idea to train your employees in safe exercise techniques in order to lower injury rates in your club. When starting a health club business, to keep members coming back, you will need to employ creative social media solutions (such as using twitter and facebook). You will need to make sure you are well-covered by insurance.
Where will you work?
When choosing a location for starting a health club business, you first should figure out who is your target market. Conduct market research to help you uncover if indeed there is enough demand for this kind of service in your location. Also analyze the competition. Figure out if people go to health clubs either to or from work, and make sure your location is easily accessible.
Starting a health club is no inexpensive venture. Even with a small club, there is still the cost of the space rental and the purchasing of the equipment. In addition to the equipment, there is the hiring and training of qualified staff. People also expect the clubs to have a nice atmosphere. When starting a health club business you should have all the necessary insurance, licenses, and permits. You should also have a safety audit done on your club before you open. Your insurance company and fire department can help you with this. Before spending a dime you should estimate all costs associated with starting your health club business, both fixed and variable costs. Determine how much you will charge the members, and your break even point. You need to determine if your profit expectations are attainable in your location.
Starting a health club business tips
Seek Assistance Starting a new venture on your own can make you feel like a fish out of water. Seek advice and help from experts in the field. You can find business experts at little to no cost at a small business development center near you. You can also consult with experts at a SCOREs Chapter near you.
Take good care of your customers – your clients are not going to your club for just the equipment. You need to provide a good balance between professionalism and friendliness. You can consider offering the option of health monitoring to keep your members motivated.
Be a part of the community – participate in community events. Look for opportunities to educate potential members. Keep your brand out in front of the community.
Pay attention to your R.O.I. – understanding return on investment is very important. You will need to work closely with an accountant to understand what it will take to get your return on various investments. The R.O.I will then need to be tracked to see if cost controls need to be employed, and how much more income needs to be generated to meet R.O.I. goals.
Advertising a Health Club Business
When advertising your health club business you can try out a variety of the following techniques to advertise your business. Be sure to keep track of their performance. Keep the methods of advertising that are working out the best for your business and dump the ones that are not :
- Health Club Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears.
- Word of Mouth– Word of Mouth can be a very effective way to spread the word about your health club business. Encourage word of mouth. Offer members discounts when they refer other members. Offer gift cards.
- Signage– Make sure people can tell what your business is from the outside. This way you can make the most of passby traffic.
- Website– You can decide to have a website to provide customers with general information about your health club business such as location and prices.
- Social Media– Take advantage of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.