Member Experience

15 Qualities of a Successful Gym Owner

Are you running a gym and wondering whether or not it is successful? Here are fifteen characteristics that define a thriving fitness facility.

Eric LeClair
October 15, 2021
15 Qualities of a Successful Gym Owner
Are you running a gym and wondering whether or not it is successful? Here are fifteen characteristics that define a successful gym owner.
Successful Gym Owner
Gym Photographer: Jesper Aggergaard | Source: Unsplash

Now that the world is getting back to normal after the lockdown, several people are taking their health more seriously and looking to shed that pandemic weight gain after working from home for over a year. This made gym memberships shoot up thereby making the fitness business more lucrative than ever right now. Interested in learning what it takes to be a successful gym owner?

Typically, a gym owner is responsible for keeping the gym running, managing staff and finances and also ensuring the gym members are growing in numbers. To be able to run a gym successfully and scale into a full-blown business, there are certain outstanding qualities a gym owner has to possess and imbibing them will help grow the gym as well as turn it into a lucrative business.

Successful Gym Owner = Intimate Knowledge of the Industry

Having first-hand knowledge about the fitness world is one of the most important qualities a gym owner should possess. To be a successful gym owner, you should be willing to learn about trends in the industry as well as identify potential problems and how they can be avoided. You should also be able to keep track of your competitors' actions and moves so you wouldn't be left behind. If you are aiming at being at the forefront in the industry, adopting new technologies, equipment and systems should come naturally to you so your gym can keep up with current trends.

Be Consistent

Being consistent with your daily activities as a gym owner is important as it shows you are disciplined and understand the importance of planning ahead. As a gym owner, you have several daily tasks to execute and leaving them undone could be detrimental to the growth and smooth running of the business. Avoid procrastinating activities like cleaning the gym and bookkeeping as much as possible to prevent the gym from losing its credibility.

Be a Strong Leader

Being a successful gym owner makes you a manager with several employees and customers. Your interaction with the people of the business will determine how far the gym would go. Being able to make critical decisions that will put the company in a positive light is up to you so you have to work on your leadership qualities by learning from courses as well as having mentors who are successful in the business. As a strong leader, you have to kind yet firm with your staff and also exude confidence so they can respect your executive orders.

Be Adaptable

Change is unavoidable in the fitness industry. As a gym owner looking to stand out, you need to be able to adapt to changes when they come so you don't get knocked out. Once you notice a current trend is changing or phasing out, see the new trend as a learning opportunity and go all out to adapt to it. The pandemic has taught us all that anything can happen so as a gym owner, you should think outside the box and think of new methods to adapt to the situation and still be in business.

Be Patient

Breaking through in a saturated industry is not easy and the fitness industry is no exception. Most gyms usually take running them for some years before they metamorphose into a successful business. Being patient helps as it gives you the strength to keep moving even when things do not go as expected or planned.

Monitor the Money

Asides from being passionate about fitness, making a living is a common reason why gyms are established. As a successful gym owner, you need to be knowledgeable about the gym's finances as you are not only paying yourself but also your staff from the gym's proceeds. Learn about bookkeeping and accounting, expenditure, profits and losses and other financial factors. You can hire a professional to do this if you are not well-versed in finances to avoid making wrong decisions.

Be a Communicator

Adopting good communication skills is important as a gym owner as you have to interact with clients, employees and other people in the industry when running the business. Proper conflict resolution skills are also needed as misunderstandings with both customers and employees are unavoidable so with these skills you can settle sticky situations easily.

Be Persistent

Due to the over-saturation of the industry, you might find it difficult to break through as a gym owner. However, being persistent, consistent and patient will pay off someday. Do not be quick to give up in the face of difficulty as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Be a Customer Manager

Customers are the bedrock of a gym as they bring in the profit so it is important to maintain a good relationship with them as it is easier to retain an old customer than to get a new one. Listen to them, treat them with dignity and respect so they keep coming back. Make the gym conducive for them and make sure they are getting great value for what they are paying.

Be selfless

As a gym owner, you should be ready to sacrifice your interest for others and treat your employees right. They do a lot of work so you should invest in them in return as this makes them feel important to the company thereby motivating them to do more. Offer them incentives, bonus, awards and salary increments so they can deliver premium service to your customers.

Lead By Example

It is important to live a fitness life if you are looking to be a successful gym owner. Look the part, don't be fat as this keeps clients away from the gym. Show them your gym's fitness plan is working by looking the part so they can trust you more. Do not get caught up in the business that you forget to take care of yourself and stop training. In fact, looking fit helps attract more clients to the gym.

Select A Niche

One of the fastest ways to grow a gym is to niche out. If you are just starting as a gym owner, you need to define what yours does and for who. This helps to target a certain group of people making your reputation grow faster within that community. Does your gym target men or women, single or married, strength or weight loss? Being able to narrow down your clientele sets you on the path of success faster.

Develop Solid Work Ethic

In the fitness industry, when you are just starting out as a gym owner, you would need to put in a lot of work and grind till you get your feet off the ground. There are several facets of the business that need your attention like the daily running of the gym, equipment selection, growing the clientele and so on.

Utilize “Freemium”

Being able to give out value without expecting payment is a great way to establish trust while starting out in the fitness industry. Give out workout tips, free seminars and other free resources you can afford to give out as a bait to potential clients so they can have a feel of the premium service they are getting when they sign up with your gym.

Be Professional

A successful gym owner should be conscious of their actions, appearance and charisma as these qualities help potential clients know you are a process. You should also instill professionalism in your employees so they can present the gym in a good light to others.

Running a successful gym is a lot of work and commitment, however, once you are ready to give it your all and imbibe these outstanding qualities, you are well on your way to scaling your gym business to greater heights.

Eric LeClair

Eric LeClair works on the Marketing Team at PushPress. Eric has been a CrossFit Affiliate owner for 16 years. He's built three separate gyms and developed over 20 staff members to run operations at those facilities. He's a Veteran of the US Army, married with two little kids, and spends lots of time with his two boxers backpacking and exploring new adventures!

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