Opening Your Own Practice, Gym, or Studio – What To Think About First

So, you’re thinking about opening your own practice, gym, or studio?!

No matter where you land within the spectrum of Movement, Health, & Healing Professionals, there is a high likelihood that you are going to face the crossroads of deciding to work for someone else or consider opening your own practice, gym, or studio. You may be a chiropractor, physical therapist, personal trainer, strength coach, nutritionist, life coach, or acupuncturist that has a true passion for serving others.

Among many reasons, here a few that may foreshadow that this crossroads may be a part of your journey in the near future:

  • You want to improve the health, wellness, nutrition, and mindset of all of your clients, and you may get to a certain point where your passion grows so strong that you feel compelled to open your own practice, gym, or studio.
  • Maybe you’ve hit a point where you realize that the company that you work for is receiving more of the revenue from the services that you are providing for your clients. This can be a tough one, as it is true that when working for a larger company, you may not have to worry about equipment and a place to service your clients. However, the truth is that your clients are coming back day-in-and-day-out to see you, their “Movement, Health, & Healing Pro”. Why shouldn’t you receive most of that revenue?
  • You could also be in the mindset of realizing that you want to service your clients in a different way than what is the norm at your company, such as adding additional services or charging your clients in a more flexible way.
  • Finally, there may just be too much red tape or politics for you when working for a larger company within your field as a “Movement, Health, & Healing Pro”.

If you can relate to one or more of the reasons noted above, you may find yourself itching to take the steps towards opening your own practice, gym, or studio.

By starting your own business, being self-employed, and servicing your clients in your own way, you’re going to have a lot of flexibility and autonomy. You will no longer have to report to anyone and that can be very freeing.

But wait!

Before you go and launch your own business, make sure you take the time to think about whether you really want to do this. Your heart must be in it 100% for the long run. It sounds amazing and we all know that the grass is greener on the other side. However, the reality is that it is very, very hard to launch your own business when you are a “Movement, Health, & Healing Pro”. Yet, even though it is hard, it is also very rewarding!

You are in this profession because you want to change lives through movement & health. You want to serve your clients well and that is where you thrive. When you do open your own practice, gym, or studio and put your shingles up, not only will you be responsible for providing your service to your clients in the way that you successfully have in the past, you will also now have many other responsibilities. You will now also be in charge of marketing, equipment purchasing, inventory, hiring, budgeting, bookkeeping, etc. In addition, you may have to figure out what kind of technology to use for scheduling, bookkeeping, digital marketing, etc.

The reality is that when you are opening your own practice, gym or studio, you will spend a lot of time “working on the business” and “working in the business”. To succeed, there is a lot more than just serving your clients. You are now the CEO and the chiropractor, physical therapist, personal trainer, strength coach, nutritionist, life coach, or acupuncturist.

We are certainly not against opening your own practice, but you definitely need to plan for it and map out exactly how you’re going to find success. If you think that clients are just going to flow in because you’re amazing, that is maybe more of the exception than the rule. Yes, there are going to be those rockstar “Movement, Health, & Healing Pros” that have a business that is very service-oriented and their clients love them in a fanatical kind of way. These are the ones where their clients rave about them so much to their friends and referrals continue to stream through. This is amazing and it could happen like this for you.

However, the reality is for the majority of anyone that is in a service-based business, it takes a lot of work to start your business, grow, and continue to stay at the top. You have to have the chops to ask for the business, market yourself, and get out there in the community. You also must create a process and system for the services that you’re providing that is repeatable & scalable, that your clients enjoy. The client experience that you create must be amazing and all at the same time, you’re doing all of the things behind the scenes involved with running a business that maybe you haven’t been used to because you’ve been working for a larger company in the past.

If we haven’t scared you yet, we are very, very impressed by your ambition and we strongly believe that the more you prepare for the day that you’re going to start your service-based business, the better off that you will be.

Whether it be a chiropractor practice, a physical therapist practice, your own personal training studio, etc., all that you have to do is create a plan, share it with people that you trust, get feedback, iterate on that, and keep your vision at the top of your mind. Start taking baby steps to work backward. As an example, if you want to have it highly profitable and successful five years from when you open, think about what would need to happen leading up to year five. You know what your five-year goal looks like, so next, you could break things down into smaller goal-based timelines, such as 3-year and 1-year. What are the smaller and bigger actions, projects, tasks, etc. that will move the needle to help reach the goals that you have set for 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year?

Ultimately, there is a whole lot to consider when opening your own practice, gym, or studio. Once you do make that decision to start your own business and really take the leap, the most important first thing to do is to create a plan that will help navigate through the knowns and unknowns. By taking the time early on to do this, you will be setting yourself up for success!

Additional Reads & Resources

Physical Therapists’ Guide To Starting An Outpatient Clinic
How To Successfully Launch A Successful Chiropractic Practice
7 Strategies For Success As A Strength & Conditioning Professional
16 Tips I Wish I’d Known Before Opening My Acupuncture Practice
10 Essentials For Starting Your Booming Nutrition Private Practice
How Personal Trainers Will Know They’re Ready To Open A Gym

Personal Trainer Marketing Plan: How to Boost Your Business
Fitness Career Path – Why Personal Trainers Have The Best Journey Forward

For additional resources, you can always visit our “Resources” page.

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