We're keeping with our new venture series this month to make sure you have all the tools you need to start your new fitness studio business. As a consultant, the number one mistake I see is that studio owners excitedly rush into their lease without taking the time to truly dive into the numbers, which leads to a snowball effect of problems later on. Before designing workout routines or buying equipment, you need a comprehensive business plan.
A business plan outlines your fitness studio's goals, strategies, financial projections, and operational details. It's essential to have a business plan in place to ensure that your fitness studio is viable, profitable, and sustainable in the long run. It can also be intimidating if you're new to entrepreneurship, so we'll take you through everything you need to create a business plan for your new fitness business.
The first step in creating a business plan for your fitness studio is to clarify your business concept. Luckily, if you've been reading this quarter's blogs so far, you'll have a headstart. Begin by detailing the kind of fitness studio you want to build.
Consider what makes your fitness studio unique and what differentiates it from other fitness businesses in your area.
When defining your business concept, it's crucial to consider your target market.
You need to understand your target audience's needs and preferences to create a fitness studio that resonates, speaks directly to them, and makes them want to join.
Once you've completed your business concept, it's time to conduct market research to understand the fitness industry in your area. It's tempting in your enthusiasm to get started, but make sure you don't skip this step. The more complete your understanding of the local market, the better you can position yourself to compete. I like to create a spreadsheet and include each studio and the following questions:
Market research will help you better understand the local fitness industry, including what the local market is used to, who the current players are, and where you have room to disrupt and differentiate.
Once you understand your target audience and the competition, you can build your marketing and sales strategies. Your marketing plan should communicate your unique selling proposition and help you attract and retain clients.
Here are some key elements to consider when developing your marketing strategy:
Your financial plan is the backbone of your business plan. It should include the following:
A robust financial plan will help you make informed pricing, marketing, and operations decisions.
In this section, describe the structure of your fitness business. Include information about your management team, staffing requirements, and organizational structure. You'll also detail your business's legal structure, including any necessary licenses and permits. Deciding on an LLC vs. C Corp vs. sole proprietorship isn't the time for a best-guess approach. If you need help deciding how to structure your business, hire an attorney to help you decide.
The executive summary is the first section of your business plan, but you'll write it last. This section will provide an overview of your business and should include a brief description of your fitness studio, services, target market, and competitive advantage. This section should be concise and compelling. If you need funding for startup costs, this is your chance to convince the reader to turn the page.
If the idea of creating a business plan makes you want to cancel your plans altogether, don't worry. There are tools you can use to make the process less painful. I've successfully used Liveplan for all of my businesses- just don't forget to turn off the subscription when you're finished. This process will take time, but it's so valuable when it's finished. If you get overwhelmed, take a break and remember that your fitDEGREE preferred coaches are here to help.
As a small fitness business owner, crafting a compelling founder's statement and story can help you establish a personal connection with potential customers, differentiate your business from competitors, and build a strong brand identity