Is owning a gym a good investment?

If you are into health and fitness, you may be the ideal person to start a fitness business or become a franchisee of an existing fitness franchise. One of the first questions you should determine is if opening a gym is profitable. You may also be wondering is opening a gym franchise profitable.

fitness franchise market

The market size of the global fitness and health club industry exceeds 96 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 and had over 184 million gym members worldwide, excluding other related industries, such as equipment manufacturers and distributors, fitness trackers, health supplements, etc. While the US accounts for about 35 billion U.S. dollars, the remaining revenues come from outside of the US. Many of these fitness chains are actually franchises.

It is clear that the opportunity is there, but you also need to consider either starting a gym business on your own or becoming a franchisee of a proven and successful franchisor of fitness gyms in your region. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, though franchising has been proven to minimize business risks for many and is the recommended strategy for those with little to no prior working knowledge of this industry.

Key Advantages of Buying a Franchise

  • Franchises offer the independence of small business ownership combined with the support of bigger and more established franchisors.
  • You don’t need health and fitness experience to run a gym franchise. Franchisors will train and support you from A-Z in terms center management, operations, human resource planning, marketing, etc.
  • Franchises have a proven higher rate of success than new businesses that are not franchises.
  • With some franchises, you may qualify for financing, which is helpful if you have a limited investment budget.
  • Successful franchises often have strong local and regional reputation, effective management and work practices that can be shared with franchisees and investors.
  • They provide the crucial ongoing support and new product development that is required to succeed long-term in this industry.

Key Disadvantages of a Buying a Franchise

  • Buying a franchise means entering into a formal agreement with your franchisor.
  • There are usually restrictions on where you can locate your fitness gym, the products and services that you can sell and the suppliers that you can use as well as how you are to operate the fitness centers.
  • You may be affected by your franchisor’s and the franchise system’s reputation in the event that it becomes negative instead of positive at some point in the future.
  • Franchisees have to pay franchise fees, royalties, marketing, and possibly other services.

Franchising is seen by many as an effective way to go into business for the first time. In effect, you are going into business yourself but not by yourself. While it has been proven time and time again that franchising increases the chances of success in many businesses, there is no guarantee for success so be diligent in choosing the right fitness franchise for yourself and your market. If you are not able to do this by yourself, consider hiring qualified franchise consultants who are dedicated 100% to the franchise industry and who have a strong industry track record.

gofit fitness franchise

Are you ready? If so, consider up and coming franchises such as Go Fit and Fire Fitness. Gyms with proven success in Asia and supported by an experienced management team that is based in Asia.

Author: Sean T. Ngo is the CEO and Co-Founder of one of Asia’s leading franchise consultancy, VF Franchise Consulting. He is Vietnamese American and has been living in Vietnam for over 16 years. You can reach him at [email protected] or [email protected]


Why Open a Boutique Fitness Studio?

Online / Virtual Fitness Market