Starting a gym can be a rewarding business venture. However, despite the increasing demand for fitness services, there are also many reasons why gyms fail within their first few years of operation. Running a successful fitness business requires more than just having state-of-the-art equipment and a great location.
Many factors can contribute to the failure of a gym, and identifying these factors is crucial for any owner looking to succeed in this highly competitive fitness business industry. In this post, we will explore some of the reasons why gyms fail and provide some tips and suggestions to help gym owners avoid making these same mistakes.
Whether you’re looking to open a new gym or looking to improve the success of your existing gym, this post will provide valuable insights into the common pitfalls that can derail your business and how to overcome them.
Lack of Planning
Many gyms fail because they do not have a well-thought-out business or financial plan. Setting out to build a business without a clearly defined business plan may sound unbelievable.
However, it is common to find many new gym owners venture into the fitness industry purely out of passion, lacking business know how.
For fitness businesses to be profitable, and ensure long term success, it will require well-thought-out gym sales and marketing strategies. Addressing these challenges depends on the ability to foresee them and devise strategic methods for solving them.
A gym’s location can be a significant factor in its success. If the fitness center is not easily accessible or visible, it may struggle to attract members. Fitness centers must be in strategic places where the target customers can access its services. Based on this, the first thing to do is to clearly define your target audience (e.g., students, bodybuilders, low or high-income groups, etc.).
The demographics of the location you’re considering must agree with your target audience. In addition to having a web presence, visibility and accessibility, good market research will also help to prevent the possibility of situating the your fitness studio close to competitors.
Regardless of how undercapitalized you may be as a new gym owner, you can’t afford to purchase new gym equipment from substandard brands or unusual fitness equipment that no one can use. Buying low-quality equipment because they are cheaper will ultimately cost you in the long run. Also, getting enough capital to open a fitness studio isn’t the problem in some cases. Usually, the inability to meet up to the costs of maintenance is what initiates the failure of gyms.
Gyms often require a significant amount of upfront investment, and if gyms does not have sufficient funding, they are likely to fail. Also, if you’re seeking to digitalize some aspects of the business, be ready for the expenses, as setting up gym management software is costly.
This is why brands like Planet Fitness are so successful, and new gyms struggle; the successful ones have enough money to invest up front and the gym management strategies to turn a profit.
Every business, including the businesses involved in fitness, needs a hands-on gym marketing plan to thrive and generate revenue. This is because it isn’t enough to have competent employees who are capable of providing good services or high-quality equipment in your gym. You must have a well-carved-out plan for marketing what you have to offer.
Ideally, the marketing plan should attract members to your gym and speed up the new membership sales process.
A gym that does not have a strong marketing plan will struggle to attract new members and retain existing ones. Since the gym industry is wildly competitive, you really need to think about innovative ways to market your fitness business.
You can check out our post on gym marketing strategies for ideas.
Poor Customer Service
A gym that does not provide good customer service may struggle to retain its members. Good marketing strategies can attract customers to the gym, but it will take effective and satisfactory customer service to make them stay. We can not overemphasize the need for high-quality customer service for a fitness business.
In some cases, great customer service from friendly gym staff distinguishes excellent brands from others, not just extraordinary equipment or service. Gym users love to work with personal trainers and gym employees to who they can relate with as comfortably as possible. Failure to meet this need can negatively affect the sustenance of your business.
It’s also important to remember that 9 out of 10 businesses see significantly more revenue when they provide excellent customer service. (Qualtrics)
Lack of Differentiation
Gyms have been around for a long time and they’ll most likely be here for much longer (the fitness industry will grow by 171% in the next 5 years, according to Zippia.) If your gym is not offering anything unique or different from its competitors, it may struggle to stand out and attract members. Owing to this, every new gym owner should ready their minds to deal with the competition that comes with the fitness business.
As a gym owner who wants his business to succeed, you must provide reasons why people should prefer your gym to other options. When customers are not motivated to continue to patronize your studio it might be due to the absence of unique features. The exceptional values of your business are part of the factors that will make your business relevant for a long time.
A gym you don’t adequately manage may struggle to operate efficiently and effectively, thus, leading to its failure. If you want your gym business to become a leading force in the fitness industry, you must be prepared to invest in top-grade management. Also, it is advisable to employ the services of experienced personal trainers and nutritionists in your gym.
It’s common to find new gym owners focus more on getting new customers, neglecting the gym in the process. To make managing your gym seamless, you can consider investing in gym management software. Also, be knowledgeable in managing a gym by utilizing online resources. If owners have a robust knowledge of the fitness industry and also receive management tips from an expert, their gyms will surely soar.
It’s not enough to have a fantastic location, state-of-the-art equipment or even a passion for fitness if you want to open a gym. Unfortunately, most gym owners learn this the hard way, as many gyms fail within their first few years of operation.
A successful fitness business requires a well-thought-out business plan, effective marketing strategies, excellent customer service, and top-grade management. You also need to stand out from your competitors by offering unique features that cater to your target audience. So, to all gym owners, take note of these tips and suggestions to help you avoid making the same mistakes that many have made.
Don’t let your fitness business be just another failed gym statistic. Let’s pump some life back into the fitness industry!
Next, you should check out our post on learning how to build a successful gym business from planet fitness.