Opening a new small gym can be highly lucrative. It can also be quite stressful, especially if you’re trying to become a successful personal trainer, for example. You have to consider everything from buying quality and durable equipment to getting gym software that manages membership.
But if you want to see any actual success in your gym, you also need to ensure you have features that people need. Else, they’ll seek out other gym service providers.
Now the question is, besides the regular bench press station and dumbbells, what equipment do you need? Also, are they any specific gym features that people are looking for in 2022?
Read on to find the answers to your questions and more.
The Indispensable gym facilities list
Here are the critical facilities your gym needs to have. If these aren’t in place, you can kiss profitability goodbye because most people won’t bother with your gym, and you won’t be able to keep the people that do bother to show up.
Sufficient equipment and space
The fact that you’re a small gym doesn’t mean you can skimp out on essential equipment and sufficient training space. You want your members to have access to all the equipment they need and have enough room to work out.
Your gym will determine the specific equipment you install, but be sure to have all the essentials. If you’re a CrossFit gym, a sturdy pull-up bar (or 5 is essential). If you tend to focus on HIIT workouts, you probably already know to invest in kettlebells.
You should also consider the comfort of your members once they’re in the gym. Does your layout make the space easy to clean? If not, you may need to pay more attention to how thorough the cleaning is.
Dirty benches and littered floors are some of the biggest turnoffs for gym members. Also, do you have a sound system with high-motivation playlists, so your members don’t get bored?
Beginner friendly atmosphere
While opening your gym, you’ll quickly find that a beginner-friendly atmosphere is critical to your success. It’s pretty common to see people who drag themselves to the gym only to be intimidated by crazy exercises performed by jacked individuals. You want to ensure everyone feels welcome and encouraged, regardless of their level.
Seasoned gym-goers will make up a sizeable chink of your membership, but beginners are also great good for business. It’s critical to make your gym atmosphere feel more welcoming and less intimidating – planet fitness adopted this philosophy.
You may roll your eyes at the lunk alarm concept, but their model attracts and keeps members.
You may prefer to work out at the crack of dawn or after a long day, but that won’t appeal to everyone. Your open hours should depend on your location and the availability of your members.
You’ll need to do a little digging to find out the best open hours to give most members sufficient time to actually enjoy their workout.
There’s another option – taking some of your training online. This will help members who can’t make it to the gym stay in shape while still ensuring that they stay members of your gym.
However, this is an option that’s offered by only unique gyms. We’ll discuss it more under facilities that make a gym stand out.
Top unique gym services
These are the nice-to-have services. You’ll still attract and keep members without them, but having them can go a long way to increase member loyalty and even draw in new customers from gyms that don’t have them.
A sense of community
Sometimes members will come to the gym not because they feel like working out but because they get to socialize. A sense of community and belonging is one of the most powerful motivating factors in a gym.
Sure everyone has that initial new year’s day drive to lose weight. But what keeps your members going three months down the line?
It’s your responsibility to keep your members motivated, and doing so can increase your retention rate. Not to mention, once word of mouth spreads about your gym’s encouraging atmosphere, you can expect members to come in droves.
Lighting and Mirrors
Now you may read that and go, “the gym isn’t for pictures and TikTtok videos; it’s for hard work,” and I hear you. But how many people do you think go to the gym just to take pictures? A lot is the answer.
If you don’t give them adequate lighting and mirrors to do their videos, they will go to a gym that provides that, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
The goal is to attract as many people to your gym as possible, either by the thrill of the workout or the potential Instagram likes. They can pick up the workout motivation after they walk through your doors.
3 facilities that make a gym stand out
While setting up your small gym, these facilities probably won’t be top of your list. But you should consider adding them to your expansion plans because they can really help you stand out by adding a little extra to your gym’s offer.
Spa and massage
Getting a massage and treating yourself to a spa day can be just as important for good health. Plus, who would turn down a massage? These are the reasons why you should consider adding a massage service to your gym.
That way, you give members a greater reason to keep coming and provide an objective for them to look forward to. Setting it up doesn’t have to be tedious either. You could repurpose unused space as a dedicated massage area and strike a deal with a nearby spa to bundle your services together.
Some people love cardio and weights, and others love yoga and meditation. By limiting your gym to just the former, you isolate the latter. But if you provide both of these services, you can potentially attract even more people.
You should also consider that a survey by Resamania discovered that 3 out of 10 people want more meditation-based classes. Depending On the demand in your area, you can partner with a yoga instructor or outright hire them for your gym.
Optional online classes
These will be perfect for members who can’t make it to the gym. Offering online classes as part of their overall gym membership ensures that they can stay in shape even when they can’t hit the gym. Plus, it keeps them from enrolling in a separate online fitness class.
To set this up, you can record simple exercises in your gym and put them online in a unique members-only area.
The bottom line
There are over a hundred thousand gyms in the US (Ibis World), and the number seems to be growing by the year. Add these facilities to your gym to ensure you stay above the competition and keep those membership numbers on the up.