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How to Finance Your Fitness Business

Once he had his fall from grace, the former high street jeweller, Gerald Ratner, decided to open a health club and gym.

He didn’t have any money or premises, but he decided to sell memberships to customers and used that money to create the club.

A few years later he sold it for more than £3m – which goes to show that you can, in theory, open a gym with no money. Of course, that’s the exception and not the rule.

At that time, there was little competition in the industry. Now, there are gyms popping up on every street corner.

If this what you’re planning to do, the hard truth is you are going to need a substantial amount of cash to finance your fitness dream.

A conservative estimate is that it will cost a minimum of £80,000 to start a gym –which could rise to as much as £1m.

There is a lot of money to be made, however, evident by the UK Fitness Industry Report which revealed that health clubs and gyms are a £4.7b industry.

Luckily, if you don’t have a huge pile of cash to hand, there are other ways to finance your gym.

If you do have all the necessary fitness qualifications and know-how, why not approach a bank or financial institution for the money to get you started? Be warned, however, that they’ll expect to see a strong and robust business plan.

Don’t forget you’ll need to factor in operating costs as well as set-up costs, along with the day-to-day running expenses and all the health and safety precautions you’ll be legally required to put in place.

There are ways to lower some of the initial set-up costs of your gym. For example, think about buying reconditioned gym equipment, which is about half the cost of buying it new.

Franchise opportunities are also worth considering because they bring with them the added benefit of an established brand and the support that you might need if you’re a novice.

How do I fund becoming a personal trainer?

If you decide you want to go down the personal trainer route, that’s much less of a financial commitment than the operating expenses and outlay connected with a gym.

Many personal trainers do deals with local gyms so that they can take their clients there to train. Alternatively, personal trainers may approach gyms offering their services.

Others simply advertise their offering – and again, this is where leaflets and flyers can be vital – and then organise with their client where they are going to train. It could be at a local park or on a beach or even in the customer’s own home – after, all who needs expensive weights when you have benches, steps, and climbing frames?

In this digital age, running sessions on a platform such as Zoom means that people can exercise in the comfort of their living room, and there’s the added benefit of being able to have a group of people exercising at the same time.

So, there you have it, some of the needs to know regarding the financials of starting a fitness business!


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