In a day and age where physical fitness has progressed to being more of a science than an art and when customers are extremely conscious and discerning about their choices, you need to be really deeply committed to health and personal fitness to either set up your own gym or even take up employment as a health club manager. The commitment needs to be multi-dimensional.
A gym instructor’s focus should be on boosting fitness levels, infusing confidence and improving their members' overall well-being. Trainers and coaches should be able to train anyone from athletes to the weekend warriors, preparing them physically and mentally for all the physical challenges of life's events. As well, teach and offer strategies for minimizing risk of injuries.
A gym instructor has to be adequately qualified and properly certified before setting up their fitness business. It's vital to get a certification from reputable organization so that your clients can trust you to deliver safe exercise techniques, instruction and guidance. A certification from a well-known institute or organization assures clients that a specialized level of education has been achieved, ensuring that the trainer's level of competency is high.
All this being said, there's a ton of must-haves to opening your very own health club. But to help you get started, here's a few of them…
5 Must-Haves for Opening your own Health Club Business
1. You Must Have a Passion for Health and Fitness
In order to be successful, it is absolutely imperative that you have an overriding passion for the health industry. This will drive you to acquire knowledge and ability that will enable you to stay on top of the ever-changing fitness trends. An intimate knowledge of the industry will also make it possible for you to understand the needs of your customers, build facilities accordingly and hire the talent that will result in high customer satisfaction.
2. You Must Have a few Health and Fitness Credentials
You can only think about managing or owning a gym business if you have acquired some education and training in personal fitness and its associated areas such as diet and nutrition, etc. Your expertise will help you to understand what your members want and equip you with the skills to hire employees with proper skills and attitude. Most invaluable, fitness credentials will give you special insights and understand into the member-trainer dynamics as well as how to motivate your members to meet their fitness goals. For a more in-depth knowledge about personal training benefits read the complete guide of becoming a personal trainer by the Examiner.com
3. You Must Have People Skills
The fitness industry is all about people and positive interactions. If you don’t have the insight into how the fitness industry works you will find it difficult to hire and keep the staff whom contain the right combination of skills, attitude, and knowledge of people. Keeping your staff inspired is as big as big a task as keeping your members motivated to stick to their exercise schedule. You will need to play a pivotal role in shaping their personalities and their attitudes to members, business ethics, communication skills, and be the guiding light for growing their personal brands within your health club.
4. You Must Have Some Basic Marketing Skills
You will need to be a very good communicator and marketer so that you can convey your passion to both the members and staff. Unless you know how to market your facility to your target audience (or as Seth Godin says, Your Tribe) it may prove to be a challenge to grow your club as quickly as you'd initially hoped. Training yourself and your staff about the latest trends in the industry and practical solutions to common customer concerns can play a vital role in your ability to convey your personal story and your gym positively. Be sure to create a buzz every time you add a new piece of equipment, add a new class or workshop, or bring on the newest team member or trainer. You are a team after all! This will keep the narrative about your facility flowing. To learn more about gym management check out the keleven.com guide to health clubs.
5. You Must Have Equipment and Facilities
It is vital that you carve out a niche for your gym; if you are aiming for a particular segment then you should need to pay a lot of thought into the location, size of space and the type and quality of the equipment that will equip your facility with. It's necessary for you to make sure that your staff knows how to run and keep up the equipment properly and customers do not have to deal with overly complicated equipment or outdated and non-maintained equipment that may be unsafe to use. A very high standard of hygiene, cleanliness and organization can act as a very strong motivator for customers. New gear, clean space and vibrant community… bam! Now you're talking.
In closing, when opening your own health club business…
…Don't leave anything on the table. Be sure that your training facilities cater to as many customer types as possible – after all we all need health and fitness, right?
Remember gym management is all about keeping customers happy and on a path to improving their overall wellness. Pay attention to the small details like parking, incorporating a full-service juice bar catering to pre and post workout nutrition, engaging and energetic background music or even strategically-located televisions to keep your clients engaged during longer cardio sessions. Create amazing relationships – leverage the power of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to remember your members' birthdays, anniversaries, name of children and other valuable information that can allow you to nurture and maintain the relationships you've worked so hard to form.
Remember ‘why‘ you got into the health and fitness business – and live your passion daily!
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