Knowledge & Advice Gym Owners Advice

How To Find The Right Business Location for a Fitness Business

How To Find The Right Business Location for a  Fitness Business

A large part of what we do at Origin Fitness is helping people create perfect spaces for their fitness business. We realise that for many, selecting the right facility can be a daunting task. We know that finding the right location for a fitness business can prove challenging. That's why today we wanted to cover the main things to consider when starting your journey.

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When choosing the right business location there are a number of factors to think about. The three main considerations when looking at locations are going to be unit size, location, and cost. You should decide what's most important to you, is it the dream space or an ideal location?

Depending on where the gym is based will also influence cost and unit size. If you want a larger space at a lower cost then consider basing yourself at the outskirts of town. If you want a premium location that is more central, this will come with a larger price tag.

Consider where your target market are based, live, and work. The more convenient you are for them to get to, will make the gym more appealing. This is because the gym can be used before work, during lunch, or in the evening when it suits them best.

Your location should be easy for people to access with parking often being a key factor in potential member's decision-making. Also, consider the look and feel of the location – does this mirror your business model and clientele?

To help you get started, get yourself a good surveyor who can assist in finding you the right location. You could also drive around your chosen area looking at the "To Let" boards. This is a simple but surprisingly effective method of seeking out potential spaces.

Successful Gyms

Many of our existing customers have succeeded in using their business location to their advantage. Take uGym located in rural Tillicoultry, they wanted to create a community fitness centre that would rival any large city gym. Their clientele span a large catchment area and having such a top quality facility in this location helps to maintain a loyal member base even form those who live further afield.

At 1VIGOR, we worked with the team to create the first S&C Performance Gym in the Halifax area. The facility delivers the ultimate training space where members can shut off from the outside world when training. With a quick turnaround of 10 days on this unique project, we kitted the facility out with our range of cardio equipment, functional weightlifting equipment, and flooring.

Finally, Club 300 have a different strategy when it comes to choosing their locations. They are an exclusive gym, personal training facility, and have also become a franchise. They take a unique approach to health and fitness and only have 300 members per facility. This creates an exclusive environment where members get a more personal experience and a gym with a friendlier, more welcoming atmosphere. They have facilities across the North East of Scotland.

These businesses knew their clientele and their approach to fitness and used this when looking for their space. This shows it's about knowing your target audience and delivering the value they are looking for.

Club 300

Facility & Layout

Think positively and think smart - your facility should be big enough to allow for future growth. Don't limit yourself by opening a facility that can only accommodate your current client base. While a smaller space will work in the short term (if things go to plan), you will need more space. Plan for this when looking at potential facilities.

Our examples above should give you an idea of how to blend the right equipment with a perfect layout. Done right, it will allow you to be sure that you have enough space for the potential number of clients you are going to be training at any given time.

Once you know the size of your facility its key to consider equipment placement and layout, to maximise the space. Proper planning will allow you to ensure the space has enough room to not detract from the flow around the gym. You don't want to overfill the space with large kit which takes up too much floor space.

fitness business location 1

Building Usage and The Council

In the UK, commercial properties are categorised under a set of classifications to indicate the type of use the building or space is fit for. Gyms and personal studios fall under the same classification as cinemas, pools and other mass entertainment facilities, namely D2. This is due to the high expected noise levels and footfall.

When looking for your space, it is important to keep this in mind. Firstly, you must ask the letting agent the current usage of the building and if it isn’t currently D2, then you need to find out what the chances are of getting this changed. In this case, contact your local council for more information regarding the application.

The two key factors that the council will take into consideration when applying for a change of use are noise and parking. If there is not sufficient parking for your planned facility there is a very good chance your application will be turned down.

If you are in or near a residential area you may also get rejected due to perceived noise levels. You can sometimes get around this by supplying details of what you do and what you plan to do to reduce the risk of noise complaints. Consider these factors when finding the right location.


Think about health and safety regulations, fire doors, exits, and insurance. Getting any of these things wrong will be costly to fix on a whim, and may also leave you facing legal action. Make sure you have all of your insurance and safety procedures in order well in advance of opening to the public. Once open, remember to review your procedures regularly and ensure that all of your members and staff are familiar with them.

If you have any questions about any of the topics in this article, or want to find out more about setting up a new fitness business, please don't hesitate to get in touch via 0333 2000 750 or email [email protected].

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