Opening a Gym: How to Make a Gym Profitable

By Neesha Kanaga

Published 21 January 2021

Welcome to our guide on how to open a gym center! If fitness is your passion that you want to share with the world, and starting a new gym is your goal, then you need to uncover how to make money from a gym.

This second part of our guide to opening a gym aims to show you how to increase profits in a gym.

At this point in the process, you should be well-versed in the following:

  • Being qualified and having all the required licenses and insurances
  • Your business plan for what it takes to open a gym
  • Your pricing strategy and costs to open your own gym
  • The ideal location for your business
  • All necessary equipment
  • The types of gym management software you need

If you haven’t been caught up yet, make sure to check part one of our guide on how to open a gym.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s start talking money, members, and more!

How to Increase Gym Revenue

So you’ve ironed out the kinks of opening a gym, now it’s time to define your unique propositions and clarify your monetizable range of offerings.

Traditionally, the primary income source for a fitness business has always been memberships, but pandemic-related closures mean you’ll need to think outside the box.

You’ll need to diversify and explore revenue sources for your gym via your online offerings. Remember, free is not a business model!

With that in mind, here’s step one in casting a wide net to maximize your revenue potential.

Up A Sales Funnel for Your Gym

First of all, what is a sales funnel? To imagine what a sales funnel is, just think of a real funnel – yes, one of those things you have in your kitchen. At the wider top of that funnel, something is poured in (all your prospective members) which tapers down towards one finite destination (paying members).

During the funneling process, you might lose leads, and not everything you pour into the top of the funnel is filtered out at the end. At the same time, not all leads that you lose will stay lost. This is called retargeting.

Setting up a sales funnel is integral in streamlining your lead generation process and giving your clients valuable information if you’re a right fit for them. Click here to learn more about why a gym sales funnel is exactly what you need.

A good sales funnel should encompass the following:

      • A marketing tool to run ads online
      • A website that sends data back to Facebook or Google (which requires at least a developer and hosting service)
      • An active business account on a review site
      • Scheduling software for automating marketing efforts

Use Gym Software With A Built-In Sales Funnel

These days, if you want to set up a gym, you’re going to need more than just workout expertise. You – and your team – need to be a salesperson, marketer, writer, social media whiz, and techy all in one. Kudos to you if you have one of each in your team.

But still, each new stage in a funnel can be expected to lose between 10%-30% of potential client conversions. To make things easier, let gym management software do the work for you. Virtuagym gym management software breaks down the fitness sales funnel into just two components: the ad software and the all-in-one Virtuagym software.

This makes it easier for new gym owners to get started and streamline various aspects of starting a gym.

Define Your Monetizable Offerings

The pandemic forced the industry to move into the virtual world overnight, with many tech-savvy health and fitness providers taking to the internet like fish to water. However, if you’re just starting out, there may not be much of a blueprint to follow in setting up an online gym offering.

From software to streaming services and virtual workout content – you might be wondering how to increase gym revenue?

Your monetizable offerings may include online and offline personal training services, small group classes, virtual livestream classes, merchandise, workout equipment rental to follow virtual classes, outdoor boot camps, and more – the sky’s the limit here!

Defining your monetizable offering will help you hone in on how you can best offer value to your clients while making money. This could be personalizing your offerings if you’re opening a chic fitness studio or casting a wider net if you’re opening a budget-friendly gym. However, if you do it right at the start, you’ll have enough time and funds to set aside to scale your online fitness offerings and start gaining revenue out of it.

Take Your Business Online

Define whether or not your business will merely exist in the realm of brick-and-mortar, or if you’ll include online fitness options during lockdowns. There’s little risk in offering both options, as recent research has shown that the future of gyms is hybrid.

Just bear in mind what we said earlier: free is not a business model! Charging a lesser amount for online options is better than nothing. And, communicating that you appreciate the support to your member base can be done easily via gym apps with a built-in community feature.

If you are wondering ‘How do I start an online fitness class?’, then pre-recording or livestreaming your fitness classes can be the first step towards setting up your online revenue stream.

You can find more information on how to set up your livestream fitness classes here.

Promote Your Digital Offerings

Once you’ve defined your business offerings – and if you’re determined to explore digital revenue streams, it’s time to promote your offerings.

The steps to opening any gym involve promotion, and this time around, it will be online. However, the online marketing sphere has gotten more competitive as more and more businesses have shifted online.

It’s time to take a look at that sales funnel again – specifically, the bottom part. It’s worth reaching out to them and finding out about their situation.

If your member base is slightly older, they may not be so open to the likes of livestreamed Instagram classed. But, they might be used to using Zoom or Google Meets thanks to workplaces going remote.

If you’re opening a gym that’s quite small and bespoke, you could send personalized messages via Whatsapp. If you have your own branded app, you can also use a community feature to encourage people participating in your workouts to share their thoughts and progress.

Make sure to exemplify your uniqueness, be that your low costs, the amazing range of equipment and digital offerings, location, hybrid membership options. Every promotion effort should reflect why you provide a great fitness experience!

To learn more about promoting your digital offerings, check read our blog on the seven ways to promote livestream classes and workout videos online.

How to open a gym and drive revenue

Neesha Kanaga

Neesha is a copywriter and wanderer who currently finds herself bound to the weather-challenged Netherlands due to the unforeseen circumstances of 2020.


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