How to Write a Gym Business Plan (Step-by-Step Guide + Free Template)

Opening a gym can be very lucrative but requires a well-thought-out business plan. We mean a document that will help you understand what steps you need to achieve success at your gym. This article will discuss how we design a plan for a fitness business from the scratch.

We will present some examples and gym business plan templates. They will help you understand what elements should be included in this document. From concept development through market and competition analysis to a financial plan. This article gives you a solid foundation for writing a business plan. Doesn’t matter if you are creating a new gym or improving an existing one.

A young fitness woman writing notes connected with her plan for a fitness business.

Download: Free Gym Business Plan Template

What is a gym business plan?

A gym business plan is a document that describes planned activities, goals, and strategies for a new or existing gym. It is an important document for anyone who wants to open or develop their own fitness business.

A man writing a gym business plan.

How to write a gym business plan (Step-by-Step)?

  • Step 1: Gather answers to important questions from the list below before writing your plan.
  • Step 2: Are you opening a gym with an innovative business model? It is better to wait to start writing a business plan immediately to verify whether this model can succeed. 
  • Does the gym have a traditional business model (e.g., hour-scheduled group training sessions) already existing in the market? You can skip this step and create a business plan immediately.
  • Step 3: Create a gym business plan using the ready-made template (pattern) described below.
  • Step 4: Review the business plan regularly, every month in the first months of running the gym, and at least once a year in subsequent years. A business plan is a living document that will help your fitness place grow.

What to remember when creating a gym business plan?

  • Write short and concisely. Be specific.
  • Use numbers for calculations.
  • Assume black scenarios. The blacker you assume, and yet the business has a chance of success, you will manage to beat the market.
  • In the first months of the gym’s operation, work with the business plan daily and update calculations and assumptions.
  • Once the gym is stable and has reached the so-called break-even point, return to the business plan at least once a year.
  • Discuss the business plan with your team. Also, consider sharing some of the profits with your team. In this way, you will build a unique commitment.
  • The business plan is for years. The document should be updated regularly.
Many graphs, documents and reports, necessary for creating and updating a gym business plan.

Where to start writing a gym business plan? (10+ questions to start with)

Start writing your document by answering a few important questions. The questions help you create a good business plan for opening a gym and, above all, help you design a business that perfectly suits your needs:

  • Why do you want to start this gym?
  • How much would you like to earn per month? 
  • How many clients do you plan to serve per month? 
  • What kind of gym do you want to run? (e.g., group training place, personal training place, specialized gym of one kind of sport or one kind of clientele). Here is a list of types of fitness businesses.
  • What kind of service will you offer? (on-site, online, mixed).
  • What area will you operate in?
  • Who will be your client? 
  • How many direct competitors are there where you want to operate?
  • How will your gym stand out?
  • Who do you need to hire to start a gym?
  • What metrics will you keep track of? (e.g. retention rate, customers opinions).
  • What will your gym look like inside?
  • What will the atmosphere of your gym be like?
  • What will your fitness offer look like? 


Remember that a sample of your fitness classes can attract potential customers. A well-performed meeting will help you sell your idea. The trainer’s performance and place’s image are your #1 sales tools.

What to write a business plan for?

  • A business plan is an action plan. You will stop dreaming and start turning your idea into a real gym business plan.
  • Running a business is working in a company. Creating a plan is working “on the company,” i.e. its design and improvement.
  • A gym business plan will allow you to verify your assumptions. You will observe it in a year, two, or five years. It’s super satisfying to watch how your knowledge grows every year.
  • Writing this document allows you to translate your vision into a specific project and action plan. It also allows you to rethink to what extent your business idea is a recipe for success and what you still need to refine.
  • Creating a business plan for a gym will help you assess the reality of your dream. You’ll check the possibilities of its implementation, as well as check the chances of its success. It’s also important to assess the risk you have to take.
  • A business plan forces you to be specific. If you don’t know the answer to a question in our guide, you may be blind in this area, which is very risky.
  • If you already run a gym and don’t have a plan, fix this mistake. Every gym should have some sort of ideas for the present and future actions.

When is it worth writing a business plan?

In our opinion, it’s always worth it 🙂 You plan to open a successful gym, right? Not having the basic elements of your fitness business written down and calculated… dooms you to failure. Remember to verify them regularly too. 

Only regular analysis of the gym’s results and planning the next moves (in the form of a business plan) allows you to have full control over the gym.

Of course, the external motivation is looking for an investor or support (then you are forced to create this document).

A woman writing in her calendar a plan for 2024 - what to start, buy and make in the fitness industry.

Helpful resources when creating a gym business plan

Free gym business plan template

A typical gym business plan example includes:

  1. Executive summary for a gym
  2. Gym description
  3. Market Analysis, Location Analysis
    • Market analysis
    • Competition analysis
    • SWOT analysis
  4. Investment plan (Cost Analysis, Financial Analysis)
    • Investment costs (one-off to start)
    • Operating costs (fixed monthly costs)
      Financial Projections
    • Profit and Loss Account
    • Break-even analysis
    • Sensitivity analysis
  5. Team (Employees, Founders)
    • Founders
    • Employees
  6. Gym marketing plan
  7. Company description of the vision for further development of the gym
A woman writing her gym business plan

1. Executive Summary

The summary of the gym business plan should include:

  • Mission statement, vision, and values.
  • Description of the gym concept.
  • Why will this idea be a success?
  • How do you want to implement this plan?
  • Costs.
  • Profits and return on investment.

The executive summary should be written at the end after you have written your entire gym business plan. The executive summary wraps the business plan up. It provides the reader with the most important information in a very concise form (max. 600 words, i.e., about 1-2 pages). Discuss only the key aspects of your business idea. Use points!

2. Description of the gym

This section aims to show you the details of your gym. It should not lack the following elements:

  1. Mission statement and vision
    • Mission: why do we exist?
    • Vision: what we want to achieve in 1, 2, and 5 years.
  2. Structure
    • Business Type: Is your gym a sole proprietorship, partnership, or other business?
  3. Gym concept
    • Gym name (get inspired by this list of gym names).
    • Gym type: specify the type of gym, e.g., personal training gym, group fitness classes gym, online training studio, wide offer studio, etc.
    • Specific location: write exactly where your new gym is (or could be) and why you chose this place.
    • The style of the place: what will be the colors, atmosphere, decorations, music, etc.
    • Ways to serve the customer: only on-site, only remotely, both ways.
    • Hours of Operation: What hours will the place be open? Why are these?
  4. Offer
    • Your offer is surely connected with your experience and skills. But remember to be creative and have 1-3 differentiators from the competition (Unique Selling Points)
A place described in the plan, with nice interior colors, gym equipment, etc.

3. Market research and competition analysis

You should thoroughly analyze the space to create your premises. Oh, unless you are introducing real innovation to the market – or maybe especially then 🙂What needs to be observed? Analyze the market and competition, focusing on the following: Industry analysis.

Customers are the key to any gym’s success. Knowing their demographic structure, preferences, and training habits is critical to a business plan.

  • Target market for a gym: Think about who your customers will be. Consider their age, interests, expectations, and how to reach them.
  • Needs in the market: Describe the market’s needs and how your gym will meet them.
  • Target Audience Size: Determine the number of potential customers in the market you intend to target.
  • Market trends: Use credible information to show that people will be interested in your gym idea. Find out current trends and how the gym industry is developing.

Competition analysis Check out other gyms that are or could be your competition.

  • Is there any other gym or fitness center in your area? Make a list of them.
  • Revenue and number of customers they can achieve: Estimate how much such gyms can earn
  • Offer and prices: Analyze what these places offer and what is their pricing. Try to calculate their revenue cost (it is how much you need to spend before you start earning).
  • Competitor marketing activities: See what makes them successful and their weaknesses.
  • Competitive advantages: What will be your advantage?

SWOT analysis The abbreviation comes from the words: S for Strengths, W for Weaknesses, O for Opportunities, and T for Threats. Fields S and W are related to the gym’s launch situation. While the O and T fields are related to the success of your project in the future. It is worth conducting such an analysis in the form of a table:





4. Investment plan (cost analysis)

In this section, you will present the costs associated with the initial investment and the spending plan for the first year of operation.

List the costs, dividing them into two groups:

  • Investment costs (one-off to start).
  • Operating costs (fixed monthly costs). 

After opening a gym, verify the costs regularly, preferably once a month.

Creating a fitness business plan consists of predicting the income-outcome issues.

Investment costs include, among others:

  1. Rental or purchase of the real estate.
  2. Renovation and adaptation of the fitness facilities.
  3. Purchase of exercise equipment: mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, other special equipment, like poles for a pole sport studio, etc.
  4. Purchase of room furniture and equipment:
    • Chairs.
    • Reception Desk.
    • Lighting.
    • Unified Work Clothes for the staff (if you plan it)
  5. IT software and hardware:
    • POS software.
    • Payment terminals.
    • Computer hardware for the POS system.
  6. Marketing and promotion costs:
    • Logo.
    • A website with online booking.
    • Flyers.

Regarding point 5 and 6, take into account a very important monthly purchase, which will however save your time and money finally. It’s a gym management software. You can compare some of the software providers on the market. Yet, what we recommend is WodGuru. With its reasonable price, many useful features, amazingly helpful support and nice cartoon visual identity.

  1. Insurance of the premises and equipment.
  2. Organizational and legal costs (e.g., regulations, documentation).
  3. Costs related to permits and licenses (e.g. license to conduct exercises according to a patented pattern and name).
  4. External training costs.
  5. Operating costs.
  6. Rental of real estate (if the premises are rented).
  7. Utility charges:
    • Electricity.
    • Gas.
    • Water.
  8. Staff wages: personal trainers, receptionist, outsource trainers etc.
  9. Purchase of additional items like finger food and drinks.
  10. Equipment maintenance and servicing costs.
  11. Service charges:
  12. Employee insurance.
  13. Marketing and promotion costs:
    • Online and offline advertising.
    • Printed materials.
    • Running social media.
    • Website positioning (SEO).
  14. Taxes and fees.

Gym Website Builder

Create Your Own Gym Website in Minutes

Use WodGuru website creator to craft a site that turns visitors into customers. Don’t hesitate to contact WodGuru now

How to finance the opening of a gym?

The biggest problem for a novice gym owner is finding financing for the first business. Various options are worth considering.

  • taking out bank loans,
  • receiving subsidies — a business plan will even be necessary to receive them
  • loans from friends or family.

Considering bank loans or a subsidy, you must first think about the black scenario. What will happen if your business fails and you have to return the borrowed money? But also what to do to prevent this from happening? Assess, which costs at the beginnins of a fitness business are inevitable. How high the margin you have to impose on the training performance? This is the key to assessing the chance of return on investment in the gym.

5. Financial forecast

The financial forecast consists of 3 elements:

  • Projected profit and Loss Statement: Shows what turnover and profits you will generate. 
  • Break-even analysis: Shows when a gym will become profitable.
  • Sensitivity analysis: Shows what happens to turnover and profit in negative scenarios. E.g., 50% decrease in turnover for three months.

Profit and Loss Account You will need to estimate the value of the sale considering the size of your gym, target market, sales volume, and revenue cost. You will get a profit and loss forecast, comparing this with the costs. The easiest way to prepare a profit and loss account is in the form of a table:

Months of running a businessMonth 1Month 2Month 3e.t.c.
Number of fitness classes per month
Average class value
Monthly income (turnover)
Variable costs per month
Fixed costs per month
Profit per month
Profit margin (in percentages)

Break-even analysis

Investors will want to know how much revenue you will need to generate each month to break even after all fixed and operating costs are considered. In the analysis, you should show how you intend to generate the necessary revenue, even in difficult months with lower sales.

A man drawing income increase on fitness revenue graph.

Sensitivity analysis

It is worth doing it to assess the negative scenarios.

  • The other gyms will be stronger, and you will have to lower price
  • You lose key employees
  • There is a decrease in sales by 10 or 20% compared to what you assume

This will allow us to be prepared better for different financial crises and reduce stress when such a situation arises.

Make a sensitivity analysis in the form of a table

ProblemHow will it affect revenue, costs and profitsHow to reactCountermeasure

6. Team

Business is people. Describe what your team will look like, dividing it into two groups:

  • Founders.
  • Employees.
Business partners congratulating themselves after succeeding in the fitness industry.


If you are looking for investors, this area can be critical for them.

Describe the founders:

  • List of founders.
  • Experience.
  • Successes.


Which positions are necessary for the daily functioning of the premises? Is it the receptionist, a permanent personal trainer, an outsourcing trainer, social media platforms specialist, etc.? Who will suffice as emergency help?

Think about which people you already know with the necessary competencies. Which ones will you have to look for or train as your employees from the beginning? The cost of necessary training should also be included in the gym business plan.

Describe the team you need to build:

  • List of job titles.
  • Duties.
  • Remuneration.
  • Type of contract.
The dream team of your gym or fitness center.

7. Marketing plan

Ideally, your marketing strategy should include the items we listed. Below we describe how to do effective marketing in your branch.

A plan of marketing strategies written in a gym, for the gym.
  1. Brand building (logo, colors, gym name, gym slogans)
  2. Building your own website or app (Here you can check how to create a fitness app)
  3. Selling training sessions or booking online from your own website (as the main way of selling online)
  4. Launching a loyalty program
  5. An action list on how you will attract offline customers
    • Flyers.
    • Radio.
    • PR.
    • Events.
  6. An action list on how you will attract online customers
    • Will you run social media?
    • Will you be implementing gym SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
    • Will you add a business listing on Google Maps?
    • Will you run email and SMS campaigns, and if so, how often? How will you build your subscriber base? 
    • Will you be blogging?
    • Will you be running a gym newsletter?
    • Will you be doing paid Google Ads and Facebook Ads?
  7. Will you be offering promotions? If so, what types?

Gym Marketing Tools

Create image of your gym with ease

WodGuru CRM system features

Increase your customers’ satisfaction by using the WodGuru CRM system, no expertise required. Sign up for free!

8. Description of the vision for further development of the gym

Determining the direction of development is very important at the beginning of your business. When setting gym goals you want to achieve in a certain time, you should start with the wider ones, reaching those at the everyday level. It is also worth considering how you want to achieve these goals.

During project execution you need to observe and adapt initial goals. It enables effective management and reduces losses in marketing, service, and other areas. Your gym’s written plan should clearly outline the vision and strategies to achieve desired objectives.

Sample gym business plan

We created a sample gym business plan to help you write your plan. Click below to download an example of a business plan for a gym.

Download: Free gym Business Plan Template

Online Booking System

Let the customers book classes and trainings online

WodGuru booking options in a member’s app

Set up a booking software for your gym’s website in minutes. Boost revenue while saving time.

Key Takeaways

  • The business plan describes what your gym will look like.
  • A business plan consists of 10 different elements.
  • Create a business plan even if you already run a gym.
  • Do not outsource writing a business plan to external companies. It is better to ask an experienced trainer or an external company as a consultant for your ideas.
  • Go back to the business plan once a month if you are starting and once a year if you have been operating for several years.
  • A business plan is not an artificial document you write once and forget. It is a living document that teaches you how to run a business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to write small gym business plans?

Regardless of the size of the gym or business, the steps of gym business planning remain the same. Writing this document for a small gym consists of creating:

  • Executive summary, 
  • Gym description, 
  • Market analysis, 
  • Investment plan, 
  • Financial projections, 
  • Team, 
  • Marketing plan,
  • Company development description

Does every gym need a business plan?

In our opinion, yes. If you are serious about putting your place in the whole fitness industry, you must implement a repetitive method of working “on the company”. A BP that is updated regularly every month and year is a way to run a business.

A gym business plan can help your fitness place get better and better.

How to open a gym without money?

Opening a gym with no money can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some ways to open a gym without enough funds:

  • Rethink the concept of your gym.
  • Look for gym investors or alternative funding sources.
  • Start your online business to get first customers.
  • Consider working with other companies.
  • Start a smaller business by offering training sessions on demand and develop your brand.

Discover more ideas on how to open a gym with no money.

How to promote gyms?

Promoting a gym is key to attracting new guests, increasing sales and retaining regular customers. A few steps to help you promote your gym:

  1. Create a professional website with an online booking system.
  2. Take care of social media by posting regularly and encouraging interaction.
  3. Add your gym to popular sites.
  4. Organize contests and promotions.
  5. Collaborate with influencers.
  6. Organize events such as health promoting, competitions or concerts.
  7. Use paid ads such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
  8. Collect gym feedback from satisfied customers.

Check these gym promotion ideas for inspiration.

How much profit does the gym make?

A gym’s profit depends on many factors, such as location, offer, prices, service quality, and business size. The average gym profit margin is between 10 and 15% per year, but it can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned above.

Franchise gym profits on the lower end of 10%, boutique fitness studios averaging 20% to even 40% profit margins, and CrossFit gym profit margins in the 25-30% range.

What makes a gym business plan important?

A gym business plan is crucial for several reasons:

  • It helps clarify the vision and goals of the gym.
  • It provides a roadmap for the business.
  • It includes financial projections, budgeting, and funding strategies for securing investors or loans.
  • It identifies potential risks and challenges, allowing the business to address them proactively.
  • It serves as a reference point for decision-making, helping the management team focus on the business’s objectives.
  • It can be used to communicate the business idea effectively to stakeholders, including investors, partners, and employees.

Related Articles

Leave A Comment