The fitness industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the United States. Industry revenue is expected to surpass $30 billion by the end of 2019. An increasingly health-conscious society, health trends, and better training models contribute to this success. If you own or want to own a fitness center, here are some tips for operating a successful business.

1. Have Patience with Club Members

Being in the fitness industry involves dealing with club members. You and your employees will deal with different types of people in all types of situations. When a member has a complaint, deal with the problem right away. The best fitness centers treat members as if they’re part of a community.

Listen to what your members have to say – good and bad. Ask for their input when you’re considering changes that will affect them. Those who run a fitness center might also want to utilize management software to improve customer service satisfaction. Lastly, squeeze in time to spend among fitness center members to get a sense of usage habits and user experience.

2. Provide Excellent Cybersecurity

Data breaches are becoming more common. It’s no longer surprising when a company announces that private and confidential information has been stolen. Protect your fitness center from experiencing a potentially devastating cyberattack.

Your members trust you with their private information. In order to join, they’ll willingly provide credit card information, private contact information, checking account numbers, and other financial data. It’s your responsibility to keep their data safe.

Consider getting a PCI assessment for your fitness club. The assessment is an audit for determining whether or not you’re in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. The standards help protect the data of merchants who store, transmit, process, and accept credit card information.

3. Create a Pleasant Environment

Your fitness center should make exercising enjoyable. Some members will come into your center after a long day at work. They’re probably tired, but realize the importance of exercise. And some members might even have anxiety about exercising in front of others, but they do it anyway.

No matter how a person is feeling when they enter the center, they should feel comfortable once they’re inside. Provide access to clean towels, healthy snacks, and cold water. Make sure the bathrooms and locker rooms are clean and tidy at all times. The same goes for the weights and equipment.

Keep carpets vacuumed, bathroom floors mopped, and entrances clear of obstructions. And make sure exercise equipment is clean, dry, and sweat-free. A good HVAC system is also recommended. Keep the temperature at a comfortable level so members aren’t too hot or too cold. A good quality air purifier along with adequate ventilation can help control odor. Cleanliness goes a long way in making people comfortable.

4. Special Offers

Special offers are a great way to grow fitness center membership. If your offer is enticing enough, you’ll get people interested in learning more. Popular offers include reduced fees for new members or a limited-time free trial.

You can also offer current members discounts for each new member they bring into the center. And some fitness centers offer employee discounts for certain business employees. For example, you might offer a 25 percent discount to employees of a nearby grocery store.

Fitness Center Success

Running a successful fitness center takes hard work and dedication. The tips mentioned here offer a few ways to get on the right track.


  • Gordon Brown

    The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.

    The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.