BUSINESS IDEAS FOR HEALTH & FITNESS LOVERS

Health and fitness businesses

The health & fitness industry encompasses a wide range of businesses, from online retail shops to mobile therapeutic services. All of these businesses seek to keep consumers informed about their bodies and minds and provide solutions to their health-related issues. From fitness centers to health food stores, there is an idea out there for anyone with a passion for healthy living.

Health & fitness businesses are also some of the most lucrative for first-time entrepreneurs. Every year, the US fitness industry brings in more than $32 billion from membership-based clubs alone, and that number is set to increase exponentially in the future. If you have an interest in creating a health & fitness business, take a look at our list of ideas below.


 

We’ve broken down our top health & fitness business ideas into three categories and ranked their startup costs, required skill level, and earning potential to help you decide which business idea is right for you.

FOOD & NUTRITION

Food & Nutrition businesses focus on keeping people informed about their diets. They provide advice on the best methods for losing weight or maximizing overall health. On the retail side of the industry, there is a huge range of shops that sell healthy food, nutritional supplements, and other health-focused products, while also providing nutritional guidance to their customers.

NUTRITIONIST BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Nutritionists help clients develop and maintain a diet that is catered to their individual lifestyle and biological makeup. This business is best suited for entrepreneurs who are passionate about healthy living, and also have a working knowledge of biology, anatomy, gastrointestinal health, and of course, nutrition.

As a nutritionist, you will need an office, as well as some basic equipment to help you manage appointments and notes on individual clients. This requires moderate startup costs, however, the future earning potential is very high for this niche market. As junk food becomes more and more accessible, people become increasingly concerned with the effect that their diet has on their well being, and turn to nutritionists for guidance.

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HEALTH COACHING BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

While a nutritionist is primarily concerned with fine-tuning diet, a health coach considers every facet of a client’s lifestyle to develop a diet, exercise, and general wellness regimen. Though some health coaches may emphasize an area of expertise, the baseline requirement for being a successful health coach is having a deep understanding of good health habits and exercise. This is a business type that generally has a low barrier to entry.

Additionally, the cost of a health coaching business can be very low. Typically, health coaches go directly to their clients’ home or workspace, cutting out the need for an office or a lot of overhead. In addition to the low costs, experienced health coaches can bring in big earnings, with some charging more than $500 per hour for their services.

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HEALTH FOOD STORE

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Health food stores are a very popular alternative to chain grocery stores or local supermarkets. They offer a wider-range of fresh produce and food geared toward healthy lifestyles. While it is not necessary to have the same knowledge that a professional nutritionist has, it is still important for business owners to understand the dietary needs of consumers. It is also very important to have experience in the food retail industry, and ideally a background in business management.

This type of business necessitates a large building, multiple employees, licensing, and a good source of fresh produce. As a result, startup costs are high. However, health food stores are also able to charge more, because they are offering high-end products that are not always available at traditional grocery stores. Once the overhead is accounted for, health food stores can see huge earnings down the road.

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HEALTHY FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

In today’s fast-paced business environment, most people want to get their food on the go. Unfortunately, fast food can be very unhealthy. However, with the growing demand for healthier grab and go food options, healthy fast food restaurants present a tantalizing business opportunity. Like any type of restaurant, fast food requires a fair amount of business know-how. Though you won’t need to be an expert, it is helpful to understand what consumers crave when they need a quick and healthy bite to eat.

The startup costs are relatively high for this kind of business. You will need to rent or purchase a location that sees a high amount of traffic and employ a handful of cooks and cashiers. While the earning potential is good for these kinds of businesses, there is a variable ceiling when you only have one location. However, opening multiple health food restaurants can help maximize your earning potential.

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SPECIALTY SPORT & EXERCISE

Though it is true that Americans love to watch sports, they also like to participate. Sports and exercise businesses thrive throughout every season, as they do not rely on the ups-and-downs of individual leagues. These businesses can help people get in shape, participate in competitions, and play their favorite sports.

PURE BARRE FRANCHISE

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Traditional gyms have a lot to offer, but sometimes offering the right combination of workouts can help match your business with a niche audience. Pure Barre combines techniques from ballet, pilates, and yoga. It consists of organized classes where one or more teachers guide their clients through a low-stress workout.

Startup costs can be high, as Pure Barre studios require expensive equipment, trained instructors, a large studio space, and licensing. However, the business itself doesn’t require any special knowledge. Some owners choose to be instructors as well, but generally, this work is left to the licensed professionals. With a high pay-per-class rate or a discounted membership contract, there are multiple ways to maximize your income and quickly make up for the initial investment.

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ROCK CLIMBING GYM

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Not every business idea requires a passion for the underlying activity, but that is not the case with a rock climbing gym. Most owners are avid rock climbers who understand the motivation for seeking out a venue to hone their skills. The business model for rock climbing gyms is fairly straightforward: customers pay for a gym membership, or a higher price per visit, to use the facility.

The greatest barrier to entry is finding an indoor venue with vaulted ceilings. Because you will need such a large space, the startup costs for this business can be very steep. You will also need a budget a fair amount for the construction and maintenance of your rock climbing walls. Once up and running the high membership rates will help you recoup your initial investment. Once you’d accounted for your expenses, a successful rock climbing gym can bring in about $250,000 per year in profits.

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SWIM SCHOOL

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Swim schools can vary in size and scope, from a casual business that you run from the pool in your backyard to a large-scale operation with multiple classes occurring simultaneously in different indoor or outdoor pools. No matter the scale of your business idea, it is best to have a passion for the sport if you want to start a school of your own. All swim instructors will also need proper training and certification to conduct lessons.

Most swim school owners opt to rent out pool space at a health club or municipal pool. Because you will not need to own or maintain your own facility, the startup and overhead costs for this business are fairly low. As a result, swim schools enjoy a high profit margin of 20% to 30%. While most swim school businesses remain small, there is always the opportunity to expand your business locally or regionally.

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ZUMBA STUDIO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Zumba is an extremely popular form of exercise because it is both fun and effective. If you are enthusiastic about intense workouts and encouraging people to reach their fitness goals, a Zumba studio could be a perfect business for you. These studios require someone with an enthusiastic personality and a knack for marketing and self-promotion.

Zumba studios also need an indoor space large enough to host at least one class at a time. Depending on where your studio is located and how large you’d like it to be, this cost can range anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000. Growth and earning potential will vary based on location, the number of classes taught, and how many clients you’re able to find, but there is a great potential to turn a Zumba studio into a very profitable business.

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MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Martial arts enthusiasts may consider opening their own studio to bring their passion to others while making a profit. Though most customers tend to be children, there are still a large number of adults looking for professional venues that offer one-on-one or group classes. Owners should have a good deal of martial arts experience before opening this business.

The highest startup cost will go toward obtaining a studio to conduct classes. Since you will not need a very large space or require more than some mirrors and mats, these costs can remain fairly reasonable. You may choose to stick with one studio or expand. With fairly low overhead, a solid martial arts studio can bring in more than $10,000 per month with about a 50% profit margin.

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NINJA WARRIOR GYM

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

The television series “American Ninja Warrior” has helped popularize obstacle courses for people of all ages. The spectacle has inspired thousands to apply for the competition, with even casual fans are eager to take part in some way. As a result, Ninja Warrior gyms provide an outlet for fans and competitors alike, as well as a unique business opportunity for creative entrepreneurs.

Startup costs can be high since you will need to acquire and customize a very large space. Most owners put the range at anywhere from 11,000 to 30,000 square feet. Your profits will come from the prices you put in place for using your facility. You may charge hourly, daily, or monthly rates, and offer both free use of the space and guided instruction. Successful Ninja Warrior gyms report annual revenue of $250,000 to $500,000.

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PILATES STUDIO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Pilates exercises are all about building your core strength and increasing flexibility to maintain optimal fitness. Generally, a Pilates studio is best suited for a local community with a steady stream of health-enthusiasts. For business owners looking to reach a growing niche audience, Pilates studios are a perfect fit.

A Pilates studio can be built on just about any budget. Many instructors run the business out of their own home or a small, rented studio space. As a result, beyond marketing your business, it is possible to have virtually no overhead and great potential to make a respectable profit.

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GYMNASTICS CLASSES BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Gymnastics has been one of the most popular sports among young women for decades. If you have a background in gymnastics competitions or coaching, teaching classes or managing a gymnastics school is a great way to pass these skills on to a younger generation.

The classes must be taught in a space that gives ample room for movement. It is more common (and economical) to rent out a gymnasium and equipment for the necessary hours rather than leasing or buying your own space. These costs can vary depending on the number of students and the type of gymnastic activities offered. However, the costs are generally on the lower end of the spectrum. Because many gymnasts start young and continue throughout their lives, there is a great opportunity to create a long-lasting and thriving business.

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CROSSFIT GYM

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

A CrossFit Gym is the perfect business idea for exercise-fanatics and instructors alike. Combining weight-training, cardio, gymnastics, and bodyweight exercises, CrossFit provides a high-intensity workout that is accessible to just about anyone. Aside from an interest in physical fitness and, preferably, experience owning or working at a fitness center, there is very little technical knowledge needed to open a CrossFit gym.

On the business side of things, a Crossfit gym is a mid-range investment with high earning potential. Some of the CrossFit equipment has a high-price tag, but it is well worth it to get in on one of the most popular exercise regimens on the market. Costs can also be kept low since a CrossFit gym can be run out of just about any space.

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DANCE STUDIO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Dance Studios are a great investment for business-minded individuals, as they can provide multiple income streams. Once space has been bought or leased, it can be rented out to individuals or dance classes to use. Additionally, this space can be saved for in-house dance classes as needed.

The largest cost for every dance studio is the space. It requires a large building with proper ventilation, flooring, and a few add-ons like mirrors and stationary barres. Working knowledge of different forms of dance is a plus, but otherwise, a dance studio can be run much like any other rental property. With the proper management, your space can bring in solid earnings with one of the most consistently popular activities among young men and women.

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BOUTIQUE GYM

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Many traditional gyms cater to a wide range of people, and smaller studios can rent their space out for a variety of activities, like yoga, CrossFit, or Pilates. As an alternative, boutique gyms zero in a specific audience by offering classes in one form of exercise. This way, they can market themselves as experts in their respective activity.

Opening a boutique gym takes a greater level of dedication and expertise than the average fitness center. However, depending on the exact activity that your gym specializes in, the startup cost is often lower since it does not require the equipment and space for a wide range of exercises. For this reason, earning potential is good once you’ve built a respectable base of members.

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AERIAL SPORTS INSTRUCTION

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

If you love adrenaline-fueled sports and activities, then aerial sports instruction may be the perfect business niche for you. While the market is not as large as other sports investments, and the skill level required is relatively high, instructors for hang gliding, paragliding, or similar aerial sports possess specialized skills that justify high-priced classes.

Some equipment will need to be purchased at the outset, but much of the startup costs come from training and licensing. Once you have the skills to teach aerial sports, there is very little cost to your business beyond maintenance of the equipment. For this reason, if you market yourself right, you can often establish a very profitable business.

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BASEBALL HITTING COACH BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

For former baseball players and coaches, or even sports enthusiasts with a knowledge of physics, a hitting coach business is a solid option. Finding clients is relatively simple, especially if you are already known within your community. Networking with parents and little league teams is a great way to find clients.

The costs for a hitting coach business can vary. With a few bats, gloves, baseballs, a pitching machine, and a large net, you can get started. However, to expand your business (and your earning potential), you will need to invest in an office, batting cages, and multiple pitching machines.

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BIKE TOUR COMPANY

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Bike tours are a popular way to socialize, exercise, and sightsee, all while enjoying the great outdoors. For entrepreneurs who enjoy riding bikes as a recreational hobby, bike tours offer a way to involve others in an activity that can be fun, healthy, and profitable. It is also a great business idea for those who are already knowledgeable about local hot spots and scenic areas.

The primary cost of running a bike tour company is the initial purchase and ongoing maintenance of the bikes. It may or may not be necessary to keep an office space outside of the home, meaning that bike tours can have a relatively low overhead. However, earning potential may be stifled by the limitations of the city or region in which you operate and whether your business is seasonal or can be run year round.

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RELAXATION & THERAPY

With the ever-increasing speed of modern life, people need a way to relax and clear their minds. Relaxation and therapy businesses provide an outlet for working adults to step away from their busy lives and treat themselves. The industry is rife with new opportunities, though many alternative therapy methods have been around for thousands of years.

PROFESSIONAL MEDITATION BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Meditation has proven health benefits, and western consumers are eager to find professional guidance on the path to mental, physical, and spiritual well being. Entrepreneurs who have experience as spiritual mentors or even those who just love to meditate can help instruct others and teach courses on meditation. If courses are not your style, consider purchasing a space where people can pay to escape the hustle-and-bustle and meditate on their own for a while.

Professional meditation businesses have some of the lowest startup costs of any health & fitness endeavors, though the scale of your business can have a direct impact on your initial costs. The barriers to entry are very low, and though the earning potential is somewhat limited, it is an ever-growing industry with the potential to expand over time.

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YOGA STUDIO

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Yoga has been around for ages, and it continues to be one of the most popular health & wellness investments for working adults. If you have a passion for yoga or see an opportunity to fill a gap in your local market, yoga studios are a great way to provide a healthy, fulfilling service to the community.

Yoga is a low-intensity workout that is great for all ages, though it is primarily marketed to health-conscious people between the ages of 30 and 50. If you want to teach your own classes, then you will need to understand the mechanics of yoga and get certified through a training program. Alternatively, you can hire professional yoga instructors, but this will raise your startup costs. In either case, yoga studios have a moderately low barrier to entry, and above average earning potential.

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DAY SPA

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Day Spas are best suited for those who want to provide a relaxing atmosphere for their clientele. Often times, these businesses focus on de-stressing techniques and ambiance to improve overall wellness. Day Spas offer a variety of products and services like massage, beauty and relaxation treatment, and personal care products.

Like most businesses, day spas require proper licensing. Upfront costs will also include a building, amenities, staff, and additional upgrades like lighting and music to promote a relaxing atmosphere. Earning potential is largely dependent on the services provided, as well as the size of your operation, but with a solid client base, you can make a solid profit.

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ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Though some people get squeamish around needles, acupuncture clinics provide a relaxing alternative to traditional medicine and physical therapy. This business is ideal for those who have advanced knowledge of acupuncture therapy, so it has a relatively high barrier to entry.

The startup costs can vary, but if you are willing to start small, an acupuncture clinic can be extremely affordable. Many clinics are now mobile, with staff traveling directly to the client’s home. Profits are dependent on the size of your clinic, but most acupuncturists are able to break even in a relatively short amount of time.

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AROMATHERAPY BUSINESS

Startup Costs

Skill Level

Earning Potential

Alternative therapies and medicines have never been more popular, and aromatherapy is no exception. For those looking to sell therapeutic products or even conduct anxiety-reducing therapy sessions, aromatherapy poses an intriguing business opportunity.

It is difficult to gauge the startup costs for an aromatherapy business, as there are many different ways to approach it. For example, you may choose to run an online shop that sells aromatherapy products, in which case costs would remain very low. On the other hand, you may choose to rent or purchase a building and hire staff to conduct aromatherapy sessions, in addition to selling products, which would greatly increase your costs. In either case, some knowledge of aromatherapy is required, and the profit potential is relatively high for both physical and online shops.

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