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How to Start a Fitness Business: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

We should all register at a fitness club. At least that way, we’re sure to stay healthier and live longer. Our only limitation is, there are not enough fitness clubs to take all of us. Consequently, our worry should be how to start a fitness business, so we do not have to worry about where to stay fit.

Globally, the United States is the biggest market with the highest number of members in health & fitness clubs and revenue. Yet, the available ones cannot take all of Us. According to Statista; the global fitness and health club industry generates more than 100 billion U.S. dollars in revenue per year.

Figuring out the intricacies of starting and managing a business could be all the discouragement you’ll need to really do nothing about a prospective business idea. It’s however never as herculean as we often see it if someone just showed us, “how.”

Right now, here, allow me to be the messiah-ed ‘someone’. Permit me to show you how to start, manage and profit from your own fitness business while meeting the fitness need of millions of people.

Subsequently, do not forget that this promised juiciness can only be gleaned from a meticulous read of this post. So? Get started already.

Owning your own business is the new normal in wealth creation. It is actually one of the better sources for multiple streams of income that you’ve prolly heard about several times over.

The thing is, owning a business is one thing, but managing and making a success outta it is an entirely different thing. However, knowing how to start, manage and run your own business makes the process a walkover.

How Profitable is the Fitness Industry?

As mentioned by Jeff, the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) a $30 billion health and fitness industry in the U.S. has been growing by at least 3 – 4% annually for the last ten years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Also, Jeff states that currently, about 20% of American adults have a fitness club membership. Globally there are over 180,000 fitness clubs, estimated to have earned $84 billion from their 145 million members.

Commendably, these statistics amongst a plethora of others indicate that the fitness industry is a profitable business idea to take into consideration. This is easily fathomable; exercising as a form of keeping fit is gaining more acceptance and popularity.

Accordingly, this has seen more persons opt for the safer way to stay healthy and more people will join the train in the nearest future. Soon enough, exercising may be the only way to stay healthier. This should be great news for you.

So, you should really consider starting your fitness business already! It’s obvious the business idea is a bloom-bloom.

Can I start my own fitness business from home?

Of course, you can! All you need is to follow these straightforward steps to start your own fitness business from your home.

  • Draw a Business Plan
  • Identify your Target Market
  • Legalization of your business idea
  • Start a fitness blog; Engage social media.
  • Start a Fitness Blog
  • Strategize with videos
  • Start Already

How much does it cost to start a fitness business?

Starting a fitness business can cost you from as low as starting from home, to as high as $50,000 for a budget facility to upwards of $1,000,000 for a colossal mega-gym with all the amenities.

A modest studio gym could cost $65,000, while a mid-size gym could cost $115,000. Also, a simple cycling studio can go for $50,000.00 etc.

I believe the point you should note is that the cost of starting a fitness business varies across the globe; grossly affected by location, cost of production, and a plethora of other etceteras.

Consequently, the table below gives you an idea of varying costs that running a fitness centre may require;

One-time costs  Recurring and ongoing costs  
Physical location –You can easily spend up to $800,000 if you want to own the space outright.   However, remember to do thorough comparative research on commercial spaces in your desired area.  Insurance – the $12,000 premiums to start will have to be kept up to date and paid annually, so be sure to factor them into your ongoing budget costs.
Gym equipment – somewhere between $10,000 for a personal studio to $50,000 for a fully-equipped commercial gym.   Be sure to shop around—and keep in mind you can often get a discount if you purchase the equipment in sets as a complete package.  Permits – compliance permits often have renewal fees. Be sure to check with your locality for specifics.  
Certifications – having a professional, certified staff is a big plus.    Accreditations for personal trainers can range from $500 to $800 per certification.Equipment lease payments –Average cost ranges from $3,934 to $8,067, but that will vary depending on what kind and how many pieces of equipment you’re leasing.
Licenses and permits –  look into a business license and any required health and safety compliance permits. Costs will vary across the board, but keep in mind that proper licenses and permits are necessary.Utilities – a gym uses a lot of electricity, especially if it’s open 24 hours a day. Larger-scale operations pay an average of $63,465 to $68,413 annually.  
Legal and processing fees – You may pay around $200 per hour for professional help negotiating your lease, closing the property sale, or just muddling through the necessary licenses and permits for your gym.   A working estimation of $9,000 should do.Equipment repairs and maintenance –This could cost you $25,040 annually.
Insurance – Expect to have around $12,000 in premiums to start, though rates will vary based on different factors (such as franchise situations).Cleaning supplies –Expect an average of $150 monthly for smaller operations. Larger gyms may spend from $12,609 to $29,980 annually.
Computer network and POS system – you’ll need $550 to $2,300 annually and typically twice that amount to get started to set up with an Internet network and a point-of-sale system to accept modern forms of payment, as well as proper gym management software to ensure things go smoothly.HVAC maintenance – Average cost is $500 annually for routine maintenance.
Signage – Proper gym signage can be provided for as low as $20, though you could easily spend much more.Phone and Internet service – your customers will appreciate free Wi-Fi. Expect to spend $75 per month, or $900 per year here.
Miscellaneous gym supplies – Expect about $500 to get set up.Payroll taxes or self-employment taxes –Keep in mind they often need to be paid quarterly. If applicable, self-employment taxes will amount to around 7.6% of individual income.
Advertising – you’ll want to announce your arrival to attract potential customers. You could spend $5,000Credit card processing fees – standard industry rates for swipe transactions shouldn’t exceed 3.25% on the high end, so shop around for your service provider. You’ll also have to consider mandatory PCI compliance fees, which typically start at $5 per month.
Responsive website – every modern business needs a web presence. Expect to pay $300 to $700 for the initial build.Legal and professional fees – keep in mind that professional services, such as accounting or legal, typically run about $200 per hour.
Operating cash – you’ll want some working capital and cash reserves for normal business operations. We suggest having at least $1,000 on handMiscellaneous expenses –  It’s always a smart idea to budget in some funds for miscellaneous expenses. We suggest at least $1,000 per month.
How to Start a Fitness Business

How to Start a Fitness Business in 2023; Step to Step guide

It’s important to know that various fitness business options are available for intending fitness business entrepreneurs. Thus, you can decide to venture into any of the following;

  • Start a Zumba Class
  • Become a Physical Therapist
  • Become a Personal Trainer
  • Start a Spin Class
  • Consider opening a Running or Walking Club
  • Begin a Powerlifting Gym
  • Start a Wellness Blog
  • Open a Yoga Studio
  • Become a Nutritionist
  • Start a Dance Studio

Also, don’t forget you can opt for another if one option becomes seemingly frustrating. What’s most important is that you are enjoying what you’re doing and raking in profit.

This established, let’s look at various established steps you can employ to start your own fitness business;

1. Draw a Business Plan

As succinctly explained by SimplyBook.“A detailed business plan bridges your personal passion and lucrative career.”

The document lets you draw a basic blueprint for the business idea, narrow down on the plan and stay focused on it.

Your business plan must consider the following: executive summary, company description, financial plan, and market analysis.  Make sure you know what they entail and, please, stay on course.

2. Identify your Target Market

Advisably, don’t get carried away by the fitness industry boom. It is true that a plethora of people are focused on keeping fit in gyms. However, not everyone can come to you. So? who are you targeting?

Young persons? Children? Students? Elderly people? Pregnant women? Plus-sized adults? Obsessed children? Who exactly? When you can narrow down on the ‘who’, your target audience will have been identified and that’s a huge step to perfection.

3. Legalization of your business idea

Get an official business name and register same, this is indispensable. Every jurisdiction has a legal requirement for proposed businesses.

Don’t ignore them; even if you intend to start your business at home, it’s important to fulfil the law’s demand so you can have a hassle-free daily run of your proposed business.

4. Create a strong online presence via social media.

Whether you intend to run a free fitness club at home or open a state-of-art gym center, social media will enable you to reach your audience faster and cheaper.

It will create a presence that you may not get in the next one year of your fitness business.

If you’re going to offer online personal trainer programs, how will you market your services and deliver the workouts? Will you sell static programs or offer to coach through an online service? Another option is to provide live coaching via apps like FaceTime, Zoom, or Facebook Live.

Kira Stokes, an NASM Certified Personal Trainer in New York City, teaches live classes and works with clients in person. She also has evolved to offer a successful app based on her ‘Stoked Method’ that reaches thousands of people a month and trains clients online through video conferencing.

The point is that technology has now made it possible for personal trainers to provide fitness solutions to clients anywhere worldwide as long as they have a high-speed internet connection and space to exercise in. Like any other business, online coaching has tremendous opportunities, but it will take time to be successful.

So? My point is, social media is available and free; use it!

5. Start a Fitness Blog

Meanwhile, consider running a fitness blog; people can easily try that in their free time, and where it works, they will readily sign unto your business as clients.

Blogging makes you an authority eventually. When people have access to your ideas online, convincing them to join you offline will be a walk-in-the-park

Here are free sample tools to help you build your online presence.

6. Strategize with videos

Videos are contemporary in thing for putting yourself out there. Take videos of you doing several workout stunts and post them on all social media handles.

The trick is to be consistent and deliberate. Then remember to cash into the strength of social media influencers.

Well, if you stay consistent and focused on what you do, sooner or later, you’ll be among the influencers.


When scoping out your facility here are 4 really helpful questions to consider asking before you make any decisions. Only after you have weighed the potential answers to these questions should pick a facility.

  1. If you decide to work as a contractor, where you pay rent for space in a facility, what type of support, if any, will the facility offer? 
  2. Will you have the opportunity to meet with new members of the facility? 
  3. Will you be able to solicit existing members, or will you be required to do your marketing to bring clients in? 
  4. How is the facility managed? It may be a popular place to work out. Still, if it’s not professionally managed, you may want to consider whether it’s worth your time to establish a formal business relationship.


From medicine balls to rubber resistance to kettlebells to adjustable dumbbells, there are several options. Your budget and ability to transport them to the locations where you will see clients will help determine the best equipment to suit your needs.

If you are going to offer workouts at a park, make sure you check with the local park department to see if any permits are required.

For example, in San Diego, it is okay to train one or two people at a time in a city-managed park. Still, groups over the size of four require a permit issued by the park authority (which requires proper liability insurance).

Graham King, the owner of Urban Fitness in Washington, DC, started his business by offering workouts in a park and has grown to have three locations. As Mr. King demonstrates, park workouts can be an excellent option for starting a fitness empire, but you want to be sure you do it correctly.


Once you identify a target demographic, how will you communicate with that demographic so they can understand the benefit of your fitness services? Marketing is branding, and branding is marketing; creating a brand identity can help you to communicate with potential clients.

When you think of tissues or adhesive bandages, brand names like Kleenex or Band-Aid tend to pop in your head right away. This is called ‘top-of-mind’ brand recognition and is the power of developing a recognizable brand identity.

Ms. Stokes used the convenience of her last name to establish her ‘Stoked Method,’ an instantly recognizable brand that has developed a strong following for her workout programs and coaching services.


Whether you offer live or online services, how will your clients pay you for your time or the programs you sell? Just like technology has made it possible to reach clients anywhere globally, it will be necessary to research payment methods.

You can start an account with PayPal, Venmo, Square, or any other service to ensure you are adequately compensated for your time and efforts.

A lot goes into starting a fitness business. There is no guarantee of success, but if you have the hustle, put in the work, and apply these nine steps, you will be well on your way to a long, rewarding, and potentially lucrative career as a fitness professional.

11. Conclusion: Start Already

See that balcony in front of your house or your packing space? You can convert it to your fitness-training space.

You can start with yoga classes and Zumba acrobatics. The passion and consistency with which you keep at this idea will produce results for your first few clients, who’ll bring the rest of your clients.

Only remember 2 things; Start already and don’t get discouraged when results don’t come immediately.

Slow-but-steady can bring you all the multi-billion-dollar clients your business will have.

Author’s Recommendation


I’m Queen Ojukwu, a professional SEO content writer at Silicon Africa Technologies. I'm also an on-page SEO technical expert with over 4 years of experience.

I'm a fan of technology, reading, and writing, and also interested in web development. You can hit me up for business by clicking any of my social media handles.

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