Looking for How to Start a Gym Business? We’ve Got You!

by | Dec 17, 2023 | Fitness | 0 comments

For many, owning a gym is the ultimate dream. Positive aspects include joining people on life-changing health and wellness journeys, building an energetic motivational team, being your own boss, and more. But there’s the question of how to start a gym business. Where do you begin, especially if you’ve never owned a business?

We can help! Let’s look at how to open a gym business and answer questions such as how much does it cost to start a gym business? What do I need to open a gym business? And more.

How to Start a Gym Business 101: Questions to Ask

Let’s start with a list of questions to narrow down what type of gym you want to open.

Do You Have a Fitness Specialty?

The fitness industry is a large umbrella covering many disciplines. If you have a passion for a particular type of fitness—weight training, yoga, boxing, spinning, CrossFit, etc—then consider opening a gym that puts your passion front and center.

Many people want diverse workouts, so dialing in too far could limit your membership audience. However, offering specialist expertise in these disciplines can attract people who may not otherwise sign up if your gym is generic.

What’s Your Experience and/or Education Level?

Owning a business doesn’t require a college degree, but you should understand how capable you are of operating the administrative functions of a business. If you don’t know how to own a gym business, you can get help with it by hiring an office manager, partnering with someone who has operated a business before, or considering a franchise.

Will you understand the accounting systems, tax reporting, payroll, and other paperwork necessary? There are also considerations such as certifications and licensing for the instructors you may hire, permits required to operate your business, tracking equipment and inventory, business insurance, and more.

Having help could mean the difference between running smoothly and quickly becoming overwhelmed.

What Type of Gym Will Your Area Support? Exploring How to Start a Gym Business Successfully

If your hometown has three tennis clubs, six yoga studios, two boot camp-style fitness centers, and one old weight training gym with out-of-date equipment, then you know where the hole in your market lies.

Bonus if weight lifting and resistance training are your bread and butter. You’ve got an in for how to start a gym business right there.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Gym Business?

This question is, of course, one of the most common and most critical for any new business owner. How much capital do you need to get started?

Consider everything required to open:

  • A lease or mortgage on a location to open.
  • Licensing and permits to operate.
  • Furniture and decor, such as mirrors and proper flooring.
  • Equipment, including desks and computers for admin tasks alongside workout inventory.
  • Signage, promotional materials, and marketing tools, including digital media like a website and hosting services.
  • The hiring of qualified staff members and the ongoing labor expenses.
  • Overhead expenses, including utilities, security, etc.

These are all expenses considered in the how-to-start-a-gym-business journey, either as part of the start-up process or as ongoing business operations.

While revenues ramp up in the beginning through the initial membership drive, having adequate capital at the start will be a key component of building a thriving gym business for the long term.

How to Start a Gym Business With an Advantage

Does this sound complicated? It can be. There is an alternative for how to start a gym business that doesn’t involve going it alone—opening a franchise.

There are advantages to signing a franchising agreement and opening a franchise location of a gym. Take RiseUp Fitness for example.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of how to start a gym business by developing a franchise model for our franchisees to follow. It’s a step-by-step process that takes our franchise owners from signing to opening and beyond. We’re with our franchise owners every step, so they’re fully supported and given all the tools necessary to operate their new RiseUp Fitness location.

How to Start a Gym Business: Comprehensive Training for Success 

– Knowledge is a powerful beginning, and we give you the most knowledgeable start we can with a 7-day training course at our California flagship location. Then, members of our team follow up with 4 days on-site at your RiseUp Fitness studio for your gym’s freshest start.

Site Selection Expertise

– Our expert guidance on site selection helps you find the perfect studio location, which is critical for your gym’s future. Once you secure your location, we’ll work alongside you to build out your gym to the RiseUp Fitness standard.


– Technology isn’t just for our clients! Our fully vetted systems and training will help you run your business as seamlessly as possible.

Confidential Operations Manual

– This invaluable resource is a valuable reference tool for daily procedures, policies, reporting, and more. This guide works hand-in-hand with our franchise team for ongoing operational support.

Marketing Support

– We’ve honed the RiseUp Fitness message to enable next-level membership development and growth in our existing locations. We’ve removed the guesswork for how to start a gym business from promotion and customer retention. Our program works, and we’re thrilled to teach our franchisees using our professional templates and marketing collateral to build their flourishing franchise locations.

When you open a RiseUp Fitness franchise, you join a support style that isn’t found in other gym franchises. We know our business and our clients, and we know how to RiseUp! Are you in? Contact us today to get started!