If establishing and managing your own gym sounds like a dream come true, you’re not alone. Millions of fitness enthusiasts around the world have that same dream, but it takes passion, dedication, and know-how to get it right.
Edgard Corona, founder of Latin America’s iconic Smart Fit fitness chain, is a terrific example of someone who nails what it takes to turn a gym into an essential part of a customer’s daily routine. Here’s a closer look at how you can take a page out of Smart Fit’s book and ensure your gym is just as successful.
Mastering the Basics
A successful gym is more than just a place to get in shape. It’s an entire experience—the kind that you won’t get at home or anyplace else.
Great gyms are hygienic, risk-free environments packed with plenty of options for fitness-minded individuals to choose from—everything from well-stocked weight rooms and the latest workout machines to dynamic aerobics classes that keep people coming back for more. They’re also places that make everyone feel motivated and encouraged from the second they walk in the door.
For example, Edgard Corona wanted his Smart Fit gyms to be places where everyday people with busy schedules and budgets could come to realize their fitness goals. And with the help of his son, Diogo Corona, he has accomplished this by providing open layouts, affordable memberships, flexible hours, and supportive staff.
Building a Strong Community
Any fitness center will have equipment, instructors, and resources that its members can leverage to get in shape and stay that way. But only the truly exceptional gyms offer a genuine sense of community.
Building a strong community around your fitness brand encourages loyalty, keeps your customers coming back, and inspires them to recommend your facilities to others they know. Some ways to accomplish this include:
- Responsive, top-tier customer care services
- Events, workshops, classes, and similar resources
- A powerful and engaging social media experience
- Helpful, readily accessible online and offline content
- Appealing customer referral programs
Diversifying Your Offerings
Not only are all of your customers going to have different fitness goals, but their values, needs, and focuses will evolve over time. Smart gym owners are always on the lookout for ways to diversify what they offer so they can continue to serve clients as their fitness journeys progress.
What can your gym bring to the table that the competition doesn’t? How can you build on what’s already working for your brand? Consider options like nutritional consultations, wellness offerings, training services, and more. Truly iconic gym brands grow and evolve along with their customers and communities.
Cover the Practical Aspects
Managing a successful gym is about more than planning and creating incredible workout experiences. At the end of the day, gyms and fitness centers are still businesses with budgets, payrolls, and legal concerns to consider.
Keep careful track of all the details when it comes to balancing your budget, caring for the property, insuring your business, verifying employee qualifications, and so on. Consider assembling a team of professionals (like accountants and financial advisors) to help take the guesswork out of this process.
Ultimately, establishing and managing a successful gym is all about setting high standards and getting all of the details (both big and small) correct. Let your passion for fitness inspire you every step of the way, and it won’t be long before you’re following in the footsteps of industry icons like Edgard Corona.