Fitness is an important part of every day life, and most people wouldn’t mind looking and feeling healthier. This makes gyms and fitness centers great places for building muscle and great for making money as well.

If you want to combine a passion by opening up a gym, start by following these simple steps.

1. Write a business plan and get financing.

gymImage via Flickr by Health Gauge

You will need a written business plan and a loan. The start-up costs for opening up a gym are anywhere from $10,000-$50,000, but you will need to get a loan for more than that. Banks will not give out a business loan without a business plan, so make you put your best foot forward. You will also need to get a tax ID number and register for local and state taxes. If you haven’t already, make sure you get training in the field, such as a sports management degree from an accredited university. This will make you look more credible.

2. Find a gym location that will support the services you will offer.

empty_buildingImage via Flickr by PHOTO/arts Magazine

Always remember location, location, location! It goes without saying that some areas are better than others to place a gym. You want to keep your overhead low, but you also want your customers to be within a 12-minute driving range. You will also want to be a good distance away from competitors. Visibility and parking are important as well. In terms of size, 3,000 sq ft should be enough for a startup gym.

3. Don’t forget about costs.

weightsImage via Flickr by Maik Meid

When building your gym, keep the cost of equipment, rent, and upkeep in mind. You will also want to insure your business in the event that someone gets injured there. Many first-time gym owners make the mistake of buying too much space, which in the end only costs them more money and goes to waste.

5. Get the right equipment.

gym_equipmentImage via Flickr by CherryPoint

You will need to have the right equipment for your patrons. Cater to your crowd by getting the equipment that best fits their needs. Will your clientele be mostly body builders or middle-aged housewives? Faster Equipment offers a variety of equipment packages that fit a wide range of needs.

6. Find a price structure and develop membership packages.

gym_flyerImage via Flickr by Jason Taellious

The next thing you’ll want to implement is a price structure for classes, membership, etc. This is a business, so it needs money to survive, and the right price structure can make or break a gym. Avoid undercutting all other gyms to get people to sign up. You will be cutting into your profits, and many people will leave as soon as a better deal pops up. You can’t own the best gym and the least expensive gym, so balance your needs.

Always keep costs and quality in mind. Follow these six simple steps and you will be on your way to owning your first successful gym. Remember that building a reputable business takes time, so grind out the first few years and do what you love.