Everyone likes looking good. Everyone likes being healthy. It stands to reason then, that a company that helps to do both these things has great potential provided it is well run.
If you’ve ever considered starting a fitness business, there are plenty of things to consider before you start taking pictures of your shiny new gym equipment. We’re saturated with information on how important it is to keep healthy. Don’t expect to put an ad in the paper and receive hundreds of emails from people looking to join up. You need to make people see why your business in particular has the edge over others. We hope to help you with that over the course of this article.
Do the research As with any business, you need to know exactly what your company offers, how it compares with the competition and what the industry is like at the minute. This means that you need to know a lot of the science behind exercise. The best way to improve cardio, build muscle, lose fat, improve B.M.I are all just a small percentage of what you need to know. There’s also dietary information, how long you should rest after exercise and what the best equipment is for what fitness goal. All of this is critical in attracting customers for your business, but it will also be of enormous benefit when trying to generate funding from outside investors. It is worthwhile having a look at some of the big names in the fitness industry and seeing how they developed. Tony Horton and Shaun T are a good place to start.Also if you need a space to incubate 'that idea', check out the Startacus virtual workspace to help put your idea together!
Make a plan Decide immediately whether you want to work as a personal fitness coach, meaning you will usually go out to clients, or if you want to open a gym. Tailor your decision to what you want your business to be, and bear in mind how you want it to progress. There is a temptation to put your head down once you start and just work as hard as possible at giving customers the best service. Admirable, but it is unfortunately unsustainable in the long run. Set deadlines for reaching certain customer numbers, and remember that expansion should be your goal. When this happens, a gym will likely be the preferred choice given that you won’t have time to travel the length and breadth of the country. Finally, know your prices. Decide on what services you will be able to offer initially and consider various packages that can be tailored towards different individual’s goals.
Promote yourself Social media presents a unique opportunity in the fitness industry as – if you’re doing it right – you can actually show people what they stand to gain from using your services. Images from inside the gym of personal bests, competitions and motivational testimonies can have a remarkable impact in stimulating people’s interest. Tweet, FB, Google+ your business as much as possible without spamming, and encourage your customers to do the same. This has multiple benefits; encouraging users to constantly push for their best, whilst improving the image of the company. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box though. Newspapers, postering and organised charity runs can all also set you aside from the competition.
Start small Don’t expect your business to dominate the market from the off. Define your image and use the limited size to your advantage. If you can’t afford weights bars, improvise. Log lifting, tree cutting and press-ups will all do the same thing. Many people even prefer this old-style ‘Rocky’ approach. Just make sure to remember that your goal is to grow the business.
We hope this helps on your path to creating a fitness brand that will not just benefit yourself, but everyone that joins you as well.
Check out the Startacus toolkit for a growing directory of all the business bits and bobs, links and articles you may need - whatever business you are looking to start.
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