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Is it hard to open a small gym?

Is it hard to open a small gym?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on February 5, 2024 ā€” Updated on March 23, 2024

Opening a small gym can be challenging due to factors like initial capital, market research, location scouting, and regulatory compliance. However, with thorough planning, a clear vision, and the right tools, it’s certainly achievable and can be a rewarding venture for fitness professionals.

Is it hard to open a small gym?

For those looking to navigate the complexities of opening a small gym, Exercise.com offers a comprehensive gym software solution designed to simplify and enhance various aspects of gym management. From membership and client management to workout programming and business analytics, Exercise.com provides the necessary tools to efficiently run a successful gym, making it the best choice for fitness professionals embarking on this journey to start a small gym and have their small gym make money.

Fitness Income Ideas

With the best software for small gyms, the best personal training software, the best software for fitness influencers, the best online fitness coaching software, and the best gym software, Exercise.com offers unparalleled customization, allowing fitness professionals to build their own custom branded fitness apps with the best white label fitness app builder software platform.

From running online fitness challenges, to creating one of the best fitness influencer apps, to selling workout of the day memberships, to learning how to create a fitness app, to much more, there are many ways to make money with fitness, and with the Exercise.com platform you have everything you need.

Offer easy gym check-ins.


Quick gym booking and appointment scheduling.


You can create and sell fitness memberships, products, and digital offers.

Gym Payments

You can manage, message, and market to your online personal training clients and leads.

Gym Marketing Automations

All from your very own custom branded fitness apps.

Custom Branded Apps
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

Get a demo now!

Challenges of Opening a Small Gym

Opening a small gym involves several key challenges:

  • Capital: Ensuring sufficient funds to cover startup costs, including equipment, leasing, and licensing fees.
  • Competition: Differentiating your gym in a competitive market to attract and retain members.
  • Regulations: Navigating health and safety regulations, insurance requirements, and business licensing.
  • Member Management: Effectively managing memberships, scheduling, and client progress to provide a personalized experience.

Opening a small gym presents various challenges, but with strategic planning and the right resources, these hurdles can be successfully navigated.

Overcoming the Challenges


  • Challenge: Securing enough funding to cover the initial expenses of equipment, leasing, and setup costs.
  • Solution: Consider starting with a minimal viable product approach, such as outdoor boot camps or online training, to reduce initial costs. Explore various gym loan options like small business loans, crowdfunding, or partnership investments.


  • Challenge: Standing out in a market that may already have established fitness centers.
  • Solution: Identify a niche or unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiates your gym, such as specialized classes, unique training methodologies, or a strong community focus.


  • Challenge: Adhering to local business regulations, gym zoning regulations, health and safety standards, and obtaining the necessary permits and gym insurance.
  • Solution: Consult with legal and business professionals to ensure all regulations are met. Consider joining local business associations for support and guidance.

Member Management

  • Challenge: Providing a personalized and high-quality experience to retain members in a competitive market.
  • Solution: Implement a gym management software like Exercise.com that offers comprehensive tools for scheduling, client tracking, and communication, enhancing member engagement and retention.

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How Exercise.com Can Help

Exercise.com is designed to address these challenges head-on:

  • For Capital Constraints: Exercise.com’s platform allows you to extend your services online, reducing the need for a large physical space and equipment initially. You can sell workout plans, offer virtual training, and build a client base with lower upfront costs.
  • For Standing Out in the Competition: The platform provides custom branding options for your website and app, helping to establish a strong brand identity. You can also create unique workout programs and challenges that set your gym apart.
  • For Navigating Regulations: While Exercise.com doesn’t replace legal advice, it ensures that your member management and data handling are streamlined and professional, contributing to overall compliance and operational excellence.
  • For Effective Member Management: The platform’s robust client management tools allow for personalized workout and nutrition plans, progress tracking, and direct communication, ensuring each member’s needs are met and exceeded.

By leveraging Exercise.com, gym owners can effectively tackle the challenges of opening a small gym, from minimizing initial costs to differentiating their offerings and ensuring a personalized member experience. This comprehensive solution supports not just the launch but the sustained growth of your gym. To see how Exercise.com can help you overcome these challenges, booking a demo is a valuable next step.

Exercise.com is uniquely equipped to support fitness professionals in overcoming these challenges:

  • Business Management Tools: Streamline operations with integrated scheduling, billing, and client management features.
  • Custom Branding: Enhance your gym’s identity with a custom-branded website and mobile app, setting you apart from competitors.
  • Workout Creation and Delivery: Provide value to your members with customizable workout plans and progress tracking, encouraging retention.
  • Marketing and Engagement: Engage with your members through targeted marketing campaigns and communication tools, driving growth and community building.

Opening a small gym is a challenging endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. By leveraging the comprehensive features offered by Exercise.com, fitness professionals can effectively manage their gym, stand out in a competitive market, and provide exceptional value to their members. To learn more about how Exercise.com can support your gym’s success, consider booking a demo today.

AMPD Golf Performance
“Working with Exercise.com and their team has been an amazing experience and a dream come true in terms of accomplishing a vision! Their workout technology has helped us effectively engage our community, and I highly recommend Exercise.com to grow your business!”
Andrew Banner
Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

Get a demo now!

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 SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). 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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