Let’s not sugar coat it; America has an obesity problem. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and numerous other ailments have all been linked to this epidemic that affects 190 million Americans. Michelle Obama has even put it on the national agenda with her “Let’s Move” campaign to encourage Americans to join a gym and get exercise.
For those who are prepared to take advantage of this trend, opening a gym is a great way for owners to make cash and help their members lose weight. Health clubs are a $14.1 billion industry, serving nearly 40 million members in the USA, and, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, club memberships are projected to reach over 50 million by the end of 2011.
Those who are interested in opening their own club should start thinking about the following steps:
- It is important to choose the right business model. There are two business models that most health clubs operate under: the national franchise and the individually owned gym.
- Next, find a space that will allow you to provide all the services you plan to offer.
- Figure out what equipment you need and where to buy it. One benefit of buying a franchise is that they will provide with proprietary equipment purchasing rights.
- To receive a license you can contact your secretary of state to learn about health club licensing requirements. Knowing these requirements will help you prepare for the health inspector.
- Research and purchase a health club surety bond because some states require them to protect the consumer from clubs reneging on membership fees that have already been paid for.