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How to Scale a Gym to Multiple Locations (17 tips)

How to Scale a Gym to Multiple Locations (17 tips)

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on May 20, 2023 — Updated on January 1, 2024

Learn how to scale a gym to multiple locations, how to develop a gym expansion plan, and more.

How to Scale a Gym to Multiple Locations

Learning how to scale a gym to multiple locations is a key milestone for a growing gym business. As a gym owner, you may have started with a single location and built a loyal customer base. But, as with any business, growth is essential to ensure long-term success.

Read our guide to choosing the best location for a gym, learn how to create a solid gym business plan, and how to increase gym revenue and profitability in order to create a gym sales forecast that will help you learn how to expand a gym the right way. You want to run a successful gym business, not lose your focus and spend too much money without understanding all the costs to open a gym (key reasons why gyms fail).

Fitness Income Ideas

Read on to find the best places to open a gym or start a fitness business, and then see why the best software for managing a gym is the unified gym business, marketing, workout, and communication platform, Exercise.com. From the best gym check-in software to the best personal training software and the best gym mobile apps software—you can manage your new gym and market to your new gym community in a single platform.

Expanding to multiple gym locations can bring in more revenue, attract more customers, and increase your brand’s visibility. However, scaling a gym business requires careful planning, strategizing, and implementation. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how to scale a gym to multiple locations.

Read on to learn more about scaling your gym business and how to run multiple gyms, and then check out the best gym management software platform that makes growing and scaling multiple gym locations a breeze. You can manage multiple gym locations easily with a hierarchy of role-based user permissions, an “HQ” location that can manage other locations and send them workouts, exercises, messages, reports, and other templates, easy trainer commission splits, and more.

Exercise.com is simply the best. We were using three or four different apps or softwares to do what we can now do all in one with the Exercise.com platform.
Brandon Stroupe
Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

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17 Tips for Learning How to Scale a Gym to Multiple Locations

  1. Understand Your Market: Before expanding, conduct a thorough market analysis to understand the demand, competition, and unique needs of each potential new location.
  2. Financial Planning: Plan your budget carefully. Account for acquisition or lease of new premises, equipment, staff, marketing, and operational costs.
  3. Maintain Brand Consistency: Ensure your brand identity remains consistent across locations. This can be facilitated with a custom-branded platform like Exercise.com.
  4. Hire the Right Team: Hire motivated, qualified staff that align with your brand’s values. Consider investing in training to ensure high-quality service.
  5. Leverage Technology: Use a gym management software like Exercise.com to streamline operations, manage memberships, schedule classes, and process payments across locations.
  6. Establish Strong Communication Channels: Effective communication between all locations is essential. Regular meetings, emails, and collaborative online tools can help.
  7. Define Clear Processes: Standardize your processes for each location to ensure consistent service.
  8. Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Keep track of important metrics like membership numbers, retention rates, and revenue for each location.
  9. Invest in Marketing: Targeted marketing can help establish your brand in new locations and attract new members.
  10. Offer Unique Services: Identify gaps in the market and offer unique services to stand out from the competition.
  11. Provide Excellent Customer Service: High-quality customer service is key to attracting and retaining members.
  12. Quality Control: Regularly audit each location to ensure they maintain your gym’s standards.
  13. Involve Current Members: If you have members who commute from the area of your new location, involve them in the process. They can be great advocates for your new gym.
  14. Centralized Management: Centralize aspects of your operations to maintain oversight and ensure consistency.
  15. Build a Strong Community: Foster a sense of community across all locations to improve member retention.
  16. Continuous Improvement: Always look for ways to improve and adapt to changing market conditions.
  17. Keep Pace with Industry Trends: Stay updated with the latest fitness trends to keep your gyms relevant and attractive to potential members.
Overhead Squat FMS
“We went live with our Fitness Business Management software at four locations. Everything is working great. The import and export are easy and the guys are really liking the look and convenience of the platform. From both my side and the user side the platform has exceeded our expectations.”
Mike Contreras
Founder & CEO, FMS HS

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Leveraging Gym Management Technology

Use a platform like Exercise.com to manage your gym effectively, regardless of location. With features like workout plan creation, ecommerce, performance health assessments, and more, Exercise.com can help ensure the success of your new gym.

Offer gym check-ins.


Easily set up gym booking and appointment scheduling, online and in-person.


Sell gym memberships, process gym payments, offer gym e-commerce products, and much more.

Gym ECommerce

Create workout plans and offer workout logging.

Workout Logger

And much, much more. All from your own custom branded gym apps.

Custom Branded Apps
Tony Gentilcore
Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

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Understanding the Basics of Scaling a Gym

Opening a gym is a dream for many fitness enthusiasts. However, expanding your gym business to multiple locations requires a lot of planning, hard work, and dedication. Before you start scaling your gym business, you need to understand the basics of scaling. Scaling means growing your business in such a way that it maintains its quality, reputation, and profitability while expanding its customer base.

The first step in scaling your gym business is to assess its current success. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your business can help you build a scalable model. Conducting a SWOT analysis is an excellent way to identify your gym’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis should include a review of your financial performance, customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and market positioning.

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Assessing Your Current Gym’s Success

It’s essential to determine your gym’s current financial status by reviewing its financial statements. This review should include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Calculate KPIs like EBITDA, gross profit margin, and revenue per member. This analysis will help you gauge your current financial performance, identify areas for improvement, and plan for future growth.

Customer satisfaction is another critical factor in assessing your gym’s success. Conduct surveys to understand your customers’ needs and preferences. Analyze their feedback to identify areas for improvement. You can also use customer feedback to develop new services and offerings that cater to their needs.

Identifying Your Target Market

Knowing your target market is crucial to scaling your gym business. Based on your current customer base and market trends, determine the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. Conduct market research to analyze the size and potential of your target market. This research should include competitor analysis, customer surveys, and industry analysis.

Once you have identified your target market, develop marketing strategies that cater to their needs. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to your target audience. You can also use email marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing to promote your gym business.

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Analyzing Your Competition

Competitor analysis is vital to scaling your gym business. Study your competitors’ offerings, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer service. Identify their unique selling points and determine the value proposition that sets you apart from them. This analysis will help you make informed decisions about pricing, branding, and marketing.

One way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by offering unique services and amenities. For example, you can offer personal training, group fitness classes, nutrition counseling, and wellness programs. You can also invest in state-of-the-art equipment and technology to provide a superior gym experience to your customers.

In conclusion, scaling a gym business requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and planning. By assessing your current gym’s success, identifying your target market, and analyzing your competition, you can build a scalable model that maintains your gym’s quality, reputation, and profitability while expanding its customer base.

Creating a Solid Gym Expansion Plan

Expanding your gym business can be an exciting and challenging endeavor. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure that your expansion is successful. Once you’ve assessed your current gym’s success and identified your target market and competition, you can start creating a solid expansion plan.

Expanding your gym business can be a great way to increase your revenue, attract new customers, and build your brand. However, it’s essential to have a clear plan in place before embarking on this journey. In this article, we’ll discuss some key steps to creating a solid expansion plan for your gym business.

Setting Realistic Goals and Timelines

Setting realistic goals and timelines is crucial to the success of your gym’s expansion. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, how you will measure success, and when you hope to achieve your goals.

It’s also important to create monthly, quarterly, and annual targets to track your progress. This will help you stay on track and make adjustments as needed. Your timeline should factor in market trends, competition, and financial projections. This will ensure that you’re expanding at a pace that’s sustainable for your business.

Developing a Financial Strategy

Developing a financial strategy is critical to scaling your gym business. Your financial plan should include projections for revenue, expenses, and cash flow. This will help you determine how much capital you need to expand your gym and how long it will take to achieve your goals.

Identifying the capital required for expansion is essential. You’ll need to determine the best financial vehicles for acquiring that capital. This may include loans, investments, or other forms of financing. Your financial plan should be documented in a business plan and reviewed periodically. This will help you stay on track and make adjustments as needed.

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Choosing the Right Business Structure

Choosing the right business structure is one of the essential decisions in scaling your gym business. There are various business entities, including sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to consult with a legal professional to determine the appropriate structure for your gym business.

Factors to consider when choosing a business structure include liability protection, taxation, and ownership structure. It’s important to choose a structure that provides the right balance of protection and flexibility for your gym business.

In conclusion, expanding your gym business can be a great way to increase your revenue, attract new customers, and build your brand. However, it’s essential to have a clear plan in place before embarking on this journey. By setting realistic goals and timelines, developing a financial strategy, and choosing the right business structure, you can create a solid expansion plan for your gym business.

Finding the Perfect Gym Locations

Choosing the right gym location is crucial to the success of your gym’s expansion. Conduct market research to determine the best regions and neighborhoods for your gym. Consider factors like population density, household income, traffic flow, and accessibility. Identify potential buildings or spaces that meet your criteria, and evaluate them based on your expansion plan. Negotiate an appropriate lease agreement that aligns with your financial strategy.

Conducting Market Research

Conducting market research is necessary to find the perfect locations for your gym’s expansion. Market research should include demographic analysis, competition analysis, and industry analysis. Use this research to identify population trends, market saturation, and gaps in the market. Based on this research, select locations that have strong potential for customer acquisition and retention.

For example, suppose your market research indicates that an area has a high population density and a low number of gyms. In that case, this could be an excellent location for your gym’s expansion. Additionally, suppose your research indicates that the area has a high percentage of health-conscious individuals. In that case, this could further increase the likelihood of success for your gym in that location.

Evaluating Potential Gym Location Sites

Once you’ve identified potential gym locations, evaluate them based on your expansion plan and market research. Assess the size, layout, and design of the building or space. Consider requirements like parking, accessibility, and zoning. Evaluate the potential for customization and branding. Make an informed decision based on your goals, timeline, and financial strategy.

For instance, suppose you’re considering a location that has a large open space. In that case, you may be able to customize the space to include a variety of workout equipment and group fitness classes. Additionally, suppose the location is easily accessible by public transportation. In that case, this could increase the convenience factor for potential customers and make your gym more attractive.

Negotiating Gym Lease Agreements

Lease agreements are a critical factor in the success of your gym’s expansion. Negotiate gym lease agreements that align with your expansion plan and financial strategy. Consider negotiating options for rent escalation, tenant improvements, and lease terms. Ensure that the lease agreement allows for flexibility in case your expansion plan changes.

For example, suppose you’re negotiating a lease agreement for a potential gym location that requires significant tenant improvements. In that case, negotiating a lower rent for the first year of the lease could provide you with the necessary capital to make those improvements. Additionally, suppose your expansion plan changes, and you need to downsize or relocate. In that case, negotiating a flexible lease agreement can help you avoid significant financial penalties.

By conducting thorough market research, evaluating potential sites, and negotiating lease agreements that align with your expansion plan and financial strategy, you can find the perfect locations for your gym’s expansion and set yourself up for success.

Implementing Consistent Branding and Marketing

Consistent branding and marketing are crucial for any business, and your gym is no exception. In today’s competitive market, it’s important to develop a strong brand identity and a cohesive marketing strategy to establish your gym’s identity and promote customer loyalty.

Developing a Strong Brand Identity

The first step in creating a strong brand identity is to understand your target audience. Who are they? What are their interests and values? What do they look for in a gym? Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create a brand identity that resonates with them and sets you apart from your competition.

Your brand identity should include your gym’s logo, color scheme, and messaging. These elements should be consistent across all locations and marketing channels. Your logo should be easily recognizable and memorable, while your color scheme should reflect your gym’s personality and values. Your messaging should be clear and concise, and should communicate your gym’s unique selling proposition.

Creating a Cohesive Marketing Strategy

Once you have developed a strong brand identity, it’s time to create a cohesive marketing strategy that focuses on customer acquisition and retention. Your marketing strategy should align with your expansion plan and target market. You need to develop marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and encourage them to take action.

One effective way to reach your target audience is through a mix of digital and traditional marketing channels. Digital marketing channels like social media, email, and search engine marketing can help you reach a wider audience and target specific demographics. Traditional marketing channels like radio, television, and billboards can help you reach a local audience and build brand awareness.

Utilizing Social Media and Local Advertising

Social media and local advertising are powerful tools to promote your gym’s expansion. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to connect with your audience, build relationships, and promote your gym. You can create content that engages your target audience, run targeted social media ads, and track your results to improve your campaigns.

Local advertising channels like radio, television, and billboards can also be effective for promoting your gym and reaching a wider audience. You can use these channels to build brand awareness, promote your gym’s unique selling proposition, and encourage people to visit your gym.

By implementing consistent branding and marketing strategies, you can establish your gym’s identity, promote customer loyalty, and attract new customers to your expanding gym.

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AMPD Golf Performance
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Andrew Banner
Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

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How do I scale my gym business?

Scaling a gym business involves expanding services, increasing membership, and potentially opening new locations. Key elements include robust planning, understanding your market, hiring the right team, and leveraging technology for efficient operations. Gym management software like Exercise.com plays a crucial role by providing tools to manage memberships, scheduling, and other administrative tasks, allowing for smooth operations as your business grows.

How do you run multiple gyms?

Running multiple gyms requires strong management skills, efficient staff delegation, and the use of technology to streamline operations. A centralized gym management software like Exercise.com enables you to oversee multiple locations simultaneously, offering functions like scheduling, reporting, member management, and payment processing.

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What are some of the challenges of having multiple gym locations?

The challenges of managing multiple gym locations can include ensuring consistency in service delivery, managing different teams, keeping track of memberships and payments across different locations, and maintaining equipment. Exercise.com’s gym management software can help overcome these challenges by centralizing operations, making it easier to manage different aspects of your business.

How much money can you make with multiple gym locations?

The income from multiple gym locations can vary greatly depending on factors like location, membership numbers, additional services offered, and overhead costs. Scaling to multiple locations potentially leads to higher revenue, but it’s essential to account for increased operational costs. Exercise.com can help optimize revenue by streamlining operations and providing tools to sell additional services, such as online workouts and fitness programs.

How do I know if I should open another gym location?

Deciding to open another gym location depends on various factors, including the success of your current gym, market demand in the new location, available capital for expansion, and your ability to manage increased operations. It’s advisable to conduct thorough market research and financial analysis before proceeding. Utilizing a gym management platform like Exercise.com can help manage multiple locations efficiently when you decide to scale.

What are the key factors to consider when scaling a gym to multiple locations?

When planning to scale a gym to multiple locations, consider factors like market research, hiring the right staff, maintaining brand consistency, and leveraging technology. Exercise.com, with its powerful gym management software, provides the ideal platform to manage multiple gym locations efficiently, ensuring your brand standards are maintained across all sites.

How can gym management software like Exercise.com help in managing multiple gym locations?

Exercise.com’s gym management software allows you to manage all your locations from one place, providing a holistic view of your business. You can oversee memberships, scheduling, reporting, and more across all locations, thus streamlining operations and enhancing productivity.

What role does technology play in scaling a gym to multiple locations?

Technology plays a vital role in scaling a gym to multiple locations. Utilizing a robust gym management software like Exercise.com allows you to automate administrative tasks, manage schedules, process payments, and provide a seamless member experience across all locations.

How can I maintain consistency across all gym locations when scaling?

Maintaining consistency across multiple gym locations can be challenging. However, using a comprehensive gym management platform like Exercise.com helps you maintain standard operating procedures, manage staff schedules, oversee memberships, and ensure that the quality of service remains consistent across all locations.

How can I ensure a good member experience across all my gym locations?

To ensure a consistent and high-quality member experience across all gym locations, consider implementing a unified gym management software like Exercise.com. Its user-friendly interface allows members to book classes, pay fees, and engage with your brand from any location, providing a seamless experience wherever they are.

Can I use Exercise.com to sell workouts and fitness programs online across multiple gym locations?

Yes, Exercise.com allows you to sell workouts and fitness programs online to your members, regardless of their location. This means you can provide additional value to your members across all your locations, thus helping you increase revenue and enhance member engagement.

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What are some of the challenges in scaling a gym to multiple locations and how can Exercise.com help?

Scaling a gym to multiple locations can bring challenges such as maintaining quality, managing different teams, and keeping track of memberships and payments across locations. Exercise.com’s gym management software provides comprehensive solutions to these challenges, offering centralized management, detailed reporting, and a streamlined member experience across all locations.

How can I expand my gym?

Expanding your gym can be achieved by:

  1. Adding New Services or Classes: Introduce new fitness classes, personal training, or wellness services.
  2. Upgrading Facilities: Invest in modern equipment or renovate your space.
  3. Marketing and Promotions: Enhance your marketing efforts to attract new members.
  4. Member Referral Programs: Encourage current members to refer friends and family.
  5. Opening Additional Locations: Expand your business by opening new gym locations.

What is a typical profit margin for a gym?

The typical profit margin for a gym varies but generally ranges from 10% to 30%. Profitability can depend on various factors including location, gym size, services offered, and operational efficiency.

Read More: Gym Profit Margins

How can I scale my gym business fast (without going too fast)?

To scale your gym business effectively:

  1. Solidify Your Business Model: Ensure your current gym is operating efficiently and profitably.
  2. Develop a Scalable System: Standardize processes and systems that can be replicated in new locations.
  3. Financial Planning: Ensure you have the financial resources for expansion without overextending.
  4. Market Research: Understand the market demand in new locations.
  5. Gradual Expansion: Consider opening one or two additional locations and refine your approach before further expansion.

What is the best business entity for a gym?

The best business entity for a gym often depends on the size and scope of the business. For many gym owners, forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) is advantageous due to its flexibility, limited liability protection, and tax benefits. Larger gyms or those seeking external investment might consider a corporation structure.

Read More: What is the best business entity for a gym?

How close together should my gym locations be?

The ideal distance between gym locations depends on the market saturation and demographic reach. It’s important to ensure locations are far enough apart to avoid cannibalizing the customer base of each gym, yet close enough to manage efficiently. Conducting market research and analysis can help determine the optimal distance.

What type of gym staff do I need to run multiple gym locations?

To run multiple gym locations, you’ll need:

  1. General Managers: To oversee each location’s day-to-day operations.
  2. Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers: To provide classes and training services.
  3. Customer Service Representatives: For front desk operations and member services.
  4. Maintenance Staff: To maintain the facilities.
  5. Marketing and Sales Team: To drive membership sales and promote the gym.

Read More: How to Hire Gym Staff

How can Exercise.com help me run a multi-location gym business?

Exercise.com can help run a multi-location gym business by offering a comprehensive gym management software solution. This includes centralized management of member data, scheduling, billing, and reporting across all locations. The platform streamlines administrative tasks and offers tools for consistent service delivery, making the management of multiple locations more efficient and effective. Additionally, Exercise.com’s scalable software adapts to the growth of your business, supporting your expansion needs seamlessly.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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