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If you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own fitness business, then you’re in the right place! Setting up any business takes hard work and commitment and building the right foundations is key. Identify your target audience and goals and follow these seven steps for successful fitness center management...

1. Create a Business Plan

It can be tempting to jump right into setting up your fitness business; after all you’ve undoubtedly got the passion to get the ball rolling. However, a solid business plan is a vital component of any successful business and taking the time to prioritize this at the beginning of your venture is going to help you down the road. This is because having a business plan empowers you to manage your fitness centers more efficiently and achieve greater growth and sustainability.  

Key components of a fitness center business plan

2. Maintain Consistent Branding

Every piece of content you put into the world should align with the goals and values of your fitness brand. You want your target audience to recognize, relate to, and trust your brand for them to become long-term members. Creating this clear visual identity across all touchpoints does exactly this. So, take care when starting out and dedicate time to designing a logo that you love and choosing brand colors that speak to your target fitness community.  

Take a look at CorePower Yoga, for example. This fitness brand maintains a consistent look at every touchpoint with their signature orange coloring and logos.

Website image:

Corepower yoga website banner image

Instagram bio:

Corepower yoga instagram bio

3. Utilize the Power of the Digital

While the concept of virtual fitness wasn’t completely alien to us before the pandemic, it certainly wasn’t widely embraced. However, the convenience it offers fitness enthusiasts is undeniable - which is why online fitness programs are here to stay! In fact, research shows that in 2021, 60.5% fewer active adults see gyms, health clubs, and group exercise classes as the best way to keep fit. Clients want on-demand fitness and online sessions, which call for you to be flexible and put their needs at the forefront.

To ensure your fitness business success, it’s necessary to cater to every individual by embracing digital solutions that enable your brand to enter your client’s homes. Boost engagement by making memberships, bookings, cancellations, and retail available through your website, social media, apps or email. And keep interactions as touchless and convenient as possible. Find a fitness studio management software, like Zenoti, that offers Zoom integration and makes offering virtual fitness easy.  

A recent study pointed out that 59.1% of active adults in the US, including gym members, prefer outdoor activities. Include outdoor workouts to encourage more people in your community to become a part of your brand.

4. Build Relationships with Your Clients

It’s essential that you stay in touch with your clients – even if they’ve chosen your online services. Build relationships with your community by engaging regularly with every individual. This will reassure them that you’re invested in their health and fitness and will constantly evolve your services to enhance their experiences. Plus, who doesn’t love feeling personally welcomed and recognized when they walk in – give them this feel-good factor by greeting individuals by name!  

Nearly three out of five consumers report that good service is key for them to feel loyalty toward a brand.

Win your clients’ trust by actively listening to them. Discuss their progress journey and ask whether your services are helping them meet their fitness goals or if they’d like further help with it. This not only helps you to better serve them but gives you useful insights that can help improve every client experience.  

Many fitness center owners make the mistake of focusing only on adding new members and neglecting existing ones. Unfortunately, the result is that most gyms and health clubs lose 50% of their new members within the first six months.  

Reasons why members quit fitness centers

Talking to your existing members helps you identify areas of improvement, retain them for longer, and earn great reviews.  

5. Create a Welcoming Ambiance

Visiting a fitness studio for the first time can feel a little daunting. Clients are likely worried about locating the right spot in class where they aren’t front and center but can still see the instructor or knowing where the bathroom is located. Eliminate any feelings of gymtimidation and make your studio a place people love to visit by creating a relaxed, positive environment from the minute they walk in. This will put them at ease and encourage them to return again and again.  

Consider your target audience and the type of classes you offer and align your ambiance with this. For example, if you focus primarily on yoga then the vibe you create will need to be calm and relaxing while a spin studio is more about strong beats and high energy. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding on the right décor, furniture, and layout to match your services.  

Creating a welcoming ambience
Image source:

6. Make Marketing a Priority

There are currently 104,149 gyms, health and fitness clubs in the US. That’s a lot of centers competing for your audience’s attention! So, how do you ensure they find your brand and choose you? That’s where your marketing efforts come in.  

Growth, retention, awareness, engagement - these are just a few of the marketing objectives you’ll need to think about and prioritize as a successful fitness business owner. If you’re just starting out, increasing brand awareness is going to be your main focus. If you’ve been around for a couple of years, you may be looking to increase retention. No matter your goal, understanding where your audience is, how they like to engage, and on what platforms is critical.  

Start by doing your research, build out strong brand profiles on relevant social media platforms and use them strategically. If your audience isn’t active on Twitter, then there’s no point you being on the platform. Focus on meeting clients where are they are and once you have built an organic footprint, start to invest in digital ads too. Identify community events or opportunities to partner with other businesses in mutually beneficial ways. Keep your website up to date and ensure it is showing in Google results when people are searching for fitness in your area. In today’s digital world you need to maintain a strong presence and consistently market your business in order to beat the competition.  

Grow your fitness community with these 11 marketing ideas.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Automate

There’s always so much happening at a fitness studio and to be successful you’ll need to wear a lot of hats, especially in the beginning. This can be exhausting and sometimes frustrating. But it’s important to be realistic; when you’re juggling customer service, administration, logistics, accounts, and marketing, you’re likely too tired to focus on your long-term vision.  

Don’t be afraid to get help! Hire employees to handle some of the essential tasks, so you can focus on your passion and driving your brand vision. Using a fitness center management software is a great way to remove some of the responsibilities from your shoulders and create a smoother experience for you, your clients, and your team. The right software will centralize and automate all your business needs into one system, simplify your processes, and save you time, money and effort.  

Discover eight ways a fitness studio management software will save you time.

Zenoti’s all-in-one fitness center management software powers up your brand and delivers a personal and modern client experience.

To learn more, book a demo today!


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Emily Martin
Zenoti Copywriter
A self-confessed bookworm with a passion for languages and weaving together words. Happiest when immersed in nature, either on horseback or skis, or curled up with a good thriller. Emily's writing focuses on sharing trends and insights impacting the beauty and wellness industry.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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