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5 Big Fitness Business Ideas Of 2024

fitness business ideas

Whether you’ve just qualified or have been working as a personal trainer for years, starting your own fitness business is a great way to take your career to the next level. 

Whether you’ve already got your own fitness business idea or need some inspiration, we’ve covered:

You can launch your fitness career with OriGym’s L3 PT DiplomaEnquire today, or download our free course prospectus here

Tips For Starting A New Fitness Business Idea

Before we get into our list of the best fitness business ideas, there are some general tips that apply for starting any new fitness business idea. 

#1 - Find a Niche For Your Fitness Business Idea

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If you’re reading this article, it is very likely that you already have an idea in mind of at least the general area of fitness you want to go into with your fitness business idea.

For example, you may have in mind that you want to start an online personal training business.

Whilst this is a good goal to have, if you want to have a truly successful and unique fitness business idea, you will need to be a lot more specific than that! In other words, you need to find your niche. 

Finding your niche is important as it is what will help set you apart from the thousands of other fitness businesses out there. 

Some examples of fitness business niches include:

  • Senior personal training 
  • Pre and post natal fitness 
  • Fitness coaching for disabled clients
  • Nutrition coaching for diabetic clients
  • Olympic weightlifting training

The list could go on! Essentially, finding your niche is all about establishing your target demographic, or who you want to work with and help through your fitness business. 

We have a whole guide to finding your personal training niche, but in summary, here are the 4 main steps to finding a niche for your fitness business idea:

  1. Discover your passion 
  2. Do market research to ensure that there is a demand for your fitness business idea
  3. Make sure you have the skills, experience and qualifications to deliver your business idea to your target audience
  4. Pinpoint your chosen target client

Having a clear niche will help you have more focus when it comes to things like writing a business plan- which we will discuss next. 

It can also help increase the earning potential of your fitness business idea. Since you can market yourself as an ‘expert’ in a particular niche, people will typically be willing to pay more for your services, meaning you can make money as a personal trainer by targeting a specific demographic. This is because you are offering a higher level of service, which of course warrants a higher price!

Our article on personal trainer prices found that the average personal training session costs between £25-45. 

However, as a personal trainer in a particular niche area of fitness, you can expect to charge on the higher end of, or even more than this range, given the specialist nature of the service. 

#2 - Write a Business Plan For Your New Fitness Business Idea

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The key to success for any fitness business idea is to have a clear business plan from the start. 

A business plan is simply a formal written plan for your business, containing:

  • Your goals and objectives for the business
  • The methods you will use for achieving those goals
  • A time-frame for achieving the goals

As you can see, this is very similar to the SMART goals framework that you may already be familiar with using with your clients!

There are several benefits to having a business plan for new fitness business ideas, including:

  • Gives you clarity and direction 
  • Helps you stay motivated to achieve your goals
  • Helps you create a clear marketing strategy
  • Helps you manage your finances more effectively 

To help you kickstart your new fitness business idea, check out our step-by-step guide to writing a personal trainer business plan here!

#3 - Have a Strong Marketing Strategy For Your Fitness Business Idea

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Another important aspect of running a successful health and fitness business idea is to have a strong marketing strategy. 

This is typically part of your general business plan, but you should also have a specific plan for your marketing too. 

Marketing is simply about promoting your business to generate enquiries, which then ultimately leads to paying clients! 

There are a whole range of different types of marketing that you can employ to promote your business, including:

  • Social media marketing 
  • Creating a website
  • Video marketing 
  • Influencer marketing
  • Printed marketing materials e.g. posters and business cards
  • Word of mouth and networking

Check out our complete guide to personal trainer marketing for more tips and strategies to use in your new fitness business idea! 

#4 - Get the Right Insurance For Your Fitness Business Idea

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Before you start any new fitness business idea, one practicality you will need to address is insurance. 

Unlike working for a gym where you would be covered under their insurance, since you will be running your own business, you will need to find your own. 

The two main types of insurance you will need for most business ideas for the fitness industry:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance 

We recommend reading our guide to personal trainer insurance here for more detail about what cover you will need. 

#5 - Be Flexible and Adapt Your Fitness Business Idea to Current Trends

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As we have said, it is good to have a clear strategy and plan for your fitness business idea. However, you should always retain an element of flexibility. 

By this, we mean that you should be willing to adapt and change your business plan should the need arise. The best way to do this is simply by making sure that you are always up to date with the latest trends in the fitness industry. 

Some good ways to do this are:

  • Networking with other fitness professionals
  • Reading fitness blogs and websites
  • Following fitness influencers on social media

For example, say you are starting an online personal training business delivering live exercise classes to your clients via video. When writing your business plan, you may have set out that you will stream your classes on Zoom, and have planned for this. 

However, if you are aware of what is happening in the fitness industry, you will know that there has been a recent increase in popularity of fitness apps. 

Instead of simply noticing and ignoring this trend, a successful fitness business owner will adapt and change their business plan to adapt to it. This is one of the best tips we can give you as a personal trainer!

To take the same example, as well as streaming your classes on Zoom, you could also stream your classes via an app too. After all, it is no good steaming your classes on Zoom to a handful of clients, when you could be attracting a lot more if you did it via an app!

It is therefore important to stay up to date with the latest fitness trends if you want to ensure that your fitness business idea remains relevant and still meets the demands of your target audience. 

So, now that you have some tips for success in mind, let’s get into our list of the best fitness business ideas of 2024!

5 Big Fitness Business Ideas

Fitness Business Idea #1 - Start a Mobile Personal Training Business 

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One of the most lucrative business ideas for the fitness industry is to start a mobile personal training business. 

As the name suggests, mobile personal training is the same principle as classic personal training, but instead of being based in a gym and the client going to the PT, the PT travels to them. 

This can involve training clients in locations such as:

  • In their homes
  • At their workplace
  • At the local park
  • Or another location of their choice

For more information about what this fitness related business idea involves, check out our guide to mobile personal training here

How to Start a Mobile Personal Training Business

Step 1- Get the Right Qualifications 

If you are already a qualified personal trainer, you are all set to start your own mobile personal training business! 

However, if you’re not already qualified, to start this fitness business idea and to work as a mobile personal trainer, you must have the following qualifications:

If you don’t already have either of these qualifications, the easiest way to get qualified is to complete a Personal Training Diploma. This combines both qualifications, so that you can become a qualified Level 3 PT in as little as 4 weeks!

#2 - Get Experience Working as a PT in a Gym

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​​Whilst there's nothing stopping you from starting a mobile personal training business as soon as you’re qualified, we would recommend that you get some experience working as a PT in a gym first.

Getting 6-12 months experience working as a personal trainer prior to starting your own mobile PT business will allow you to get to know the role better and acquire first-hand experience of:

  • Running 1-1 sessions
  • Creating tailored programmes
  • Selling to clients

Working as a PT in a gym will also give you the opportunity to network with other fitness professionals, as well as with potential clients for your business. 

For example, if you build a loyal clientbase at the gym, when you move to become a mobile personal trainer, they may follow you. This makes the transition to running your own business easier, as it gives you guaranteed paying clients from the start! 

#3 - Invest in Equipment 

The next step in setting up your mobile personal training franchise or business is to decide what you will do in terms of equipment. Will you avoid the need to buy or rent equipment by running bodyweight classes? Will clients use their own equipment? There are multiple ways in which you can operate.

The important thing to note here is that you are not in a gym, so you will need to adapt the type of equipment you use as it will have to be portable. 

For example, where you may have normally had your clients do squats on a squat rack in the gym, you can adapt this to be more suitable for mobile personal training by simply using dumbbells or kettlebells instead! 

Here are some pieces of equipment that are useful to have as a mobile personal trainer:

  • Resistance Bands
  • Yoga Mat
  • Adjustable Dumbbells
  • Boxing Gloves and Pads
  • Kettlebells
  • Medicine Ball

Benefits of Starting a Mobile Personal Training Business

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So, why is mobile personal training one of the best fitness related business ideas? Here are some of the benefits of starting a mobile PT business:

You Can Increase Your Overall Earnings

One of the biggest reasons to start your own mobile personal training business is that you can earn more than being a regular personal trainer in a gym. 

This is because as a mobile personal trainer, you won’t have to pay the overhead costs of renting a space such as a gym or other indoor venue. 

Without these additional costs to factor in, you keep more of the direct income you receive from your clients! 

Plus, when running your own mobile personal training business, your earnings are uncapped. In other words, instead of being limited to set working hours in a gym, since you control your own schedule, how much you earn is ultimately down to how much time and effort you are willing to put in! 

If you are motivated and organised, this element of control over your earnings is a huge benefit of this fitness business idea! 

 

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There is a Demand for Mobile Personal Training

In recent years, particularly in light of the pandemic, there has been a rise in popularity towards working out at home. 

With 75% of people intending to carry on working out from home even after the pandemic, it is clear that mobile personal training is set to only increase in popularity. 

This has resulted in a rise in demand for mobile personal trainers, as more and more people want personal trainers who can come to them. By starting your own mobile personal training business, you can therefore capitalise on this demand! 

You Can Take on Clients From a Wider Demographic Range

Becoming a mobile personal trainer means that you can take on clients from a wider range of demographics. 

As a personal trainer in a gym, you can only train clients who are able and willing to travel to the gym in-person and pay for a membership. 

However, as a mobile personal trainer, you can also take on clients from more niche demographics and circumstances, such as:

  • Clients with disabilities who cannot travel to the gym
  • Clients who live in remote areas and cannot travel to a gym
  • Clients who have to stay at home to look after children
  • Clients who work from home
  • Clients who are intimidated by the gym 
  • Clients with mental health considerations, for example someone with social anxiety may not feel comfortable in a busy gym around others

As you can see, mobile personal training gives you access to a wider demographic of clients that you would not have otherwise reached. 

It also cuts the costs for your client, since they only have to pay for your services, rather than paying for both a gym membership and a personal trainer.

All of this therefore increases your earnings, as you will ultimately have the potential for more paying clients!  

There is Potential to Expand Your Mobile Personal Training Business

When you first start your mobile personal training business, you may start off training all your clients yourself. But as your business progresses, you can eventually hire more PTs and create a pool of mobile personal trainers.

Compared to other fitness business ideas, this is especially possible as a mobile personal trainer, as you aren’t limited to a specific training location such as a gym. 

This allows you to expand your business to multiple locations. For example, Pret-a-train is one of the most successful mobile personal training businesses out there:

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As you can see, they have mobile personal trainers in a range of locations from London to Paris! 

Being able to have mobile personal trainers in multiple locations around the country or even internationally, means that you can take on more clients than you would be able to yourself. This in turn increases your earning potential, as you will ultimately have more paying clients!

You Can Control Your Own Schedule as a Mobile Personal Trainer

Since you will be running your own business, you will have more control over your time. 

You will have the freedom to take on as little or as many clients as you want to, rather than being restricted to the opening hours of a gym, for example. 

Unlike working for a gym, you will also not have to spend your time doing tasks such as cleaning the gym floor! 

This control over your time also allows you to schedule your clients around your own personal commitments such as events and birthdays. You can also take holiday time whenever you like since you don’t need to seek your boss’ approval.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Mobile Personal Training Business

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Despite the many benefits, there are also some things that you should consider before starting this new fitness business idea. 

The main thing to consider about being a mobile personal trainer is that you will have some additional overhead costs to account for. This includes things such as:

  • Travel costs to clients homes (fuel or public transport)
  • Buying your own equipment
  • Insurance
  • Any other services you outsource such as marketing 

You should also consider whether you have the skills required to be a successful mobile personal trainer. They are similar to the skills of a regular personal trainer, but with particular focus on:

  • Timekeeping
  • Organisation 
  • Creativity
  • Ambition
  • Confidence
  • Patience

Being a mobile personal trainer also requires a lot more independence and autonomy, as you will spend a lot of your time by yourself travelling to different clients. You will therefore need to be willing to adapt to this way of working before you start this fitness business idea. 

Fitness Business Idea #2 - Start an Outdoor Fitness Class Business

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Next up on our list of the best business ideas in the fitness industry is becoming an outdoor fitness coach, running group classes. 

As we have said, when establishing new fitness business ideas, you should find a niche market that you will target. But this is particularly relevant for outdoor fitness coaching, since there are so many different types of training and outdoor spaces that you could focus on, such as:

  • Military style boot camps in the park
  • Outdoor 1-on-1 or small group personal training sessions
  • Running clubs
  • Yoga on the beach
  • Outdoor aerobics 

Check out our article on outdoor personal training for more outdoor training ideas!

How to Start an Outdoor Fitness Class Business

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#1- Get the Right Qualifications

If you want to run outdoor fitness classes, you will need a Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing as a minimum.

If you want to offer 1-1 or small group sessions that are tailored to clients' individual needs and exercise goals, then you will also need a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma.

Since the key to starting any successful fitness business is finding a niche, there are also some additional CPD qualifications that will benefit you and your business - such as our Bodyweight Training CPD

These CPDs are particularly useful for anyone wanting to start an outdoor fitness business as circuits and bodyweight exercises are a great way to run classes with minimal equipment.

#2 - Get Experience Teaching Group Classes

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If you are wanting to go into group-based outdoor fitness classes, it may also be a good idea to get some experience as a group fitness instructor

The best way to do this is to start teaching group fitness classes in the gym you work in as a personal trainer, as it means you can gain experience whilst also earning a regular salary. 

You can even try to gain experience teaching the type of training you want to specialise in with your outdoor personal training business. For example, if you want to start running your own outdoor bootcamp classes, start by teaching boot camp-style classes in a gym to gain experience in this particular style of class. 

As well as helping you build confidence in addressing a large group, it allows you to build a loyal following of group class clients that will help you with the early transition period of your new fitness business idea. 

For example, if you run a popular fitness class at the gym you work at, when you leave and start your own outdoor personal training business, gym members who particularly love your class will be likely to follow you in your new business. 

#3 - Find an Outdoor Space to Use For Your Classes

It may sound obvious, but when starting your outdoor fitness coaching business, you will need to establish where exactly outdoors you will be holding your classes!

Some examples of places you could hold outdoor classes are:

  • Local parks
  • The beach
  • Outdoor running tracks
  • School fields

For many of these locations, you may need to first get the appropriate permission. For example, if you want to use a local park, you should check with the local council first, as you may need a specific permit or licence to use the space for your business.

Wherever you decide to hold your sessions, you should make sure that the location is made absolutely clear to your clients. The best way to do this is by including a map on your website, such as this outdoor personal training business as:

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However, even if you specify a location, you should be prepared for clients to get lost or have trouble finding you. As such, it is a good idea to give your clients your phone number, so they can call you if they cannot find you! 

Benefits of Starting an Outdoor Personal Training Business

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So, why have we included outdoor personal training on our list of the best health and fitness business ideas? Here are some benefits of running an outdoor personal training business:

There is a Big Demand for Outdoor Fitness

Much like mobile personal training, the demand for outdoor fitness has increased in recent years, due to more people looking for alternatives to the gym. 

In fact, a survey by the ONS showed that there was an increase in people taking part in outdoor exercise in the UK in 2021. And this is only set to increase! 

By starting your own outdoor personal training business, you can therefore capitalise on this demand!

You Can Increase the Number of Clients Per Session

One of the biggest benefits of outdoor training is that you can train more clients at one time. 

If we compare outdoor personal training to mobile personal training, you can see the advantage of spending an hour with 25 paying clients, rather than an hour with just 1 client in their home. 

Outdoor group training also has more earning potential than regular group classes. This is because you are not limited to the four walls of a studio- any outdoor space is technically a potential training space!  

You Can Get Creative

Many personal trainers gravitate towards this fitness business idea because it allows them to express their creativity.

If you have been training clients in a gym for a while, you may start to feel restricted by the equipment in the gym.

By starting an outdoor personal training business, you can think of new ways of training your clients. 

For example, instead of regular pull-ups on a machine, why not get your clients to do pull-ups on a tree? Or instead of 10 minutes on the running machine, how about having your client do laps of the park? 

In fact, the more creative you can get with the location of your outdoor fitness business idea, the better. For example, this outdoor fitness business takes place on a farm!

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As you can see, they have built their whole brand and marketing around the ‘farm’ theme, giving them a unique selling point. This then helps them stand out from other, more conventional outdoor personal training businesses, thus attracting more paying clients!

These kinds of unusual exercises are a great way to stand out as a personal trainer, and give you one of the most unique fitness business ideas out there! 

Things to Consider Before Starting an Outdoor Personal Training Business

Although outdoor personal training is certainly one of the most exciting and lucrative business ideas for fitness, there are also some things to consider. 

The main potential issue to consider about running an outdoor personal training business is that you are subject to weather conditions. 

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For example, you may experience a decline in popularity in winter months when weather conditions are bad, as clients are less inclined to want to do an outdoor bootcamp class in the pouring rain! 

As such, it is a good idea to keep up your regular personal training clients (i.e. those you train inside), so that you can still maintain your income in the winter months.


Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more we think you’ll love: 

Fitness Business Idea #3 - Start a Strength & Conditioning Coaching Business

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Another of the most popular sports and fitness business ideas that many personal trainers go into is strength and conditioning. 

Strength and Conditioning (often known as S&C), is the practical application of sports science principles to improve athletic performance. 

It is predominantly used with athletes or fitness professionals looking to improve their speed, strength, power and endurance in a specific sport or discipline. It is also used to prevent or treat injuries.

With this in mind, the roles and responsibilities of a strength and conditioning coach include:

  • Creating and planning a training program for an athlete or athletic team.
  • Delivering training sessions on the field, court or in a gym.
  • Teaching Olympic Weightlifting and proper technique
  • Supervising and motivating athletes during the sessions. 
  • Delivering skill-related drills.
  • Assessing and monitoring athletes’ progress during and after the program. 
  • Ad-hoc tasks to help the team such as cleaning equipment, assisting with transport and administrative tasks. 

For more information about this fitness business idea, we have a whole article explaining the role of a strength and conditioning coach

If you start your own strength and conditioning business, you will essentially have the same responsibilities, but with the added freedom and control that comes with running your own business.

Working as a self-employed strength and conditioning coach could involve:

  • Working as a freelance S&C coach for multiple clients, such as sports teams, universities or individual athletes. 
  • Working as a freelance S&C coach delivering various strength and conditioning-based fitness classes
  • Working as a mobile S&C coach
  • Working as an online-only S&C coach

As you can see, there are a range of different approaches to take to starting this fitness business idea. Next, we’ll explain how you can get started! 

 

Build Your PT Business With OriGym!

By completing one of our advanced Level 4 qualifications!

How to Start a Strength & Conditioning Coaching Business 

#1- Get the Right Qualifications 

Before you can start your own strength and conditioning business, you will first need to get qualified as a strength and conditioning coach. 

There are two main routes for doing this:

  • Taking a degree in strength and conditioning. While universities offering this course as an undergraduate degree are limited, here is an example from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) of what you might expect:

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Whilst this may seem like an obvious route into S&C, you should be aware that a degree takes 3 years or more to complete, as well as costing around £9,000 a year. So over 3 years, that amounts to £27,000

For these reasons, we recommend seeking an alternative route that is quicker and much more cost effective in the long run- which we will explain below.

  • Taking a strength and conditioning vocational course. Given the cost and time involved in an academic course, a vocational S&C course is a much better way to start this fitness business idea! 

As well as being cheaper, vocational courses are often more flexible, ideal for those with work or family commitments who may not be able to dedicate all their time to studying.

Check out our step-by-step guide to how to become a strength and conditioning coach for more information on getting qualified as an S&C coach.

 

#2 - Get Experience Working in Strength & Conditioning

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As with most of the fitness business ideas on this list, the key to success is gaining as much experience as possible. 

Once you are qualified, we recommend then getting 6-12 months experience working in strength and conditioning on an employed (or voluntary) basis, before you launch into starting your own business. 

This allows you to get experience working with clients, as well as start networking and building up a bank of loyal clients to help the transition to starting your new fitness business idea easier.

Here are some ways that you can gain experience in strength and conditioning:

  • Approach individuals such as local athletes and semi-professionals and offer to coach them for free. This will help to start building your profile and reputation in the local area. 
  • Approach local sports teams such as football or rugby clubs and offer to coach them for free. This will further build your reputation and help you to start networking with others in the fitness industry.
  • Shadow a strength and conditioning coach. The best way to learn about the S&C industry is to shadow someone who has experience in it! For example, you could approach a local university sports team and ask to shadow their S&C coach.

All of these things will help prepare you for when you start your own strength and conditioning coaching business!

Benefits of Starting a Strength & Conditioning Coaching Business 

So, why have we chosen this as one of our best fitness business ideas? Here are some great benefits of starting an S&C business:

You Can Increase Your Earning Potential

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One of the main benefits of getting into strength and conditioning is the increase in earning potential compared to regular personal training. 

In fact, the average personal trainer salary in the UK is £22,058 a year, whereas the average strength and conditioning coach salary is £24,552

However, depending on factors such as your experience and location, this can go up to £33k. We discuss these factors in more detail in our guide to strength and conditioning salary here

This higher earning potential is because as an S&C coach, you can market yourself as a specialist, so you can justify charging more for your services. 

Since you will likely be working with higher-end clients such as athletes or sports teams, they will be more likely to have more money to spend on your services than the average PT client. 

This is what makes strength and conditioning coaching one of the highest paying jobs in fitness

You Can Avoid the Saturated S&C Job Market

If you are interested in strength and conditioning, you may have tried searching for an S&C coach job role. 

Whilst there are certainly jobs out there in S&C, they are few and far between. 

For example, a quick search on Indeed for ‘strength and conditioning coach’ in the UK pulled up just 63 jobs:

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Considering that this search covers the whole of the UK, this indicates that finding a full-time contracted role as an S&C coach is hard to come by.

With this in mind, choosing to start your own strength and conditioning business means that you can avoid this saturated and competitive job market. 

In other words, rather than waiting for a specifically-advertised S&C job, you can take the initiative to start your own business and find your own clients!  

You Can Dominate a Specific Demographic

Perhaps even more so than personal training, this fitness business idea gives you the potential to become an expert in your field. 

You could specialise in strength and conditioning coaching for a specific type of client.

For example, this S&C business specialises in strength and conditioning coaching for runners:

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As you can see, choosing a specific demographic has allowed this business to have a clear focus for their branding and marketing. 

And as we have said, the more specific you are with your target demographic, the more likely you are to stand out and ultimately dominate a particular niche.

By becoming an expert in a particular demographic, you will become increasingly in-demand. Again, this means that you can charge more for your services and increase your earning potential!

Things to Consider Before Starting a Strength & Conditioning Coaching Business

Although strength and conditioning is one of the most lucrative business ideas in the fitness industry, this does not come with its drawbacks.

As we have said, strength and conditioning is a highly competitive market. Whilst starting your own business is a good way to avoid the lack of contracted S&C roles, there is still a lot of competition amongst strength and conditioning businesses.

In fact, according to the UK’s professional body for strength and conditioning, there are over 2,600 S&C coaches in the UK- and that is just those that are registered with them!

With this in mind, it is more important than ever to follow the tips outlined at the start of this article if you want to stand out in this competitive market. Before starting this fitness business idea, you should be prepared to work particularly hard, and gain as much experience and skills as you can! 

Fitness Business Idea #4 - Start a Sports Massage Therapy Business

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Next up on our list of the best fitness industry business ideas is sports massage therapy. 

Sports massage therapy (or SMT) is a form of physical therapy which is used to help alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, aid injury rehabilitation and prevent future injuries. 

Some of the roles and responsibilities of a sports massage therapist include:

  • Conducting fitness assessments with clients to determine what treatment they need
  • Testing joints for range of motion and pain 
  • Pre-event sports massages
  • Post-event sports massages
  • Proving emergency aid during a sports event
  • Create rehabilitation programs for people with injuries 
  • Liaise with coaches, trainers and other healthcare professionals 
  • Advising on diet, lifestyle and nutrition 

Like most personal training career options, you can work as a sports massage therapist on either an employed or self-employed basis. 

As we will explain in more detail next, it is a good idea to start off working as a sports massage therapist on an employed basis. However, once you have experience, starting your own SMT business gives you more control and freedom over how you work. 

There are lots of different ways that you could work as a self-employed sports massage therapist, such as:

  • Working as a freelancer for different sports massage therapy clinics 
  • Working on a freelance basis for individual clients
  • Working as a freelance sports massage therapist alongside personal training 
  • Working as a mobile sports massage therapist
  • Starting your own sports massage therapy clinic

As you can see, there is a huge scope with this fitness business idea! Next, we’ll explain how you can get started. 

How to Start a Sports Massage Therapy Business

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#1 - Get the Right Qualifications

To start your own SMT business, you will need to take a Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy qualification.

This is an entry-level course, so you don’t need any previous qualifications, education or experience to enrol onto the course. 

That said, if you are already a Level 3 personal trainer, or have even just taken your Level 2 fitness instructor qualification, you may be at a slight advantage. This is because you will have already learnt some of the content you will cover on an SMT course. 

A Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy course will cover the following topics:

  • Anatomy and physiology, with a focus on the skin and muscular tissue
  • How to correct posture and muscular imbalances 
  • Principles of health and exercise 
  • Principles of soft tissue dysfunction
  • Functional stretching techniques
  • Sports massage treatments 
  • How to boost sports performance 

 

Build Your PT Business With OriGym!

By completing one of our advanced Level 4 qualifications!

#2 - Gain Experience Working in a Sports Massage Therapy Clinic

Like most of the fitness business ideas on this list, we highly recommend gaining some experience working in the SMT sector before you start your own sports massage fitness business idea.

This is so you can gain experience and transferable skills such as working with clients and programming.

It also means that you can start to build up a loyal following of clients. This will make the process of starting your SMT business easier, as you will already have loyal clients who may then follow your new fitness business ideas!

For example, you could work as a sports massage therapist in a contracted role for 6 months to a year. This allows you to gain valuable work experience that will stand you in good stead when you come to start your own business. 

Plus, it will give you a better idea of whether SMT is the right career path for you! It is much better to realise this now, rather than when you have already committed to starting your own business! 

Unpaid work experience is also a valuable way of starting your own SMT business. For example, once you are qualified, you could reach out to your local football team and gain some work experience there, as an assistant to their current SMT or by shadowing them.

Benefits of Starting a Sports Massage Therapy Business

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So, what makes this one of the best business ideas in the fitness industry? Here are some benefits:

Flexible Working Hours

Perhaps one of the main benefits of starting your own SMT business is the amount of flexibility you have. 

For the most part, when you’ve started your own business, you can determine your own working hours. You’ll have the freedom to schedule in your appointments whenever is most convenient for you, as the role lacks the commitment of a typical 9 to 5. 

This flexibility isn’t just limited to working hours either. If you work on a freelance basis, you can decide whether to travel to clients or have them come to you. 

Working this way allows you to pick and choose your own hours, meaning appointments or sessions can be rescheduled if important events come up in your calendar.

You Can Combine SMT with Personal Training to Increase Your Income

Perhaps more so than any other fitness business idea, sports massage therapy is the perfect complement to personal training. 

If you are already a qualified personal trainer, starting your own SMT business is a great way to expand your clientbase and therefore increase your earnings!

This is because at some point, it is very likely that one of your personal training clients will get injured, or require some form of sports massage therapy. 

Rather than them seeking out this service from someone else, if you are a qualified sports massage therapist, you can offer them your services. This increases your overall earnings, as you have automatically gained a paying client for your SMT business. 

The two professions directly feed into one another: injured clients need therapy, and those seeking therapy will eventually want to be trained again.

Here is an example of someone who offers both personal training and sports massage:

fitness industry business ideas

As you can see, by offering both sports massage and personal training, this business can target clients looking for sports rehabilitation. 

This is a great long-term client retention strategy, as clients are much more likely to stay with you if you can provide all of the services that they need (i.e. both personal training and sports massage therapy). 

Sports Massage Therapy is a Highly Lucrative Industry

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of this health and fitness business idea is a highly lucrative area of the fitness industry. 

According to Payscale, the average hourly pay for a sports massage therapist is £19.25.

This means if you’re self-employed and just starting out, you can determine your own prices and charge anywhere around £20 an hour for your services! 

Once you begin building your service and gain more clients, you can increase your prices to reflect this. If more clients are referred to you, you can charge on the higher end of the price spectrum which according to Payscale is £35.23.

Plus, when this is combined with an additional income such as personal training, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most lucrative business ideas in the fitness industry in 2024! 

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Sports Massage Therapy Business 

Despite these benefits, there are some things you will need to consider before starting your own SMT business, such as:

You Will Need to Invest in Your Own Equipment

online fitness business ideas 3

It may seem obvious, but if you are starting your own sports massage therapy business, you will need to buy your own equipment. 

Before starting your SMT business, you should therefore be sure that you can afford to buy these initial pieces of equipment. 

Some basic equipment you will have to invest in is:

  • Massage bed (ensure this is portable if you’re planning to bring your services to clients)
  • Massage mediums (oils, creams, and lotions)
  • Massage ball rollers
  • Towels
  • Couch cover
  • Carry case

To find out more about what you need to be successful as a sports massage therapist, check out our essential sports massage equipment checklist.

Although this may seem like a lot of equipment, they are all essential if you are wanting to start a reputable and successful business. 

If you are serious about this fitness business idea, you should see them as worthwhile investments that will benefit your business in the long run! 

SMT is a Highly Skilled Profession

Perhaps more than any of the other fitness business ideas on this list, being a sports massage therapist is a very highly skilled role. 

It requires an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, as well as the following skills:

  • Ability to work closely one-on-one with clients
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to recognise and manage risk 
  • Organisation and time management skills
  • Empathy and understanding 

These skills are similar to the skills needed to be a personal trainer, but there is even more focus on being a good communicator. 

Delivering a good massage requires effective communication with your clients in order to determine exactly where their pain is. 

Empathy is also a particularly important trait to have if you want to become a sports massage therapist. For example, you may encounter clients who are feeling down about their injury, particularly if it is preventing them from doing a sport they love. It is therefore part of your role to give them a positive outlook on their recovery!

In other words, to run a successful sports massage therapy business, you need to be confident that you have the wide range of skills required for the role! 

Fitness Business Idea #5 - Start an Online Coaching Business 

online fitness business ideas 5

Last but not least on our list of the best fitness business ideas is online coaching.

The online training industry has grown in recent years, largely due to the demand for working out at home since the pandemic, as more and more people are looking for alternatives to the gym. 

One of the easiest ways to work as an online coach is by filming live or on-demand workout videos for your clients.

As well as workouts, there are other services can be offered through your online fitness business, such as:

  • Meal plans and recipes
  • Exercise guides
  • A tracking system 
  • Community message board to connect with other clients

Here is a good example of an online fitness coaching business that provides nutrition programmes:

fitness related business ideas 2

fitness related business ideas 3

As you can see, this online fitness business specialises in ‘fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coaching’, selling 12-week programmes.

Check out our complete guide to selling fitness programmes online to see how you can do the same!

How to Start an Online Fitness Coaching Business

#1 - Get the Relevant Qualifications For Your Online Fitness Business Idea

online fitness business ideas 4

Once you have decided on a niche and target audience for your online fitness business ideas, you will then need to get the relevant qualifications. 

This is another reason why establishing your niche early on in your business plan is so important!

For any kind of personal training-related online coaching business, you will first need to get qualified as a personal trainer. For this, you will need the following qualifications:

Check out our guide to becoming an online fitness coach for more information on starting online fitness business ideas. 

If you want to specialise in a particular area of online fitness coaching, there are then further qualifications that you should take. 

#2 - Gain Experience Working as a PT in a Gym

health and fitness business ideas 3

Once you are fully qualified for the type of online coaching you want to do, we then recommend getting a job as a personal trainer in a gym.

Whilst working for somebody else in a gym might be the last thing you want to do, gaining relevant work experience will be really beneficial when it comes to starting your online business.

If you’re not already working as a personal trainer in a gym, we recommend that you get at least 6 months experience running face-to-face sessions before you even think about becoming an online fitness coach.

Working as an in-person personal trainer before starting your online fitness business idea is beneficial because it will give you the opportunity to:

  • Build up a good reputation in and gain a loyal clientbase
  • Develop your knowledge of creating and implementing effective training programmes
  • Figure out the client demographic that you enjoy working with and determine your online fitness coaching niche. 

All of these things will help you feel more prepared and confident in the next steps of starting your own online fitness business idea. 

#3 - Create Your Online Platform

Once you have gained some, you can then create your online platform- whether that be a website, an app or something else.

There are two main options for how to go about making your online fitness business platform:

  1. Outsource it. If you have the budget, getting a dedicated website or app developer to create your online platform can make the process a lot easier. This takes the task out of your hands, allowing you to focus on the business itself. 
  2. Create it yourself. If you don’t have the budget or have the skills yourself, then there is no reason that you cannot create your website or app yourself! 

There are also plenty of software out there that can help you. For example, Squarespace and Wix are easy, low-cost website building tools. Check out our list of the best personal trainer websites for some inspiration!

#4 - Set Up Your Filming Space

fitness industry business ideas 5

As well as the online platform itself, there are also some things that you may need to invest in to start your online fitness business idea. 

For example, if you are planning to film live or on-demand workouts, you will need filming equipment such as:

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Microphone

As part of this, you should also make sure that you have a suitable filming space. For example, things like making sure that you have enough room, good lighting and no distracting noises are all key to filming a strong workout video!

Benefits of Starting an Online Personal Training Business

business ideas for fitness 5

There are so many reasons why online fitness coaching is one of the best fitness industry business ideas:

No Gym Fees or Rent

One way that becoming an online fitness coach can benefit your income is by removing any fees associated with renting a space in a gym. 

Starting your own online fitness business idea essentially removes the middle man (the gym), allowing a direct relationship between yourself and your clients. 

This will help decrease your outgoings and overhead costs, thus increasing your overall earnings. 

You Can Expand Your Clientbase

One of the biggest benefits of starting an online fitness coaching business is that you will have the capacity to take on more clients.

This is because having less contact time with clients and not having to personally deliver every session frees up a lot of your time, allowing you to increase your client list significantly.

The fact that you aren’t restricted by physical factors like space and equipment also means that you can train more clients at one time.

For example, you could spend an hour training one individual client in a gym, or you could spend the same amount of time delivering a live workout to an unlimited number of clients online!

Plus, because you can offer training plans and sessions remotely, rather than in person, your potential clients are no longer limited by your postcode. Instead, pretty much anybody with access to the internet has the potential to become a client. 

 

Build Your PT Business With OriGym!

By completing one of our advanced Level 4 qualifications!

Things to Consider Before Starting an Online Personal Training Business

Online Fitness Coaching is a Very Competitive Market

Although online fitness coaches do have access to a lot more clients than PTs who only run face-to-face sessions, with that increase in clients comes increased competition. 

Since the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in fitness professionals moving to online. 

In fact, one survey showed that before the pandemic, 39% of personal trainers said that they had an online business. Now, this figure has raised to 83% of PTs offering online personal training! 

The fact that there are so many personal trainers starting this fitness business idea means that it can be hard to stand out. 

This is why it is particularly important to have an effective marketing strategy and a unique selling point (USP) if you want to be a successful online fitness coach. 

The best way to do this is to capitalise on a particular niche or type of fitness class that not many others have taken on. 

For example, this online fitness business have targeted older clients:

health and fitness business ideas 6

By targeting a specific type of client like this, you will therefore reduce your competition, making it easier for you to gain clients. 

Retaining Online Clients Can Be Difficult

Compared to in-person personal training, it can be harder to retain your online clients.

Building rapport is a key part of retaining clients, and doing through online platforms can be a lot harder compared to face-to-face clients. 

As a result of this, client retention can be tougher for online PTs, which can make their income pretty unpredictable.

For example, a key part of rapport building as a personal trainer is having good eye contact and body language. These things are of course much harder to do through a camera! 

However, there are still ways to adapt and build rapport with online clients. For example, instead of eye contact, simply make sure to look directly into the webcam camera when talking to clients online. 

Maintaining communication in between sessions is also a good way to build rapport with online clients, through things like newsletter emails and community message boards.

Before You Go!

So, we hope that our list of the best fitness business ideas has given you some inspiration to start your own!

Expand the services you offer your clients today by taking one of OriGym's Advanced Nutrition courses! Enquire now or download our course prospectus for more information about the range of industry-leading courses we offer.

Written by Alice Williams

Content Editor & Yoga Teacher

Alice graduated with a First-Class degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Leeds in 2019. As part of her degree, she spent a year living in France where she worked for a lifestyle blog, gaining professional experience in both translation and content writing. 

Alice is also a qualifiied yoga teacher, allowing her write from a place of expertise when it comes to yoga!

When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she also loves running, cooking and music! 

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