Are you aspiring to start your own business as a fitness provider but don’t know where to start? Fret not! We have identified three important steps and provided some recommendations on how to go about taking them.


1. Get certified



Having a fitness certification adds to your credibility as a competent fitness trainer and lets you stand out from the competition. Below are some reputable certifications you can consider pursuing that are highly recognised around the world.


American Council on Exercise


The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit exercise professional and health coach certification organisation that offers four primary certifications which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), namely Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach and Medical Exercise Specialist. Founded in 1985, ACE has since evolved from a small nonprofit dedicated to educating people about proper fitness to a 50,000-strong network of certified health and fitness professionals across the globe. 


National Academy of Sports Medicine


Founded in 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) provides evidence-based certifications and advanced specialisations to health and fitness professionals. It offers both Personal Trainer program and Fitness Specialist programs to enhance your fitness career and equip you with the skills to help your clients excel.


International Sports Sciences Association


The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is a distance education institution and certifying agency that offers a wide range of certification programs from Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor to Group Exercise Instructor and Nutritionist. Founded in 1988 by a team of leading fitness researchers, PhDs and elite practitioners, ISSA has taught over 400,000 students and trainers in 174 countries.


National Strength and Conditioning Association


Founded in 1978, The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit association dedicated to elevating the strength and conditioning professions around the world. Serving over 45,000 professionals in 72 countries, NSCA offers certifications related to Strength and Conditioning such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator. 


Federation of International Sports, Aerobics and Fitness


One of the largest fitness industry organisations in the world, the Federation of International Sports, Aerobics and Fitness (FISAF) grants recognised certification of accreditation for over 20,000 students worldwide. It offers a variety of fitness programmes like FISAF Personal Trainer Certification, FISAF Core Course, FISAF Aqua Instructor Certification and FISAF Aerobics & Group Exercise Certification.



2. Finding the right location



After getting certified, the next thing you need to do is to find a place to hold your classes. Selecting the right location to operate your business plays a big part in making your business succeed. Pick the wrong option, and you will face high competition, high operational cost, and even low customer rates. Whether you want to rent or purchase a physical location, or even conduct a virtual class online, there are many ways to hold a fitness class. Here are some ideas you can consider when deciding on the location.


Renting or purchasing a studio


Buying or renting a studio location is one way to run your operations. Depending on your budget and end goal, both options have their own pros and cons. Owning a studio location gives you better control of the style and layout in exchange for higher capital costs. In comparison, renting a studio is a less stable but much cheaper option for those who are tight on budget. Venuerific and Getspaces are two places where you can rent studio locations across Singapore at an affordable rate. These websites provide readily available studios to kickstart your classes immediately. 


Recreation areas


For those who prefer to have a constant change of scenery and nature view, conducting a class at a recreation area such as a park is a good alternative. Examples of suitable places include Singapore Botanic Gardens and East Coast Park. Since such areas are typically free to enter, conducting an outdoor fitness class allows you to physically connect with your community whilst keeping your overhead cost to the minimum. If you decide to go with this option, do remember to get your permit from SportSG and NPark before conducting your lesson and don’t forget to practise safe distancing! 


Online lessons


What better way to conduct your lesson than from the comfort of your own home? Since the pandemic, most fitness instructors are shifting their lessons online by teaching via Zoom to keep up with the Covid-19 restrictions. Going online grants you the potential to reach out to a larger audience that is no longer bound by travel restrictions while maintaining a low operating cost.


Before you select an option, do conduct your own research to determine if it is viable for your business. If you have decided to host your business beyond your home, conducting a thorough research on the demographic of the area and its surrounding facilities will help you select the best location for your business. Accessibility, convenience and competition are one of the many factors you need to consider when selecting the right location.


3. Use a gym management software

Now that you are all set, it is time to finally get your fitness business up and running. There are many things you have to manage such as class scheduling and booking payment in order to run a business properly. It can be daunting to try and handle everything by yourself which is why we recommend the use of a gym management software. These software are specifically designed to help fitness businesses perform their administrative tasks efficiently, thus allowing fitness trainers to devote their time into delivering higher quality lessons. The question now is which gym management software to use, given that there are so many to choose from?


Over at vibefam, we understand the needs of fitness entrepreneurs so we built something really easy that helps you grow your community. As a one-stop digital solution for small and medium-sized fitness providers, here’s how we help businesses like yours: 


One-stop solution


vibefam is a seamless application that provides all the features you need to run a successful fitness business. It has important features like scheduling and payment to help manage classes and booking transactions. It also has a built-in chat function to allow easy communication between fitness instructors and students. Furthermore, administrators have access to business dashboards and reports to aid in decision making.


Easy to set up and run


The onboarding and training process to set up and run vibefam only takes about 1.5 hours. Data migration can also be easily done using a migration template and this process usually takes only 1 day to complete. In addition, a dedicated account manager will be assigned to provide customer support throughout the whole journey.


Affordable, non-contractual and non-commissionable


vibefam offers monthly and yearly subscription plans with rates between SGD $59 to $139 per month with no contract obligation, that is you can choose to cancel your subscription anytime. Moreover, no extra cost is incurred apart from the subscription fee; there are no hidden fees, meaning you get to keep all of your earnings.



To summarise, the three steps to start a fitness business are to get certified, find the right location and use a gym management software like vibefam. By writing this article, we hope to help more fitness trainers realise their goal of one day starting their own business. At vibefam, we welcome everyone to join our growing tribe of fitness studios so if you’re ready, book a free demo with us now and we can work together to make your dream a reality!

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