Wellness Partners

How to Write a Great Gym Business Plan

Apr 22, 2024
Last Updated May 10, 2024

It’s an exciting prospect to open your very own gym. However, it’s important to remember that you’re also starting a business. That requires a certain type of preparation and diligence because you’re competing with 31,000 other gyms in America.

To set up your operations, it’s important to start strong with a business plan. Most startups craft one to attract investors and stakeholders, and you can too. Ready to learn how to make your own? Discover why this document matters and specific steps to create a gym business plan.

What Is a Gym Business Plan? 

A business plan is your roadmap for how your company plans to succeed. This comprehensive document outlines the strategic and operational framework for establishing and running a fitness center. It serves as a roadmap for a fitness entrepreneur, detailing every aspect of the venture, from market analysis and marketing strategies to financial planning and management structures. 

This plan should answer three key questions for yourself and potential stakeholders: 

  • How does your gym work?
  • What does success look like?
  • What steps are you going to take to succeed?

Answering these can help an investor see what makes your company unique — and worth funding. 

Why Create a Business Plan? 

Writing a plan makes your business more likely to succeed. It helps you clarify your goals and identify weaknesses in your plans ahead so you can correct them ahead of time so you  hit the ground running.

A solid business plan can also help you attract investors. This can be a major help, considering the cost to start a fitness company can range between $10,000 to 50,000. A clear business plan is a useful document as it fully explains where money will go and how it will be generated in the future. 

Additional benefits from a formal business plan include: 

Create a mission statement and vision

This document has you craft your purpose in advance and the impact you hope to have. There’s a reason the most successful and long-standing businesses always have one — it keeps you focused and purpose-driven. This helps increase your member loyalty and growth. 

Build out goals

This plan requires you to set goals, both short-term and long-term. The biggest goal you’ll have is your mission. Your smaller goals help you map out how you will achieve that overall purpose — and are a great way to motivate your future team members. These goals might involve your business model or hiring strategies. 

You may also want to consider how your goals will shift and evolve as your company grows. For example, once you build your website, you might change your goals to attracting clients on social media. Consider updating your business plan with your new goals as you go to keep yourself on track as your business evolves. 

Stay competitive in the industry

Today, more people than ever are exercising at home. That creates a challenge to stay relevant in the fitness industry. However, a business plan can help combat that. It gives you a deep understanding of your competitors and what’s needed in this environment, like pricing plans and marketing strategies. These plans can serve as a reference point for evaluating options and making choices that align with your overall business strategy. 

Find funding

You can start a new business with a variety of different funding sources: bank loans, active investors, or even crowdfunding. One way to help any kind of financial backers to envision your company’s success is with a business plan. The plan demonstrates your deep understanding of the marketing and shows how you plan to be profitable. 

Overall, this plan gets your team focused on the goal and ready to take on challenges. 

Components of a Gym Business Plan 

Because business plans are so powerful, it’s important to know how to create one. These are the general pieces you’ll need to include in your plan: 

Executive Summary 

The first section of your plan should include answers to four key questions: 

  • Who? Who are you, and what do you offer? 
  • Why? Why are you starting this business? 
  • What? What do you hope to achieve? 
  • How? How are you going to achieve that? 

Try to keep this summary brief since you’ll go into more depth later. The goal here is to provide a concise overview of everything included in your plan. Sometimes it’s easier to write your executive summary once you have slated out the rest of your plan. That’s because you’ll have a full understanding of everything the document will explore. 

Overview of the Company

This segment is where you delve into the details of your organization. You introduced yourself earlier, but this is where you go deeper. One purpose of this portion is to explain your business model. Additionally, your overview should answer these questions: 

  • What’s the purpose of your business? 
  • What services will you offer? 
  • Who is your target market? 
  • What is your founding story? 
  • What is your legal structure?  

Competitor Analysis

With a lot of rival gyms out there, taking time to understand your competition can help you position yourself in the marketplace. You might start by examining where your target clients work out right now. That might be big chain gyms, virtual options, and even YouTube videos. Showcasing your knowledge of this information can help potential investors see how you differentiate from the marketplace..

In this section, consider these questions: 

  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What services do they offer? 
  • How do you stand out from your competition? 
  • What will draw your clients to your facility? 
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? 
  • What pricing do competitors charge? 
  • What pricing will you offer? 

Industry Analysis 

Earlier you outlined your direct competitors. Here you dive into environmental conditions. For example, virtual fitness is expected to grow to $79.87 billion by 2026. You could explain how you plan to be a part of that.

Something that can amplify this portion is specifics. For example, you may want to add stats and numbers to it to show that you’ve done your research and to show exactly what stakeholders stand to gain. This section might address:  

  • What is the industry like right now? 
  • Where is the industry heading in the next five years? 
  • How does your business fit into future industry demands? 

Customer Analysis

Your document will often also include a segment on who will come to your gym. Your audience should ideally be hyper-specific. That shows you have a specific client in mind, and you know them well. To illustrate who these people are, consider addressing:  

  • Demographics. That includes anything like age, gender, income, occupation, education, and location. 
  • Psychographics. This is where you dive into interests, opinions, beliefs, values, and needs. 

Financial Plan

About 82% of small businesses fail because of cash flow problems. Explaining how you plan to fund your company is a vital portion of this plan. Depending on the stage of your startup, you may or may not have hard numbers. If you don’t have those, try to create accurate estimates. That can be done with industry research. Essentially, you will want to answer these questions: 

  • How much will your gym make? 
  • How does your financial future look? 
  • How will you continue to keep revenue coming in? 
  • What is your cash flow plan? 

Management Staff 

After explaining the most important parts of your operations, you can introduce yourself and your team. This can be a good time to explain everyone’s qualifications. An ideal team would include experts in everything from fitness to finance. These are the concepts you’ll want to explain:

  • How do the specific team members help you achieve success? 
  • How will you structure your business to attract and retain talent
  • What benefits and compensation will you offer? 

Marketing Plan

The final piece of the puzzle is creating your advertising strategy. This can help you find and retain customers. You might detail everything from your email marketing plans  to your social media strategy The goal is to show that your marketing approach will improve sales strategies and engage with your community.  

Some important aspects of this plan include: 

  • How are you going to find new clients? 
  • How are you going to engage with current clients to help retention
  • How will you get the fund to kickstart your marketing strategy? 
  • Who will be handling these efforts? 

Kickstarting Your Business with Wellhub

Overall, a business plan is your map to success — how to turn your dreams into a reality. 

A critical part of building a thriving company is regular clients. One way to help build your customer base is to partner with Wellhub. Doing so can help boost the number of new patrons coming through your doors. In fact, 75% of first-time visitors with Wellhub become repeat customers. 

Learn more about how to get started with Wellhub today! 




Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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