The new year is almost here and that means people are going to be reinventing themselves by getting into shape, eating healthier and living more active lifestyles. For fans of winter, that means doing one of the many fun winter activities that Canadians enjoy. But, for those who don’t like to skate, ski, snowboard, snowshoe or play in the snow in general, there are always fitness centres.
If you are looking to reinvent your life in the new year from a business perspective, might we suggest opening a fitness franchise to take advantage of all those New Year’s resolutions that people will be furiously trying to live up to?
A $3 billion industry in Canada, according to IBISWorld, the gym, health and fitness club industry in Canada has almost 7,000 businesses employing over 54,200 people. It grew by 2.3% annually from 2013-18 and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are increasing demand for fitness and health services throughout the country.
To draw in more customers, gyms are increasingly offering more incentives for people to sign up. A growing population and the changing demographics that go along with that are also stimulating revenue in the industry, the IBISWorld report says.
Some franchises target specific segments of the population for fitness. You can open a children’s only fitness centre to help get sedentary kids moving or you can open a women’s only fitness centre for ladies who don’t feel comfortable working out in a co-ed gym. There are also senior fitness centres to help keep the elderly active.
While many gyms have standard fitness equipment that you will see in pretty much all gyms, some gyms have specialized, exclusive equipment that is meant to be used in a particular order to workout the entire body. These gyms can have the added advantage of giving their members that feeling of exclusivity.
Other gyms have affiliations with major sports brands and still others play up a military theme, being run by veterans and having an overall military training feel to their workouts. These gyms can emphasize their affiliations to help draw people in.
Obviously, opening a gym means having a commercial space and probably quite a large one at that. You’ll need space for lots of exercise machines and equipment, change rooms and showers, plus a front desk area and probably at least one office.
Your location should be easy to access and preferably be in an area that doesn’t have a gym already. Be wary of neighbourhoods that have recreation centres, public pools and universities, as these are places that often have gyms that are much cheaper for the public to use than the average commercial gym.
With so much equipment required to set up shop, you’ll need to sign a leasing agreement for all of it. Your franchisor will be able to help you with that, along with helping you to negotiate your lease for your building. Many fitness franchises have special deals with equipment suppliers to get the best deal on their equipment leases.
One big advantage that commercial gyms have over the aforementioned rec centre and university gyms is personal trainers. To be competitive in the fitness and gym industry, you’ll need to hire licenced trainers who can help people get into the shape they want to be in and help attract new members.
As a business owner, you probably won’t need to be a licenced personal trainer yourself, but being in the fitness industry, this never hurts. Mostly, you’ll need to have business acumen as you will need to market your gym, hire qualified people and keep membership strong.
If you are looking for the perfect fitness franchise to join, sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today and we’ll make the whole process much smoother by finding you the right franchising fit.