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How To Start A Fitness Centre, Gym Business In Nigeria (Step By Step Guide)

how to start gym centre fitness business nigeria

How To Start A Fitness Center, Gym Membership Business In Nigeria (Step By Step Guide)

Looking to start a gym business in Nigeria? This article got you covered! In this piece, we’ll be bringing you a detailed guide on how to set up a gym centre in Nigeria.

As the saying goes, “Health is wealth”, and one of the major ways of living a healthy life is via regular fitness and exercise. However, despite the perceived importance of fitness, most people, especially in third-world countries like Nigeria, lack access to standard fitness facility.

Nevertheless, with the growing awareness on the importance of fitness on healthy life, many Nigerians have embraced the act of regular fitness training and exercise. Consequently, the demand for gym centres and professional fitness trainers are on the rise.

If you are interested in this opportunity, follow through this article.

Fitness Industry in Nigeria

Before we bring you the guidelines on how to start a gym /fitness business, let us get you enlightened on some key aspects of the business, as well as the status quo in the Nigerian fitness industry.

The fitness industry is relatively new in Nigeria. This is primarily due to the prevalent lackadaisical attitude of Nigerians towards exercise and fitness training. Over the past half-a-decade, however, there has been growing awareness on the importance of fitness in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle

Basically, there are various types of fitness services being offered by gym houses and fitness centres within the country. This variation is primarily along gender and age-grade lines. Put aptly, the primary objective of most women who visit gym houses is to trim-down or lose weight. This, to some extent, also applies to the aged people (both male and female). On the other hand, young male gym enthusiasts are more concerned about building up toned – muscular – physique.

With respect to the aforementioned, most Nigerian fitness centres are inclined to provide “weight-losing” and “bodybuilding” services among others to their clients (trainees). Hence, what you see in most Nigerian gym houses include weight piles, Rowing machine and Treadmills among others.

However, the highlight of the fitness industry in Nigeria, which has kept the demand for fitness trainers on the rise, is the obsessive nature of many Nigerian women, who are actively seeking avenues to look fit, plump and as appealing to the eyes as possible. The major patronizers of fitness centres in Nigeria include the female entertainers, sportswomen, models, students and the average “slay queens”.

With the rise in prominence of the Nigerian fitness industry, a number of multi million Naira fitness firms have sprang up, with most of them enjoying massive patronage from all over the country and beyond. Some of fitness firms include Shredder Gang, Mean Trainer and Afri Fitness among others. These fitness firms constitute some of the leading gym houses in Nigeria, with presence in major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt among others.

On a final note, the fitness industry in Nigeria is a relatively new, albeit fast-growing, one. Though, still relatively insignificant compared to other lucrative businesses, the fitness industry has produced quite a number millionaires. And with the continuous demand for fitness instructors, there is an endless opportunity for those willing to join the industry.

Cost of Setting Up a Gym in Nigeria

Setting up a gym house does not come cheap, irrespective of the scale. This is because an average set of gym equipment requires a sizable amount of money to procure, and procuring on lease is usually not cost-effective in the long run.

Normally, to set up a standard fitness centre or gym house in Nigeria, you would need between 500,000 to 5,000,000 Naira, depending on the scale, as well as the set of gym equipment you are looking to work it. Also, you need to acquire a spacious office/centre, to accommodate your gym equipment, rest room, and office.

For high-end gym houses, with different sets of top grade automated fitness gadgets, you would be looking between 10 million Naira and above to set up such gym centres.

Cost of Gym Membership in Nigeria

Another cost to consider is the cost of gym membership, which typically varies across the country. In Lagos for instance, the cost of gym membership goes for as low as 18,000 per month, which is equivalent to about 220,000 Naira per year. However, this varies depending on the location and scale of your gym house.

In other cities like Abuja, the cost of gym membership could be a little higher, with respect to the class of the target market in the area. Also, in places like Ibadan and Ilorin, the cost of membership is considerably low, and goes for as low as 10,000 Naira.

In a nutshell, to enrol in a gym house in Nigeria, you’d be required to cough out between 10,000 and 30,000 Naira per month or between 120,000 and 360,000 Naira per year as membership fee.

How to Start a Gym Business in Nigeria

Now to the real deal! Starting a gym business, like every other business, requires tact, strategy and of course, money. In this section, we’ll be showing you some tips, as well as steps to follow in setting up a gym business in Nigeria.

  1. Carry out a feasibility study

Some people call it market survey, but in this case, feasibility study is the more appropriate term. This step is very important here, and to a large extent, it determines the success of your business in the long run.

This survey helps you map out your target market, as well as how you can get to them.

Key factors to consider here include;

  • location; and
  • demographic outlook of the inhabitants; notably the dominant class, age grade and gender in the region.

Typically, a location with large concentration of youths is ideal for setting up a gym house. Also, in highbrow areas, with relatively low poverty level, you are bound to get more customers (fitness trainees) than in low-class locations, with high-level of poverty.

Once you’ve carried out the feasibility study in your desired location and you are satisfied with the result, you can proceed to set up your business.

  1. Create a brand name

Your brand name must be reflective of your business; hence, ensure you take your time to create a suitable name. If you lack the creativity, you can easily hire the service of a creative artist or simply employ the use of a business name generator software.

Once you’ve generated a brand name, you can proceed to put other things in place.

  1. Prepare a business plan

By plan, we mean “business plan”. Before going out to procure any equipment or rent a space, ensure you document all the necessary details, including your objectives (and goals), as well as area(s) of focus and specialty. Every single piece of information that concern or can affect your business should be well laid out in your plan.

Normally, a business plan for a gym business should include (among others) startup capital, goals of the business (short and long-term), gym equipment (and cost), location, access to target market, viability of business, projected income (monthly/yearly), starting gym membership fee, and miscellaneous cost among others.

Once you’ve developed a solid plan, you can proceed to register your business.

  1. Register your business

It is important to note that irrespective of the legitimacy of the service you render and/or goods you sell, if your business is not registered, it remains an illegal business. Therefore, to avoid stories that touch, you should promptly register your new business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and also obtain licenses/permits from other relevant local and national bodies.

Once you’ve registered you business, you are, by law, afforded the opportunity to operate without any form harrasment. Subsequently, you can proceed with the next step.

  1. Rent a space

A space, in this context, does not mean a room or a small condo. For a gym house, a standard gym house space should be around 30m by 20m or more. Getting such expansive space would not come cheap. In places like Lagos and Abuja, you may be looking at a rent of 500,000 to 1,000,000 Naira per annum.

Typically, you need a spacious room, preferably with small sections for private classes and offices. Also, a standard gym house must have a rest room, where trainees can cool off and rest after and in-between sessions.

  1. Procure gym equipment

A standard gym centre requires the following equipment:

  • Weight pile
  • Dumbbells
  • Ellipticals
  • Exercise mats
  • Motorized & Manual Treadmills
  • Skip-rope
  • Stepper boards
  • Ankle weight
  • Ski machine
  • Indoor cycles
  • Rowers
  • And more

These equipment come at a relatively high cost, which, normally, could be as high as $10,000. However, some of these equipment can be hired on lease, at more affordable prices.

  1. Hire professionals

If you are not a professional fitness trainer, the logical thing to do is to hire a fitness trainer(s). Depending on the scale of your startup, one or two trainers should do (for a small-scale startup).

  1. Promote your new venture and open your gym

A business that provides services like fitness and health services is likely to get most of its customers from the neighbourhood. Therefore, you can print flyers and reach out to the locals in your locale.

Also, to attract customers, make sure your charges are competitive, and should be relatively affordable compared to the standard rates in the industry. Subsequently, as you gain more customers, you can increase the rate.

  1. Start making your money

If you go through the steps in this guide as appropriate, you would start making your money in no time.

List of Gym Centres in Lagos Nigeria

Below is a list of six top gym centres in Lagos, Nigeria:

List of Gym Centres in Ibadan Nigeria

Below is a list of six standard gym centres in Ibadan, Oyo State:

  • Prime Fitness Centre, Bodija
  • State Executive Gym House, Lokola Hill
  • Medfit Gym & Wellness Centre, Moremi Street
  • Carlton Gate Gym, Agodi GRA
  • Liberty Stadium Gym Centre, Ring Road
  • Golden Finger Gym Centre, Ring Road

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  1. Pelumi Israel

    May 2, 2019 at 10:30 PM

    Very good business only if you can cut the membership cost for the poor

  2. iron bar

    May 3, 2019 at 11:36 AM

    Not an easy stuff but looks so..steady eletricity,security too ,good equipments and ability to replace or repair when it goes down.then rent unless u own the building..i have seen those who began but couldnt keep up.

  3. Agu linda

    March 10, 2020 at 8:05 AM

    In opening a guy house it is better to build it than renting…. Because when u build it u only expenses will just be on maintaining the equipment nd all that…. Because my dream is to open a gym house one day when am done with schooling…

    • Joseph Isiagu

      April 6, 2020 at 2:31 AM

      Same with me

  4. Stanford

    May 19, 2020 at 6:43 PM

    Thanks, this article was really an eye opener

  5. Eucharia

    May 28, 2021 at 11:15 PM

    Very informative, Thanks for sharing

  6. Ola abiola

    July 20, 2022 at 3:32 PM

    Good idea .

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