Last Updated:

How to Start a Gym Business in the U.S

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike American SMEs

The U.S has many people working in the offices and most of them prefer to exercise in gymnasiums. Most of these people sign up for gym classes to keep fit. This makes the gym business a lucrative venture in the U.S. To start a gym, you need to get gym certification and licenses to operate a legal business. This is a guide on how you can start a gym business in the United States.

Carry out a Feasibility Study

Before starting any business, you need to have an idea about its market, risks and opportunities. Carrying out a business feasibility study will help you to understand the business before launching one. When doing a feasibility study, visit your preferred business location and look at the market segmentation and competition. In most areas, there is an influx of new members in January. It is therefore not practical to start a gym in the middle of the year.

Read also: How to start a barbershop in the U.S. 

Write a Gym Business Plan

A business plan is a blueprint for any business. If you have carried out a feasibility study, then it makes it easy to write a business plan. From your feasibility study, you can decide on a good business location, startup costs, risks of the business, opportunities, how to overcome business risks, market segmentation and how to market your business.

Make sure to list the equipment you need and services you will be offering in your gym. Then decide on the type of gym you want to start. There are different types of gyms like fitness, medical fitness and wellness gym, or a traditional gym.

Get Gym Certifications, Business Licenses and Insurances 

You need to get fitness professional certification to operate a gym business. You can get the certification from the American Council on Fitness or Racquet and Sportsclub Association. This will ensure that your customers have faith in your gym. You also need to get a business license for your business. You need to check with your local authorities what types of business licenses to purchase.

The other thing is to get business licenses to cover your business against losses and liabilities. Among the things you can insure your business against include fires and bodily injuries to customers.

Read more: How to register a business in the U.S.

Equipment you Need to Start a Gym Business in the U.S

The type of gym you are operating will dictate the equipment to buy. To start a fitness gym business, you need to purchase the following equipment.

  • Training bench
  • Dumbbell set
  • Barbell set
  • Kettlebell set
  • Treadmill
  • Stationary bicycle
  • Rowing machine
  • Fitness ball

Services to Offer in Your Gym Business

Among the primary services that are sought by most fitness gym goers that you need to offer include:

  • Yoga
  • Aerobics
  • Cross fit
  • Kickboxing
  • Circuit training
  • Military fitness
  • Pilates
  • Dance classes

These services can help you generate supplementary revenue. However, significant revenues for a gym business are from membership fees that are charged monthly. You can get additional revenue by offering personal training, massage services and chiropractic services.

Cost of Starting a Gym Business in the U.S

The cost of starting a gym in the U.S depends on business size and business location. To start an average gym in the U.S, you need a startup cost of between $200,000 and $400,000. This involves the cost of acquiring gym equipment, rent, business licenses and operational costs. The most significant cost is that of acquiring the equipment, which is not less than $200,000. 

Most of the gym goers like to visit a gym with new equipment since it considered safe for exercise. As such, purchase new equipment.

Read also: How to start a clothing store in the U.S.

How to Set Prices for Your Gym Business

Gyms charge different prices for different services. Most gyms charge a $35 monthly membership fee. If customers pay one-year fees upfront, you can give them a discount on monthly membership fees. Other charges that generate revenues for gyms include sign-on fees that is roughly $200. The charges for supplementary services depend on their demand.

Is a Gym Business Profitable in the U.S?

Yes. Gym revenues depend on business location, services offered and the number of customers. An average gym that has just started generates revenues of $1,500, which is enough to cater to the operational costs like rent and maintenance of equipment. With a large flow of customers, a gym business can make over $5,000 every month.

Gyms generate extra revenues by offering supplementary services like personal training and massages.