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Starting a High-Intensity Interval Training Gym: 4 Steps to Get Started

Last Updated on Mar 15, 2018

High-Intensity Interval Training has gotten quite popular over the last few years. HIIT gives your body one hell of a workout, in a very short amount of time. There’s quite a bit of science showing that this style of workout is actually better for you than other types of exercise. As with all “scientific” reports, you need to make sure that whoever wrote the article did so in an unbiased way. Regardless of what science says, HIIT gyms are more popular than ever, and they’re a great way for potential gym entrepreneurs to get their feet wet in the fitness business world. With a much smaller initial investment due to lack of expensive equipment, starting a HIIT gym is a cost-effective way to become a gym owner. Here is Amazon’s page for HIIT equipment. I’m going to leave out all the boring steps of starting a business like permitting and incorporating. Once you get down with the boring steps, check out the four important steps below.

1. Put Together Your Business’s Fitness Team

There are two ways you can go about starting your business: go it alone or work with a team (even if just another person). You’ll have to decide which one is better for you. I’ll tell you this much, if you go it alone, it’s going to be much more work than you anticipated. If you decide to go with a team, sit down with yourself for awhile and figure out just what type of people you want to be working with on this business endeavor.

You’re going to be spending copious amounts of time with these people, so make sure you’re able to handle them for long periods of time. You might want want to bring in someone that has finance experience and another person that know their way around online marketing (AdWords, Facebook ads, etc). Having a cohesive team is going to play a big part in the success or failure of your business. Take your time and build your team carefully. These people are going to be one of the main reasons that your business succeeds or fails. You need to make sure that you have confidence in their abilities and that they have indeed proven their abilities. Just because someone says that they have experience in sales doesn’t make them a good sales person. Also, just because your cousin says he knows social media marketing really well, doesn’t mean you want to trust him to build your HIIT’s brand on social media. Look for proven experience.

2. Lease an Appropriate Location to Hold Class

You’re going to need a place to have your HIIT workout classes. Most fitness businesses tend to lease spaces that are way to big for their budgets. There’s no need to lease a spot that has 1000SQ feet more than you need. It’s better to have a bunch of classes with less people in each class than to have a gigantic space that is costing you an arm and a leg to rent each month. Lots of CrossFit boxes choose to rent spots in warehouse districts or industrial parks. These spots are great because the offer a lot of space at a decent price, but you’re not going to get any free advertising due to the lack of sidewalk traffic. Perhaps find a nice mix between cheap industrial park location and expensive downtown location. Some place that people will walk by on their way home from work and eventually decide to try out.

3. Develop Effective (and Unique) Workout Routines

Now you have your business team put together and you have a location leased that provides some ample eye-traffic and doesn’t hurt your budget too much. The next step is to create your HIIT workouts (here are some examples). People are paying you to get their ass kicked, so make sure you comply with their requests. Develop a couple of HIIT routines for each different workout customer. Perhaps you can create customer archetypes and then build the perfect workout for each. Jane Jogger wants to have a workout that tones her legs and arms. Flabby Frank is a 50 year old who has decided he wants to get in shape to see his grandchildren grow up. Kelly KickBoxer is interested in something that will make her sweat and let her take out some aggression. You get the drift. These customer archetypes are a great way to help focus in on the types of clients you’ll have at your HIIT gym. Once you have a perfect workout (or two) for each client style, you’re ready to open the doors and start business.

4. Utilize Guerrilla Marketing Techniques to Increase Membership

Even though you might have the coolest HIIT workouts in town, you still need to get the word out about your business. Small businesses fail more than any of us (small business owners) would like to admit. Most business owners make the mistake of believing that the second they open their doors, hundreds of new members with handfuls of dollars are going to ask to sign up. They get caught fantasizing about franchising their HIIT gym before they’ve even made their first one a success.

Look into cheap guerrilla marketing techniques to get the word out about your business. Put up flyers around town, hold workouts in parks to attract the attention of passersby, open your doors during workouts so that people can hear your bumping workout playlists. Anything to get people talking about your business and eventually joining up.

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