How to Create a Successful Gym Franchise in New Jersey

If you’re thinking about starting a gym franchise, the first step is to set your goals. You’ll need to analyze the benefits and drawbacks of running a fitness franchise and identify all the possible types of gyms you could open up. 

After that, it’s time to earn your fitness training certification so that you can get accredited as an instructor. Here are a few tips before investing in new business opportunities in New Jersey

Tips for Starting Successful Business Opportunities in New Jersey

There are all sorts of gyms you could choose to start but to be successful; you need to know a few things:

1. Set Your Goals

Before you start your gym franchise, set your goals. Generally, goals are the first step to any business and should be specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant. The best way to do this is using a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities (SWOT) analysis.

  • Strengths – What are the strengths of your business?
  • Weaknesses – Do these weaknesses impact how much money can be made?
  • Opportunities – Are there business opportunities in New Jersey that would increase profits exponentially over time?

2. Analyze the Benefits and Drawbacks of Running a Gym Franchise 

There are a few things you’ll need to consider before investing in a fitness franchise. Weigh your options to see some benefits and drawbacks of running a fitness franchise. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • You can increase your income over time by setting up a business.
  • You will have more control over what you do, making it easier to run the day-to-day operations of your gym.

One of the major drawbacks of running a franchise is the financial aspect. You’ll have to pay for training, advertising, and other start-up costs in addition to losing money until your business makes its first profit. 

3. Consider Your Franchise Options 

When you’re ready to start your fitness franchise, you’ll need to decide on the right type. Within the adaptive fitness world, you’ll need to decide what age group you’ll be catering to and if you’ll specialize in specific needs.

Special Strong Franchise is one organization you could turn to. They’re a non-profit organization that provides free resources, training, and support for people who want to start their own adaptive fitness mentorship business. Over the years, they’ve grown into a network of more than 1,000 certified mentors and trainers dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed in the adaptive fitness industry. 

They offer everything you need to start your fitness business, including access to marketing materials, webinars, and other resources. Generally, they aim to help entrepreneurs with the tools they need to start their fitness businesses. 

As an entrepreneur, you need to put in the time and effort to build your brand, but this can only be easy if you have experience or knowledge of running a successful business. Luckily, Special Strong is here to help! 

Those interested in joining their successful family can tap into Special Strong’s vast amount of collective experience running successful businesses, and the team can guide you so that you can get started with your new venture!

Started by Daniel Stein, the organization offers customized training programs for those who want to learn more about the industry before starting their own business. Special Strong Franchise has built relationships with many successful fitness models, personal trainers, and personal fitness coaches.

4. Earn Your Fitness Training Certification

A fitness training certification program is an essential part of the business plan for any gym franchise. You will need to demonstrate that you have at least some training experience, and you can get this accreditation from various organizations that offer trainer programs.

Online certificate programs are available through various schools and colleges nationwide. These can be completed in as little as two weeks, so they’re well-suited for those who work full-time.

5. Determine Your Type of Gym

Before creating your business plan, you must determine what kind of gym you want to open. There are three main types: health clubs, fitness centers, and martial arts centers.

Health Clubs 

These operate like traditional gyms, providing memberships and classes for a fee. They typically have swimming pools, hot tubs, and other amenities that members can use on their own time or during special events (like birthday parties).

Fitness Centers 

This type of business offers personal training and group exercise classes in addition to its typical activity offerings, such as yoga classes or Zumba dance routines. 

Martial Arts Studios 

These studios offer instruction in various forms of martial arts, including judo, karate/kung fu/TKD, etc., self-defense training (instructing students on how best to defend themselves), kickboxing classes, etc.

6. Research The Local Market

Before you begin your research, it’s important to understand the local market. You should know who your competitors are and what they’re doing to be able to break into the niche successfully.

When you know who your competition is, you’ll be able to decide what strategies will help you succeed in that market. In addition, you should figure out how many gyms around town offer a similar service to the one you’ll be offering. 

This lets you know if you’ll have stiff competition (if there are many gyms already). Alternatively, if there are too few gyms or none, that might mean that you won’t find your target market there. In that case, you might have to change the location to be around people interested in fitness.

7. Define Your Workload 

Your business plan should include a detailed breakdown of the hours you will need to put in. Knowing this will help you decide how much staff you’ll need to onboard once your gym is up and running. 

It would be best to consider how much time you can allocate toward marketing, customer service, and accounting tasks. Generally, it’s easy to neglect admin work and less “fun” parts, but having a detailed plan means you leave no stone unturned. Every aspect of your gym business will be attended to, and your chances of succeeding will improve.

8. Create a Financial Strategy 

Creating a financial strategy is one of the most important steps in developing your business. A strong financial plan will ensure you have everything necessary to build and run a successful gym franchise.

Start with a solid budget: If you’re just getting started, it’s important to create an initial budget for your new gym. Creating this budget should be done before any other aspects of the business are developed so that all expenses related to running the facility can be included in your calculations. 

The goal here is not only for yourself but also for others involved with running your gym. If hidden costs are associated with operating one (for example, utilities), then less money will be left to buy equipment or hire employees.

9. Establish Payment Options 

Establishing payment options is key to creating a successful gym franchise business plan. You should be able to offer your clients various payment options, including monthly or annual payments, cash or credit card payments, and cheque or bank transfers.

You want your customers to continue their monthly gym subscriptions. So the best way to get them to make their payments on time is by providing payment schedules. Let them know how much money will be due at the end of each month or year. That way, when the time comes, payments will be smoother.

10. Acquire Quality Training Equipment and Supplies

Before you start your gym franchise, you will need to buy quality equipment. The right equipment can make a huge difference in the success of your business. It will help you look for quality items that will last longer than cheap alternatives. 

Avoid buying used or second-hand items as they may not work properly and could break down quickly. This incurs unnecessary bills for repairs and replacements. Instead, choose new, quality machines that won’t break down or cause injuries. 

11. Register Your Fitness Franchise and Get the Necessary Permits

You’ll need to register your business with the state and local government in New Jersey. This is like getting a “birth certificate” for your business and is important in legalizing your gym.

Register with the IRS if you operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership. The IRS requires that all businesses have an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to be eligible for tax benefits. Don’t forget to register with the state health department if you own more than one location.

The following are some of the requirements that you need to meet:

  • Licenses and permits issued by the local government, including zoning laws, building plans, health inspections, etc
  • Record of compliance with each state’s licensing laws that allow you to operate within their borders
  • Fire Safety Inspection & sanitary permits that show that your business isn’t a hazard and will be running in a safe environment
  • Professional license to show that you are qualified to practice as an adaptive fitness trainer

12. Get Gym Insurance

Before starting your gym, taking out a policy from the insurance company is important. This will protect you from any damage done by an accident or theft. For example, your insurance may cover the expenses if someone falls or is hurt by gym equipment.

The type of insurance coverage recommended to you may vary depending on the size and nature of your business. However, generally speaking, there are four main types: 

  • Property Damage Liability Protection (PDL)
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BLC)
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Automobile Medical Payments Coverage

13. Create a Website for Your Gym 

One of the key steps in creating a successful gym franchise business plan is developing a website. This will be a great tool to increase your brand visibility. You need to make sure that your site meets the following criteria:

  • It is mobile-friendly,
  • Has a call to action button and a working “Contact Us” section
  • Has a blog or news section that can be updated regularly
  • Has an events calendar, so customers know when something important is happening

14. Market Your Gym Franchise

Social media is a great way to market your gym franchise and build brand awareness. You can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter to interact with your audience and stay relevant. Maintaining an active social media page could also get more customers and see how well your gym runs.

15. Build a Community 

The fitness industry has changed significantly over the years, and you’ll need to understand these changes before investing in one. From the growth of inclusive gyms for people with special needs to digital fitness taking the world by storm. However, the sense of community remains at the heart of fitness.

Building a community means establishing relationships with other businesses, whether they are competitors or potential customers. You can do this by hosting events at your gym that allows people from other businesses to come in and learn about your product or service. This will help you gain exposure, attracting new customers who may have yet to hear about you.


Starting a gym franchise is a great idea with plenty of benefits, and with a few tips to balance the scales in your favor, you can succeed. Hopefully, this guide helped you understand what it takes to invest in business opportunities in New Jersey.

If you would like to learn more about owning a rewarding Special Strong franchise, we encourage you to reach out to us today for more information.