Being your own boss, turning your side hustle into your full-time business, and hitting your goals gives you a massive sense of accomplishment. As amazing as it sounds to be a fitness entrepreneur, it’s incredibly difficult. You’re responsible for every part of your business. With that responsibility comes a lot of stress.
But starting your own company is one of the most rewarding and exciting things you can do. Although it comes with a lot of stress and pressure, it can have massive rewards. Becoming a fitness entrepreneur takes a whole new skill set. You’re not only an expert in health and fitness, but you need to know how to build a business effectively. The fitness industry is massively competitive. However, it remains to be a huge opportunity to grow a profitable business. In this article, we discuss the state of the fitness industry right now and how to be an entrepreneur.
Skip ahead to:
- Why Become an Entrepreneur?
- Business Startup Trends and Statistics
- 4 Successful Entrepreneurs in the Fitness Industry
- How to Be an Entrepreneur in the Health and Fitness Industry
Why Become an Entrepreneur?
While being an entrepreneur is extremely difficult, it has several benefits. The definition of an entrepreneur is someone who starts a business, bears most of the risks, but reaps most of the rewards. To create a successful startup, you need the self-discipline to keep going and willingness to risk a lot in order to come out the other side.
On the flip side, becoming an entrepreneur gives you complete freedom to make every decision on your own terms and be in control of all aspects of your company. You will work hard and spend a lot of time nurturing your company. So many people have business ideas but only a handful take the leap to start a new business. The idea of being in control of your life can feel liberating and motivate you to take risks and grow your business.
With no income restrictions, a successful business can help you achieve financial independence and lift the cap on any previous earnings. You have the opportunity to take a calculated risk and follow your passion.
The Fitness Founders Podcast delves into the topic of what it takes to be a successful fitness entrepreneur right now. Eric Malzone, a fitness industry consultant and podcast host, talks about the huge opportunity in the fitness industry right now and the qualities you need to be a successful entrepreneur.
Business Startup Trends and Statistics
Despite the pandemic, statistics show that 4.4 million companies started operating in 2020. The idea of starting your own business is massively attractive. However, many people often underestimate how hard it is to start from scratch and build a successful company. Roughly 90% of startups fail and about 10% fail within the first year. This percentage works out approximately the same across all industries.
According to CBInsights, the number one reason a startup business fails is from a lack of market fit. Business owners misread the market demand and create a product or service that actually isn’t relevant or in demand in the market. The second biggest reason for failure is cash flow problems, shortly followed by not having the right team to make the business a success. Other major reasons for failure include:
- Poor marketing
- Pricing or costing issues
- User-unfriendly services and products
- Product mistiming
As you can see, there are several entrepreneurial lessons to learn from founders that have paved the way in the industry. Although the startup landscape is competitive and aggressive, there is a huge potential in the fitness industry to build a successful business.
Consumer awareness of health and fitness is at an all-time high due to the pandemic and government messaging throughout multiple lockdowns. Mental and physical health are driving the demand for services and products that cater to a growing health-conscious population. With a new appreciation for digital services, you can run a business from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
4 Successful Entrepreneurs in the Fitness Industry
When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are so many lessons to learn from previous founders. Successful entrepreneurs have created a business that has market demand. They tend to be a combination of business savvy and fitness experts with different backgrounds. Here are four successful entrepreneurs who have founded million-dollar companies.
Payal Kadakia, ClassPass Founder
ClassPass is the brainchild of Payal Kadakia. She is the Founder and Executive Chairman of ClassPass, graduating from MIT with a degree in Operations Research and Economics. The fitness app connects gym-goers to gyms and studios without a need for any memberships. ClassPass launched in 2013 and as of 2020 is valued at $1 billion. Since launching, the fitness app has implemented several different business models to find the right economic balance. More recently, its growth strategy includes a corporate program that allows employers to subsidize fitness for employees.
Joe Wicks, The Body Coach
Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach is a hugely successful personal trainer, best-selling author, fitness program creator. He is a great example of how social media can propel your business. With millions of followers on Instagram, Joe remains authentic and relatable across all channels. During the coronavirus pandemic, he launched PE with Joe on YouTube for free to help kids at home in lockdown get some exercise. This further propelled Joe into a household name and a trusted source in the fitness industry.
Joe de Sena, Spartan Race founder
Joe De Sena founded the Spartan Race in 2010, the world’s largest obstacle race. Spartan Race is held in the US but has been franchised in over 30 countries, including Canada and Australia. After years of working on Wall Street, Joe found a passion for the great outdoors. In just one year, he completed fifty ultra events and forty Ironmans. But the challenge was never enough and Spartan Race was brought to fruition. With entry prices starting at $100 and over one million runners signing up to hundreds of events each year, the Spartan Race has fit an in-demand niche perfectly.
Casey Ho, Blogilates and Pop Pilates Founder
Casey Ho is a fitness entrepreneur with millions of subscribers on her Blogilates YouTube channel and Pop Pilates founder. She also sells fitness apparel and accessories on her PopFlex shop. Casey is a certified group fitness instructor and Pilates mat and Reformer teacher. She originally posted her first Pop Pilates video on YouTube in 2009 for just 40 students. Casey has created multiple streams of income fuelled by her bubbly personality, smart social media strategy, and consistent branding.
How to Be an Entrepreneur in the Health and Fitness Industry
Being an entrepreneur is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle and disciplined mindset. The road to success is often filled with risks, stress, unforeseen obstacles, and sleepless nights. But despite the hardships, every year thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs embark on a journey to start their own business venture.
1. Understand Your Values
A great place to start is to really understand your personal values and the values of your organization. Be honest with yourself and think about what you value and what’s non-negotiable for you. These are the fundamental beliefs you have. The same applies to your business. Your personal and business values will set the tone for your company. It’s important to define those values and only hire people who fully understand your values. This is something that will make your life easier down the road as your employees will abide by the same morals, ethics, and values.
2. Identify Profitable Startup Business Ideas
To create a successful business, you need an idea. A great idea is where all businesses start. It’s not enough to just have an idea, it needs to be realistic, relevant, and have a target market. If you know that you want to start your own business, but are yet to come up with a winning and profitable idea, try the following techniques to come up with a new idea:
- Look at industry trends
- Speak to your friends and family
- Learn about other startups
- Focus on finding problems to fix
- Read more business books
- Look back at old ideas
- Expand your network
3. Determine an In-Demand Niche
Choosing a niche gives your company a competitive edge. However, if your niche is too narrow you won’t have enough customers. Your niche allows you to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition in a heavily saturated market. By segmenting the market and finding a niche, you can identify a solution to a problem more effectively. For example, within the health and fitness niche, you can refine further into preventative medicine, personal nutrition, supplements, and mobile personal training.
4. Create a Competitive Offering
Now that you have an idea and niche, you now need to create something that’s better than what’s already out there. Think about how you will drive value and create a competitive offering that will attract new customers. Do you have a digital fitness platform alongside your physical location? You’re selling a transformation and solution to a problem. If you can create an offering that drives results and is competitive in the fitness environment, you can begin to build a loyal membership base.
5. Validate Your Fitness Business Idea
Before you quit your day job, you need to validate your idea. You have done the research and found a niche and service that has a demand. Now, you need to know if people will actually use your service or buy your product. This is where buyer persona and market research are integral to starting your business on the right foot. Determine your target audience, demographics, and member personas. You can then interview the people who fit your target audience, offer a trial, and test the market. This gives you the opportunity to test the validity of your business idea and make changes as necessary.
6. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor and building a support network is important in business. Becoming an entrepreneur can be lonely and you need to be speaking with other entrepreneurs. Looking after your mental health as a fitness entrepreneur is essential. If you have a network of support, you are constantly learning and making your small business better. You can experience more impactful personal and business growth. Although you may be an expert in fitness, not everyone is an expert in the business. A mentor can help guide you and avoid making costly mistakes.
7. Craft Your Business Plan
Your business plan is a formal document that maps out who you are and how you plan to grow. It can include your marketing strategy, financial projections, and budget. You need a business plan to secure potential investors and funding, to further define your concept, and to map out your strategy for growth. The business plan is the guide for starting your business. You will often refer to your business plan when making strategic decisions. It’s something that will evolve with your business.
8. Fund Your Business
In order to make any amount of money, you need to fund your business. There are several different avenues you can take to fund your business. You can use a combination of methods or a single solution. The best way to fund your business depends on your individual situation. To fund your business, consider the following methods:
- Seek angel investors or venture capitalist
- Crowdfunding platform
- Ask friends and family
- Find a co-founder
- Use your personal savings and bank account
- Apply for business loans
Becoming an entrepreneur and building a business from the ground up takes a lot of hard work. But if you’re ready to take the leap, you can turn your passion into a business with the right knowledge, expertise, and concept. A profitable business idea and correct delivery within an in-demand niche has massive potential. By working with someone who is always above your level, you can be in an environment of constant learning to continue to take your business to the next level of success.