How To Start A Gym, Fitness Center And Boot Camp Business In Africa

It’s a good time to provide gym services, fitness training and boot camps!

In rich and middle class areas of Africa‘s biggest cities, in particular, the gym and fitness training business is starting to take off. The growing demand for these services is coming from the continent‘s educated and financially-stable consumers, who are typically well-educated white-collar professionals who live in middle-income or highbrow neighborhoods in urban areas and are increasingly influenced by a western fitness conscious‘ mentality and lifestyle. There is also a growing presence of health spas and massage parlors in urban areas that target this market.

This is an ideal business enjoying what you love. It would work best in a country with a stark growing economy and a strong middle and upper class or expat community, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, or Ethiopia, for example. You need people who have a lifestyle that allows them to engage in fitness activities and pay for it.

Now, for this to become a viable business, you need to offer something for fairly big groups and with an edge – create a trademark for your variety of fitness courses, for example: the Flexpress‘, Lagos Running Club‘, and six-week bridal workout‘. Exercising with your class in the open air (at least for some courses) may set you apart and save you some money. You could sell a selection of fitness and work-out music or your own home-exercise DVD to increase revenue. A personal fitness blog may help you to increase outreach and sales.

Location, operating format, marketing, staffing and competition are critical points that must be carefully considered by entrepreneurs who wish to enter the Gym and Fitness club business.

Business Concept

This is a wonderful business opportunity for people who love sports and who have a minimal budget at hand. Now, we think two aspects are very important if you want this to become profitable:
 Training groups or masses
 Having a very attractive, trademark fitness routine
Sure, you could become a personal trainer or train some youngsters in gymnastics, but unless you can charge celebrity fees for that, it will not be enough. You need to get many paying clients into a small time slot – and then repeat that all over.

This is how it works: You could rent a fitness center or an empty church or community hall for your fitness routines. Or even do it outdoors, as suggested – that will save you renting costs and may just set you apart from the competition! Now come up with a really attractive routine including aerobics, African dance, muscle-building exercise, or Far East disciplines and get 15 to 20 people to participate for 60 or 90 minutes.

Do that four times a day, maybe two morning sessions and two evening sessions, and you could serve 80 people each day when your business (and you!) run at almost maximum capacity. If you work 5 days a week and each person pays you $5 per session you make $10,000 that month – with hardly any expenses!

If your fitness program is popular you could even produce a fitness DVD and sell that to your clients and others who‘d rather do the workout at home. This would work best in the context of an online fitness blog.

Niche Ideas

 Yoga courses
 Pregnancy fitness training
 Weight loss programs (this one is huge!)
 Self-defense classes

Top Countries & Policy Guidance

This would work anywhere in Africa, but if you want to charge higher rates you should focus on countries with a strong upper-middle and upper class and a tendency to embrace a Westernized lifestyle, such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Angola.

Action & Tips

 Look at really popular fitness trainers in the US or elsewhere and be guided and inspired by the way they market their training routines and products, engaging thousands of fans. It may take some time to kick off in Africa, but the trend is there and it is visibly growing!

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