Business plan template for gyms and fitness centres

Aug 23, 2021 | Practice Management Software, Tips

If you’re in the early stages of opening a gym or fitness centre, one of the first documents you’ll need to source and construct is a gym or fitness centre business plan template.

To cut through the legwork of writing up a business plan for your gym or fitness centre from scratch, we’ve taken the liberty of creating a template for you. This perfect fitness centre or gym business plan template will be an incredibly important document for you.

If you want to get straight down to brass tacks, you’ll find our free downloadable business template at the bottom of this article. However, before diving in the deep end, we recommend you first take a few minutes to orientate yourself with a few business plan tips and explanations.

Opening a gym or fitness centre

Opening a gym or fitness centre is an onerous yet achievable goal. If you’ve got the passion and experience, combined with some grit and determination, you have every chance of success.

On top of these attributes, however, you’ll also need to get business savvy to give yourself the requisite tools, including why you need a business plan for your gym, fitness centre or health club.

Considering the type of business model

Before you go about writing a start-up gym business plan, or utilising our provided gym business plan template, you need to pinpoint your intended business model.

This decision will have ramifications throughout the planning and creation of your business, from structure to financing and marketing.

Your chosen business model will outline your prices, products, customer type, value, and intention.

A few popular gym business models to consider:

  • membership based
  • single use or walk in based
  • online fitness classes
  • hybrid online/physical model
  • gender focused model
  • group classes
  • weights focused
  • aerobic focused
  • Pilates/yoga focused

Gym business structure

What kind of fitness centre or gym business structure are you considering? This will depend on how you would seek to protect yourself from liability, the business complexity (or simplicity) you desire and whether you have a business partner. Let’s consider a few options:

  • partnership
  • company
  • trust
  • sole trader

Personal training business model

If the higher overheads, initial outlay, planning, and responsibilities inherent in a physical gym or fitness centre are representing a barrier to your start up, you can always choose to forgo this avenue. Instead use your same passion and skillset to set up a personal training business instead.

With a much lower barrier to entry, you may find this is a more suitable option. If so, take a look at our article on setting up a personal training business and business plan here.

Creating a business plan for your gym or fitness centre

The act of creating a start up gym business plan or fitness centre business plan template will depend on a number of other factors, in addition to your chosen business model and structure.

You’ll need to put thought into your equipment, marketing strategy, finances, and management systems.

While our start up gym business plan template accounts for the documenting of these elements, the groundwork and ideation must be put in place before you put pen to paper.

Plan ahead on your gym equipment

Start simply by assessing your intended business model, fitness class style or gym focus. In reference to these factors, draft up a simple list of your expected equipment needs.

Once you have a starting list, you can use this to assess the costs involved. As well as things like space required, maintenance, life span, brands and suitable gym or fitness centre layout.

Think about the marketing strategy

Your marketing strategy will be an all-important inclusion in your fitness centre, gym, or health centre business plan.

Ponder upon:

  • your branding
  • intended customer base
  • expected marketing channels
  • social media presence
  • advertising
  • promotions
  • website and landing pages
  • costs such as web development, ad spend, agency work and graphic design
  • how you’ll track your return on investment and market reach

Don’t forget the business finances

How do you intend to finance your burgeoning fitness centre or gym? There are a number of primary financing options available to you, depending on your personal circumstances, size of operations and accepted risk.

The main types of financing are:

  • personally funded
  • loans
  • investors
  • crowd funding
  • credit cards

For more ways to finance your fitness business see our article here.

Consider using a practice management system

Regardless of the business model and structure of your gym or fitness business, you’ll need a capable practice management solution to manage your gym operations under one roof.

A high-quality practice management solution should cover the following functionality:

  • CRM or customer database
  • basic marketing through SMS and email
  • appointment scheduling and group bookings
  • payment collection and terminals
  • health fund processing
  • inventory management
  • staff or team management
  • reporting and finances
  • connecting with accounting solutions

Free gym business plan template

Now that we have an initial idea of the types of decisions you’ll need to make, please download our free gym business plan template, suitable for any form of fitness centre or physical health business.

(Download free gym business plan template)


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