4 Things To Know Before Starting A Fitness Business

In the last three years, Hong Kong has been rocked by the closure of several fitness gyms due to operational issues. This 2019, things are changing positively. With the demand from customers for more gym places to go to, more and more entrepreneurs are planning on building their own fitness facilities to cater to their needs. If you’re one of them, then this article is for you.

With the fitness industry booming in Hong Kong, it’s high time to sway along to the rhythm. Check out the 4 ACTIONABLE STEPS that you have to consider before building a fitness center:



  • Choose your LOCATION and SET YOUR GYM HOURS wisely

Choosing your location and setting up your gym hours is like choosing the type of customers you want to have. Yes, if you’re thinking of making your club run for 24/7, then you are targeting ALL types of gym-goers, including those who prefer to workout at midnight.

If you’re targeting to set up your fitness club in Hong Kong’s central business districts, then you’re already targeting employees and daytime workers. It’s also easier to get seen, so you’re getting more exposure. Although it can be really expensive to build your gym in the city center, but if it’s feasible, then go for it.

On a limited budget? go straight to #2!



  • Turn your gym into a TOURIST ATTRACTION

With Hong Kong’s sky high rent and compact environment, it’s hard to get exposure. We suggest that you put most of your budget into making your gym look like a TOURIST ATTRACTION. When we say “tourist attraction”, what we mean is that your gym has to be a place where people would look forward to going to every single dayto workout and take photos (and share them online at the same time!)


You have two options on how to pull this off:

  1. Invest on a unique interior/exterior

  2. Do it completely on your own (with the help of your teammates!)

Investing on a unique interior/exterior is a good way to attract more customers. You can do this by hiring a designer. If you hire a designer, you must give all the trust and artistic vision to him/her. The good thing about hiring a designer is that they already know what they’re doing, and the time to finish the design and the setup will surely run smoothly.

If you decide to do it on your own, you’re saving a lot of money to spend, but you will need more time to do everything (especially if you’re starting from scratch). Suggestion: go to Pinterest or search on Google for design inspirations. There’s a lot of photos there—from minimalist to extravagant and colorful ones.

Luckily, if you have a team of 3-5 people, designing your place will be a lot easier and faster. It’s time to collaborate!



  • Plan out your marketing: always have a PLAN B (or even PLAN C!)

Even fitness clubs need a content marketing calendar. But don’t just do the typical planning where you’ll just write down the channels and strategies you’re going to leverage. It’s time to step up. How? Have a PLAN B (or even PLAN C!) for every tactic that you have.

If your Facebook marketing is not working, you can’t just abandon it right away and just focus on Instagram or Linkedin. You need to know how to play around with the content you are publishing, and analyze at the same time.

For example: if you’ve been posting motivational statuses about fitness on Facebook for 3 months straight, and you’re not getting any engagement in return, maybe it’s time to level up by turning those words into a video or an infographic. Did you know that 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual? If you’re not releasing any visual content in this time, you’re cutting out the chances of getting traction.

Let’s say your PLAN B did NOT work at all. Should you still have a PLAN C? It depends on what type of company you are. But we highly suggest that you don’t give up. So how do you improve your visual content to get seen by more people? Try to incorporate hashtags and quality keywords (SEO), personalise your “voice”, and put emojis that fit the content!



  • Review your competitors and DO THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE

Yes, you can’t be a carbon copy of an already existing fitness center.

Let’s say you want to build a yoga studio: you need to review what other yoga businesses are doing. If “Competitor A” and “Competitor B” focuses on “hatha yoga” and “yin and yang”, why not try to innovate your services? You can do this by either creating your own signature yoga poses or launching a unique yoga class that many people would enjoy.

The same thing can be applied for a boxing gym: let’s say three of your competitors have the “rustic” look and feel with their gyms. We highly suggest that you go back to #2 of this list to stand out from the rest. Pro-tip: you can also offer rentable gloves that are colorful and unique (or sell them if you must)

While doing the exact opposite can be risky, it’s still worth taking. Why? Because it’s an effective way to stand out. There’s lots of fishes in the sea, and there’s a reason why people prefer to buy “fresh” fish in the market. So you have to introduce a fresh concept in order to be patronized.


Building a gym is just easy if you have not just the resources that you need, but also the power and vision to do it. It’s all about being open to tackle different strategies and challenges that may come your way. Again, it’s fun planning these things, but things won’t work if you don’t put your plans into action. Understand that majority of fitness centers (muay thai, boxing, yoga, zumba, many more) are already doing the same thing, so the best thing you can do is to be different. This way, you can assure that you can be a top-of-mind fitness center in Hong Kong!