Opening a gym is the dream of thousands of personal trainers who have tasted a little bit of success in this industry. I've even thought about it myself a few times, especially when I had my bootcamp and a bustling personal training business, but ultimately I decided against it.
Why Did I Decide Against It?
Well mainly I didn't want to have to be the guy with the keys opening up at 6 am and closing the doors at 9 pm. I didn't want the hassle or the responsibility. I've got a young family and I promised myself that I would be at home most nights to tuck my son up in bed after his bath.
Maybe it's your dream to have your own gym and if it is, then that's cool. I would 100% encourage you to explore it, but you probably need to know some harsh truths before you start out.
Struggling Gym Owners
I speak to a lot of small gym owners who come to me because they need help. They are struggling to fill their facility. I keep seeing the same things over and over again.
Trainers who have invested tens of thousands in a facility and thinking that people will be queuing up to join. It simply doesn't work like that in the real world.
The Odds Are Against You
If you have a build it and they will come mentality you are going to fail.
If you're planning to open up the sort of place you would love to train in yourself, maybe from a warehouse, then you probably shouldn't market it as a gym, because if you do you are on a hiding to nothing from big flashy gyms with big budgets.
You 100% must know who you want to attract and you have to be crystal clear on that. It's vital you need to know who you help and how you help them and what the benefits of what you do is to them. You and your team have to be results focused.
If you don't know this you will be competing with the David Lloyds, 24 hour fitness and commercial guys. Big Gyms who will literally have you for breakfast along with the latte they serve in their flash restaurants and cafes.
If your selling point is your classes then you are also competing with the big gyms. You are competing with the flash spin studios and they will win. They have shiny new equipment, nice changing rooms, a spa, maybe a swimming pool and somewhere you get a coffee and socialise afterwards with friends.
If you're selling on a great service then you will fail. Great service should be a given and not a selling point for hiring a personal trainer or joining a gym. Great service will keep clients for longer but it won't make them buy.
So enough of the negatives.
What Will Make Them Buy?
Simple. The promise of results and the promise of change along with some proof in the form of real world results. Then putting them on your website and your marketing.
That's what will make you stand out against the other “gyms” in your town. Plus ,even if you are just at the thinking stage and still working with clients in a commercial gym or elsewhere. You should still use the same principles to build your fitness business.
Be the Seller of Change
As a personal trainer you are in the business of change.
That's what people really want. That's what they will buy.