Is Owning A Gym Profitable Business? Top 5 Gym Chains

Is owning a gym profitable?

Ever thought about whether owning a gym can make you lots of money? Well, let’s find out together! In this article, we’ll talk about gyms and their money-making potential. Plus, we’ll introduce you to the top 5 gym chains that are doing super well. These gyms are full of people working hard to get fit, and they’re also making a ton of cash. Is owning a gym profitable business?

Is owning a gym profitable?

If you’re curious about it, keep reading. You might just discover that it’s a great business idea waiting for you. So, let’s dive in and learn why owning a gym can be a really smart move!

(A) A Boom in the Fitness Industry

Want to improve your immune system and mental health? You must be fit. Wishing to be healthy and look young despite getting old? You must be super fit and healthy. See, fitness is everywhere for maintaining your physical and mental health. As a result, our fitness industry boomed like the industrial revolution in the 18th century. 

The fitness industry, a rapidly growing global sector, encompasses a wide range of activities and services geared towards physical health and well-being. It includes certain essential stuff like-

  • Gyms
  • Personal Training
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Wellness Apps
  • Wearable Technology
  • Nutrition Programs

The list doesn’t end here. This industry has evolved with trends like-

  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Yoga
  • Online Fitness Subscriptions

Health-conscious consumers are driving this growth, emphasizing preventive care and lifestyle improvements. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual fitness solutions. How can we forget the traumatic days of the COVID-19 pandemic? That was the time when mankind realized the significance of good health! 

As a result, the fitness industry continues to adapt and innovate. It emphasizes convenience, accessibility, and personalized approaches to cater to diverse fitness goals and preferences.

(B) Global Overview of the Fitness Industry

The fitness industry is a rapidly growing industry that has been impacted by recent global events. Such as the pandemic and the need for soldiers in the upcoming wars.

According to the latest statistics from Wellness Creative Co., the total revenue of the fitness industry is estimated to be $81.5bn in 2023, down from its peak of $96.7bn in 2019. The industry is growing again (+7.4% last year) but hasn’t yet recovered fully to its 2019 peak. It has already rebounded dramatically from recent global events. 

Although the next few years may be challenging, there are positive macro signals that it will continue to grow over the long term.

Let’s look at some key metrics for the global fitness industry-

Total Revenue Earned$81.5 billion
Growth Rate+7.4%
No. of Health Clubs200,000
No. of Members184 million
Key Metrics of Global Fitness Industry

However, you must note that this data is restricted to fitness and gym/health clubs only. So, it doesn’t account for boutique studios, community recreation facilities, or gyms located in hotels or resorts.

(C) Scenario of Fitness Industry in India

The fitness industry in India is projected to reach a total revenue of $21.35m in 2022, with an expected annual growth rate of 9.39% from 2022 to 2027. According to Health & Fitness- India, the market volume is projected to be $34.60m by 2027. 

In-app purchase (IAP) revenue is projected to reach $14.77 million. Also, the paid app revenue is projected to reach $0.46 million. The advertising revenue is projected to reach $6.12 million in the upcoming years. The number of downloads in the Health & Fitness market is projected to reach 293.40 million in 2024.

Below are some key metrics for the fitness industry in India-

Total Industry Revenue$21.35 million
Annual Growth Rate (CAGR 2022-27)9.39%
In-app purchase (IAP) Revenue$14.77 million
Paid App Revenue$0.46 million
Advertising Revenue$6.12 million
Key Metrics of Indian Fitness Industry

Here also, the figures are specific to the health and fitness market. It excludes boutique studios, hotels, or community recreation facilities.

(D) Factors Influencing Gym Profitability

Factors affecting the profitability of Fitness industry

Let’s delve into each factor influencing gym profitability with relevant facts and data-

(D.1) Location and Demographics

  • Location is pivotal. Gyms located in urban or densely populated areas tend to have higher foot traffic and potential members. For example, a gym in a metropolitan area may have more significant revenue potential than one in a rural setting.
  • Demographics matter a lot. How? See, a gym’s target demographic influences its services and marketing. For instance, if your gym is in an area with a younger population, you might focus on trendy classes and modern equipment.
  • According to Statistica, the market size of the global fitness and health club industry is over $96 billion. And guess who the largest market is? North America! The industry thrives in urban areas with access to a large population.

(D.2) Competition

Competition can significantly impact profitability. Assess the number and quality of competing gyms in your area. A saturated market might require more competitive pricing or unique services. Analyzing competitors’ pricing can help you set competitive rates without undercutting your profitability.

According to a 2020 report by RunRepeat, there are an estimated 205,176 gyms in the world. This is an increase of 12.11% from the 183,000 gyms available worldwide in the year 2014. These data indicate a highly competitive landscape.

(D.3) Membership Models

Membership models play a crucial role in profitability. Offering tiered memberships with different price points and benefits can maximize revenue. Data tracking can help you identify which membership models are most profitable and adjust your offerings accordingly.

The data International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and Runrepeat highlighted the potential for different membership tiers. As per the data, the average annual revenue per gym member in the United States was around $517 in 2020.

(D.4) Equipment and Maintenance Costs

Investing in high-quality gym equipment is essential for member satisfaction, but it can be costly. Data on equipment costs and maintenance expenses should be part of your financial planning. Regular maintenance is crucial to avoid costly breakdowns and ensure member safety.

Gym equipment costs can vary widely, from a few thousand dollars for basic items to tens of thousands for specialized machinery. Maintenance costs can range from 1% to 3% of a gym’s total revenue.

(D.5) Marketing and Branding

Effective marketing is vital for attracting and retaining members. Allocate a budget for digital marketing, social media, and community engagement. Building a strong brand can set your gym apart. Collect data on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and customer feedback.

A study by Social Media Today found that 71% of consumers prefer word-of-mouth marketing. They are more likely to recommend a brand to others if they have a positive experience with it on social media.

Thus, these factors are interconnected, and data-driven decision-making is essential for optimizing gym profitability. Gathering data on your local market, competition, member preferences, and financial performance will enable you to make informed choices. That’s why you must adapt your strategies over time to make your gym a profitable business.

(E) Is Owning a Gym Profitable Business?

Yes, owning a gym can be a profitable business venture!

Is owning a gym a profitable business?

While it is not a guaranteed get-rich-quick scheme, those who are willing to put in the hard work and implement effective strategies can find success in this industry. The successful gym owners are those who do three things right. 

  • They focus on member retention by providing a positive and engaging experience for their clients. 
  • The gym owners implement effective marketing strategies to attract new members. 
  • They optimize their operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs. 

By doing these things well, gym owners can increase their profitability. In the next section, we will discuss these metrics in detail.

In India, the gym business has also shown potential for profitability. An investment of 4 to 5 lakhs can be enough to open a good gym. Especially if you choose to rent a plot instead of buying one. This suggests that with careful planning and management, a gym business can be profitable even with a moderate investment.

It’s important to note that the profitability of a gym business can vary depending on various factors. Such as location, competition, marketing strategies, and target market. We have already discussed them above. However, with the right approach and a focus on delivering value to customers, owning a gym can be a lucrative venture.

(F) Key Business Metrics for Gyms That Count

If you’ve ever thought about running a gym, you’ve probably imagined making a lot of money because lots of people want to get fit. But, you need to understand that it’s not easy. At the start, you’ll likely have to do most of the work by yourself, like cleaning, talking to customers, and promoting your gym. You’ll also have to work long hours, sometimes really early in the morning or late at night. 

Is owning a gym profitable? Well, owning a gym can make money, but it won’t make you rich quickly. The people who do well in this business are the ones who are ready to work really hard. So, how can your gym make money in a crowded market? 

The answer is to focus on the important things that make your gym special and successful. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of a gym’s financial health, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. Thus, it helps gym owners make informed decisions and achieve long-term success. And what are those? Look at the table below-

(F.1) Metrics Essential for Successful Gym Business

Key Business Metrics for GymDescription
RevenueThe total income generated from membership fees, personal training, classes, and other services.
ARM (Average Revenue Per Member)The average monthly revenue earned from each gym member. It’s a measure of member value.
Member Retention RateThe percentage of members who continue their memberships over a specified period, typically monthly or annually. High retention is crucial for long-term success.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) The cost incurred to acquire a new gym member, including marketing expenses. Keeping CAC low is essential for profitability.
LTV (Lifetime Value)The total revenue generated by a member during their entire time with the gym. It helps assess the long-term value of each customer.
Operating ProfitThe profit left after subtracting staffing costs and fixed expenses from gross revenue. It indicates how well the gym covers its operating costs.
NOB (Net Owner Benefit)The total financial benefit the gym provides to the owner, including salary, dividends, or other perks.
EHR (Effective Hourly Rate)The owner’s hourly earnings based on NOB divided by hours worked. It helps prioritize tasks and time management.
ExpensesTracking and managing various expenses, including staffing, rent, utilities, and equipment maintenance, is crucial for controlling costs.
ROI (Return on Investment)Evaluating the returns generated from various expenses, such as marketing campaigns, equipment purchases, or facility improvements.
LEG (Length of Engagement)The average duration members stay with the gym, indicating member satisfaction and retention.
NPS (Net Promoter Score)Measuring member satisfaction through reviews and NPS surveys can provide valuable insights.
Profit MarginCalculating the percentage of profit in relation to revenue helps gauge overall financial health.
Key Business Metrics for Gym

(G) Advantages of Owning a Gym

Are you wondering- Is owning a gym profitable? Well, for that you need to look at some potential advantages/benefits of owning a gym-

ProfitabilityGyms can generate steady income through memberships and additional services like personal training.
Booming Health and Fitness IndustryIt’s part of a growing industry, as more people prioritize fitness and wellness.                                  
Personal SatisfactionThe satisfaction of helping people achieve their fitness goals can be rewarding.    
Flexible Working HoursOwners can often set their own hours and schedules
Community BuildingGyms can create a sense of community and social connection among members.
Diverse Revenue StreamsOffer additional services like classes, merchandise, and supplements to increase income.
Advantages of Owning a GYm

(H) Challenges & Disadvantages of Owning a Gym

By now you must have got the answer of- Is owning a gym profitable! Remember that owning a gym also comes with challenges and responsibilities. Let’s dive deep into the details-

Challenges & DisadvantagesDetails
High Operating CostsMaintaining gym equipment, utilities, and staff salaries are expensive.
Intense CompetitionMany gyms compete for the same customer base, making it challenging to stand out.
Seasonal FluctuationsMembership numbers may vary seasonally, affecting cash flow.  
Regulatory ComplianceCompliance with health and safety regulations can be complex and time-consuming.
Staff ManagementManaging trainers, front desk staff, and cleaning crews can be demanding.
Marketing and Member RetentionAttracting and retaining members require ongoing marketing efforts.
Equipment MaintenanceGym equipment can require frequent repairs and upgrades
Economic DownturnsEconomic recessions can impact discretionary spending on fitness memberships
Challenges and Disadvantages of Owning a Gym

Owning a gym can be rewarding, but it’s important to be aware of these challenges and plan accordingly to mitigate them.

(I) Top 5 Gym Chains in the World

The ranking has been done based on their worldwide presence and revenue earned. The top 5 Gym Chain in the world as per the latest reports are-

Gym ChainRevenue Earned (2020)
Anytime Fitness$1.1 billion
ClubCorp$1.05 billion
Fitness First $677 million
Snap Fitness$555 million
Planet Fitness$406.6 million
Top 5 Gym Chains in the World

Let’s dive into the details-

(I.1) Anytime Fitness

It is a well-known global gym chain with a unique selling point – its 24/7 accessibility. Members can work out at any time that suits them, making it a popular choice for those with busy schedules. Anytime Fitness prides itself on its convenience and friendly, supportive atmosphere, often being referred to as the “neighborhood gym.”

(I.2) ClubCorp

It is a slightly different concept compared to traditional gyms. It’s a private club management company that operates not only fitness centers but also golf and country clubs, business clubs, and other social clubs. It offers a comprehensive range of amenities and services, making it an excellent choice for individuals who seek more than just a gym membership.

(I.3) Fitness First

It is a significant player in the fitness industry. This gym chain, often simply known as “Fitness First,” has a presence in several countries. It’s known for its modern facilities, group fitness classes, and personalized training options.

(I.4) Snap Fitness

This is another 24/7 gym chain that emphasizes convenience. It’s known for its compact, no-frills facilities that cater to members looking for a quick and efficient workout. Snap Fitness often offers affordable membership options, making it accessible to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts.

(I.5) Planet Fitness

This gym chain is known for its commitment to creating a judgment-free environment. It aims to provide an inclusive and comfortable atmosphere for individuals of all fitness levels. The gym chain offers a range of equipment, group fitness classes, and often distinguishes itself with its “Lunk Alarm,” discouraging intimidating behavior.

Each of these gym chains has its own unique approach and offerings, catering to different preferences and fitness goals. You must be wondering- Is owning a gum profitable? Indeed it is! The gym chain described above are the evidence of the successful gym business. When choosing a gym, it’s essential to consider factors like location, cost, equipment, classes, and the overall atmosphere to find the best fit for your fitness journey.

(J) Top 5 Gym Chains in India

Top 5 Gym Chains in India

Before proceeding further, please note that the popularity and availability of gym chains may vary a lot. It depends on the specific location within India.

As per the customer’s reviews and latest reports, the top 5 gym chains in India are-

  • Gold’s Gym: It is a globally renowned fitness chain and is well-known for its state-of-the-art facilities and quality training programs. It has a strong presence in India and offers a wide range of fitness services.
  • Fitness First: This is another popular gym chain that emphasizes personalized training and offers a comprehensive range of fitness equipment and classes. They have multiple branches across major cities in India.
  • Talwalkers: It is one of the oldest and well-established gym chains in India, with a diverse range of fitness programs tailored to meet individual needs. They have a large network of gyms across the country.
  • Anytime fitness: It is a 24-hour gym chain with over 4,500 locations globally. It offers convenience and flexibility for its members, allowing access to its facilities at any time.

The gym chains described above gives a positive answer for our query- Is owning a gym profitable? These gym chains have established themselves as leaders in the fitness industry. How? By delivering quality services, state-of-the-art equipment, and expert guidance to help individuals on their fitness journeys.

(K) Final Words: Is Owning a Gym Profitable Business?

Here, we’ve come to the conclusion for the query- Is owning a gym profitable business? Yes! It is indeed a profitable venture. But its success hinges on factors like location, marketing, and efficient management. 

The top 5 gym chains, including names like Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness, and Gold’s Gym, have demonstrated the potential for profitability in the fitness industry. These industry giants have succeeded by offering diverse services, attracting a broad clientele, and implementing effective marketing strategies.

Aspiring gym owners should consider these chains as models for success, emphasizing accessibility, affordability, and excellent customer service. However, it’s essential to adapt these lessons to the unique dynamics of your local market.

Thank you for dedicating your valuable time to read this write-up. We hope these insights will help you make informed decisions in the fitness business landscape!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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7 months ago

Addition to profit this is the kind of business where day to day operations are not that challenging to manage if you have right set of people on board.