What to think about when starting a sports business

Starting your own fitness business can be hugely rewarding and is a common aspiration amongst employed personal trainers. Owning your own gym gives you flexibility and freedom and can be a big earner. Once you have spent a few years working away each day in your Nike Football Kits from watching your clients reach their fitness goals you can find that you yearn for more from your business. But before you throw yourself in head first, read through our essential early checklist.

Jack of All Trades

Running your own gym or fitness premises requires you to be more than just a personal trainer. You will be responsible for the upkeep of the building and you’ll need to have technical know-how and general maintenance skills. You may also need management skills and accountancy knowledge. The more you can do yourself, such as decorating or accounts, the less you’ll pay out to contractors and ultimately, the higher your profits will be.


Having a strong network of potential customers, clients and contractors is a great starting point. At the beginning, no-one will know your business is there unless you network. As it’s unlikely you would be able to afford a huge advertising campaign, you can use your own social channels to get the word out. Start your own professional Facebook page as a personal trainer immediately, and build ‘page likes’, so that you’ll have a ready audience when it’s time to go.

Business Plan

Before you buy any gym equipment, get a loan or sign up to a long lease agreement, draw up a comprehensive business plan first. You’ll need to research both the industry and your market extensively. A plan also gets you thinking about your goals and profit margins, and provides you with something to show potential investors or the bank. The government provides lots of useful guidance on business plans and getting started.


You need to have the passion; for sports, for fitness and for making money. Presumably you’ve been doing sport since you were young, since you were at school. Just being into sport isn’t enough to succeed – you also need to be passionate about getting other people fit too.

The above checklist is a really early place to start if you are thinking about going it alone with your own sports or fitness facility. A good sports business can be a huge success, so make sure you get it right at every step.

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