Whether you’re just starting in this field of business, or have been a longer-term owner in the industry, you may be struggling to decide where your business should head towards. A business plan is a requirement of any successful business, as it creates a guideline for operation and growth that you can look forward to on a going-concern basis. According to the US small business association, a business plan is the number one priority for effective management of your business, as it provides a structure for things going forward. Below, we will talk about the ten most important steps to include when developing your business plan, but first, let’s take a look at why you need one in the first place.
Why create a gym business plan
Traditional methods of business planning were to plan for everything, including all contingencies, before starting a business. This was necessary, as we did not have the resources that are available to us today. This changed with the introduction of the lean method. The lean method places importance on failing fast and discovering along the way, as well as launching as soon as possible. The common interpretation is that you should completely go into business unprepared, which cannot be farther from the truth. A business plan is extremely important due to:
- Goal setting– One of the most important steps in a business plan is to create SMART goals. This word has become synonymous with success, as choosing goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely will help to steer your business towards success.
- Business plans can pivot– Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong. Most owners don’t want to invest time in starting a business plan due to its complexity. As we will see below, a business plan is not complex and should be updated and improved once your business changes and grows.
- Keep track of progress– Achievements are important on any journey, and so is the celebration of these milestones. Choosing effective metrics is an important part of your success and the development of a business plan.
- It is necessary for funding– Investors and creditors want to know that you have a plan. A customer may not be interested in your entire business plan, but a potential investor or creditor will want to know the path to success, and how soon they can see a return on investment.
The ten steps to creating a gym business plan
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of a gym business plan, here are the top ten tips to consider when writing one. Remember to keep it simple, and update as you progress on your journey.
- Executive summary
A popular way to approach this is the Napkin Rule; your pitch should be able to be written in a short form to summarize your executive summary. Including your ultimate goal, your mission, the method of success, and the change it will enact. For example, ” I want to help hard-working corporate gym enthusiasts sustainably achieve their fitness goals through our ground-breaking workouts, meals, and fitness app.” Take this explanation and expand on it.
This section of the business plan is more about passion than detail. Talk about your purpose, your ideal client, and what success will look like for your business.
- Your team
No one person is an island, and one of the important parts of a gym business plan is, You will need a team to accomplish your goals, even if they are not directly employed at the beginning. Think about essential services at first, such as workout equipment vendors, sales, and personal trainers. Once you have revenue staff implemented, you can expand into more support and contract roles.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller
- Brainstorm marketing tools and market research
Market research includes competitors, potential members, possible revenue streams, the share of the market, and the share of the customer wallet. It also includes marketing strategies, such as advertising, sponsors, trials, referral systems, emailing, contact information, and loyalty. This section can be rendered extremely simple with member management software. Spark Membership is the best gym management software on the market, with proven testimonials. Start now for just $1.
- Products and services on offer
This section includes both what should be offered to the client and what products you need to effectively manage your business. For example, gym equipment must be procured before launch, and services should be listed. You can determine if you will be offering classes, membership, personal training, and other amenities in your gym.
Take a look at what initial investment you would need for a minimum viable product (MVP) before launch. This includes equipment costs, labor, location costs, and a pool of money for seed capital to last you a few months before revenue starts rolling in. This also should include CRM, billing, payments, and member management. This is another area where Spark Membership takes some burden off your shoulders.
Every business needs growth. For the business to remain sustainable, proper projects must be made so that the business is feasible to run. Consider monthly sales, growth, and any data learned from market research. Investors will also want to know if you have prior experience in this space as it will more accurately fit into their ROI projections.
- Get legal
Some businesses fail to launch due to improperly setting up their business. Unless you have thorough experience in this space, it is important to consult a legal professional about the proper structure and registration of your business.
If you are creating a high-cost business that will require investment, you will need to build a funding plan. Investors and banks will be looking attentively at this section. It should answer such questions as: what return can I expect? How much do you need? Are there multiple rounds?
💡 Sources of funding include credit, venture capital, donations, grants, savings, subsidies, and taxes. Fundings such as donations, subsidies, and grants that have no direct requirement for return of investment are described as “soft funding” or “crowdfunding”.
The final step to a business plan is putting it into action. You can expand on the ideas above, but ultimately, action beats planning in terms of business success. Invest in your business and yourself and have faith that your gym studio will prosper.
💡 Start with a simple business plan and grow it as needed
You might also want to read 17 Gym Essentials To Have Before Starting Your Own Gym