What is the initial investment for a gym?

July, 27 2022

Investing in a gym offers many possibilities, as it is considered a business model with high profitability and a "safe haven value" for entrepreneurs. Even in times of crisis, training and taking care of one's health is a priority for a large part of the population. But do you know what the initial investment to open a successful gym or fitness center is? 

Grab a pen and paper, in this article we break down the minimum capital needed to open a conventional or boutique gym.

Discover how to open your own fitness center

What is the initial investment for a gym?

The investment required to set up a gym varies and depends on different factors, among them:

  • The characteristics of the premises (location, size, etc.).
  • The type of gym. 
  • The target audience.
  • The services offered 
  • The staff hired
  • Promotion and advertising expenses. 
  • Equipment, furniture, and facilities.


How much does it cost to set up a conventional gym?

The average cost of setting up a conventional gym, with a surface area of 500 m², would be between £170,000 and £250,000.

  1. The most important budget item within the investment to open a gymnasium is the one destined to the works of adaptation of the premises, permits and taxes. These would cost between £85,000 and £130,000.
  2. To these we should add up to an additional £85,000 in furniture and equipment or gym machines. 
  3. The initial fee expenses would be around £25,000.
  4. Finally, marketing and pre-opening expenses, another £25,000. 

And all this just to get the gym up and running. Add to this investment the various costs of a gym which in many cases are recurring. Among them we can list monthly and annual expenses such as: 

  • Utilities (electricity, water, WiFi, etc)
  • Leasing.
  • Maintenance and repairs.
  • Payroll, equipment (e.g. uniforms), staff training and per diems.
  • Cleaning
  • Insurance costs.
  • Periodic royalties and fees (in case of franchised gyms).

How much does it cost to set up a boutique gym?

Now you know how much money it takes to open a traditional gym, but what if your project is a boutique center?

The term boutique gym refers to premium or high quality fitness centers that are specialized and aimed at a very specific target audience. As such, boutique gyms don't usually offer a wide range of services, but rather specialize in specific activities. In addition, they offer excellent locations and a technical team of the highest level. 

Boutique gyms work based on the unique experience of each client. An example of a boutique gym are the Fit Jeff centers, specialized in the disciplines of yoga, pilates, HIIT and functional, or even any yoga or crossfit studio that you may find in your city.

Starting this type of business is more economical than opening a conventional gym for several reasons. First of all, the space is smaller, so the investment required is considerably smaller as well, as is the cost of furnishing the space or the recurring expenses (electricity, water, materials, etc.). 

 Not to mention, specializing in only a few disciplines also means that investment in equipment is also much lower.   For example, the disciplines we teach in our Fit Jeff centers (yoga, pilates, hiit, functional)  do not require heavy machinery,  thus reducing the initial investment and maintenance costs. 

Taking all this into account, the initial investment for a boutique gym is around £70,000, although this figure will always depend on the size of the center.

cuál es la inversión inicial para un gimnasio - material gimnasio

Summary of the budget for a fitness center

The following is a summary of the standard budget for setting up a conventional gym and a boutique Fit Jeff gym.

How much money do I need to open a traditional 500 m² gym? And a boutique gym?


Traditional gym 

Boutique gym

Initial fee

£25.000 £10.000

Marketing and pre-opening

£25.000 £8.500

Adequacy of the premises

£85.000 - £130.000 £25.000 - £50.000

Furniture and equipment

£85.000 - £170,000 £8.500


By items, and once opened, the expenses that we will have to incur as owners of the business are:

■ Rent: 20-30% of total expenses.

■ Personnel: 50-70% of total expenses.

■ Publicity  5% of total expenses.

■ Power and light:  5% of expenses (in the case of Fit Jeff, where we seek maximum efficiency).

Download business plan for a fitness center

Gym business models: options you should know about

If you are thinking of starting a business and want to set up a gym, you should study the different business models to see which one interests you the most. 

  1. Premium model. These are very exclusive gyms that, in addition to high-level facilities, have services such as laundry and towel services, bathroom amenities, etc. Their fees are high (usually over £125 a month). 
  2. Mid-Market Model / Low Price. These are chains that offer average equipment and services without great luxuries. Their monthly fees cost an average of £40.
  3. Low Cost Model These are gyms located in large premises, aimed at a general public. They are inexpensive (from 9 to £25 per month), but have no extras. Any additional service is charged. 
  4. Boutique Model They are designed to offer unique experiences. In addition to their experiential base, they have other advantages, such as personalized equipment, monitors or activity programming. This type of fitness center fits the "Retail Fitness" concept. 
  5. Personal training model. These are fitness facilities designed for totally personalized attention. 

Advantages of investing in a franchised fitness center

In this sector, boutique gyms like Fit Jeff have a high survival rate because they generate a stronger brand image and have a proven, updated operating system. 

In this sense, entrepreneurs looking to open a business of this kind can count on the experience of our partners to learn about the advantages of investing in their own business.

Some of them are: 

  • This business has the capacity to adapt to the needs of its users.
  • Brand support once you become a partner, which is how we do it at Fit Jeff.
  • It offers a wide variety of services.
  • It has time and technology flexibility.
  • It offers attractive agreements and collaborations with large companies that handle the material, equipment, fitness machinery, etc.
  • It guarantees a consolidated and maintained image.
  • It does not depend on the instability caused by the energy crisis.

Finally, when we decide to set up a Fit Jeff, we must know and differentiate concepts such as: 

  • Investment. The money you need to invest in a gym.  
  • Entrance fee.  This is part of the initial investment to open your own boutique fitness center and basically corresponds to the right to use the Fit Jeff image and the company's know-how.
  • Operating and advertising royalties. This is a fee that all our partners must pay periodically for Business in a Box services and advertising expenses. 

At Jeff, we want to improve the lives of our partners and all people. One of our main objectives is to democratize entrepreneurship, making it easier for anyone, regardless of their knowledge or capital, to open their own business in different sectors.

Want to open your own boutique gym? Find more information on how to open your own Fit Jeff.

Discover how to open your own fitness center


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